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PS5 DualSense teardown reveals potential causes of drift issues



IFixIt’s new DualSense controller teardown video reveals the underlying cause of drift issues encountered by some PS5 owners. The IFixIt video you can watch here illustrates how DualSense combines “off-the-shelf joystick hardware with a long history of predictable, preventable problems.”

These joystick modules are produced by a company called ALPS and have been used by other controllers, such as PS4’s DualShock 4, Xbox One and Xbox Elite controllers, and Nintendo Switch Pro controllers.The service life of the specific model used in DualSense controller RKJXV is 2 million cycles, while the service life of the center push function is about 500,000 cycles.

IFixIt mentioned that although this number may vary greatly depending on how often you play games and the type of games you play, the life span of these parts may exceed 400 hours. This “back of the napkin”

; is based on the Call of Duty game by IFixIt employees.

However, this assumes that there is no drift problem before this. Like the Nintendo Switch, DualSense drift issues have emerged, and a lawsuit has been filed against Sony for these issues.

However, IFixIt mentioned that ALPS is most likely not to blame for these drift issues, and “may not be the bad guy in this story.”In fact, the main cause of drift seems to be related to the potentiometer, which helps to sense the type of action the player is trying to accomplish.

There are two mutually perpendicular potentiometers in each joystick, which measure up, down, left, and right.

The potentiometer is a three-terminal system that uses voltage to measure the position of the joystick. The third terminal (called the wiper) slides around a semicircular track. When you move the joystick, the position of the wiper-relative to the neutral center position-allows the controller to know where and how you want to move.

There are two other parts that can cause problems. One is a spring, which returns the joystick to a centered neutral position; the other is a spring that allows the finger to be pushed in.Over time, the spring will stretch and create a new neutral position in the eccentric position. This makes the potentiometer think that your thumb is moving the joystick, even if you are not moving, it will cause drift.

Contaminants and impurities can also cause drift because they change the voltage and cause false readings between terminals. It ranges from plastic dust to parts that are ground together to external elements such as food or beverages.

IFixIt provides some solutions, including removing the potentiometer housing and cleaning or replacing the wiper. Some of the more advanced options include soldering. If you want to try, there are many YouTube videos on how to solder.

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