Remember when you bought that shiny new PSP when they came out? Do you remember the years of play you put into it?
For those of you who have had their PSP since they came out, don't say that you have never had any troubles with the analog nub, after countless sleepless nights gaming out on your PSP, it shows, the first part to fail is most likely the analog nub, the one component you need to play almost any PSP game.
If yours seems to have lost all hope, read on to see how to restore it to its (almost) original state.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Materials for this project are:
-PSP 3000 or 2000 analog nub assembly
-Broken PSP 1000 analog nub assembly
Tools for this project are:
-Drill or drill press
-(Optional) Dremel tool
-Small Philips screwdriver
Aspirations for this project are:
Step 2: Get a PSP 3000. or 2000.
Believe it or not, the easiest way to get the parts are by buying the 3rd generation PSP. Don't think you're looking for one in perfect condition or anything, what you want is a BRICKED PSP 3000, here is why:
-Bricked PSP 3000's cannot be unbricked by anyone other than Sony. This makes bricked PSP 3000's extremely cheap, and since there are a lot of rookie modders out there with 3000's, they'll mess up the custom firmware and wreck their PSP. FOREVER.
-Lots of people will brick their 3000, so they are common, but people will still throw them on Ebay and Kijiji because the shells are still good, and so is the precious analog nub assembly. (And the screen, the UMD drive, power plug, battery, etc.)
I managed to find a PSP 3000 for $25, now I have the nub and a shell in case I come across a cheap 3000 with a broken shell. (Or screen, UMD drive, etc.)
Pay as little as you can, the less you pay the better since you arent using much of it.
PSP 2000's should have the same internals for the analog nub as the 3000 and 1000, they will work too.
But, to tell you the truth, I didnt read more on 3000's before I bought mine, I figured they too were unbrickable. A lesson well learned.
Step 3: Disassemble the Nubs
As you might know, we are going to need to take the broken nub and the donor nub apart. All the way apart.
Make sure you keep the parts separate so you don't mix them up.
Disassembly is easy, bend 2 of the metal tabs away from the plastic of the nub, then pull the metal plate piece off of the nub assembly.
After that, remove the thin circuit board from the nub assembly, it sould come off quite easily without that metal plate.
Now hold on - dont take out those white and black bar pieces yet, note their orientation and placement, they only go in one way and the nub wont work if they are in wrong. White is on top, black is on the bottom.
Still removing these should be done carefully, those little brushes on those bars are easy enough to break..
The metal bar should not be lost either, it acts as a sort of balancer so the stub inside the nub doesn't crack or break the black or white bar pieces.
Once that's done you need to remove the upper plastic portion of the nub assembly, look for a seam that you can get your fingernail under, or get a good grip on the upper and lower halves. Pull the two halves apart, note that the two halves are tightly put together, you definitely dont want to lose them or else you are pretty much screwed.
Dont lose the spring, you need at least one of those to rebuild the nub, it recenters the nub to the middle.
Step 4: Circuit Boards
You will notice that the two circuit boards are quite different, the one from the 3000 has a ribbon cable attached to it, the one from the 1000 does not.
You will also see that the one from the 3000 has a hole in the middle, the end of the stub sticks through this hole, I'm not sure why Sony designed the nub this way but whatever...
I believe a circuit board from a 2000 has 4 pads on it on the opposite side than the 1000's and has a similar shape to the 3000.
So now you have 2 choices, you can either drill out the hole in the middle of the PSP 1000 board or just try to use the 3000 board.
I will cover the pros, cons, and methods of both.
-(In a sense) Less work
-Higher rate of response
-Smoother analog function
-(Possibly) rougher analog function
-Might not fit
Now lets get to making it, shall we?
First get a drill bit roughly a bit smaller than the hole, or get a dremel tool.
Drill out the inside of the circle. Note that your hole determines the limits of the analog.
The smoother the edges of your hole, the smoother the analog.
Do your best here it shows later on.
I reccommend sanding the edges of the hole after you finish and run a cotton swab around the edges, the more it catches, the rougher the edge. never expect a no-catch test, circuit boards are made of fiberglass and it will almost always catch on the microscopic end of a fiberglass fiber.
3000 Board (Unknown compatibility)
Try and get the ribbon cable off the board as well as you can here.
Get some thin wire (30 AWG maybe? I'm not good with measuring that...)
