Step 4: Adding the SMDs

Time to put your own colored 0603 SMDs onto the mainboard.

Polarity Problems
For these LEDs there are two ends, a positive and negative. If the LED is backwards, it simply won't turn on. If it is correctly connected it will light up when you power on the controller. Microsoft seems to like changing the markings for every 360 controller mainboard. The marking used always identifies the negative terminal. The markings I have seen are either a white circle, a green arrow (on this controller), or just the LED location (D1, D2, D3, D4). Worst come to worst, there are only two directions to install the LED, one of them will light up. In general Player 2, 3, and 4 the negatives are on the clockwise end, while Player 1 has the negative on the counter-clockwise end. Every controller seems to be different.

SMD Markings
The 0603 SMD LEDs have markings that also denote the negative terminal. I have attached a picture below showing the three markings used.

Installing Your SMD
Decide upon the LED you are going to replace. Line up the LED and grip it on the sides with your tweezers, not too hard or you can crack the LED, making that LED useless. Applying too much heat to the LED can toast the wire inside, causing it to light up very brightly and become a dud. Use short exposure times (Under 2 seconds). An oddity with this mod is some tweezers can build up a static charge that fries the LEDs, before picking them up, just tap your tweezers to a block of metal (only needs to be done once to remove the initial charge).

To install your SMD to the mainboard, apply a small dab of solder to your iron, while using the tweezers to position your LED over the terminals, solder one of the terminals correctly (usually the negative to the negative). One bond will hold it in place, making it easy to connect the other. You can now reassemble the controller (except for the motors and screws), reinsert the battery pack, and hit the power on button. Normally all four LEDs blink when you turn on a controller, hopefully it will turn on. If it doesn't, either the LED is not soldered to both terminals, is soldered backwards, or the controller isn't put back together properly (the power button can't reach the board). After each LED has been soldered, wipe off the excess solder on your iron with a wet sponge or towel. When it lights up, repeat the process for all four terminals.
<p>I'm using a 360 controller for android gaming and I'd like to mod the controller to have the 4 ring LEDs always on (they flash constantly when used on Android). Could someone share the approach they would take to achieve this?</p>
The flashing simply means searching for device.<br><br>You are trying to use a 360 controller via a USB Micro adapter correct? 360 controllers use XInput, which is a custom interface system. You'll need to use another device, most commonly people use PS3 controllers because Bluetooth is a common standard.<br><br>I doubt you'll be able to get the 360 controller working with Android. Even if you can plug it in. Good luck!
<p>Sorry, to be more specific I'm using it on a Fire Tv 2. Wireless 360 controller with the msoft wireless receiver dongle. It works pretty flawlessly, the only exception is the blinking lights. It's enough to drive you mad seeing it out of the corner of your eye. </p><p>I originally thought about just removing those LEDs all together but I'd prefer if I could mod it to just keep them solid while the controller is on. Sound do-able?</p>
I was putting leds in some controllers(newer), i started with player 3 got it to work then started player 1 couldnt get it two work and when i tested it(put the battery pack in and turned it on) the controller didnt work at all and thw motherboard gets hot to thw touch. Any idea what i did wrong?<br><br>I have done multiple contrillers before with no problem but the two that ive done this to are extremely new.
I just installed 3 custom leds but I can't make to work the second one, the blue one and now I think I destroy that socket for led. <br><br>what I can do to? I'll try to make a bridge with soldering... any ideas?
<p>Bin everything... Not even the console can be saved anymore, sorry dude. ;(</p>
<p>Finished! It went surprisingly well, I don't have particularly steady hands so I wasn't expecting it to go well with such tiny LEDs! (bonus image of one on my fingernail). To anyone looking to do this, mine were 475mcd, I wouldn't go any higher since the light from player 1 is starting to bleed into the segment for players 2 and 3.</p><p>A note about the picture of the controller, the room isn't actually that dark, I had to fiddle with camera settings so you could actually see the colour, not just a white blur.</p><p>Thanks for the guide :)</p>
Is there an easy way to test the smd's without a multimeter? Thanks.
<p>Where are the wires for a cg2 controller, pls show. Thanks</p>
<p>check here </p><p>http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?/topic/512284-high-res-controller-pcb-pics/</p>
<p>I attempted to solder the leds but I used a soldering gun rather than an iron :( I have a little black circle near the led now can I still use it? If so can I send it to you to get some less soldered on it?</p>
<p>I made an account, just to say Thank you QMD. I followed this step by step and made my wife a sweet controller with pink LED's yesterday. I had no previous experience with soldering. again thank you. </p>
Thank you so much for the thanks, I really appreciate it. The thanks is often a good motivator for me to make more instructables :-). Your controller turned out very nicely, great job!!!
<p>After an hour of frustrating work I managed to solder on 3 out of the 5 leds that I got (I lost 2) when I turned the controller on the leds were extremely dull, almost to the point where you cant see them. Should I buy new leds or have someone else install them? if so, who?</p>
