Monday, July 16, 2007

Wii Sensor Bar Repair

A lot of people seem to be making it to my blog looking for how to fix a Wii sensor bar wire. I'll quickly run through the steps to do so. The important part is to burn away the insulation that coats each conductor inside of the cable.

  1. Cut the cable at the point of the break, making a clean cut on each side.
  2. Carefully strip ~3 cm of the outside jacket from each side of the cable.
  3. Remove the paper and expose the two inner wires.
  4. (the important part) The two inner wires are coated with their own insulators. Burn away .5 cm of the insulation with a lighter or match.
  5. (optional) Place a bit of shrink tube on one side of the cable. You'll need this later to tidy up your fix.
  6. Solder the two wires on each side of the break to each other.
  7. Wrap the soldered points in a bit of electrical tape to prevent a short.
  8. Slide the optional shrink tube over the soldered area and heat with a heat gun or blow dryer.
  9. Done!

99 comments:

daedal said...

I know this is a fairly old post, but thanks for the instructions. I was able to reconnect my severed cable after my cat ate through it and it works great.

Neur0 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neur0 said...

My kitten ate it too. I was desperate since there is no nintendo replacement for sensor bar. I tried to fix many times (before reading your tutorial) tieing 2 wires but no luck since i couldn't figure out that wires had an insulation. Burned and now it works perfectly. Thanks !

Anonymous said...

ditto to the kitten eating it..
Thank you and thank google for being able to find these instructions!

AslanZaphod said...

Ditto again on the kitten damage. Cheers also to Google on making this, what would appear to be a one-off search, VERY easy to find! Cheers

Andrew said...

My cat chewed through mine as well...! It must taste like Frisky's...

I already tried to solder it but didn't realize it was insulated with some sort of polymer. Thanks for that tip, going to try it again!

Michael said...

Yet again: Kitty vs. Sensorbar. Yr Sensorbarwire has a flavor... it tastez like cookies ;-)

Will try this fix tonight, thanks for posting it.

Steven said...

yeah, my kitten also pwned my sensor bar wire. good info

Anonymous said...

Thanks tonnes man, this totally saved my day!

As a DIY guide from someone w/o a soldering iron on hand:

* After burning the tips insulation off strip the ends with your fingernails until the tip is no longer black, but instead gold (and very, very frail :p)

* Instead of soldering the ends together, place the frayed edges from one end over the other (interwinding them as much as possible) then twist them right together. Then clamp it down with something.
I considered using a paperclip or keyring-ring, but those would both conduct electricity and it would be hard to separate them - I used a cable tie, and slipped the twisted end into the little hole in the cable tie, then shoved a tie's pointy end in to keep it tight.

Works a charm!
(but boy is it dodgy... )

Joolz said...

Thank you so much! It's Christmas Day, I'd been looking forward to playing on my Wii, and it was all ready and set up to go - but then we found that one of our three cheeky kittens must have found it way too tempting and had a good chew in two places. I thought all was lost until we found your instructions!

Anonymous said...

those damn kittys. I think its a conspiracy. We were getting ready for a night of Mario Galaxy, and found our sensor cable severed by the little beast.

Anonymous said...

my sensor stop showing the hand to chose what to do how do i fix the sensor so that i can use the hand to chose things again

Anonymous said...

My dog eat my cable for a change!


but i bet it's becasue I don't ahve a kitty :-)

Thansk for info

Lukus said...

Mine was a ferret attack. Why do they make them taste like chicken?

Harpastum said...

Great post! I've been using christmas lights for the last couple months, it's great to be able to get back to the real thing.

I didn't want to go drag out my soldering equipment from the basement, so i just burned off the insulation, wound the wires together, and then secured them with electrical tape. Works like a charm.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info! My wire was also eaten by my kitten (along with the wires to various other electronics!). And to think- I got a kitten b/c I didn't want a puppy chewing on everything.

Anonymous said...

i know this is an old post but.... freakin kittys and theyre chewing ways....
going to test this out tonight... thnx for the know how...

Doug said...

this worked for me about 50% - i can now navigate, but the hand is shakey and sometimes jumps from one part of the TV screen to another.
I have re-done this twice, making sure i burned both the red and copper wire and twisted them together separately.. anyone else have this problem?

Tim said...

