TE Mod Series – From Rags to Bitchings

The process of modding my TE stick has become a fairly frustrating one.  When detailing the parts in my previous post, I spoke of how my ordered assembled chimp arrived at my house as a non-assembled mess.  I should have known right then and there that it was only the start of my problems.  I intentionally waited on throwing this rant up here, because I wanted to see what sort of customer service I was going to experience first.  Everyone’s human, and everyone makes mistakes.  I wanted to see how these places were going to handle it.

After the ordering snafu with lizard lick, which my laziness has yet to do anything about, I encountered some real problems getting the dual mod to take.  After about 7 hours of assembly, soldering, testing, de-soldering, re-soldering, and more testing, I had decided to throw in the towel.  My TE stick was working perfectly fine on the 360, but coming up with a “USB device not recognized” error on the PS3.  Dual modding to get it working on only the system it originally worked on seemed like quite the waste of money to me, so I decided to hunt some online.

I found a page on SRK that seemed to be dedicated to the Cthulhu and Chimp boards (you can specifically see my conversation on pages 141-144).  Toodles, the manufacturer of the boards, was present in the thread and helping people.  As it stood, another person right around the same time in the thread was having the same issue.  The issue sounds like a bad or incorrectly programmed chip.  This explanation sounded completely believable to me, because of the pass-through nature of the USB->Chimp->360 PCB->Buttons wiring setup.  As of the time of writing this, Toodles has my contact information and is sending me a replacement chip for free.  I also acquired a second Chimp board last night (completely unrelated), so I can test/borrow with the chip from that even earlier than the arrival of Toodles’ replacement.

I came home last night to a nice package on my doorstep that included the custom laser etched plexi.  I was giddy with excitement, only to find my hopes completely crushed with a third annoyance in the modding process.  The laser etching was absolutely beautiful.  However, there was a single problem with the order: some of my design was missing from the etching.  I was so frustrated, it was ridiculous.

I wrote an email to the contact information available on Art’s Hobbies website, where I had ordered the plexi from, and found myself rewriting it shortly after.  My first take at it, I’ll just say, was less than reasonable.  Somehow I found a way to wrap up 3 issues worth of frustration into one huge rant.  I rewrote it to still sound stern, but much more professional.  The amazing part was that I heard back from Arthur in mere hours, with a perfectly reasonable explanation and the promise of a replacement to ship within a day or two.  I’ve already gotten the notice that it’s en route, less than 24 hours later.

It finally feels like the project is getting back on track.  Monday I should have the front artwork printed out, and in theory, I should be able to get the dual mod working soon after I get home today.  When things start becoming more successful, I’ll post again.  Check back, hopefully it won’t be very long.

The author Scott, spends too much time talking about games, and not enough time playing them.

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