This guide explains how to lighten an original style Xbox One joypad and add some accessibility switch sockets. This can be beneficial to people without the strength to comfortably use the standard thumb-sticks and buttons such as those affected by SMA, Muscular Dystrophy or using a thumb-stick with their chin.
If you're an absolute beginner, I strongly recommend that you follow "The Basic Soldering Guide" - by Alan Winstanley.
SAFETY: Adapting equipment voids the manufacturer's guarantee, and the attempt may cause irreparable damage. Always use adapted equipment under supervision, and disconnect power when not in use. These adaptations are at your own risk. Good luck!
Most of the basic components used here are commonly available from Electronics stores such as Maplin Electronics and Farnell. The original style Xbox One controllers can be found second hand via the likes of eBay.
Remove the battery cover on the back, and cut the middle of the sticker so you can remove the Torx screw.
Next squeeze a trigger and from the top pull the plastic clip-on trigger cover at the rear away from the controller. Repeat on the other side.
If your PCB is dated 2014, and the solder-points are as big as those circled in red and yellow above, this controller is suitable for this full adaptation without too much hassle. Hopefully! Remove the face plate and two thumb-stick plastic sticks and continue...
Apply a little flux to the black, grey, red and black wire contacts. Add a tiny bit of extra solder, and the wires should just slip straight off.
Cut the black and grey wires where they appear at the side of the controller.
Remove the two T6 torx screws from the top PCB, then gently wriggle the PCB upwards and out.
Not easy. Apply a little flux to the 14 points (see the large picture in section 3 above) of each thumb-stick,, then use the desoldring gun to remove as much solder as you can.
Try to ensure that each leg is wiggled free and you can see a gap around it. Rock the thumb-stick free. If it's moving a little bit, use a screwdriver or ideally something strong thin and plastic, to prise the stick off the PCB. Be patient. This is the most difficult part of the process.
Carefully prise open the four small retaining metal legs that hold the plastic base in position. Disassemble and remove the tightly coiled spring.
Cut a new spring of a similar length but with less coils. Gav recommends 14mm as pictured. I tried less coils and a little shorter below. Experiment to see what suits you best.
Fit the srping then test that the stick returns to the middle by itself and the resistance is less than before.
If all is good, solder the thumb-sticks back into place. Plug the thumb-stick PCB back to the buttons PCB and test. If all is good, pat yourself on the back and move on. If not, inspect your soldering, and consider desoldering and trying again.
Remove the six torx screws on the other PCB. Gently prise the central top black plastic off the PCB (near the micro-USB port at the top) and pull the PCB out at a shallow angle. Next, if you are planning to fit switch sockets for the triggers and LB and RB buttons, remove the motor housing by cutting away where the straight(ish) yellow lines are above.
Cut three or four (if you're feeling brave) holes in the rubber boots as pictured. This will reduce the amount of pressure needed to push the ABXY and menu buttons.
Refit the buttons, both PCBs and both sticks.
Very carefully solder wires to the hall-sensors for the triggers as marked below and less tricky, to the LB and RB contacts. For other joypad types, see this link for some possible alternative contact points.
Once you feel that you have a good connection for the wires, test them with the controller powered on and connected to a Titan One or console game and touch the paired LB, RB, LT and RT contacts together. If you are not getting a contact for RT and LT which are very small points to solder to, try again, or locate the LS and RS (stick button) contacts and use them. You can then use the Xbox One's in-built accessibility options to reconfigure the sockets to any other button (unfortunately not any thumb-stick direction, which would have been nice for some players).
Fit your switch sockets as pictured below and reassemble. Test with accessibility switches and hopefully, all will be good. Marblesoft Ultra Light HD switches are ideal in many instances as they are light pressure and easy to velcro into place.
D.I.Y. Text and images PUBLIC DOMAIN 2016 - www.OneSwitch.org.uk - based on an original adaptation by Gavin Tan and Bill Donegan at SpecialEffect.org.uk.