The NeoGeo CD Pad is great, but a little flawed. The d-pad switches for the directions sometimes get clogged up and need cleaning out. There’s already a guide on how to do that at GamesX. I’ve repaired two pads using that method now, I also clean the back of the metal disc with a fibreglass pencil to clean it up.
I recently got a pad that didn’t respond well to cleaning so thought I would track down some new tactile switches to replace the original ones. I couldn’t find any the same size, so worked at adapting some smaller ones.
How do you remove the casing? Well you have to remove the joystick/d-pad bit which is holding the board to the upper part of the case. Remove all the screws and take the bottom half of the casing away, then stick your fingers in 1, and then pull it upwards – 2. The pad should pop off now and not be damaged in any way or show any stress signs from being levered off.
Here you can see the various stages of me bending the the new switch legs, and then the first switch soldered into place.
That black switch above is actually too close to the centre, after I took this photo I heated the solder up again and moved the switch outwards a bit.
Then solder in all the remaining switches. Use the dots in the plastic casing as a guide to make sure all your switches are the same distance from the centre.
Test fit the upper part of the casing, it probably won’t fit now, you may need to trim off a bit of the inside (you should be able see I’ve trimmed some plastic out where the red squares are).
Carefully put all the springs and plastic bits back, I managed to use some bad language at this bit, as the whites bits insist on pinging off the springs and going missing!
Because the switches I used were smaller, it left a small gap. If you leave it how it is, when you push the d-pad it will push the whole switch backwards and it will be all sloppy. I filled the gap with small bits of plastic, cut to roughly the same size as the old switches. You may want to try different thicknesses until the pad feels right. If you can, make sure you test the diagonals, if you don’t get it quite right then you may find that it doesn’t quite press two switches at once – I had to put slightly thicker plastic behind my UP switch because I soldered it slightly out.
That’s pretty much it. I kept re-assembling the pad, testing it and trying different bits of plastic. The plastic I used is packaging from some memory card or something, the stuff that you really struggle to open up usually!