How to repair Microsoft Xbox 360™ Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows®
First thing is first, this is a more than uncommon problem, as it is mentioned in various places on the web. I’m sure a bit of “Google-ing” will yield a result or three.
Basically the receiver stops working. Trying various USB ports is useless. Reinstalling the software is useless. Updating the drivers is useless. No matter what you have tried (and you have tried everything else right?), the power light simply will not illuminate on your receiver, nor will it be recognized by Windows, nor will it allow your Wireless Xbox 360 Controller™ to connect.
Now you could buy another one, if you can find it by itself, or just buy another one bundled with a new controller, and I strongly suggest one or the other unless you are very comfortable about soldering on your dead receiver. It does mean “breaking” apart the housing, as it is glued together, but this can be done with little effort and a little patience.
Before I go any further a bit of a warning:
The information presented here is for reference, informational or entertainment purposes only. No claims are made regarding the accuracy or reliability of the information. The “fix” mentioned is intended for technically trained individuals who are qualified to evaluate their appropriateness and safety of implementing the aforementioned “fix”. Non-authorized modified devices are not deemed reliable and unforeseen consequences may result from their use. Check all local, state, and federal laws regarding the use of home-modified devices that transmit or connect to any utility or other device. Many circuits use or generate dangerous voltages even when powered by low voltage. Many of the materials used to assemble electronic devices contain dangerous chemicals such as lead. Although the information provided is believed to be reliable, the modification of this device and suggested uses may violate existing patents or warranties. Electromagnetic energy may cause disease. Use of this modified device may cause permanent damage to your hardware, or even be a risk of fire. Please do this at your own risk. Microsoft, Games for Windows, Games for Windows LIVE, Xbox, Xbox LIVE and ICptJackSparrow accept no liability for any equipment damage, property damage or personal injury for the use of and execution of the following instructions.
Now onto the problem. What has happened is that the Surface Mount Fuse installed on the receiver has burned out. It’s basically done what it was meant to do, unfortunately under the wrong circumstances. For some reason these receviers get warm, in fact very warm, as such it seems to affect the rating of the fuse and it prematurely blows.
The solution; well there’s two fixes, one that will get you going simply installing a jumper on the circuit board (hence the disclaimer), and the other, more recommended choice of buying a replacement fuse and installing that in place of the blown fuse.
Both procedures are identical, so whichever you choose as your path, rest assured you are covered by these instructions.
Tools you will need:
- Clean, bright work area
- Small Flathead screwdriver
- Small Philips head screwdriver
- Small gauge wire, I recommend something in the 18-24 Gauge size, even a piece of old power cord, one strand from within it about a half an inch long
- Small needle nose pliers
- Small wire cutters
- Ohm Meter (to test the fuse to be sure it is the culprit)
- Soldering iron
- Lead-free, very fine electrical rosin core solder (or solid and have rosin)
- Helping Hands weighted stand to help hold circuit board (not necessary, but very helpful)
- Some super-dee-duper-crazy glue (or equivalent) to reassemble the case when you are done.
Alright, let’s get to it:
- First thing, unplug your wireless receiver from it’s USB port now. Please take the time to mark which USB port you were using, as one of the things I’m always wary of is reattaching hardware only to find that I need to reinstall it’s software and drivers because I’m using a different USB port and now have multiple instances of software, drivers and registry entries, which can all lead to sluggish performance down the road.
