Step 3: Cannibalize the PS2 Controller: Remove the Mechanical Switches

Image ripped from another instructible.

The main control board is also host to the mechanical switches that allow the strum bar to work.

On the back side of it, you will see two prominent black boxes, with white switches that will produce a distinctive *click* when they are depressed.

These are what we want. That click is the sound of the switch making contact, and it is the reason so many people prefer the GH controller. Not just the sound, which is a matter of controversy, but the reliability of the mechanism.

Using the same method you used to remove the ribbon cable, solder the BACK side of the contact points for the switches, while tugging gently on the switch itself. each time the solder becomes liquid, the switch should come a little bit looser. Alternate back and for the between the two contact points.

Once both of them are liberated from their circuit board prison, set them aside safely.

You can now discard the gutted remains of the Ps2 controller. Go ahead, they aren't doing anyone any good, any more.
<p>Late to the party but RB4 is incoming. I did a similar mod with my RB1 fenders but my insides were different. I believe there were magnets in those strumbar posts and reed switches near them, very sloppy.</p><p>I ended up ripping out the PCB and strumbar from the gibson and putting that in. I had to butcher the battery compartment and what not. Didnt own a dremel or any power tools so I sat there with nail clippers chopping it up. Then made custom washers from the screw hole pegs in t he gibson. good lord, thinking back I was a crack head.</p><p>I definitely like this idea more, less destructive. I believe the gibson used clones of ALPS mechanical switches. Maybe I'll try a Cherry MX green switch or some such.</p>
<p>Late to the party but RB4 is coming. I did clicky strum bar man, I did it different. I ripped out the whole strumbar and PCB from the Gibson and mounted it in the Fender after ripping up the battery compartment that wasnt in use for RB1 fenders. Also I recall my strummer being different having magnets in those posts and a reed switch. I see they did eventually change that.</p><p>So thanks for the different perspective of mounting the switches onto the body itself. I believe they used clones of ALPS mechanical switched. I don't want to butcher my new RB4 fender to high hell so this is definitely a better angle.</p><p>Maybe I'll go with Cherry MX Green switches, just not sure how the size and aim would be. Decisions decisions. </p>
AAWEEEE!!!!! I wish I had read this instructable a week ago!! I Just traded my Ps2 guitar back to gamestop for a grand total of 2 Dollars!!! Wow... this would've been a much better idea!
pretty sneaky! nice job so what do you have against the rockband buttons?
The rockband buttons are very well built. Improvements in almost every regard. very smooth action, very consistent. However, they all feel exactly the same. My calloused man-hands can not feel the five microbumps that designate the middle button, and often, I find myself pressing the wrong keys, just when I start to rock out the hardest.<br/><br/>Also, It's a game controller, not a guitar. So I like it to look like one. <br/>call me crazy, I like colored buttons :<sup>).</sup><br/>
oh ok that's what I thought then whats the new strum bar for?
The new strum bar replaces the inconsistent, cheap rock band switches with the better, more responsive guitar hero ones.
the rockband strum bars are really sensitive, you barely need to move it to strum, how far do you need to press the gh strum bar to strum?
An excellent question. you need a little more follow through with this mod to register a button press, but it's much more consistent. However! There is also more resistance. Some of my friends have complained that continuous play wears them out on that guitar. If I were to make a change to my design, I would mount the switches in a semi depressed (~1/8th) state, so reduce the strum distance.
i played gh3 at gamestop. the strum bar is hard to hold and you have to push it in all the way.
oh! yeah that's what I thought.
Why didn't you just modify the Rock Band buttons with paint or something? ;P
The problem was not the appearance of the buttons, but the feel. Adding the PS2 buttons specifically, gives me a nice "old-school" feel. Plus, The PS2 guitar was what I had, and what I think a lot of people have, lying around.
I'm not sure I know what you mean. Like, the plastic-y feel? I read what you said about the bumps on the middle button not helping much, but I would think you would have just altered the texture of the other buttons if that was the only problem.
