Instructables

Repairing Joystick/Thumbpad on Gamecube Controller

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Problem
The thumbpad on my Gamecube controller came off leaving a sharp plastic stick on which to give myself blisters. I've looked all over for replacement thumbpads, but they're no where to be found. I found a product called GelTabz at GameStop for about $5, but their pads didn't fit on my NGC controller's stub.

Solution
I decided to coat the stub in rubber myself, I Google'd for liquid rubber for a minute before remembering an Instructable called Rubber Origami by BlightDesign. That's where I got the idea to use Plasti Dip.

Conclusion
The 2 coats of Plasti Dip made playing with my Gamecube controller much more comfortable, but still a little irritating to my thumb after a bit too much play. I think I might try another coat or two in order to get more padding around the rim of the joystick since it's still a little sharp. I'll update this Instructable when I do, but it might be a while since I just moved and doing this on my couch and floor is a little bit of a hassle.

*Added 3 more coats, definitely a lot better. I wouldn't try doing 5 coats all at once, but maybe do 2, then do another 2 after 12 hours. 4 should be fine, I only did 3 more cause the first time was a little thin cause of the troubles I had.

Materials
CVS - or any drug store
Cotton Swabs - $3
Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol - $2
Home Depot - or most hardware stores
Wire, 18 Gauge Aluminum - $3.50 (Optional)
Plasti Dip - $7.50

WARNING!
Please read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for Plasti Dip. The fumes are a bit much so open a window and be careful of any sparks or open flames because it is flammable before it dries.
http://www.plastidip.com/docs/~MPD%20(F-819-820-698)%20%20(5-25-07).pdf
 
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Axcel_941 year ago
Thanks for the guide, you helped save the dog-chewed joysticks on my large original xbox controller and a torn pad on my controller s.
laernmoer3 years ago
use sugru! and enter it in the sugru contest!

lol I thought that's what it was when I first saw it. Plasti-dip is some fun stuff, tho.
GeekBeam3 years ago
 i know why your controller has a "nipple" in the center of the joystick, it has to do with how it dried. since the center of the joystick is the lowest point on it it would naturally drip from there right? while it was drying there was an unfinished drip that dried with the rest of the rubber thus there is that nipple of yours
mg0930mg4 years ago
WOW, saves me $60 for a new ps3 controller! Thanks!
darkNiGHTS04 years ago
Thanks for the guide, I have like two controllers that have messed up joystick and this saves me like $30!
I took a much simpler approach. Rubber pad from controller + Shoe Goo (strong yet flexible adhesive) Latex caulk works as well.
Very nice, I wish I had seen this back when my little sister chewed the caps off my controller. >_<
I like your repair. I would like to invite you to join my new group 'Remarkable Repairs' http://www.instructables.com/group/repair/
And was wondering if you would like to join the Most Remarkable Repair Contest we are organising at Platform21 in Amsterdam. Platform21 is a design platform and our current project is called Platform21 = Repairing with which we hope to spurr a reappraisal of repair, which is a kind of forgotten activity in our throwaway society. Please check http://www.platform21.nl/page/4509/en for more. I hope to welcome you as a contestant!
JakeTobak (author)  Dewi Pinatih4 years ago
Yah, I'd love to. I applied for your group and I'll take a look at Platform21 and submit this. Thanks for the invitation.
trayo5 years ago
Excellent! Just what I needed. Although I'm going to do it a bit differently by taking the controller apart so as to not have the getting it everywhere problem. Tri-wing screw drivers are pretty cheap.
JakeTobak (author)  trayo5 years ago
I did it your way for some extra coats. Definitely a lot better, both the method and the extra coats _
JakeTobak (author)  trayo5 years ago
Yah, that would be ideal. I didn't have the time, or proper workspace to do something like that. Also I had read something saying that the joystick was soldered into the board, but after a bit of Google'ing it looks like the actually joystick part just pops off when taken apart. If you have the means to do that, I HIGHLY recommend it as you have much more control and less chance to ruin your controller. Just wrap the wire around the base of the joystick and make a hook on the other end so you can hang it off the drying rack. Also you can dip it directly into the can of Plasti Dip saving yourself some time.
cree3185 years ago
Good job, now I can finally fix my controller!
EnigmaMax5 years ago
Ah, the Nintendo Wavebird. Most likely the best wireless controller. (Except perhaps the Xbox 360 controller.) Does anyone know if anyone sells these anymore?
JakeTobak (author)  EnigmaMax5 years ago
They're not made anymore, you can get lucky and find a used one at GameStop. A used one goes for about $30 on eBay and a new one $55+.
alright, thanks.
Stew25 years ago
Excellent idea! I have stopped using controllers when the rubber traction thing came off the sticks because it was so hard on my thumbs :). This would be a good way to resurrect them! Thank you.
LawnBoy19915 years ago
does it turn out plasticky or rubbery/grippy?
JakeTobak (author)  LawnBoy19915 years ago
Rubbery/Grippy
Doctor What5 years ago
I have this problem all of the time with my game controllers. Pieces break off when I slam it too hard, or step on it, or just after wear and tear. Good job! (5'd and fav'd)
Neodudeman5 years ago
Very nicely done. Good work
JakeTobak (author) 5 years ago
It's been just over 2.5 years since I first joined Instructables and I finally made/completed something that I thought was worth sharing since there don't appear to be many other solutions for this problem. If you have any questions or criticisms, I would be happy to hear them.
I must say, it is quite a good idea! :D
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