Object deconstruction – Xbox 360 Controller (Graham Widmann)

For this project I deconstructed a xbox 360 controller that I had as an extra. I have been wanting to modify one of these for a while so I decided that it was a good time to take it apart.

One of the first issues I ran into was the screws. For this electronic the manufacturers wanted to deter what I did, so they hid screws and put safeties on them so that regular star keyed screwdrivers don’t work to take it apart. This required me finding someone who had a kit for this and thankfully someone did. From here, I was able to take off the backing and all the components since they are all connected to the backing. The front plate comes off nicely after a few adjustments. All the components were attached to the motherboard where there were contact points for all the buttons or little switches for other inputs. 30hwoz7

This is the motherboard where all the inputs are processed into information for the Xbox to read and respond accordingly. The thumb sticks are placed on the analog stick readers, which are the weird boxes on the motherboard. They are soldered here but are replaceable if need be.


From here, I removed all the buttons and the thumb sticks and got access to all the input areas where contact would be made if buttons were pressed.  There was a rubber mat between the buttons and the motherboard so that a springy effect would be produced as well as the inputs would be read correctly.

Since it was hard to see, here is a diagram for the insides of the controller.


When looking at the “guts” of the controller, I can see the inputs are connected when the buttons are pressed by the two contract points per button are made connected by the button and the rubber mat between the components. The analogs have a vast amount of inputs based on pressure and direction. The triggers on the back are very interesting. They get multiple inputs depending on pressure and are made to be precise but also compact to make it comfortable in the hands. There are also the addition of the tumblers for the vibration effect in the palms of the user. These were connected using different ports on the controller to get power and signal from.


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