I looked and didn't really find an answers in the comments, but my LEDs are just as bright as the "factory" green LEDs when my rechargable battery pack is fresh; however once is loses just 1 bar of battery life the LED's dim. I have one controller with a single "factory" green LED on it still and the rest are blue, but the green LED stays bright and the others dim as battery life expires. Any ideas???
Nice work, but I have to ask, won't the top left LED only be lit? Providing you are on &quot;pad 1&quot; or is there a way to illuminate all 4 at the same time while using it? Sorry if I missed something here.
Hm I wanted to do this my controller but in only 14 I really don't have experience with all this and I don't want break my controller while trying so I wanted to find someone who can. I just want the ring blue <br>
Bah humbug! That sounds like an excuse to limit yourself! If you look at some of my other instructables, namely the desk and metal-light-plates, I had three to five Jr. High and Sr. High school students helping me do everything from etch tracings, to cut metal, to bond epoxy and yes, wire high-power LEDs.<br> <br> You're right, it is possible you will damage a light or two while attempting this mod. As far as making the controller unusable, you would have to really work at destroying it -- or step on it or hit it with a hammer.<br> <br> It's actually a lot of fun once you give it a shot. Don't be too afraid of the mod. If you are concerned about not knowing what you are doing, practice on some other, non-expensive equipment.<br> <br> Start with soldering thicker wires together (20-24 AWG), then later small (26-30 AWG thickness) wires together, then unbonding them with a desoldering braid. Look up some guides on soldering to help yourself out. Or... ask someone to teach you. It's an uncommon skill, that isn't so uncommon. If you go to a church or community center, ask around if anyone could teach you how to solder. I've met quite a few people from my church who are glad to teach a passionate kid how to weld, do carpentry, painting, and solder - blowtorch or iron! Practice certainly helps, and think of how cool the end result will be.<br> <br> I'm here if you have questions, as is the rest of the Instructables community (*hint hint*, instructables loves to teach soldering)<br> <br> Do your best!
I finished my controller and it works great with regular batteries and while plugged in, but the lights don't work at all with my play and charge battery pack or with rechargeable batteries. I think it is due to the lower voltage put out by them. Is there any way to fix this? Thanks in advance!!
i did this to one of my controllers and swapped the green leds for red and couldnt bet happpier with the result. and this is where my question comes it.... i tried putting blue ones in a different controller and when i was done it lit up but was extremely dim. so i took it apart and checked the solder points and they were all ok. so i put the battery pack in and turn it on while it was apart and they were still very dim but as soon as i touched the soldering iron to them they got very bright? do you know why that is? are they defective LEDs or what?
There are a few issues related to this. <ul> <li> The new 360 wireless controllers are more energy efficient. Basically, they have less power than the old controllers, and don't power green, white, blue, or UV &nbsp;LEDs as well. <li> Soldering irons usually have three pins (grounded). If it's plugged into a two-plug socket or extension cord, electricity builds up in the iron. <li> If the LEDs get too hot, the gap of the P-N junction&nbsp;(ultra tiny split inside the LED) sparks making a bunch of light and frying the LED. Don't use an iron any higher than 15W, and don't hold any iron to the LED more for than ~1.5-2 seconds. </ul> I hope that clears things up a little.
See that would make sense because I was trying to do it on a newer controller, but then switch to and tries changing them on an older one and had the same problem, it doesn't matter what color I try they air dimmer than they should be. The only color that lights up correctly is red. Could it possibly be just bad LEDs?
Reds run at 1.9v.<br> <br> Blue/Green/White/UV run at 3.2v.<br> <br> Reds can run with much less juice than other colors. Newer controllers output much less juice for longer battery life.
I have a small question for you QMD. <br><br>&quot;Is it absolutely necessary to remove the rumble motors, or is it simply to make the mod process easier?&quot;<br><br>BTW Portal case looks amazing.
You shouldn't need to remove the rumble motors, you can just branch off the positive LED to the resistor of your LED. Seems rather stupid that any guide would remove the entire rumble function just for some lights (though lights are most certainly awesome). Here is a crudely drawn diagram that should explain the layout.
Ah, my apologies.<br><br>You, rather kindly, have slightly overestimated how experienced I am in this field of modding.<br><br>I am incredibly new to this, and all I wanted to know was that if it was possible to reattach the rumble motors after you removed them during the process of changing the ring of light leds.<br><br>However thank you so much for your rapid reply, and for your links and preferences with regard to LED sellers, esp Hi-Tech LED Store. <br><br>Unfortunately uniqueLEDS' shipping cost was slightly too much, so I settled for these, BTW I live in the UK.<br><br>http://www.ebay.co.uk:80/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&amp;item=350361893227&amp;ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:GB:1123<br><br><br>
Yes, you can put the rumble motors back in after replacing the 0603 LEDs, taking them off is just for ease of construction, and to prevent possible damage to the fragile wires.<br> <br> My picture was if you were trying to pulse the lights whenever you get rumble, my mistake.<br> <br> Have fun!