- Next lay the receiver in front of you and use your Flathead screwdriver and insert it into the end with the wire being careful not to cut any of the wire
- Once you get the screwdriver in, carefully slide it so as to break the seal on the receiver, make sure you do NOT insert the screwdriver in too deeply or you will damage the internal components
- Once you’ve started breaking the seal, I found it easiest to use the screwdriver as a wedge and slide it from one end to the other as shown below:
it then should open fairly easily with minimal damage to the casing (there will be some, but pretty unavoidable)
- Next remove the two screws holding the circuit board in as seen below:
- Then you should be able to lift the circuit board out by gently lifting the cable:
- Now you will want to remove the cable by gently prying it out with your screwdriver using alternating pry motions on each edge of the connector:
- Now you can flip the circuit board over and finally see that darn little fuse that’s causing you so much trouble:
- Now before we “fix” this, we will test it to make sure that this is indeed your problem, using your ohm meter:
Notice I have a closed circuit above, but below when making contact on either side of the fuse, nothing, indicating a blown fuse
- Now we take our wire and are going to make a shunt to close this circuit allowing power to the unit again (here is where I STRONGLY urge you to order a replacement fuse from your local electronics store or online instead of using the shunt, it’s just safer & smarter, but the instructions are the same for installing), I made my wire approximately 3/8″ (around 1cm) long, give or take. I then bent it to “ride” over the fuse instead of simply removing the fuse, I mainly did this so I would not lose the fuse (I’m good at misplacing small pieces) so that I can order the part when I get the notion to do so (no, I’ve not done it yet I’m embarrassed to say), but here what my shunt looked like:
- Now it’s time to set up and start soldering, as you’ll see I may have over prepared, but hey, I hate running around looking for tools once I start:
- Alright, now the soldering. As I said earlier, you’d probably be better off removing the fuse as it will be easier to solder the shunt (or new fuse if you’re smarter than I am) into place on the circuit board:
Not my cleanest solders, but I was out of tip tinner 😦 so I improvised, but hey it worked 😛
And a word from a knowledgeable friend:
It has been my experience that fuses do not last very long, and hand soldering SMT devices with a iron will result in failure often times then not since we are talking about a heat sensitive device. I am inclined to believe it would not pose that much of a threat since it is getting the power through USB. *golf clap*
I would recommend to clean the solder tip before applying it to the board & using .032 rosin core solder. Then cleaning with IPA, and canned air. Also every electronic device is an electrostatic sensitive device, so use a strap that is grounded to the case (PC tower) at the bare minimum.
- Next up, re-assembly of the receiver, simply reverse the disassembly process starting with re attaching the cable (I probably don’t need to say it, but do this carefully, you do not want to bend the pins or worse break them)
- Before you go any further, we will test the unit quickly to see that it works. Making sure the receiver is on a non-conductive and non-flammable surface (a ceramic plate works well OR you could simply loosely seat everything back into the original housing) plug it back into the USB port that you marked when you removed the receiver USB cord from it. Does it light up?
If the answer is yes, continue with the reassembly process below, if not, unplug the unit again and check your soldering.
- Unplug the USB cable once more so as not to accidentally shock yourself or short out your now repaired receiver or worse your computer, once again noting which port it was plugged into
- Then you’ll re-seat the circuit board into the base of the receiver casing, and re-insert the screws you took out earlier.
- Now you will use your super-dee-duper-crazy glue (or equivalent) to glue the lid back on. If you are concerned about gaining access to the insides again, I would suggest simply just a small drop of super-dee-duper glue at the center of each long side of the unit, that way it will be much easier to pry apart in the future.
- Plug the receiver back into the USB port (you know, the one you made sure to mark or make note of earlier).
- Finally, I again strongly recommend getting a hold of the proper fuse replacement if you can (if you didn’t already that is), but also if at all possible, elevate the receiver so that air is able to flow all around it, perhaps by simply standing it against something on your desk. This will help keep it cooler and perhaps prevent any misfortune in the future.
- Last but not least, game on!
That’s it. Not too hard really, I think it literally took me 5 times as long to do this post than it did to actually fix the unit.
In any event, I hope this information helps many out in the future.
Since there seems to be some concern about this, I’m going to help you all out here; I am posting the basic spec sheet on this particular fuse, a link to the full spec sheet, and a link to where you can purchase this part.
Finally, good old Mouser Electronics, my go to for all the odd stuff, you can find this fuse HERE
It’s so damn cheap, there’s no reason not to buy it, at only $0.59 (59 cents US Currency) the hardest part to swallow was the $7.00 USD freight to get it (this will vary by region, I only gave my freight as an example).
So I hope there is no question, you should just order the proper part, in fact I ordered a couple extra, just in case, the freight was the same, as it was rated up to 1Lb freight, and trust me, it wasn’t even close to that.
I originally posted this HERE on the Games for Windows Forums (EDIT: sorry, that link is now dead, as the forum has migrated to HERE, for which I won’t be reposting due to legalities), as well as my personal blog ICptJackSparrow The Blog HERE
For those who are interested in the USB Cable configuration of the receiver, here you go:
USB Wiring for the Xbox Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows
On PC Board in Receiver
USB Cable Plug End
- Red: + 5V / Voltage + / VCC
- White: D – / Data – / USB –
- Green: D + / Data + / USB +
- Black: GND / Voltage – / Ground
- Black: S-GND / Over Current / Shielding
The S-GND wire is fatter and can usually be easily recognized, and is not always Black, but is in fact usually marked differently* than the regular Ground.
Please keep in mind that not all manufacturers follow the color coding; in fact I’ve seen some cheap cables reverse the Black and Red, that would be disasterous if you were to not double check yours.
*In the case of the the original wiring for the receiver, it is actually gray in color.