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Picture of Xbox Controller LED Swap
This instructable is for anyone with a Xbox 360 and some soldering experience that is tired of the same old green. This instruction is not totally complete it is for a college writing class and is still in the draft stages so any tips would be much appreciated.
 
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Step 1: Materials

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Solder (I have 62/36/2 rosin-corse solder)
Soldering iron
T9 torx wrench
Surface mount LED's (I got mine at http://secure.llamma.com/catalog/leds-surface-mount-leds-c-43_81_75.html?osCsid=2d3615c06494e624a15689f18e5ecf54 )
Magnifying glasses (not required but highly recommended)
Pliers or tweezers
Magnet

Step 2: Taking Apart the Controller

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The first thing you need to do is flip your controller over and take the battery pack out.

Now that you have the battery pack out you should see something like this.
Use your T9 wrench and start to remove the screws. There are 7 screws in total. There is a hidden screw under the white barcode where the battery was. (WARNING!! Once you break the barcode you void the warranty)
It is handy to have a magnet to keep all your screws in one spot.

Step 3: Pry It apart

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Once you have all the screws out start to pry your controller apart. Be gentle, but you may need to use some force.
It makes it easier if you leave the motherboard in the lower half of the casing.

Step 4: Find the LEDs

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Now you should be looking at something like this.
See the tiny LED's? They are marked D20, D21, D22, and D23.
HINT: I would take off the joystick nobs otherwise you might accidentally melt them. I am speaking from experience.

Now comes the tricky part. Put your magnifying glasses on and get your soldering iron ready.
Now what you need to do here is quickly touch the soldering iron to one end of the LED. Only hold it there for about a second or two then quickly touch the other end of the LED. Keep alternating like this till it comes off. Repeat with the other LED's you want to remove.
You want to be careful taking the LED's off because you can ruin the board if you leave the soldering iron on the board

Step 5: Remove the LEDs

Picture of Remove the LEDs
Now that you have the old LED's removed you can start to add the new ones.
Make sure you have the polarities of the LED correctly lined up with the boards
polarity. Wherever you bought the LEDs should tell you which direction the
polarity is.
To determine the polarity of the controller is depends on your controller if you
have a CG board the negatives are at the tops and the positives are on the
bottoms. If you have a matrix board all the positives are top and negatives are
bottom this applies to all of them but the third player LED which has negative top
and positive bottom.
(NOTE: You should add some solder to your tip.) Using the pliers you can set the
new LED where the old one was and holding the LED down with the pliers solder
one end. Once that end is soldered you can set the pliers down and solder the
other end. To make sure it worked (if you left the motherboard in the back part of
the case) slip the battery back in and use the rubber pad to turn on the
controller. Just set the rubber pad like you would if you were putting it back
together and push down like you normally would. If it lights up, you were
successful. If not, try flipping the LED to get the correct polarity.

Step 6: Finished

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Once you have soldered the rest of the LEDs on you can begin to put the controller back together. If any of the buttons fell out, you can put them back in easily enough since they have grooves so you cannot put them in wrong.
Once you have the case snapped back together do a quick test to make sure the LEDs work. So if they all work go ahead and screw it together and now you are done.
phenoptix3 years ago
A better method is to get a big blob of solder on your iron and wipe it across the LED, the LED should leave the board easily. Try not to apply too much pressure to the pad as they can come off and although not impossible to fix they can be a bit of a swine!