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  • Exploring Video Game Controllers. By: Branch Education / Teddy Tablante

  • Exploring the Playstation 4 [PS4] Dualshock Video Game Controller. Similar to Playstation 5 [PS5] Dualsense Controller.

  • Also, similar to the Nintendo Switch Joy Con, and the Xbox One and Xbox Series X Video game Controller.

  • Video game controllers are precision devices that give

  • us access to competitive battlefields, uncharted worlds,

  • and epic storylines,

  • and this here is one of their most critical components.

  • But where is this circular metal object located, and what does it do?

  • In this episode, we're going to open

  • a PlayStation 4 DualShock video game

  • controller to see how it works.

  • First, we'll go through the components

  • and then we'll see how the buttons and analog sticks work,

  • and in the process, we'll learn where this delicate metal disc is located,

  • and why it's critical in almost all of the console video games you play.

  • This episode is kind-of a mystery game,

  • so if you figure out where it's located

  • and what it does before I reveal the answer,

  • congratulations, and comment below with

  • the timestamp of when you figured it out. So, let's get started.

  • After removing a few screws,

  • we can take off the plastic outer housing

  • and see all the components inside.

  • On top, is the D-pad, the triggers, and several other buttons.

  • Below each button are conductive rubber

  • button gaskets, and below that is the flexible plastic contact board that

  • the conductive rubber presses against.

  • At the center of the controller istouchpad,

  • along with a small speaker.

  • Next is the mid-frame and below that,

  • the primary printed circuit board or PCB.

  • On the top side of the circuit board are a

  • number of components such as the microcontroller unit

  • which are the brains of the controller,

  • a pair of analog joysticks, the wireless communication microchip,

  • an antenna, a headphone jack,

  • an additional E.X.T. port for seldom used applications,

  • and a set of push buttonsOn the bottom of the PCB are a

  • set of connectors for flat cables to be plugged into,

  • an audio codec microchip,

  • and an accelerometer and gyroscope microchip.

  • below the PCB is the battery case

  • and the rechargeable lithium ion battery.

  • Next, attached to both sides of the mid-frame

  • are motors with off-balance weights that, when spun up,

  • cause the controller to vibrate.

  • Finally, attached to the back plastic housing,

  • we have an additional printed circuit board,

  • or daughter-board that holds the microUSB port,

  • and a multicolor LED with a set of plastic pieces

  • that guide and disperse the light

  • in order to illuminate the controller's triangular light.

  • That's pretty much it for the components.

  • Have you figured out where this metal disk is located?

  • If you haven't, here's a hint:

  • there are 4 of them in every controller.

  • Let's move on and see how the buttons work.

  • For each button on this PlayStation 4 controller,

  • there are 3 partsThe plastic front face,

  • the rubber button gasket with a conductive bottom,

  • and the flexible plastic contact board.

  • On the contact board are a set

  • of intricate wires or traces protected by insulating plastic,

  • similar to the wires that run through the printed circuit board.

  • Below each button is a gap in the wire

  • that breaks the path of electricity.

  • When a button is pressed,

  • the conductive pad on the bottom of the rubber button gasket presses

  • against the contact board, and the gap is bridged,

  • thereby closing the circuit,

  • and allowing electricity to run through the traces.

  • When you let your finger off the button,

  • the shape and design of the rubber gasket

  • pulls the conductive bridge away from the gap,

  • and the circuit is broken.

  • It may look complicated, but it's a simple circuit that just gets completed

  • It may look complicated, but it's a simple circuit that just gets completed

  • or closed when you press a button and becomes incomplete

  • or opens when the button lifts up.

  • Other push buttons use similar setups,

  • but with different materials and constructions.

  • This concept applies to all the buttons

  • except the L2 and R2 triggers.

  • Instead of having a gap that gets bridged,

  • these two buttons use  pressure sensitive resistors.

  • When the L2 or R2 trigger is pressed, the rubber button gasket

  • applies a force to the pressure sensitive resistor

  • and the change in resistance is measured by the microcontroller.

  • Details on how this works are included

  • in the Creator's Comments.

  • Let's move on and explore the analog sticks.

  • These analog sticks are solder-mounted

  • to the printed circuit board,

  • and each one has almost a dozen different parts inside.

  • On top we have the rubber thumb pad

  • and the plastic joystick shaft below it.

  • Next, we have a metal housing

  • that limits the movement of the joystick.

  • Inside the metal housing are a pair of plastic

  • brackets that are perpendicular

  • to one another called followers.

  • The function of these following brackets

  • is to change the up down left and right movements

  • of the analog stick into a small rotation over here.

  • Each of these brackets is attached to a potentiometer whose function

  • in this application is to measure rotation.

  • If you push the analog stick to the bottom right,

  • these two brackets will rotate, which in turn will rotate the center

  • of these two potentiometers.

  • Let's open one of the potentiometers to see how it works

  • Voila!

  • Inside we find that small metal piece we've been talking about

  • and it's called a wiper.

  • On this side we have a plastic housing

  • which contains electrically resistive material

  • printed in a set of two circles on the inside called a track.

  • The key concept is that electrical resistance

  • is proportional to the length of the resistive material,

  • so if we are able to vary the length of the

  • electrically resistive material, we can vary the overall resistance,

  • which the microcontroller can easily measure.

  • So, when we rotate the wiper, the position where the wiper

  • contacts the track changes, and thus changes the effective length

  • of the resistive material that electricity flows through.

  • Let's follow the path of electricity.

  • We can see that this metal disk, or wiper, is rotated

  • by the following bracket. The wiper contacts the track

  • in different locations than before, thus changing the distance along

  • which the electricity passes through the resistive track,

  • thereby changing the overall resistance.

  • The wiper is specially designed so that

  • the metal is bent to continuously press against the track

  • at an exact set of locations.

  • This allows for precise measurement of movements of the joystick,

  • which is critical for any eSports or similar video game.

  • Furthermore, we can see that for clockwise

  • and counterclockwise rotation of the potentiometer

  • we use a set of three terminals.

  • One connects to the wiper, and the other two connect to each

  • side of the track for measuring left and right or up and down motions.

  • There are similar setups in each of the 4 potentiometers.

  • In addition, below the analog stick

  • is a small assembly that presses on a push button when the analog

  • stick is pressed inFinally, there is a spring

  • that returns the analog stick to the center

  • of the metal bracket and returns the analog stick

  • to its un-pressed state.

  • That wraps this episode up!

  • By the way, this type of construction

  • is similar to other video game controllers,

  • however of course there is considerable

  • variation in layout and design.

  • Thanks for watchingComment below with any questions

  • or thoughts you may have.

  • Furthermore, we added the creator's comments

  • to the English Canadian subtitles,

  • if you're curious for more details, along with an additional puzzle,

  • we recommend you check it out.

  • Additionally, if you want to explore and

  • use these 3D models of a video game controller

  • you can purchase them on Blender Market

  • using the link in the description.

  • We'd like to thank our Patreon Supporters

  • and YouTube Membership Supporters

  • for helping in our goal of exploring

  • complex engineering concepts!

  • If you want to help this channel,

  • subscribe, like this video and share it with others.

  • Thanks for watching,

  • and remember to consider the conceptual simplicity,

  • yet structural complexity

  • in the world around you!

Exploring Video Game Controllers. By: Branch Education / Teddy Tablante

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B1 US controller analog circuit button video game circuit board

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