Taking apart a Guitar Hero controller starts with the removal of the neck via a release latch on the back. (#2)
Leaving two separate pieces. The Neck and the Body (#3)
The neck opens up via 11 Torx screws on the back of the piece and easily separates to reveal the components inside. (#4)
The electronic components and connector are then easily lifted out of the housing (#5+6) and contain circuit boards for the fret buttons, the fret slide, and the neck connector. More on these specific components later.
Access to the Body’s components necessitated prying up the printed fretboard panel (#8) to reveal the front of the injection molded piece. 16 Torx screws were removed (#9) to open the case and gain access to in innards (#10)
The interior electronics in the body consist of 7 separate circuit boards as well as the whammy bar components and a battery box. (#11)
Nearly all of the electronic components inside the guitar hero are small simple circuit boards that are connected via ribbon cables. Each board is focused on a specific task and method of interaction.
Starting from the top of the neck, the first board is the Fret Button Board (#12). It is a simple circuit closing board where the backs of the fret buttons touch down on the board to close a circuit.
The next board down the neck is the Fret Slider. (#13) and contains the not only the touch pad element but an IC chip as well (#14).
The Neck and body connect with two boards, one on the Neck (#15) and one in the Body (#16). The physical connection is done with a roughly USB sized plug (#17+18)
The Strumming Plate (#19+20) is next traveling down the guitar and is comprised of a circuit board containing just two spring loaded buttons which are pressed with strumming up or down on the guitars interface (#21+22).
The Start/Select controller, much like the Fret Buttons is an assembly of a circuit boar and contact buttons (#23+24)
A direct connection with the XBox is facilitated by the Controller Connector (#25+26+27)
A button to activate the wireless connection and an expansion port are contained on the Power Switch board (#28+29+30) The expansion port uses the R45 connector – similar to a standard telephone terminator.
The Whammy Bar mechanism is a dual-direction spring-loaded assembly that drives a potentiometer (#31+32+33)
The D-Pad controller, much like the fret buttons, is another simple circuit board (#34+35) with contact points which has a silicone contact pad and the physical d-pad interface laid on top of it (#36+37).
The Main Board contains the meat of the processing components (#38+39) and is the hub connecting all of the other boards within the entire controller (#40+41).
The Majority of the Integrated Circuits on this board appear to be microsoft / xbox custom chips (#42+43+44) but also includes a 7318 KRAAC (#45)
Nebraska born and bi-coastal grown industrial designer. I consider myself to be insatiably inquisitive. Founded Superhappybunny while living at the artist community called “The Brewery” in Downtown Los Angeles. Years later relocated to San Francisco and eventually New York to work at fuseproject. Jumped at the opportunity to move back to Los Angeles as Sterling Brands launched a satellite studio there. After a few focused and hard working years I finally took a full mental sabbatical for 2+ years before jumping back into the thick of things with Grad School at SVA.
http://www.superhappybunny.com (OG studio site)
http://www.bartscience.com (personal portfolio site)