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Thread: Neo-Geo CD pads: Why are they so frequently broken?

  1. #1
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    Neo-Geo CD pads: Why are they so frequently broken?

    I recently obtained a Neo-Geo CD unit and while I have a pair of classic AES joysticks, a kidney bean pro controller, a Hori fighting stick and a few of those playstation controller convertors I've been considering picking up a proper Neo-Geo CD pad to go with it.

    However, I've noticed a surprisingly high number of defective and/or junk ones.

    While I know this forum is more for repair advice I was curious how/why these seem to break so frequently, and if I were to obtain one, what precautionary steps I could take to prevent it from breaking like so many other Neo-CD pads.

  2. #2
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    The most common problem is the click D-pad getting clogged with debris (just needs cleaning) or the switches breaking. Not sure how to prevent this. I've been thinking about getting one just to test out the ports on my MVS but people have suggested going with a modified Sega Saturn or SNES controller to do the job instead.

  3. #3
    New Challenger

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    Unfortunately, the click is not only blocked by debris. In fact, I recently crystal cleaned a D-Pad still there is no way to get the click back. The click is given by the shape of the ultrathin membrane which activates the button. Once that membrane (metallic disc) gets deformed, you can't get the click back.
    The best way to have the click back, when the membrane is the problem, is to change the entire switch. The best alternative I've found (but I couldn't try it yet) is this tactile switch:
    http://www.knitter-switch.com/eng/Series/53
    Note the exact same size of the D-pad switch, and choosing the TSE8S model gives you the same soldering legs layout of the original switch.
    Moreover, opposite to many other tactile switches, the activation of this one can be relegated to the spring in the D-Pad (as the D-Pad works).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavia View Post
    Unfortunately, the click is not only blocked by debris. In fact, I recently crystal cleaned a D-Pad still there is no way to get the click back. The click is given by the shape of the ultrathin membrane which activates the button. Once that membrane (metallic disc) gets deformed, you can't get the click back.
    The best way to have the click back, when the membrane is the problem, is to change the entire switch. The best alternative I've found (but I couldn't try it yet) is this tactile switch:
    http://www.knitter-switch.com/eng/Series/53
    Note the exact same size of the D-pad switch, and choosing the TSE8S model gives you the same soldering legs layout of the original switch.
    Moreover, opposite to many other tactile switches, the activation of this one can be relegated to the spring in the D-Pad (as the D-Pad works).
    Great find Cavia! I spent hours looking for the correct switch without luck.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavia View Post
    Unfortunately, the click is not only blocked by debris. In fact, I recently crystal cleaned a D-Pad still there is no way to get the click back. The click is given by the shape of the ultrathin membrane which activates the button. Once that membrane (metallic disc) gets deformed, you can't get the click back.
    The best way to have the click back, when the membrane is the problem, is to change the entire switch. The best alternative I've found (but I couldn't try it yet) is this tactile switch:
    http://www.knitter-switch.com/eng/Series/53
    Note the exact same size of the D-pad switch, and choosing the TSE8S model gives you the same soldering legs layout of the original switch.
    Moreover, opposite to many other tactile switches, the activation of this one can be relegated to the spring in the D-Pad (as the D-Pad works).
    Are there particular actions that cause the spring in the d-pad to fail?

  6. #6
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    The spring doesn't fail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeMonster View Post
    The spring doesn't fail.
    My mistake, the membrane to fail?

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    It's just a design flaw. They tend to wear out faster than normal pads as a result.
    Neo Geo AES #011035 #036442 | Neo Geo CD #0002814 | MVS Executive | Razion 1cc Club President
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    Non dilated pupils pic=Challenge. I got a hundred dollar cd.

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    Yes, I think the problem is that crud, dust, or humidity makes its way to the membrane and starts to oxidize it.

    Both controllers that came with my CD-Z had one or more bad D-pad buttons but I was able to repair them using Bar Keeper's Friend. I did a write-up of my approach here. Now that Cavia has identified the actual switches though we have another, probably better solution for a long-term fix.

