I’m not sure how clear the picture is, but the small black dot above the ‘X’ button is a dead ant.
Yes, an ant.
Yesterday, I discovered several ants on the desk where this controller, my laptop/tablet hybrid, and my USB keyboard and mouse are. I had no idea what they were after. There is no food on my desk, but at other times the ants have gone into my hybrid’s keyboard, eaten rubbers in the house, and occasionally one or two just roam around the desk. AFter inspecting the few rubbers on my desk, and looking at the two keyboards, I saw a lot of ants under the controller I’d just picked up. Upon closer inspection, and to my horror, I discovered a lot of ants swarming inside the controller.
I took it outside, and while some ants would occasionally move out through one of the buttons, I needed to get them out quick. I got a screwdriver and undid the screws on the back of the controller, and separated the back and the front.
The L2 and R2 buttons came off, as did L1 and L2, but I figured this was normal, and that they would only connect with both halves. After getting an insect spray, an spraying around the controller (and once carelessly spraying the controller’s motherboard) all the ants (save for the one dead one in the first picture) were out. Now I just had to put it back together. After putting the L and R buttons back in place and rescrewing the controller, I opened antimicro (mapping software for controllers, which is handy for use with PS3 controllers or games with poor or no native gamepad support) and slowly worked my way through buttons, to make sure nothing (such as wires) had been eaten by the ants. Everything worked…except L2 and R2.
I left it there and checked the controller once again in the morning (it probably wasn’t the smartest idea leaving it out with rain as well, but I don’t think it got wet) and compared it to the other one (the only reason I bought this cheap, 3rd party PS3 controller was because it was part of a “two for” deal) and found that the wires that connected the L2 and R2 buttons to the motherboard had snapped off.
In the picture above, that piece of board with the ‘2’ on it sits behind the R2 button, and the wires next to it (the clear-ish ones) are supposed to connect to the two dots below the ‘2’. The thing is, they were soldered on, and snapped off when I pulled the back casing off. While I could attempt to fix it, it’s probably cheaper and easier for me to buy a new controller. And I’ve learnt my lesson. This time, I’m buying a wired Xbox 360 controller. I’m so over mapping my own stuff.
As for how many ants were in the controller, this is a wide picture:
Clicking on the picture for a bigger version should work, and all the tiny black objects on the table are actually ants. I think there had to have been at least 50 in there.
So, if you’re looking for some creative ideas for your old, broken controller, take out all the electronics, seal up the buttons with something son the ants can’t escape, and create your very own ant farm.