Have you tried checking your sensor bar with a video camera without an IR filter (like a cellphone camera)? You should see solid LEDs that don't blink. If you see any flickering, then you have a connection issue in your sensorbar wire. If not, the problem lies somewhere else.

magwitch said...

Cheers for that, my accursed vacuum cleaner broke my wire! I didn't realise the wires were not exposed! Back to Sonic again.

Anonymous said...

this is the smartest blog EVER!!!! We were moving my room around and the cord snapped! Thanks to this blog kirby and I will meet again and I saved $20!

Berto said...

My kitten decimated the cord, eating it in five different places. Thanks a lot for posting this!

Anonymous said...

My rabbit chewed thru my cord. Was up doc?

Anonymous said...

Kitten too...

TK421 said...

Can't tell you how much I owe you for posting that. I was so frustrated when my dog had chewed through that cord. It's now about 4 feet shorter, but 6' still works for my setup, fortunately.

Thanks again, this really works!

Anonymous said...

Unlike all of your cats my cat is a good cat...my sensor bar was damaged when my dad vacuumed it and got it jammed in the vacuum...thanks for the fix I had tried everything else including the candles but nothing until this...thanx!!!

Brian said...

thanks for the info on repairing the wii sensor wire, our rabbit cut through our wire... and the video scart... and the satellite scart...
Brian :)

Anonymous said...

Nintendo must have coated the cables in catnip to make some money of the cheap Wii units...

I did not mange to repair my cable so I'll buy a wireless one instead.

Marwan said...

I'd like to thank you so much! I just bought my wii from someone and the only reason it actually worked without the sensor bar is because i had strong light in the room, which also emits infrared rays. I discovered that the sensor bar's wires were incorrectly joined (apparently it got cut or something).

Anonymous said...

Thanx sure did help me to get along with my kitty

Anonymous said...

No Cats,Kittens,or Dogs. I snipped it when I was putting cable ties on all my wires behind the TV. Fixed it with the BURN secret.I also found if you set 2 candles on top of the TV about a foot apart it will also work as a sensor. Make sure you have batteries in your smoke alarms! Thanx for the info! Stevie Lee

James said...

Cats!

Anonymous said...

Does nintendo make it's wires tuna flavoured? cause I have to get this fixed before my gf gets home and kills my new kitten. Thanks a bunch

Ed said...

For those of you keeping score at hom add another point into the bunny column in the Bunnies vs Sensor Bar war.

Fix was a breeze thanks to these directions.

Paul said...

Oh I just made things 10 times worse...

I ended up buying a replacement from www.wiishop.com

Works perfectly!

Anonymous said...

Worked great for me as well.

Here's a tip I learned last week from a life long rabbit owner:

***rub a bar of soap on your cords***

This will make the cord taste/smell bad and your animals will stop chewing through them.

I used Dial and it's worked for me so far.

Anonymous said...

Mice!

Maybe I needed a cat to chew on the mice so the mice wouldn't chew on the cord.
(There's hole in the cord, dear Liza...)

Thomas Maher said...

Sensor bar VS vacuum cleaner.

putting the plastic shield back together was a heck of a challenge too, at least after finding where all the pieces went.
Great tip.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Darn Kitty (Malcolm) has just destroyed our wire :( returned home on Christmas Day and wasted 2 hours not being able to figure out why it wasn't working until we saw some suspicious chew marks. He is now banned from the living room. Do you know where we can buy a new bar (not wireless in the UK that would be open on boxing day) the wire has been taken to Dad the fixer but we are waiting to find out if it has worked, fingers crossed.........

Anonymous said...

It worked!!!!!!!!! Malcolm 0 Us 1.

jenny said...

Kitty strikes again! Will try this method. Thanks! And then we'll put a piece of thicker clear plastic tubing around the wire to cat-proof. (Slice the tubing lengthwise and insert the wii wire inside.) The soap bar will be great for our cell phone chargers. Thanks!

Srinivas Pandrangi said...

Excellent post. I just repaired my broken sensor wire and it is working fine now. Thanks a bunch !

Michael said...

Thanks for the instructions. Ours was a rabbit eating the cord.

I wanted to add some other details that weren't clear to me before I did the fix. This is for a non-soldering fix.

When you expose the wires, you'll see two intertwined wires, one red and one gold. Each wire is made up of many (10?) tiny wires twisted together. The two main wires are twisted around each other and also intertwined with a string and cloth layer.