Strip about a 1/4 to a 1/2 cm of coating off the wire, then tin the exposed wire.
Solder the wires onto the pads on the circuit board that the ribbon was attached to.
Then solder the wires to the PSP motherboard, keeping in mind the pads orientation, soldering the wires wrong will result in the analog not working right. Look at the way the original nub's board was oriented, this will help a lot.
Step 5: Rebuilding
This is probably the most frustrating part of the fix, putting the nub back together.
Before you put the black, white and metal bars back in you are going to need to put the upper half together.
First get some Sticky Tac, mounting putty, Silly Putty, whatever you can find thats temporary.
Push it into the back of the analog base, inside the part where those bars go in.
Next, push the new stub piece into the Sticky Tac/mounting putty/Silly Putty, try your best to keep it in the middle.
Now stretch the spring around that, make sure it stays closed in a circle. It helps to hold the spring there if you pull the stub out of the Sticky Tac/mounting putty/Silly Putty a little, so the round edge of the spring has something to sit under.
This is where is gets frustrating, the spring isn't going to want to stay there, but it needs to so you can have both hands to put the top back on. Make sure it stays there until you get the top on.
I guess the next step is, well, put the top on. It doesn't matter which way, the top is the same on all the sides, correct me if I'm wrong.
The spring will get really uncooperative now, if it pops into sight instead of slipping under the lip, use a screwdriver or the sort to help push it in to where it's supposed to be. You shouldn't see it once its in.
Once the top is on, take away your Sticky Tac/mounting putty/Silly Putty and, holding teh top onto the bottom, test to make sure it works alright.
Put the bars back in the way they were before, you might have to twist the stub so it lets the bars sit in the plastic the way they are supposed to, you might see there is a squared part that the metal bar rests around. Note that the metal bar sits in the plastic the same way the white bar does.
Once you get those in, put the circuit board on.
Put the metal piece back on the bottom and take a break to admire your work. You are nearly done.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
Before we go on, I reccommend to put the nub into your PSP and test it out, fix any problems now before you bother finishing.
Now. There is one part left. the NUB TOP. All your hard work has led up until this point, It is the moment of truth. But no, you still have to do one VERY LAST step before that. Sorry. It has slipped away from your grasp for a little while longer. But it'll be back, don't worry.
With the design of the PSP 3000, Sony set the analog assembly underneath the motherboard, to the Nub Top has a longer stalk on it than your 1000's.
This step may be optional. If your original PSP 1000 Nub Top fits on with no problems, rock on. If it fits, but fits loose, glue it.
No matter what you are probably going to want to sand the stub so the Nub Top doesnt sit a half a centimeter above the faceplate of your PSP.
But now you ask, "Why didn't we sand that before we put the nub together?"
Which is a good question. With a better answer.
First of all, we don't know how much higher the nub will sit above the faceplate, we are going to wait and see.
Second, Do you really want to sand something that small? Didn't think so.
Sand that down to a little bit above the faceplate. About 1mm is good, we don't want it too low or too high.
Next take the nub of your choosing, if it's the original PSP 1000 Nub Top, test fit it. If it fits leave it, if it needs gluing, well, glue it.
If its the PSP 3000 Nub Top, you have more sanding to do.
First off, cut away the bigger bottom half until there is about 4-5mm of plastic left under the Nub Top.
Next, cut out the plastic so you have a slit about as wide as the stub that the Nub Top is going onto, I don't know an approximate measurement of that, I just eyeballed it.
Now for the faceplate itself. This probably isn't necessary but I cut the hole around the nub a bit bigger, about the size of the Nub Top. I used a 1/2" drill bit.
(Well I'm not sure of the name of the bit, it has a smaller point and then a blade part above that and then the part you put into the chuck of the drill, the size is measured by the width of that blade part. Kind of like this: <[ ]===)
Either way the hole should be 1/2" in diameter afterwards.
NOW. It is time. Put the nub assembly into the faceplate and screw it down.
Grab the Nub Top. Get some glue. (I reccommend 2 part epoxy)
Put some glue on the end of the nub stub, then stick the Nub Top on as close to the center as humanly possible.
Let it dry overnight so the epoxy cures nice and hard. Once its done that Nub Top shouldn't be coming off.
My nub sits a bit high from the faceplate, I left about 2mm instead of 1, but I like it better this way.
Reassemble your PSP and enjoy it like it was as new as when you bought it.
You gotta respect the First Gens.