Introduction: Guitar Hero Controller FIX Extra-Strum(FIX SWITCH)

How to fix the strumming switches of your guitar controller!

This is my first instructable, i hope to be as clear as possible.

WARNING!!!!!
DISCLAIMER: Before we go any further in the instructable, you must know that this Mod/fix can leave your strum broken, so try this fix under your own risk. I'm not responsible for any damage that may happen.

This is the way i fixed my down-strum switch, which was giving me two strums when doing one strum, causing to miss the notes frequently.
I tried to find how to repair this problem by searching the net, and i didn't find anything helpful other than "BUY A NEW GUITAR". Why should i have to buy a new one just for one darn switch!
So i tried to find the answer myself.

This time i'll be using a 3d representation of the switch, because i thought the switch was broken or something i didn't took any photos coz i wasn't confident that this could work, and then when it worked i was too lazy to reopen the whole thing just to take some pics. (COZ I WAS ROCKING HARD YEAH!)
Note that there are wrong parts in the 3d representation. I did the 3D mainly by memory so there are wrong parts, but the examples are good enough to give an idea of what's inside the switch.

I will update the instructable with photos next time. My up-strum switch will be needing a tuning soon, so I'll take photos of the process.

What You'll Need:

- Solder
- Guitar Controller
- Screwdriver (that fits in the screws)
- Soldering iron
- Solder paste
- Game to test



UPDATE:

Step 1: Prepare Your Guitar Controller.

First of all you need to open your guitar. I used a flat head screwdriver to open mine and worked good.
Once you've opened your guitar you will see the circuit boards, the one we'll be using is in the middle of the guitar where its placed the strumming bar.
We're gonna unscrew the four screws in the middle of the circuit board. I did it this way coz it's still firmly attached to body of the guitar and it serves as a support for unscrewing.

Then we're gonna unscrew the other 4 screws and lift the board.

Step 2: Taking Off the Switch

Once the board is free, turn it to see the other side of it.
Take off the plastic with the holes to free the switches. This plastic prevents the switch to move and break its pins while you're strumming.

Now we melt the solder of the switch we want to fix, try to not delay too much or you can melt the plastic that holds the metal pins.
Take off the excess of solder of the metal pins, otherwise the switch will not open.

Now you have the switch in your hand!

Step 3: Open the Switch

Now we try to open the switch by bending just enough the "T" plastic that holds the two pieces together. Then pull the two pieces and open the switch, take care when doing this step, the inside parts will fall when you open the thing, these parts are two, a spring and a metal "J".

Now we can fix the problematic part.

Step 4: Problem and Solution

Here are the parts you'll find in the switch. The problem is located in the 4th piece of the image, the problem is in the fork-shaped metal.
In the images you can see why the extra-strum is happening. When the white plastic goes down (top of the switch) as you strum, it moves the lever thing of the plaque that at the same time moves the fork pins and this makes contact with the other metal plaque,sending the signal.

In the 5th image you can see the problem in side view, what we want to correct is the inclination of the fork pins by pushing them as in the last image, doing this simple thing will correct the extra-strum and you will be happy. ;D

Step 5: Switch FIXED

Now all that rests is to put everything in place and close the switch.

Remember that this 3D model where made by memory, so there are mistakes in the scale and place of the pieces, but this references are good enough to give you an idea of whats inside.

Put the pieces back in the plastic case, close the switch and re-solder it to the circuit board. Connect your guitar to your console or PC and test the switch with your finger, if you're satisfied with the feeling of the switch, then you can proceed. Put the plastic holder of the switch and screw the plastic to the circuit board. Then screw the other four screws and put the cover of the guitar and screw till its finished.
NOW ROCK ON MAN!!!! YEAH!!!!!

I hope this instructable was helpful and easy to understand. Thanks for watching it and/or comment.

