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Thread: How to get rid of poltergeist in PS3 controllers

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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    Default How to get rid of poltergeist in PS3 controllers

    Ever get a used PS3 SixAxis/Dual Shock 3 controller, pair it with your PS3 and suddenly it's like something else is in control? Menus shift, buttons press when you never touched them-it's like the thng's possessed! All that's needed to complete that diagnosis is if the controller spewed pea soup from its charging port.

    Recently I got controllers that did just that. A blue one I got from Goodwill a while ago and a red one I posted about in Buying and Selling. I looked up info before but must have not Googled right. Yesterday I found the info I was looking for and figured I'd pass the info to you!

    The reason seems to come from the controller design. Sony, in their wisdom, decided to make the ribbon cable that connects the circuit board with the pad/button contacts and sticks with the rest of the controller be "pressure" connected. The connectors on the ribbon literally PRESS against a strip of contacts on the board with the help of a foam pad. This method creates the possibility of corrosion on those contacts coupled with the foam flattening over time.

    What you need to do is pretty easy.

    -Disassemble the controller with a Phillios presicion screwdriver. It's only 5 screws. Open the controller from the bottom and open away like a book. If all goes well the R/L2 triggers will stay on the controller. If not, no big deal.

    -Remove a small screw on the bottom of the circuit board, just left of the center.

    -Gently pull the board out (make sure the sticks clear their holes) and lightly twist it forward so the sticks face you. There should be enough wire slack from the motors.

    -on the controller side will be a clear ribbon cable fastened to two posts. Using a tweezers, gently pull the corners of the ribbon off the posts. One of the posts is slightly hooked so you may have to pull towards the hook, up and over.

    -under the ribbon is a piece of foam. Take it out and cut out three but of masking or electrical tape in the shape of the foam piece. I used masking tape.

    -put the foam back in its spot in the controller.

    -attach the ribbon back on the posts and push it down so it's close to the foam.

    -using isopropyl alcohol (alcohol 90% or greater) and a cotton swab, clean the contacts on both the ribbon and the strip of contacts on the circuit board.

    -reassemble controller. If the R/L2 buttons popped off, make sure the little metal spring part is in between the trigger and the controller housing. When you pop the trigger back on, it should function normally.

    Now try it out. In my case I got the glitching right away and after I did the above it went away. I did not do a game test (kids were watching The British Baking Show on Netflix- can't totally interrupt that) but I feel confident the issues should be gone. I'll report my findings when I get a chance to play.

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    this house is clean

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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    House is clean, indeed! I had a chance to commandeer the TV and I put Red through the paces of "Transformers: Devastation". While my skills are glitched (haven't played in over a year and started off fighting an ancient Insecticon boss toward the end of Chapter 2) the controller worked fine.

    So if you have a controller that seems to work by itself, this looks to be the fix.

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