For the Do-it-Yourselfer Here is a guide to Controller Refurbishing
ColecoVision Controller Refurbishing.
You need the following
De-solder bulb to remove old solder
fine file or sand paper
small side cutter and needle nose pliers
Multi-meter (audible continuity test is a nice plus)
small utility knife (for removing glue and to aid in stripping wires.
Only 99% isopropyl alcohol ( the 70% stuff has water in it )
DeoxIT by http://www.caig.com/
Trying to clean a fire-button without dissembling it is futile.
1. De-solder dissemble and clean rails and slide with 99% isopropyl alcohol to remove old grease and grime.
2. Put a couple drops of Deoxit on the slide and both sides of the rail ( rail is the 3 flat extensions ) and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
3. Take the slide and carefully straddle it on a strip of paper and move it back and forth to remove any corrsion.
4. Clean the corrsion off the rails with a Q-tip.
5. Put the slide back on the rail,apply a nice thin layer of dielectric grease to protect against corrosion and friction.
7. Test with a multi-meter using the continuity setting. press button in very slowly and make sure that contact is continuos from the point where it first makes contact and being fully depressed. If the slide is damaged or rail is bent, contact can be intermitant and button is basically worthless.
8. If button tests perfect, solder it back to the controller pcb.
For the joystick contacts you NEVER want to sand the chrome plated dome, doing so would be begging for problems. The chrome plating makes for excellent contact. Desolder and carefully inspect the domes for cracks. I have seen them with such tiny cracks that unless you delsolder and hold in your fingers and gently bend and twist them, the cracks are not visible.
Contact points be lighthly sanded or filed and a drop of solder be applied and filed flat, then a drop of Deoxit be applied to condition the contact point, domes carefully inspected and replaced if cracked.
1. pull keypad out of the socket
2. clean the contact points with DeoxIT and a Q*tip
3. slide a piece of card stock with Deoxit in/out of the keypad socket several times to get grime and corrosion out.
If the keypad doesn't work you may have to separate the layers. The contact points between the layers get corroded occasionally.
For cords and solder points I recommend that wires be cut from pcb and all old solder and glue removed. Then throw away those slide on clips, those things are worthless. Remove any glue on the type of pcb that has the thru holes. Strip and resolder all the wires directly to the controller pcb. No need to put any hot glue on the wires. The grommet protects the wires from being pulled lose from the pcb.
Quick fix for joystick contacts is a strip of paper or poster board with DeoxIT ran back and forth between contact and dome while pushing down on dome. Not really recommended!
If your going to go to all the trouble of trying to recondition a controller, you should go all out so that it continues to work for a long time, not half-way so that 2 weeks later your tearing it a part again.
I go all out on controller refurbishing, to just short of insanity. After I refurb a controller and put it back together I meticulously test it, almost hoping I will find a tiny thing about it that is not quiet perfect. If I do I take it a part and work on it some more.
A quality Controller refurb should not even be attempted by anyone that doesn't have awesome soldering skills.
Hope this guide is helpful.