Here's how to add a pedal to your Guitar Hero X-Plorer to active star power with the stomp of your foot for under $20 and not even need to know how to solder!
Step 1: Parts List
Things you'll need to have:
1 x Guitar Hero X-Plorer Guitar Controller (with it's warranty prepared for departure)
1 x Phillips screw driver. I'm sure Phillip won't mind.
1 x Wire cutters/wire stripper
1 x strand of 26 gauge single conductor insulated copper wire. You might find this is some old phone wire or phone jacks.
1 x Hot glue gun with some glue sticks. (Hot glue is mandatory for this one)
1 x Drill with drill bit. Or a Dremel. Or a round file. Or something else that will make a 1/4" hole in the side of your beloved axe.
1 x Patience. Yeeeeeeaaaah. Just a little patience.
No solder option:
1 x Wire crimper
2 x small female disconnect spade terminals (need to find ones that will work with 26 gauge wire. I recommend finding some non-insulated ones for easier crushing.)
Things you'll need to buy if you don't have.
1 x Radio Shack Part# 274-0252 1/4" Mono Phono Jack. Panel mount, open circuit. UPC# 040293131401 (is a two pack in case you need to do two guitars or manage to lose/melt the first one) This will set you back about $3.
1 x Best Buy Lo Duca Universal Sustain Pedal Model# 3781 UPC# 013148037814. Of course you don't HAVE to buy this pedal but for $12 I think it's a good deal. Especially sense it has a polarity switch that allows you to step activate or lift activate. Meaning you can stomp this thing or lift your foot off of it to activate the switch.
Step 2: Screwloose
Take out all the screws on white part of the back of the controller. If you need a photo of this you should probably stop right now ;)
Step 3: Flip Side of the Circuits
Remove the 4 screws that hold the controller circuit board in place. We need to work on the other side of it.
Step 4: Get the Point?
If you can judge the size of the wire from this picture then you'll be in good shape. The wire needs to be slightly thicker than the holes in the circuit board, and be a solid copper core (no strands). The wire I used was from an old phone jack and is 26 gauge. Strip off about a 1/4" of insulation from the end. Now take the wire cutters and hold them at a 60 degree angle to the wire. You'll want to cut the wire about 1/16" or 1mm from the end of the insulation. Cut the wire at an angle to give it a sharp point.
Step 5: The Tricky Part
Now identify the holes on the board that the wire will stick through. The sharp edge you just cut into the wire should let you poke the wire through the hole. Be gentle, but the wire should be thick enough that once you get it through the hole it will stay put. Once it's stuck in there, fold it over at a 90 degree angle, pointed towards the white connector on the circuit board.
The reason why this is no solder is two fold:
#1 The contact points are really small and my solder gun is too large for this job.
#2 The contact point of one of these wires is located under a large chip on the flip side of this board and would be therefore impossible to solder. This is what gave me this idea.
Step 6: Heat Up the Gun
Now dab some hot glue on the two wire points, and add some at the top where the wires will come together to add some stress relief. No, that kind of stress relief. Thankfully hot glue is non-conductive.
Step 7: Ground Control to Major Tom
Solder up the other end of the wires to your 1/4" phono jack. (This picture is not the same wire but you get the idea)
"Hey wait a minute!" you say. "How is this no solder?"
Ok you caught me. In this step I did in fact use solder. But you can in fact do this with zero solder. Here's how:
Find yourself some small crimp terminals as shown below, and crimp the end of the wire and then slide it onto the two tabs that are on the phono jack. Add some hot glue to make sure it stays put.
See? No solder! :)
Step 8: Jumpin Jack Flash
Time to pick a spot where you want the jack to be. I recommend putting it right next to where the USB cord comes out. Of course you can put it wherever it'll fit but I think this will work best. The hot glue you see here is just to hold it in place while the guitar shell is open.
Step 9: Almost There...
Here's a close up of the jack mount.
Step 10: Humpty Dumpty
After testing to make sure it works, put the shell back together again. Hopefully you didn't lose any screws. Once the shell is back together (don't overtighten!) add the washer and hex nut that came with the phono jack and you are ready to shred!