Maybe one of your pets has an irresistible attraction to chewing on cords, or maybe you accidentally broke the wire yourself. The wire that connects the Wii's sensor bar to the console is thin and easily broken, but you can repair it with some basic tools. Nintendo charges $10 for a replacement sensor bar. But there's no need to buy another one. If the damage is in the middle of the wire, you can fix it on your own.
Things You'll Need
- Wire stripper
- Heat shrink tubing
- Match or lighter
- Piece of cardboard
- Soldering iron
- Rosin core solder
- Electrical tape
- Hair dryer
Cut the cable with scissors on each side of the damaged area to make clean edges. Slide the heat shrink tubing onto one of the cut ends.
Strip away approximately 1 inch of the insulation on the outside of each end of the cut cable with the wire stripper to expose the two smaller wires inside. The inner wires have their own insulation, so use a lighter or match to burn away 1/2 inch of the inner wire insulation and expose the copper cable inside each wire.
Lay the two ends of the cut cable side by side on a piece of cardboard. You have two inner wires in each cable -- one orange and one red.
Twist the copper part of the orange inner wire on one end of the cut cable together with the copper part of the orange inner wire on the other end. Repeat for the red wire. This creates two bundles of joined inner wires.
Plug your soldering iron in and wait about 10 minutes for the tip to heat up. Touch the tip of the soldering iron with the end of the solder. If it's hot enough, the solder will melt and cover the tip of the soldering iron. If it doesn't melt, wait another minute or two.
Touch the solder-covered tip of the soldering iron to the first bundle of twisted wire. The solder will transfer to the wires, joining them together. Repeat for the other bundle. Do not allow the separate bundles of wire to touch one another.
Wrap the exposed part of the joined orange wires with a small piece of electrical tape so there's no possibility of a short. Do the same for the red wire.
Plug the sensor bar cable into the Wii and turn on the console and controller. If the pointer appears on the screen, the sensor bar is fixed. If the pointer does not appear, unplug the cable, remove the electrical tape, and add more solder to the bundles of wire.
Slide the heat shrink tubing over the gap in the insulation of the outer cable and heat it with a hair dryer. This keeps the wire from flexing at the weak point. The wire is now whole again.
Tips & Warnings
- Solder is sold in the form of cable wrapped around a spool. To repair the Wii sensor wire, you will need rosin core solder with a diameter between .75 and 1 mm.
- Soldering irons can cause fires or painful burns. Never leave one unattended or in an area where it could be encountered by children or pets.
- Photo Credit Wii image by Lidka from Fotolia.com
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