Tuesday, 24 February 2009

3D Experience

So, since right now Manx TT is the only SS game in my library that fully uses the Saturn 3D pad capabilities, I haven't really used the 3D pad that I bought last year from the local pawn shop very much. The pad is in really nice shape, and all the buttons, work very well, and the analog stick and analog triggers have very smooth action in them...(i.e. there isn't any wobble/play in them). After I was done a my Manx TT session last night I decided to have a go on Panzer Dragoon 2: Zwei. I found that the 3D analog pad controls the aiming reticule quite nicely in Panzer, but I was curious why my dragon rider would only change directions to the right....then it hit me.....my 3D pas is broken.

I guess I didn't notice this in Manx TT since the bikes don't show a brake light, and I never really brake all the much when I play anyways. Well, I now know that I don't ever brake in that game. Anyways, I was just planning on salvaging the working digital functions of the controller as a regular back up, but I was really sad because I now don't have a fully functional 3D pad....and I've got a copy of Nights and Christmas Nights coming from Ebay. Being the curious, tinkering type of person that I am, I decided to open up the controller to see if I could find out what was wrong with it. There were no rattling pieces inside, and as I mentioned earlier, the movement action of the broken trigger felt absolutely fine. I spent some time on Google, but wasn't able to find anything about fixing a broken Saturn 3D pad. I have opened up some Dreamcast pads in the past, but ended up doing more harm than good I think.

It took me a little while to narrow down the problem, but I finally noticed that there was a magnet stuck to the outside of the right (working) trigger. After some more inspection I realized that the magnet had actually fallen out of the left trigger and made it's way through the body of the unit, and attached itself to the magnet inside of the right trigger. After a few attempts I was able to get the magnet back inside the left trigger, and after some trial and error (turning the saturn on and off) was able to get the magnet facing the proper side, and actually had the left trigger working again! I've never really read about how analog controllers work, but after this little session I'm kind of thinking that it has to do with the proximity of the magnet to a conductor or something like that ..i.e. the further the magnet is away from the source the less the trigger is actually being pressed.

In the end I'm very happy since I don't have to buy a new 3D pad. And I managed to snap a few pictures of the event....just in case any one wanted to see the inside of a 3D pad.


elend said...

Congratulations on fixing your pad. On the pics it looks like they really didn't change much compared to the Dreamcast pad. I do like the 3D pad more than the Dreamcast pad, because of the d-pad.

NebachadnezzaR said...

Congratulations on fixing the trigger :) I now I wouldn't dare to do it, although I feel very comfortable opening consoles apart and tinkering with the insides, I'm afraid to death of opening up controllers after a failed experiment with a PS2 pad... :(

The Plushiest said...

Honestly, I'm pretty surprised myself that I was able to fix it. I had originally figured that the analog components would be a lot more intricate that that. I did work as a mountain bike mechanic for 5 summers when I was younger, so I do have a bit of tinkering ability.

I too enjoy the 3D pad more than the Dreamcast pad. I have no idea why Sega only put 4 buttons on that thing...it's like they wanted to purposefully alienate all of the Capcom fighting gamers out there.

fatherkrishna said...

Wow I wouldn't dare to do that, as I'm hopeless at technology... Good job!

Anonymous said...

It actually depends on the controller. Sega is the only one to use the "hall effect" magnet system in their controllers. I suggest checking this site out if you want more information: http://nfgworld.com/mb/forum/26;?unb507sess=fb1f8a6c6bbc0c043c861a6a122f2d57

But that's actually pretty funny, recently my 3D pad also broke, except it was the magnet nipple that popped off the controller (its held by plastic tabs! theres no way its reliable)

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, heres a list of 3D pad compatible games if you want to use it more: http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3756