Comments

author
andre.hankedoamaral made it!(author)2014-07-28

nice vid man, but did you find the switch for replacement?

author
DustySeven7 made it!(author)2011-03-20

the switch used for the strum bar in guitar hero controllers is the same type that is used in high end keyboards. It is the Chery MX switch. The black MX to be even more precise. Chery MX also has two other types, the Blue and Brown. each one has a different response profiles. You could buy new ones and maybe even try a different one than the Black MX.

author
AdeptCain made it!(author)2014-07-11

I can tell you that these are not Cherry MX switches, these are a proprietary brand, the pin placement is different, and even if they were Cherry MX switches, they'd be blues, because blues are the only clicky ones. Blacks are very heavy linear switches (no click, no bump) for heavy typists, which I use in my keyboard at home. Just pointing it out so that people don't buy a Cherry MX black keyswitch to replace these switches, because I'm not sure if they'd fit straight away, and they would feel VERY different. That said, I just ordered a couple of MX reds to put in to my GH3 guitar, so if they fit, and require a little modification, I might make an instructable for people in the future, as Cherry MX switches are made FAR better than the junk that comes stock in these guitars. :)

author
Ro-mico made it!(author)2014-07-15

They look the same.

I looked it up just to make sure.

http://deskthority.net/try-f29/the-switch-try-bag-...

If it works, please make an instructable. Cheers! :)

author
AdeptCain made it!(author)2014-07-17

It looks like the stock switches are clones of ALPS switches, not sure which model, but they're just branded with GT-X, not ALPS, but with the ALPS button bit. Cherry MX switches all have the + type part at the top

author
Ro-mico made it!(author)2011-03-21

Thanks a lot.
But I'm cheap and I prefer to repair things than buying replacements. BTW the other day my GH world tour guitar was doing double strumming and I fixed it, I didn't have to de-solder (is that correct?) the switch from the PCB, and now works just fine.
I'll be doing an instructable off of this "new" fix. Now I just have to find some time to do it.

I really appreciate your comment, 'cause I went on to do a "lot of research" to find a replacement switch and realized it was better for me to try and fix it, you know, 'cause its free.

Best regards.

author
ClickCLK made it!(author)2014-04-16

Hey, Ro-mico, I just registered an account here to say huge thanks to you, this guide is awesome. I tried several times to understand how this switches are working, but with no luck. Your guide really makes clear what the cause of the problem is and makes it very understandable. I hadn't done this steps already (2am now at my hometown), but I will do it tomorrow for sure, and I already know that it will work like new if I do all this right. Thank you, from all of my heart. Tomorrow I'll get 600k score on TTFaF at last!

P.S: I have a keyboard with cherry MX Brown switches and they doesn't look like switches on x-plorer, so I think that's not a cherry MX switches...

author
Ro-mico made it!(author)2014-04-16

The best of luck to you. :)
Since I did the instructable, six years ago, I haven't needed to fix it again. I also fixed my GH World Tour Guitar that had the same problem. Still plays like new.

author
Poggle566 made it!(author)2013-09-24

Which controller is this? I have this problem with the Warriors of Rock flamey guitar that is black with red and silver. Will this work for me?

author
Ro-mico made it!(author)2013-09-25

Hello.
I've been wanting to update this instructable for a very long time, it's just...(lazy-me just can't).

Well. The controllers in which I have done the things I said in the Instructable are: GH3 Xplorer Xbox360; Guitar Hero World Tour Xbox360. In both cases the insides were almost identical, the switches are the same model. So I think this could work just fine with your guitar. Just remember if you want to fix it, be as careful as possible.

This time I really want to put a video of me doing the repair. So, if you want to wait till tomorrow, I'll put the video (finally) in the instructable. Just so you get a better idea of what to expect while trying to fix your controller.
Cheers!

author
tory+bowen made it!(author)2011-05-12

I tried this but could not get my old switch to wrok again but did find a place selling replacement switches for GH guitars - http://www.guitarherorepair.com/repairs/strummer-switches-gh3-gh5-band-hero

author
Ro-mico made it!(author)2011-05-12

I'm sorry to hear that, I hope it's because of the switch and not the PCB.
Be very careful with the replacement :)

See ya!

author
Ilikefries334 made it!(author)2009-12-25

What an excellent repair guide! Seriously :-) And I am very impressed with your 3D art - makes such a difference...

