EXCELLENT Info and video. Very nicely done indeed.
I do a very similar technique with a few minor differences:
- I don't like to take the flex circuit out unless absolutely necessary. I test them by connecting the controller to my 5200 and using a Defender cart (which uses almost every button). Then a small flat head screwdriver on each button contact tells me if it works or not.
- I've been using foil dots made from aluminum foil and a hole punch. And then glue them on. It's time consuming. I like your 3M tape method much much better and will use that going forward. Maybe a hybrid method -- using the 3M tape and a hole punch! Best of both worlds.
Thanks so much for all the great info.
The flatblade screwdriver trick I also do. Especially if I'm just wanting to quickly check there aren't any broken ground traces between the top function buttons and side fire buttons. The video was done in a way that it shows a complete breakdown of the controller, and about the best way to verify the traces in the flex circuit are good to go before going to the trouble of anything else.
I also mentioned Defender as a good candidate for testing both fire buttons since it does use them for smart bomb and fire functions. Blaster is the best since you have to use all analog control, plus all the fire buttons will fire the laser shots.
For quick and dirty calibration or to test the calibration of a particular controller, I will pop in missile command and star wars:TAG to see where the cross hairs are when powering on the console. They should be roughly in the in the middle of the screen horizontally and just off center to the right about an 1/8 of the screen thereabouts. Not scientific, but that is enough to get the job done.
Best games for testing the potentiometer movements are bounty bob (If you have one), and Gyruss. If your pots are out of alignment too much, then it is really touch to control the ship in a nice smooth circle around the screen on gyruss.