Fixed Dreamcast Gun/Controller Unplugged Message

Posted on September 12th, 2013 by JMT.
Categories: Articles.

My totally awesome handgun shaped 3rd party (probably illegal) Dreamcast light gun was giving me the “controller not plugged in” message all the time. Tugging on the cable seemed to be related.

I opened it up, expecting to find a break on one of the connector pins soldered to the board. But that didn’t seem to be the cause.

I ended up pinching all the wires while it was plugged in to see if I could find a spot that was causing it to go “unplugged” and back. It seemed that pinching the controller cable itself caused it, so I assumed there was a break somewhere in the cable.

Not surprisingly the break turned out to be right under a tight plastic tiedown cable that was being used to prevent the cable from being pulled out from the bottom hole. There wasn’t any traditional strain relief, just a plastic tiedown cable.

I didin’t find the actual break, but there was an obvious crink in the yellow wire right under the tiedown, and it seemed extra flexible there. So I just cut it at that point and then stripped both ends. Then I soldered to two ends together.

And viola, the gun now reports connected all the time with no issues.

Dreamcast gun fix
Dreamcast gun fix

Unfortunately it doesn’t help the fact that for whatever reason, Dreamcast light guns are the worst light guns ever made. My NES Zapper and Master System Phaser will work on any CRT TV, in any lighting conditions, with any picture control settings, from 10 feet away, perfect every time. But Dreamcast guns will only hit about 2/3rds of the center of the screen if your lucky only with a TV made before 1985 with the picture controls cranked all the way up to 11 and if you stand 2 inches from the screen and it’s a full moon.

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