I've owned many GBA SPs. And each of them have had one or both of their shoulder buttons gone bad. I've bought the three-pronged screwdriver, taken them apart, and see if I can see anything obvious that is wrong. So far no luck. So if one goes bad, I'm stuck with buying another.
Anybody with a similiar experience or tips?
asked May 29th 2012 by billybitts
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Heartbreaking that first time the button doesn't work... then trying to live with it for a few weeks... then realising it's unplayable. I fixed one of these with a friend before. It's a pretty widespread problem (as it sound like you've experienced). We managed to fix it and it worked again for a while before he had "operate" on it again. That said I've heard of a couple of things that can typically go wrong.
1. Dust, debris between the rubber button and the electrical contact. (This was our issue)
2. Deteriorated solder contact (broken where the button is attached to the circuit board)
3. Deteriorated tactile switch (the button attached to the circuit board has given up)
If it's 2 or 3, you'll need to do some soldering... it gets pretty involved and there are no guarantees. If it's a detoriated solder contact, you may be able to fix it with a soldering iron. If the switch is broken, you'll need a replacement. Apparently one of the few places to get a matching switch is from the Wii Classic controller. May become a false economy at that point (you'll have to sacrifice the controller!).
Hopefully it's number 1 though. It was for us. If you open up the SP and can get access to the shoulder switches, you should be able to take out the rubber buttons (gently lever it off if necessary). Once those are off, clean with compressed air. You could also consider a contact cleaning solution from an electrical store (I think Isopropanol is what we used, but ask them).
Once we did that, we popped the rubber buttons back in, reassembled and it worked like a charm... for another 6 months or so then my friend had to redo.
Hope you have some luck, let me know how it goes! They're great units, hope it lives long.
answered May 30th 2012 at 00:25 by glenn
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