Episode 294: The Ultimate Nintendo Switch Mod!

Version 3

    element14's The Ben Heck Show

    Join the Ben Heck team every week for amazing hacks! Watch them build and mod community-inspired projects using electronics!

    Back to The Ben Heck Show homepage

    Help a Community Member
    Featured Bonus Content
    See All Episodes

     

     

    Max has been playing the Nintendo Switch 24/7 since he got it, leading him to deal with a debilitating case of thumb cramp from the analog stick. Ben offers to 3D print an add-on for the joy con to move the analog stick to the proper position. Ben attempts to save Max from making a tragic decision he'll regret for the rest of his life.

    Supporting Files

    Click Herefor access to all the supporting files you will need to replicate this build!

     

     

    Ben takes apart the right joy con so he can reposition the analog stick. The analog stick appears to be the cheapest stick he’s come across. It works different than any he’s ever seen before.  Because its unconventional, it might not be possible to replace with a standard analog stick.  What they might have to do is actually take the stick and move it instead of replacing it with something else. He proposes adding a spacer but he’ll have to test to see if it works if it’s loose.

     

    Unfortunately, you need to have either both of the joy cons connected or both of them detached. The challenge that they are facing so far is that they’ll have to make a null connector on both sides so they’re connected but they’re not actually electrically connected. You lose charging capability doing that so the challenge is to design a piece that fits between the mounting point for the analog stick and then very carefully solder five wires.

     

    The joy con extension is mostly just 3D printing. The challenge they face is with the flat flex ribbon cable on the joystick itself. It’s quite thin, it’s point five millimeters pitch, pitch being the distance between centers of pins and there is a connector on the PCB that will get ruined if they try to desolder that connector we’ll probably ruin it. They also can’t solder to the flat flex ribbon cable because it’s not actually metal, it’s a conductive ink that they make the traces with.

     

    Ben orders a connector so he can plug it in to the flat flex and then manually put wires from the connector over to the PCB.  They may need to trim some plastic to make for the extra connector.  They’ll have to remove a connector anyways so Ben tries to solder it and see if it will survive.  This will require expert solder precision. Will Ben be able to step his soldering game up a notch in time to save Max from making a phone call he’s sure to regret for the rest of his life?

     

    Disclaimer