Hello DIY, I hope I'm in the right spot. I have an odd problem, and I don't know where else to look for help, so I'm hoping someone here can help me out because I'm not too experienced with these things.
I bought a Dance Mat off of Amazon several months ago. Despite how cheap it looks, it worked pretty well. And then it just stopped working completely, neither on my PC or my PS2. To be honest, I was being rather careless where the wire connects to the black box at the top of the mat, so since my warranty was up, I popped it open to see if I could spot the problem. Nothing seemed wrong, so I stripped the wire back a bit, and noticed there was one pink wire and one bare wire that weren't attached to anything, but it looked like the pink wire had snapped off of something.
Here is a picture of one side of the circuit board, you can see the pink wire and the bare one to the left. I didn't cut them, they were already that short. Here is a picture of the other side. This is the only circuit board in the mat.
If anyone has any idea what either of these wires should be connected to, I'd really appreciate any advice! I really don't want to buy another pad just because a couple of wires are lose ): I have a soldering iron, I just don't know where to go from here.
TL;DR, dance mat stopped working because of two loose wires, here is a picture, trying to find out what the wires should be reconnected to.
Looks to me like those two wires used to be soldered together. They're too short to reach the circuit board, unless they fold back near it when the thing is assembled. Does it work if you twist them together?
Either that or possibly they used to be soldered through that single hole in the board that's near the lower right side of the second picture. Would they have reached there when assembled? Is that actually a pad with a trace attached (can't tell from the pics)?
I had tried to solder them together before, actually, and there wasn't any solder on the tips like there is in that picture before I tried.
I'm not sure what that hole is, but the wires were definitely too short to reach them before, too. The only other thing that made me suspicious is the metal shielding that's around the wires, but I can't imagine a wire being attached to that?
No, not at all, which is really frustrating. I hope they aren't there for nothing and there's a different problem that I can't fix. There was metal shielding around the wires that I stripped back, but I'm not sure why a wire would be connected to that?
The shielding would usually be connected to ground at one end of the cable only. Disconnecting it should not prevent the thing from working. I think your problem is unrelated to the wires. How does this control board connect to the pad itself?
You can see it at the bottom of this picture, the plastic with the black lines running through it. those spread out to thin metal sensors throughout the pad, but I can't find anything wrong with those.
Are wires that serve no functional purpose commonly included in things like this?
I have no idea how this works, but is one of those wires supposed to do anything with power supply? It runs off of USB, so I'm not sure if it draws it from all the other wires that are still connected...
Thank you for all the input so far, by the way. I appreciate it a lot.
Need to post a picture of the mat, where the circuit board lays, so that a better picture can be seen. This is nothing more than a glorified controller, so finding out the schematic for the controller for your machine, would be better to help you find out which pins those wires connect on the other end that plugs into the game machine, and why they are shorter.
Asking on a forum specific to your machine regarding the mat, will help you better, unless someone happens across the schematic for this mat, and the pin out on the end that goes into the game machine. Post the other end of the plug that this lead goes to, along with the inside of the mat, as asked where the circuit board mounts, since this is only one piece of the puzzle that you are showing.
Yes, we need some very good pictures/info on how all of the connections to the circuit board are made. For what it's worth, I have a LOT of experience with this sort of electronics work (including making/troubleshooting USB peripherals). If it can be solved over the internet, I can help you do it - but I need much more information to figure it out.
It is common for a bare wire to run the length of the cable for a "ground" wire especially if the shield is made of foil as opposed to a woven braid around all of the wires.
Do a continuity check (with power off). Test one end of each wire against all of the ends (or plug pins) at the other end of the cable to be sure each wire has continuity and in most cases there is no continuity with any of the other wires. (There may be continuity between selected pairs of wires whose righteousness or wrongness requires knowledge of the equipment.)
I'll edit these into the OP as well, but I took some more pictures. I have horrible house lighting, so if these are too hard to see, I can take more pics during the day tomorrow. Sorry it took a while to reply, was at work all day.
I'll try to run to the store this week and pick up one of those continuity checkers.
The thing that puzzles me the most is that pink wire had looked like it was connected to something...the end looked like it had been broken. I stripped it back a bit until it looks like it does in the picture. If the wiring is what's causing it to not work, I think it's that pink one.
I really appreciate your guys' help. I had called the manufacturer, but the mat is made in China, so he had no idea what the problem was. I've been asking if anyone knows how to fix these types of things in more specific video game and DDR forums, but no one seems to know, it's always "just buy another one" (but I don't have the money!). But anyways, thanks so much. Let me know if you want more/better pics.
I really can't see enough from the pictures to identify any specific problems. I think it's fair to say, though, that the disconnection of those wires is probably not the issue. Perhaps the thing just broke.
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