Do you know if after modding your led lights if the rapid fire mod (when soldering one end to the player 1 led) would still work?
Could you please explain more about what setup you're using? There are a few different ones for rapid-fire. If I understand correctly, are you trying to get when firing in rapid mode (like holding R-Trigger) that P1 LED blinks with it? Or something based on the rumble motors?
Yes I'm using the P1 light so when I press the momentary button on the back (that I installed) the frequency of P1 send signals to the trigger making it shoot really fast. See this instructable for what I followed. I believe it should work but I wanted to consult first. Thanks for you help.<br><br>http://www.instructables.com/id/Done/
Yeah, that will work. Lllama already ran this YEARS ago. It's basically just pulsing 2v to the LED really fast.<br> <br> <a href="http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/mods/xbox%20360%20Controller%20LED%20Mod.htm#rumble%20motor%20led">See here.</a>
heres mine :D i drilled out the buttons and put LEDs into them and powered them using the main power feed on the back of the board :&not;D
Is there anyway you can go in to any detail on how you did this? I would live to be able to incorporate this in one of my controllers or all 8 =D thanks in advance for your help.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Light-up-a-Xbox-Controller-with-LEDs/<br><br>This is pretty much how I did it, my LEDs were slightly bigger though so i had to drill out the button more. :D good luck with your modding
Wow, excellent work Roddy! Your results turned out very well, and I'm glad you improved upon and extended beyond the knowledge of my instructable. Keep up your efforts, I hope you produce more neat projects and make a few instructables on them. If you do, let me know, I would like to see them.
oh wow nice portal case!! &lt;3
How bright (in MCD) are the standard Xbox leds? and what would an 80mcd, or 150mcd blue smd led look like?
<br> I'm not sure how bright the LEDs used on a stock Xbox 360 controller are. If I had to guess, I would say they are about 60-100mcd.<br> <br> An 80mcd blue would be pretty dim, but would still function. A 150mcd blue would look much nicer. In general, my rule is to get as bright as possible, up to around 1000mcd, at which point your controller is glowing.<br>
Odd i modded one of my controllers with a blue led off this instructable but like in the pic my p2 and p4 leds are brighter than the others
I was using a 15W/30W soldering iron for this project and found that trying to float the LEDs with it on the 15W setting was nearly impossible (it took about 10 minutes) whereas using the 30W setting produced results similar to the video.
Did your iron warm up to full temperature first? The solder used on these LEDs is very low temperature solder, pretty much anything should work with it. If your tips are dirty, or have not had a tin bubble stuck to the end (you need to prep a brand new tip with some solder and let it cook for awhile) they won't melt solder at all. Either way, glad it worked for you, though 15W should be plenty of heat.
i jsut got my iron back today and i tried this its a 25W soldering iron and took me like 5 minutes just trying to get it off it was fully heating cause i was previously soldering something else. This is not an easy thing to do though moving the led over the spot and trying to solder it but hopefully i will become use to it
You were probably using the radioshack iron, same as mine, if it has a 15/30w setting, 30w is much better to use, only if you have enough experience though. I found using the 30w was better the same way you did :P
just ordered a soldering iron and some ultra bright blue 0603 SMD LEDs so ill be laying off the coffee for a while so my hands are steady when i have a go at this thanks for the informative instructable
this would be great for me to do as ive done all this sort of stuff before even though im only 15 unfortunatelly i live in australia any suggestions where i could get all this over here?
Doesn't unique-leds.com ship internationally?<br> <br> If they don't, just search 0603 on eBay (0603 SMD LED [model #, Surface Mount Device, LED]. In five seconds I found an assortment pack of six colors for $3+shipping.<br> <br> If you want an amazing eBay seller, search for &quot;Light Victory Hi-Tech Led Store&quot; on google, they have some incredible SMDs (2,500 mcd white!) Dirt cheap too, and since they are based in China, they ship anywhere.<br>
I'm Sorry to ask but would these ones be correct? <br>Thanks <br>http://cgi.ebay.com/50p-SMD-SMT-0603-Bright-RED-LED-Lamp-Light-550mcd-/370390422487?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&amp;hash=item563cfd53d7#ht_3820wt_905
Yep, those will work just fine. That's a pack of 50 reds though, which is quite a few.<br><br>I found a pack of 20 for $3 including shipping:<br>http://cgi.ebay.com/0603-Ultra-Bright-SMD-LED-RED-20pcs-/220620338351?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&amp;hash=item335dff34af<br><br>Shipping for the link I provided takes two weeks though.
Thank you so much
thankyou SO much i had a look at the seller and managed to get everything i wanted to hardmod my 360 elite 360 slim and my controllers with some custon light colours and cold cathode tues inside the xboxes. <br>Now just to wait until the prcel gets through though knowing my local post office from past parcels they will give me a 3rd conformation letter the first time they 'TRY' and deliver it and ill have to go pick it up before they throw it &gt;:(

About This Instructable


216 favorites


Bio: I have a passion for tweaking things. Whether it be modding video game consoles, creating custom laser displays, or any creations with lights I love ... More »
More by QuackMasterDan: Power LED Light-Bar Ambient Lighting Aluminum Plate Desk with LED Illumination Wall-Sized Raster Posters
Add instructable to: