Guitar Hero Yellow Cymbal broken

Disassembling the yellow cymbal

That’s it..  My yellow cymbal is forever broken.

I noticed the other day that hits weren’t registering very well.  When playing, Miss 8 said, “Dad, I have to hit it REALLLLLY hard to get it to work!”

So I experimented and found that if I hit the cymbal in a particular direction (along the edge), then it would register as a hit more reliably.  Maybe 40% of the time.   But if I hit it straight on, then it didn’t register at all.

So, I plugged in the MIDI cable to my M-Audio Firewire 410, brought up the Drum Tuning kit and changed the sensitivity – but to no success.

I then unscrewed the cymbal, and did the sticky tape, and then the piece of cardboard trick.  No success.

I tried tapping on the piezo electric sensor itself.  No success.

I resoldered the wires.  No success.

I replaced the wires with new ones from Dick Smith and soldered them straight onto the jack connector thingy on the PCB board.   No success.

If I swap the good cymbal (the orange one) to the left hand side, it works – so I know it’s not the actual drum frame or jack at all.

So, I’m now really thinking that the actual piezo sensor is stuffed.  That’s the round thing that the wires are soldered onto.  From my research, it seems that it’s just some sensor that transmits a signal when it detects vibration (due to something inside it squashing up minutely with each vibration).  If I could buy a new one of those, then I think I could fix the cymbal.  But where do you get one?  I might try Jaycar in Perth, but I doubt you can buy single ones of the internet.  You probably have to buy in bulk.

I decided to turn to eBay.  Surprisingly, there are eBay sellers that sell single working cymbals for the Guitar Hero drumkit!  Problem solved!

I’m now just waiting for mine to turn up from the US which should take about 10 working days.

In the mean time, I’ve just swapped the orange with the yellow, and am playing Rockband instead, since it doesn’t need the 5th drum!

[Update 7/Oct/09]

My new yellow cymbal has arrived!   Read more here:

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