  10. #10
    JammaNationX
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    What happens is that the white pieces that surround the stick rub against each other forming a dust that gets into the tact switches under the metal dome preventing it from completing the connection. Kinda like if you tried to clap your hands with someones hand in between them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavia View Post
    Unfortunately, the click is not only blocked by debris. In fact, I recently crystal cleaned a D-Pad still there is no way to get the click back. The click is given by the shape of the ultrathin membrane which activates the button. Once that membrane (metallic disc) gets deformed, you can't get the click back.
    The best way to have the click back, when the membrane is the problem, is to change the entire switch. The best alternative I've found (but I couldn't try it yet) is this tactile switch:
    http://www.knitter-switch.com/eng/Series/53
    Note the exact same size of the D-pad switch, and choosing the TSE8S model gives you the same soldering legs layout of the original switch.
    Moreover, opposite to many other tactile switches, the activation of this one can be relegated to the spring in the D-Pad (as the D-Pad works).
    Could have used that a few months ago. I fixed a controller with button switches and it just doesnt feel right.

  12. #12
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    As a preventative measure (about 10 years ago, when I had 2 of these pads new) I took them apart and used ceramic grease to lubricate the sliding parts.
    Anything which rubs together. Worked like a dream and the pads showed no wear over the 3 or so years I had them.

    It must be a grease that is not electrically conductive and use it sparingly.

  13. #13
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    oh wow ! i just broke two of them and was desparately looking for replacement
    thanks ! ill try buying some

  14. #14
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    Some thread necrosis - sorry. I recently purchased a pair of supposedly working pads, and of course - they both had a duff switch each.

    I've done some quite extensive searching of component suppliers for TSE8S switches, but to no avail, no one has stock.

    Did anyone ever find a stash of them that they are willing to sell on?

    It seems such a shame to buy another pad to cannibalise for a working switch (with a questionable life span).

  15. #15
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    @fikNaldo there is a video of a guy that buys cheap broke junk on ebay and repairs them. he said he uses some MemBranes from dead Gamboy Advanced SP's. Not sure the model of GBAsp motherboard though. here is the vid.


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    Quote Originally Posted by nornor1 View Post
    @fikNaldo there is a video of a guy that buys cheap broke junk on ebay and repairs them. he said he uses some MemBranes from dead Gamboy Advanced SP's. Not sure the model of GBAsp motherboard though. here is the vid.

    Hi, thanks for that - I saw his vid, but I'm not convinced that is the route I want to take for a repair. Breaking open a tiny switch is something I'd get incredibly frustrated with. I'm sure the most effective way to repair them is just to replace the bad switches with a complete - intact and brand new set of compatible switches.

    The TSE8S switches would be perfect if they could be found somewhere.

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    Well my pad controller, which I have just so when ever I have someone to play with that aren't used to sticks use, might be starting to get unresponsive when playing KoF 95 and SamSho2. Dang...
    Last edited by spectrebird; 12-10-2017 at 09:54 AM.

  18. #18
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    I've had mixed results with the original pads but the PS2 pads or the Neo Geo Pad 2 is my absolute favorite, but sadly it's also sensitive. One that was straight out of the box and new started to give me trouble after about 4 or 5 months of use, the right direction would become unreliable about 15~20 into a game, after letting it relax it would recover for a while but it would always come back. I've never lost the click, but the loss of reliability makes them a real problem for games like Metal Slug games where loss of movement for a split second results in death, and some fighters where that loss of contact will break your combos.

    I use to use Xian's cleaning method on older pads but on this new one I felt there was no need. It was really not used that much and was stored when not in use.

    It's a real shame because these (in particular the PS2 version imo) are arguably the best sticks for fighters out there (slightly topping Saturn controllers imo). They really remind me of the the Neo Geo Pocket stick in a slightly larger size which is wonderful imo.
    Last edited by Doom; 12-11-2017 at 03:00 PM.

  19. #19
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    it's a huge shame these controllers are prone to this because they look like they would be sweet to use.
    The Offensive Orgy Mode!!!

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