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Thread: Genesis Model 2 Controller/Port Problem

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    Default Genesis Model 2 Controller/Port Problem

    Hello!

    I recently purchased a used Sega Genesis (model 2) console at a retro gaming store around town, and I'm having a bit of trouble. The system itself came with a standard Sega 3-button controller. Whenever I boot up the console to play a game one of three things will happen: the controller will function correctly, it won't function at all, or, the most common is that all the buttons work except for D-pad up and right. At first I thought it was the controller, so I went back to the store the next day and bought a third-party pad called the "SuperPad" by Performance.

    When I got home to try it out, none of the buttons worked correctly, and it seemed to be stuck in a D-pad left, down, and C button position (meaning that those buttons were being registered with the game as being always pushed down, ie: Sonic would always run to the left, look down and jump by himself). I tried typing in my problem on Google, and learned that the problem might be that the pins in the controller port are wearing out (??), and that I should check to make sure the traces on the PCB were not broken, and still soldered (seen here: http://koti.mbnet.fi/~ilesj/coll/pic/sms2-diagnosis.jpg)

    I proceeded to open the Genesis, and when I flipped over the board I found nothing unusual, or so I think: I really don't know what I'm looking for that should be broken... everything still looks soldered to me. After cleaning the board with some rubbing alcohol, dusting off the internal controller contacts, and cleaning the plastic shell, I put it back together, and found some results: the third-party controller's D-pad and C button worked, but A and B did not. My official Genesis controller worked 100%, although sometimes the up and right directional buttons do not, so I have to power down the unit, disconnect the controller, and then try it again.

    I would appreciate it if anybody could help me out, if they think they know what the problem might be. There's a chance that BOTH controllers might be broken, but it is strange considering the third-party one ALMOST started working 100% after cleaning the entire system. I'll be moving back to New York on Friday, so I might stop by Digital Press in the coming weeks; I don't know if you guys offer repairs or have any model two consoles in stock.

    Thanks.

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    Alex (Level 15) InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    You need to open it back up and reflow the solder joints on all the controller port pins. Even if they look like they're not broken, more than likely they've snapped loose and are making poor connections. About half of the Genesis 2 systems I come across have had this happen to them, usually because they were stored / tossed around / boxed with the controllers plugged in. This allows the controller plugs to work like prybars, especially since the systems are then crammed into junk boxes or tossed around with controllers plugged in, breaking the pins.
    Last edited by InsaneDavid; 11-07-2007 at 01:46 AM.

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    That's what I thought from reading that other forum. What joints exactly need to be reflowed? I have never done this before: can I use a normal soldering iron/gun?
    Here's a picture of the condition of the underside of my board:



    Thanks for your quick reply.
    Last edited by HarroSIN; 11-07-2007 at 02:17 AM.

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    Alex (Level 15) InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    I can see the broken joints plain as day in your picture. You can use pretty much any soldering iron, the $7.00 30W one from Radio Shack is what I've always used. (although I think they're moving to them all being 25W - or it's the other way around, I can never remember) If you have no experience soldering you may want to practice on something else first as the pins are pretty close (nowhere near as close as most projects of this type, but for a beginner they are).

    Above each controller port you'll see a row of four pins with another row of five pins above it, like this...

    .O O O O O
    . O O O O

    You need to heat up each one of those and reflow solder between the PCB and pin, this will require a little additional solder - after you've done some electronics work you'll get a feel for how much to add, it'll become second nature. Basically you want to soildly reform the connection with just enough solder to pool over the connection pad - make sure that you don't blob pins together.

    From that picture it looks like nearly if not all the connections are broken for port 2 and half of them are broken for port 1. Reflow all 18 points just to be sure.

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