- Wireless Xbox 360 Controller
- Tilt Board v3
- Torx T8 Security Bit
- Soldering Iron
- Double Sided Foam Tape
These instructions will show you how to install the Tilt Board v3 into an Xbox 360 controller. There are two main types of wireless Xbox 360 controller boards. The older boards are known as the matrix version, because the digital inputs are wired as a matrix. The newer board is known as the common ground version because its digital inputs are wired in a simpler common ground fashion. The Tilt Board v3 is designed to work with the newer common ground boards. If you use an older matrix board, your digital inputs will not work correctly. It is very easy to tell which board version you have after you take off the back cover.
To take off the back cover you will need a Torx T8 security bit. This is a very uncommon tool, as there are both Torx T8 and Torx T8 security bits. The security bits have a hole running up the center of the bit to allow for a protruding section of the Torx T8 security screw. There are 7 screws holding the cover on. Six of the screws are clearly visible and one is in the battery compartment under the sticker with a barcode on it. You can either peel the sticker off or poke through the center of it to reach the screw. After the cover is off you should see a board that looks like one of the following:
Figure 1: Matrix Style Controller
Figure 2: Common Ground Controller
Figure 1 shows the matrix style controller. It’s most notable feature is the big metal square in the center of it. Figure 2 shows the common ground controller. It’s most notable features are a black square chip and a crystal in the center. If you have the common ground board the Tilt Board v3 digital outputs will work for you. If you don’t, you will not be able to use the digital output of the Tilt Board v3.
After the back cover is off the vibrating motors need to be removed. Just be careful and try to pull on the connector and not the wire. Note that the two vibration motors are different sizes.
To get the circuit board out of the controller shell, push up on the analog sticks. With a little wiggling both the circuit board and the gray piece will pop off. Figure 3 shows the removed board and controller pieces. Note that your board layout may be slightly different.
Figure 3: Circuit Board and Controller Casing
Now you should have the circuit board all by itself. The next step is to remove the plastic trigger assembly that is currently over the left analog stick potentiometers. To do this you first need to disconnect the trigger from its potentiometer. This is done by pushing the trigger to the left and the plastic connector that goes to the potentiometer to the right. It should pop out fairly easy. Next remove the trigger from the assembly. To do this just squeeze the trigger together at the end and push it back. To remove the trigger completely, just slide it to the right. Figure 4 shows a removed trigger.
Figure 4: Trigger Removed from Assembly
In order to take the rest of the trigger assembly apart you have to desolder the trigger potentiometer. To desolder, heat up the potentiometer leads one at a time using your soldering iron and use a solder sucker to suck the solder off. After you have the potentiometer desoldered, pull it straight out of the circuit board. Now that the trigger potentiometer is off of the board, the remaining trigger assembly comes off easily. Figure 5 shows the exposed left analog stick connections.
Figure 5: Removed Trigger Assembly
Now that the trigger assembly is off, we are ready to solder our 7 wires from the Tilt Board to the controller board. The Tilt Board’s X and Y outputs will be connected to the spot where the original analog stick’s outputs are connected. This will be the center pin of the X and Y potentiometer of the controller board. The REF pin of the Tilt Board must be connected to the highest voltage side of the potentiometer on the controller board. All 3 of these locations are shown and labeled in Figure 6.
Figure 6: X, Y, and REF Locations
Before you can connect DO1 and DO2 to the Xbox 360 controller board, it is necessary to understand how the digital inputs on the Xbox 360 controller work and how the Tilt Board interacts with them.
When a button is pressed on the common ground Xbox 360 controller, a conductive pad is pressed against two metal pads on the controller’s circuit board. This causes the two pads on the circuit board to be shorted together. One of these pads is tied directly to ground and the other is used as an input to the controller’s microcontroller. When the two pads are shorted together, the microcontroller sees the input for that button change to ground and registers that you pressed a button.
When the Tilt Board detects a jolt on the Z axis it will ground either its DO1 or DO2 (depending on which one you currently have selected). By connecting the output from DO1 or DO2 to a non grounded button pad of the controller, we can simulate that button being pressed. The Tilt Board will ground the pad that DO1 or DO2 is connected to when a jolt is detected. To the controller this will be no different than you actually pressing the button on the controller. Both DO1 and DO2 will be high impedance inputs and have no effect on the controller board unless a jolt is detected.
Shown in Figure 7 are possible locations for DO1 and DO2. In the figure DO1 is connected to the “A” digital button, and DO2 is connected to the “B” digital button. You can connect DO1 and DO2 to any digital button that you want. Make sure that where you connect is the non grounded side of the button. You will need to scrape away a small part of the black surface of the pad to solder to it. The locations for V+ and GND are also shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7: V+, GND, DO1, and DO2 Locations
To run the wires soldered to the Xbox 360 controller board out to the Tilt Board a hole needs to be drilled in the Xbox 360 controller case. The recommended location for this hole is in the center of the bottom portion of the battery compartment. Figure 8 shows a completely soldered controller board with wires routed through the controller case. Figure 9 shows the controller board in its case with all of the wires routed out of the case. Make sure that none of your wires are pinched by the case as you put it back together.
Figure 8: Routed Wires
Figure 9: Routed Wires in Controller Case
Continue putting the controller back together until it all fits snuggly. Again, make sure no wires are pinched. After verifying that no wires will be pinched and the controller is together correctly, put the screws back in the controller. Now cut your wires down to the desired length and solder them on to the Tilt Board. After all of the wires are soldered, mount the Tilt Board to the back of your Xbox 360 controller battery compartment using double sided foam tape. A completed picture of the Xbox 360 controller is shown in Figures 10 and 11.
Figure 10: Completed Installation Back View
Figure 11: Completed Installation Bottom View
Congratulations on successfully installing your Tilt Board v3!