As you may be aware, and if you’re not aware go and read my post here, I recently picked up a Vectrex console. The controller however was faulty, button number 4 would not register a button press. It feels fine and presses as it should so I need to see about repairing it. I’m not sure what the problem could be.

The Vectrex controller’s top and bottom shells are held together by 5 screws situated on the top. They are covered by the decal on the top of the controller, so that will have to be removed first. I did this by using a hair dryer and heating the glue on the underside of the decal, this took a while to do as the glue was quite strong. When the glue started to become lose, I was able to pry the decal up a little by using plectrums. It came off quite easy and allowed me access to the 5 screws.

Opening it up reveals the workings of the controller. It’s very grubby inside. The controller cable and the joystick wires all connect to the pcb. The pcb is screwed down and once unscrewed it gave me access to the underside of the board. I can’t see any immediate problems with the traces, other than needing a good clean.

So next I got out a multimeter and checked all around the board, checking for continuity. There were no breaks in the traces at all and it seemed fine.

So seeing no problems with the board, the next task was to give everything a good clean. I first took some isopropyl alcohol and a cotton but, and went to work on all the traces on the board itself.

I then set about cleaning the buttons and the rubber membrane. I used the alcohol for this again. I also cleaned the conductive pads on the membrane by rubbing it on a piece of paper to just remove the grime that had built up.

After this I put the membrane back onto the board and screwed it back into place. I then cleaned the rest of the controllers innards with the alcohol.

Accumulation of 38 years of dirt. Yum

After the controller was all clean I then had to remove all the glue that was left on the back of the decal. I used label remover for this and it was a hard job, there was a lot on there. I eventually ended up removing all of it though. Because of the way I had removed it, the decal needed to be ironed flat again. Then I used UHU glue to stick the decal back onto the controller and that was it. The controller was fully refurbished.

But the question is, does it work now………

Yes. Yes it does

I’m really happy I managed to fix it, and I’m even more happy that it was an easy fix. I have managed to not only save money by buying a faulty Vectrex, but I don’t now have to buy another controller to replace a broken one.