We got a GH3 guitar today (Christmas) and it doublestrummed like a beast. I was about to try and see if I could do a return, but then came across this guide, followed it, and the double strumming issue was solved. Fantastic.

One thing I have noticed, is that when you resolder the switches back, take care to remove all the solder from pin holes in the circuit board. I thought I would leave the little blobs of solder in place so that when I pushed the pins back through the board they would just sink through the molten solder and instantly lock in place.

Worked well for the first switch, then then the second one pushed the blob off the circuit board taking the gold contact with it :-(  Nightmare.  So I had to carefully expose fresh gold using a scalpel and solder across to that. Worked fine, but added about half an hour to the job!

Anyway, thanks again - great job....

author
Ro-mico made it!(author)2010-01-08

Good to know it worked for you.  :-)

Since I did the instructable I haven't  reopen the thing again.

Well. Just in one occasion when the whammy broke, then I glued it together  but broke again. Feeling that the thing was so fragile (plastic too cheap that it breaks so easily) I removed the black "L" plastic and did my version in metal glory.

Worked really great and now my whammy is almost indestructible.

Thanks for your comment and have a GOOD 2010 from now on.

author
prest made it!(author)2009-08-14

i need to Guitar Hero Controller FIX Extra-Strum(FIX SWITCH)

author
Ro-mico made it!(author)2009-08-18

??

You just need to follow the steps. _

If you have any problem following the steps just ask me and I will try to help you.
Thanks for watching.

author
Boojah made it!(author)2009-06-15

Thanks for the instructable! I did it tonight and I have a few comments. First of all: I do not recommend doing this really, there's too much risk of ruining your controller doing this. Although I pretty much got it to work it was difficult. I got the downstrum to not 'extra-strum' but almost broke the upstrum! Doing this requires a good deal of patience and a lot of finger dexterity. As I said I almost broke one button, and lost one spring but found it thankfully. All in all I spent probably 3 hours trying to get things to work. (I'm slow perhaps and you may have better luck with getting things right the first try, for both buttons!) BUT! it did work in the end, now my downstrum is completely double/extra-strum free! (but not upstrum, which I almost broke...) So in the end this is for those who are really, Really annoyed by extra-strumming and know that you may very well ruin your controller. To Ro-mico: I suggest you make a little disclaimer sort of thing in the beginning describing the risk of this mod, and all the effort it -may- take. However it IS a great mod and it really works! Thank you!

author
Ro-mico made it!(author)2009-06-16

Thank you. I feel bad about what happen to your button. Sorry man. About the disclaimer, i will be adding the warning before all the explanation. When i did the instructable i was happy with the result and too lazy to open again and take pictures, the strumming was quite perfect but, as i say in the instructable, i was looking for extra-strum on the up switch as well, but that thing never happen. Fixing the switch took me about less than an hour. Now i feel guilty about your button. I'm really sorry :' ( Thanks to that now i must re-do or put a video of the process with pictures of the actual thing.

author
Boojah made it!(author)2009-06-20

Hey it is Not broken! :D So no worries. I was sort of close though, had problems getting the second button (downstrum) to work properly or at all after the initial tuning of the fork. I mean the first of the buttions I did (upstrum) worked totally great, disassembled tuned and reassembled in a couple of minutes and the overstrumming was cured! The downstrum button still works but does overstrum (when up-strumming it's the opposite button that does the extra-strum as you know), and it was this button who took all the time tinkering with, dang! But for my playing I don't care, never had a problem with extra-strums when upstrumming before, don't really know why I tried to fix it in the first place... Great with a disclaimer! Thanks

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