Repairing an Arcadia 2001 Controller
I had problems with a fire button of the left Arcadia 2001 controller, not firing anymore. The Arcadia-controllers are very simple and were cheaply made. Even working, they are not great controllers. In the end nothing will help, but making complete new controllers of quality components, with real switches. I might do that sometime, if there should be some games I really like and want to play decently. Not sure yet. But for the beginning a repair should be enough. Simultaneously I'm using the opportunity to preserve that technology by uploading a few pictures.
That's my left controller: ACR01.jpg 230.34KB 20 downloads
Inside everything is glued together. By pulling carefully the parts can be separated. The mylar is quite corroded and a bit dirty:
ACR02.jpg 238.11KB 18 downloads
Showing the color scheme the plug: ACR03.jpg 180.35KB 19 downloads
The wiring of the mylar itself, in case somebody wants to make a reproduction (or wonders, why pushing the "2"-key, also triggers the gun). Both red fire buttons are wired in parallel. They are just simple buttons, no rocker switches, no up and down. It is a 5x5 millimeters grid in the background.
ArcadiaControllerMylar.jpeg 432.67KB 18 downloads
I cleaned the corrosion and without heavy rubbing, not only oxidation went off, but also the printed conducting traces. They really are not bound firmly with the plastic carrier. Look at the red circle. I cleaned away part of button and wire, by using alcohol, an ear pad and too much pressure and rubbing. Cleaning must be done extremely careful:
ACR04.jpg 576.35KB 18 downloads
For the first time I tried to repair with conducting silver, since soldering is impossible. I made a mask of transparent tape for painting the new trace. I learnt, painting one time is not enough: To lower electric resistance, the trace must be thicker. I painted three times. Narrow traces are bad, too. They have to be wide. Contact with the original traces must overlap as far as possible to make good contact. Left picture: painting a few times. Right picture: pulling off the tape.
I also re-painted the conductive pad of the fire-button later on. I took no photo.
Before reassembling I protected the new traces with transparent tape, since the silver color can't get inside the mylar's surface and gets scratched off quite easily.
Reassembled the controller, checked it, working again! I can't predict, how long the new pad of the button will last, of course. Hopefully some time...