OT: Any electronics wizards in the house?
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:30 AM   #1
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Default OT: Any electronics wizards in the house?

From out in left field somewhere.....

Any big time gamers/electronics buffs here?

I'm trying to revive a dead Wii remote controller and can't even find a schematic online for the blasted thing.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:18 AM   #2
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I don't know if I can help or not, but I fit into a couple of those categories....

What do you have??
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:46 AM   #3
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JD,

Something is shorted out internally causing a major parasitic draw on the batteries. Possibly a diode, resistor, chip set, ???
If you put in a fresh set of batteries the controller works normally but only for a few minutes. It drains the batteries THAT fast!

I tried searching the Interwebs for possible common problems or even a circuit diagram, but came up empty handed. Just thought if it was something simple I would give it a go for the halibut...
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:21 AM   #4
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Have you checked out the warranty?
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:22 AM   #5
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How about upgrading to the rechargable batteries with the charger cradle? I have 4, which are always charged, and we're not talking lots of money.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:08 PM   #6
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The Wii controller has 3-axis accelerometers in it as well as Bluetooth. Has the controller been dropped on a hard surface or maybe struck something during play? Accelerometers can be power hogs and if they've gotten any kind of internal damage there could be excessive power drain from them.

Another thing might be some corrosion on your battery terminals. Try taking a solution of baking soda and water and clean the terminals. Then use alcohol to remove any residue from the baking soda and water solution. Make sure everything is dry and clean before installing batteries.

I've seen several questions about Wii controllers but most of them seen to address the fact that there are sync problems with the "control bar" you have to have on the center of your television. The only battery issues seem to revolve around charging the batteries and nothing about excessive battery drain.

Hopefully cleaning your battery terminals gives you the solution but if it doesn't, then maybe you'll need to purchase another controller AND contact the manufacturer to see if they have another solution (other than buying a new controller or paying an arm, leg and half your left nut to send the thing in for repair).
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:41 PM   #7
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Well, AcidFlash had WAY more information than I could have offered.

I was going to suggest doing an ohm/resistance test with your VOM. Red lead to plus, black lead to negative and read the resistance going through the unit. Do the same with the working remote.

Once you have both a base read on the good one and the current on the one that is not working you can start working backwards through the battery eater until you find a good path and a bad path as far as resistance.

Metal solder connections can be checked from point to point to give you the resistance through the unit.

While it might be a pain, it would give you a way to narrow down what is causing the serious draw.

Then again, you might just have a crappy board and it needs to be replaced by Nintendo.....
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies folks. This is my daughters unit, who having taken after her old man - is VERY particular and careful about her equipment. The Wii is a couple of years old and I'm sure is out of warranty.

I can guarantee that the remotes have never been dropped. They are also spotlessly clean, and have no corrosion what so ever. She also has and uses the rechargeable batteries, so the first thing I tried was installing a fresh pair of alkaline batteries to see what happened. I was thinking the NiMh batteries may have exceeded their usable number of cycles. But it is a definite draw pulling any batteries down.

JD: I'll try comparing the resistance between the battery terminals on both remotes and get mA readings from both as well. (I loves me some Fluke 77, LOL.) I was hoping I could find a schematic so I could take a "split half" approach to narrowing down the draw rather than going about it haphazardly since I don't have a clue of what the power source path is.

I've already ordered her a new controller, but I do love a good challenge - so......

UPDATE:
Ok, here are the results....

Good controller:
3.78MΩ .50mA

Bad controller:
90KΩ 420mA

Now..... where to look first?
I really don't want to tear apart the good one - you know?


Last edited by Highpower; 11-04-2010 at 07:00 PM. Reason: update
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:31 PM   #9
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Well, now that you've got your Fluke 77 out (I've got one of those babies ), it's time to do some circuit tracing. You might have to try to generate your own schematic by following traces on the board and what components they go to. Going from .5 mA to 420 mA is a huge jump so it's no wonder the batteries go belly up so quickly. What you'll most likely find is a shorted load resistor on an I.C. or transistor or a bad I.C. It's also possible that there's some other semiconductor device like a diode that's gone to that great diode heaven in the sky. Something is definitely breaking down under load so I'd suspect the semiconductors first and then the I.C.s.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidFlashGordon View Post
Something is definitely breaking down under load so I'd suspect the semiconductors first and then the I.C.s.
Yeah, this thing will drain a fresh set of batteries in 4 - 5 minutes without even turning it ON.

After opening it up and trying to follow the traces I quickly realized I was out of my league anyway, because 90% of all the semiconductors are those things the size of a pin head - and beyond my capabilities for replacing them. I can operate a soldering iron, but not on something that small.

Oh well. A new replacement was only 20 bucks and I will just keep this one for spare parts like the buttons / LEDS etc. Something I can actually see without a microscope. LOL.

Thanks for the input AcidFlash. It is greatly appreciated. Be warned however that you've just opened yourself up to a million other electronics questions from me when they pop up...
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