That's not a bad idea, but what it comes down to, is that when my friends and I play Rock Band, the Guitar Hero controller is the one everyone wants to use. This mod was designed to take all the elements of a guitar hero controller that make it preferable, and add that into the Rock Band controller, without losing any functionality.
yeah I know what you mean I played rock band a while ago and I really decided I almost hated the controller.
you're house is so small..
It's tiny. Did you notice the corn flakes? That and bacon flavored chocolate is all I have right now.
er, bacon flavored chocolate?
it's Seriously Delicious. Seriously. Look up a company called Vosages, and enjoy it one tiny bite at a time. It is THAT good.
bacon flavored chocolate?!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE TO HAVE THAT! GIMME SOME!
Flames gook really good for being electrical tape.
Would this mod be any different for an xbox 360 except that I would have to strip an xplorer for the parts? Also, I was wondering if I could somehow add wireless capability on the rock band controller because I hate wires.
My mistake! I misunderstood your Q. This mod IS for the Xbox 360. The PS2 Buttons function as buttons for any platform.
no offense but theirs a ten times easier way to do this if you have a 360, a gh guitar and a rock band disk you don't need that rock band guitar cuz it connects
Oh absolutely. I totally recommend using a GH guitar over the gen 1 RB guitar. However, this mod put to use the buttons off of a broken PS2 GH guitar. Doing a little tech recycling and improvement.
oooo ok hey btw to u happen to no a way to make a costume face plate for a ps2 guitar that doesn't have the removable one?
Well, you could carefully place white painter's tape over your existing face place, cut off the excess with a Xacto blade, and sharpie in your design. Kind of simple and amateur, but a fun project. I disassembled my PS2 guitar (took 20 mins) and then painted the body with spray paint. that gave it a great custom look for $5. Using masking tape stripes over the original cherry body, I created a crisscross red/ blue pattern. It was pretty slick.
sounds sweet you should put up some pics
Hah hah. That's the guitar I cannibalized for THIS mod :<sup>) (I fudged the pictures). The whammy broke, resisted a gorilla glue fix, so I tried this.</sup><br/>
o ic
the Xplorer controller is very similar, so mechanically it should work the same. You will have to check the wires in the ribbon cable, to make sure the buttons are connected properly. As far as wireless goes, I know it's possible. People were doing wireless GH1 guitars on the PS2 for years, but I can't find any step by step guides for XBox260. If you want to be a pioneer, then look up a PS2 wireless guitar mod, and make your own Instructable! Good luck!
Oh, however, making the guitar wireless pretty much requires dismantling a functional wireless controller, and wiring the guitar's control switches into that. It's a little impractical, so you'd probably just want to buy one of the new wireless rock band guitars.
i would have made the flames wrap onto the frets & just cut the pieces so they wouldnt interfewe with the buttons preesing down & springing up.
lol, i guess i really am the only person who likes the rockband guitars better than the guitar hero ones? nice 'ible tho.
you're absolutely welcome to :<sup>). Though keep the strum bar switch mod in mind, because the RB controller's strummer is notoriously unreliable.</sup><br/>
its really freakin sensitive, what are you talking about?
i like ur name lol, thanks for the mod
because it doesn't click. that is the only problem with it.
i do, definitely. GH:click click-click clickity click click RB: (which means you hear nothing!)
actually, GH strum bar: click click-click clickity click GH buttons: (none) RB Strum Bar: (none) RB buttons: click click-click clickity click click So, it kinda evens out, except with hammer-ons, where the RB guitar clicks but not the GH.
lol unless u just modded the buttons to ps2 kind then all of it wouldnt make sounds ?? ehyyy
i actually modded my guitar hero strum bar so that its almost completely silent.<br/>it pretty cool, its like a gh2-playing-ninja-controller-of-doom.<br/>=P<br/>
how'd you do that? I'd like to try that.
Lets just leave it at "they are both equally annoying".
well, true
what do you use for your original ipod mini...friend gave me one but it has no cord...can i still use it? and awesome tut...

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Bio: I'm just this guy.
More by Sp4m:Repair a Rockband Drum Pedal with Household Items Rock Band Guitar Mod: Guitar Hero Buttons and Strum Bar 
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