Wavebird Controller Repair

2015-07-02 17:36 - Making

My Wavebird controller, guts open to the air, in order to replace the C-stick daughterboard.

Some time ago I bought a second hand Wii to keep at my Mom's house. It came with a pair of wireless Gamecube controllers, including a real Wavebird (which is a nice first-party wireless Gamecube controller). I don't play a lot of Gamecube games, but I just recently started Super Mario Sunshine. It's apparently the first game I've played with it that makes use of the C stick -- this game uses it for camera control, like most modern 3D games. Unfortunately the Wavebird's C stick isn't working properly, it's always sending a little bit left or right in a pattern I can't quite make out. Sometimes trying to push left or right doesn't do the right thing.

Back when I first got it, I had opened it up to replace the main analog stick, which I got in a very used state, worn down to an ugly and uncomfortable nub. I cannibalized the compatible stick from the brand new but low quality third party (wired) controller I already had. Today I repeated this procedure, swapping out the electronics rather than just the plastic bits. The original C stick is resting at the bottom right, just below where it came out of. It's hooked in via a short 4-wire ribbon cable. Turns out the replacement part has a different pinout, but a compatible one. I traced out which pin was which on either one. Because the components themselves (I assumed they're just potentiometers at first, but the way they're wired doesn't seem right for that...) were all hooked up in a similar fashion (same pins either connected together and/or going out to one of the four pins), plus the PCB was exactly the same shape, I went for the attempted repair. Which has worked just fine!

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