Anyone repaired a joystick with broken pins?

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
Kruthers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: Nov 13 2021 - 16:55
Posts: 2
Anyone repaired a joystick with broken pins?

Unfortunately I have three TG Products joysticks with one or more broken pins.  Two have ribbon cables and one has the round insulated cable.

 

Has anyone succsessfully repaired this and if so how have you done it?  Thanks for any info!

Online
Last seen: 1 hour 10 sec ago
Joined: Apr 1 2020 - 16:46
Posts: 856
How to repair broken pins ....

... you have two options:

 

a) buy new DIL-16 press-fit headers and press them onto the original flat band cable. This may be a bit tricky when you don't have the proprietary tools from the manufacturer of the headers. You can use a vise to do this operation, but you need to protect the pins with a sacrifical DIL socket you put onto the pins of the header before that step. Do not use machined contact sockets or low profile sockets for this as these are too flat to protect the pins in all cases. Higher profile sockets or those with "stamped contacts" work best. Snip off their pins before putting them on the pins of the header. Unless they break under pressure, they can be reused for further press-on operations. Until they finally break. Not all press-fit headers are easy to use, as their manufacturers wanted to sell their special tools. The ones best suited for the improvised technique with the vise have a top plate which has small grooves to properly position the wires of the flat band cable to the contact springs on the bottom part (the one with the pins).  And some of these headers have further alignment helpers which position the top and bottom part together in the right way. Some of these are plastic fins on the bottom part, and you need do make small cuts in the flat band cable, between the wires (don't cut the wires !) so these fins can get through, and this also helps with aligning everything. Buy more press-fit headers than you need ! So you can practice ...

 

b) You buy DIL-16 pin headers with solder lugs or solder cups, and then you pull apart the individual wires of the flat band cable, remove the insulation on the tips, twist the strands, pre-tin them, and solder them into the header. This is a very tedious and error prone process. Put the pins into another DIL-16 socket - here the "machined contact" type is best - to avoid dislocation due to the solder process softening the plastic. You have to work quickly to avoid overheating of the pin. And let everything cool down after each solder joint.

 

Yet another, but less desirable, method (which works only if end pins in locations #1, #8, #9 and #16 are broken) is to carefully cut into the flat band cable to separate the relevant wires from the cable (those leading to the broken pins). Once these are loose, they can be cut near the header (careful to not cut adjacent wires) and then this end can be stripped of isolation, strands twisted, and pre-tinned. Then, solder a thin extension wire, preferably solid, to this end. Solder the other end into the proper pin of a DIL-16 "machined contact" socket. And then put the old header into the socket. This kludge works but has a significant drawback: since you use the pins of a regular DIL-16 socket as "pins" that go into the game port socket of the Apple II motherboard. Whose contacts will then be stressed such that they never will make a reliable contact with the smaller pins of regular headers anymore. So this method is not recommended. But if you have no other ressources at hand it need to do it NOW, then this is an option.

 

- Uncle Bernie

Offline
Last seen: 1 day 34 min ago
Joined: Jul 5 2018 - 09:44
Posts: 2562
I've repaired several

I've repaired several joysticks with broken pins like that by replacing the entire cable.  Open up the back of the joystick and cut the old one off and solder in the new one.  You can buy ribbon cable and the crimp on ends or the solder ends.  Those parts are all still made.

 

 

Online
Last seen: 1 hour 2 min ago
Joined: Feb 27 2021 - 18:59
Posts: 484
easy tooling

The tool for installing IDC (insulation displacement connectors) is very cheaply available, for example from Jameco, as the HT-214. Using a pair of pliers may work sometimes, but most pliers don't have parallel jaw movement which means the connector is not crimped evenly. Jameco also sells a variation of the tool specifically for DIP IDC plugs (the tool body is identical, but it comes with a differently shaped plastic insert to grip DIP plugs up to 40 pins).

Offline
Last seen: 1 day 34 min ago
Joined: Jul 5 2018 - 09:44
Posts: 2562
robespierre wrote:The tool
robespierre wrote:

The tool for installing IDC (insulation displacement connectors) is very cheaply available, for example from Jameco, as the HT-214. Using a pair of pliers may work sometimes, but most pliers don't have parallel jaw movement which means the connector is not crimped evenly. Jameco also sells a

 

 

It can also be done using a couple of small pieces of proper sized wood or plastic and a bench vice.  I've crimped connectors that way many times when I didn't have the "proper" tool.  Small bench vices are cheap and a convenient thing to have.  This one was under $30 and I've used it for all kinds of things.  I've got "real" ones for serious work out in the garage, but this one is a small 3" table mountable one that is conveniently portable.

 

 

 

 

Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: May 26 2009 - 14:53
Posts: 23
I've beren using the Hanlong

I've beren using the Hanlong for several years now and it works just fine.  If you're going to do be doing this more than once, I would spring for the tool on either Amazon or Jameco - both have it for the same price, and if you are placing an order with several more items, you'll get free shipping.  Its cheaper than a vise, and safer too.  Just my personal opinion - "your mileage may vary"...  :)

Online
Last seen: 1 hour 10 sec ago
Joined: Apr 1 2020 - 16:46
Posts: 856
The not so easy "tooling" especially with Chinese made toys

In post #4, Robespierre wrote:

 

"The tool for installing IDC (insulation displacement connectors) is very cheaply available, for example from Jameco, as the HT-214."

 

Uncle Bernie comments:

 

I have had that tool since many years but found out it does not solve the prevalent issues with some of those connectors, and these are:

 

a) proper alignment of the individual wires of the flat band cable with the contact fingers of the connector.

b) holding all the three pieces (connector bottom, flat band cable, connector top) in the proper place, cable side exactly 90 degrees from the connector.

 

While some connectors solve issue a) all by themselves, my experience with this tool was disappointing. So I'm back to the vise, where at least one part (the vise) does not move around and cause misalignment of any of the parts involved in the process. Well, maybe I'm just too dumb to use that Chinese tool properly, as it came with no instructions. But as an electronics industry insider, I saw the real professional tooling used to put these IDC connectors on flat band cables, and so I'm spoiled and did expect too much from that Chinese toy. IMHO it's a waste of money.

 

- Uncle Bernie

Kruthers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: Nov 13 2021 - 16:55
Posts: 2
Whoa, so many replies!

(Sorry to be AWOL, I didn't get any emails and assumed radio silence.)

I was originally trying the 2nd suggestion from UncleBernie using these: Mill-Max 111-43-316-41-001000  Abandoned it pretty quickly though, mostly because the pins were pretty brittle and broke off easily.  Don't want to leave a broken pin in a motherboard socket...  There's probably a better part though.

Thanks for all the suggestions.  I will mull this over and try one of them.  I do have a bench vice and am always looking for low tech solutions, so that's appreciated.

Anyway, I'll try to remember to update how it goes, when I get back to this.  Might be a while though.

Offline
Last seen: 1 day 34 min ago
Joined: Jul 5 2018 - 09:44
Posts: 2562
UncleBernie wrote:In post #4,
UncleBernie wrote:

In post #4, Robespierre wrote:

 

"The tool for installing IDC (insulation displacement connectors) is very cheaply available, for example from Jameco, as the HT-214."

 

Uncle Bernie comments:

 

I have had that tool since many years but found out it does not solve the prevalent issues with some of those connectors, and these are:

 

 

I't makes me feel a little better that I'm not the only one that uses the vise solution...  I've been doing that since the 1980s...  Somewhere in storage I've got my dad's old bench vise that I used back in the day.  I may have to mount it to a bench someday even though I've got other and better ones.  Just for nostalgia's sake.

 

Log in or register to post comments