Repairing a NEO CD pad
Anyone who owns a NEO CD system either has or will have bad luck with the D-pad on the controllers. These great controllers are hampered by a lack of foresight from SNK. Using what's essentially the same switch as an Atari 2600 controller, they wear out a lot - more than 75% of the used controllers I've purchased don't work right. The d-pad intermittantly cuts out because the little switches get clogged with dust and don't make contact anymore. Here's our easy guide to fixing them. All you need is a small phillips and flat screwdriver, some patience and about fifteen minutes of your valuable time. Also note I've put little explanations for all the big words so the illiterate among us won't have trouble.

[ NEO CD Pad Concept of Operation ] But first, some theory. You can see here how the pad works. It's a spiffy little design - the thumbpad is connected to the stick in the center and when you slide it in any direction it compresses the spring which, when pressed far enough, snaps the switch in with a satisfying click. The problem is this causes friction - the stick's fulcrum(?) is constantly grinding away and producing plastic dust, as you'll see. The switches are the same as you might find in your mouse, and if you've owned a mouse for a year (especially a cheap one) you've heard this story. They wear out fast. Remember this layout, you'll need it when reassembling your pad.

Note! If you click on each and every picture, you'll get a surprise!

[ Step 1: Remove 5 screws ]
Part the First: Remove five screws from the rear of the pad.
[ Step 2: This is what you'll see ]
Part the Second: Pull the D-pad off of the stick it's attached to. This is the trickiest part - it's not glued on, but it's mighty tight. You can use a screwdriver inside and gently pry the pad off from the inside, which greatly minimizesClick this picture for the best angle to use your screwdriver.

[ Step 3: It's ugly in there ] Part the Third: This is the ugly mess you'll see. That's all plastic dust, and it's fine enough to get into nearly every space in your controller. The next thing you'll want to do is pop off the restraining shell, freeing the switches inside. Take your screwdriver and wedge it under any of the four compass points, where the blue switches are. Gently pry the shell upwards will pulling one or both of the clips (on the corners) with your fingernail. Don't pull hard, they'll move very easily. Repeat for all four clips and remove the cover.

[ Step 4: More ugly ] The Fourth Part: Here you can see the dirty real-life version of our squeaky clean diagram near the top of the page. Watch yourself - it is spring loaded. You can wiggle the stick around if you like, but if you push too hard you'll launch a spring deep into your carpet. Remove all four springs and white bits, setting them aside somewhere safe.

[ Step 5: Not so bad now. ] Five Parts Down: Bend all four switches away from the center, so they're lying nearly horizontal as shown. Blow as much dust as you can out of the assembly. Using a moistened paper towel, clean as much of it as you like, it's not required but it looks so nice. Have a look at those switches:

[ Step 6: Here's the tricky part ] Sixth Part, The: Have a look at the switches. If you look carefully, you can see that there's a bumpy ring around the white piece inside the blue box. Using your most sensitive and cautious skills, stuff something small and flat (Like the flat screwdriver I told you you'd need) and pry a little more than the top half of the ring open. Do a little at a time, moving your way around the switch. The plastic is soft enough that you can do this, but don't flex it beyond perpendicular(?) to the switch. Once you've gotten enough of it open, tip it upside down and shake the white plastic bit and the incredibly fragile metal disc out.

Blow all the dust out of the switch, then take your small flat screwdriver and scratch the metal contacts so they're bumpy and abrasive(?). Gently do the same to the inside of the incredibly fragile metal disc. It's spherical, and if you push too hard you can bend its shape. While this won't generally prevent it from working, it'll certainly change the "clickiness" of the switch.

When done, shove the metal disc in first (convex(?) side up) and marvel at how the bottom, unbent part of the ring holds the disc in place while you bend the top half back. Don't worry about tearing off small chunks of plastic, only a small portion of it is necessary to hold the disc in.

[ Step 6: Here's the tricky part ] Final Stage: Now re-assemble the pad(?). This picture, when clicked, will provide valuable advice.


All contents (c)2001 unless otherwise noted. All trademarks copyright of their respective companies. assumes absolutely no responsiblility whatsoever for any sort of damages incurred while either viewing this information or doing anything with said information. If you don't like it, change the channel. Some of this information may have come from other sources, and in no way implies ownership of this information, and merely intends to provide a convenient source for finding this information. That said, we wrote this, and would appreciate your not lifting it for your own page without due credit. Mail us! I had, strangely, a great deal of fun writing this page. Did you notice?