I separated the gold wire strands from the red wire strands, and cleared away the cloth and string. It is a very thin insulation coating on the tiny wires that make up the red and gold bunches that you're burning off. It is not visible. When you burn the wires, they will catch fire and burn down quickly toward where the plastic is cut. Blow it out before it reaches the plastic. Then continue to heat the strands for a few more seconds. Keep track of which was the gold bunch and which was the red bunch, because the strands will turn black (and may even melt away a little). After heating, scrape the burned fibers gently between your finger/fingernail to clear off some of the soot. They will still be mostly black, but more brownish.

At this point you can twist the burned ends of the reds from one side with the burned ends of the reds from the other side, and same with the golds, but keeping the reds and golds apart. Put electric tape around each joined pair.

Anonymous said...

It was my chinchilla that got mine. I am only losing about a foot of my wire because he chewed in separate areas, but I am glad that all is not lost for my sensor bar (I am currently using a wireless one and I can't stand it).

Anonymous said...

Cat vs. sensor bar: 4 to nothing--cat. I think I'm going to take my cat's teeth out and just feed her pudding.

Camus said...

Thanks for the instructions! I'll try repairing it later...

I'm laughing so hard... I believed that my situation was weird... but it seems that many people had their sensor bar fucked up by their cats...

Yeah, my cat ate through it, I almost wanted to kill her right then!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info. I too have cats that love this type of wire to chew on... This was a great help especially that part about burning the coating off of the two wires!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey it's fixed! Finally no more candles for playing Wii but only for romance :p.
Burning the tips of the wires and scraping the black with the fingernails made the difference. After that just tied the ends, wound simple tape around the red wire and it works like new again :)
Thanks a lot!

hayley said...

Thanks for the info:D
my rabbit love to chew cords:(
i was about to by a new sensor, thanks for helping me save a few bucks!!

BLG said...

Thank you so much!! Kittens + tiny wires = havoc!

This totally made my night after I discovered the cats I am watching ate my wire. Now I get to play punch out!!

Charlie said...

stupid cats! thanks for the help.

nightmare said...

i got 2 cats vs. 1 sensor bar...
yes the cats got another point.:(
but its fixed now:)
i think ill try the soap on the cord.

Anonymous said...

Husband vacuumed over my cable. I spliced it twice earlier tonight without success. Was going to order a new sensor bar and thought I'd check for comments and found these. Once I did, it was a 5 minute fix. I did the lighter trick, twisted the like wires together, and then used electrical tape. Hint: To keep the colors straight, I cut the red wires 1/8" shorter so once the colors were burned off, I could easily tell them apart. Worked like a charm.

rboina said...

Thank you guy. It was the first place that solved my problem. All the other places told the people to buy a new one...

Luke said...

nice one - thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, our sensor wire got eaten by a cat too. Thank god for this tutorial, I can continue to enjoy Wii :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out that extra insulation. Great post. I hope Wii starts putting thicker insulation over the cable.
2 siamese kittens still allowed in the den.

Tystyle said...

Funny As!!!!! My cat chewed through mine and when i read these posts i just cracked up!!!!! Glad im not the only one, had my wii 2 days, hope this works!!! Didn't realise you can't get replacements!!! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

why must nintendo make such a tasty kitty treat??? Thanks for the blog, would have never thought to burn off the coating.

Adnan said...

tsandhol, thanks for this. i just worked from ya idea and it worked for me. i have no soldering equipment... so i used tape to isolate the wires to keep from shorting.

thanks, man. and a wonderful new year to you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks so much. I didn't use anything but a lighter and some electric tape. Couldn't have done it without the tip.

alejandro said...

I have a problem.... my sensor bar is not working and the wire is perfectly fine... no nicks, or broken, it just stopped working "according to kids um hu" any way just need to know if any one can help with this.... thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

My cats have NEVER chewed a wire before, and they have lived with me for years!! They chewed thru my sensor wire in 4 places. I was angry until I found your site. Seems it's not just my cats!!

Anonymous said...

omg thank you so much !! this totally worked!!

MuradJ said...

Jeezus! Mine was eaten by a Guinea Pig, we must have the rodent food flavour cable, I should have got a dog food flavoured one... :]

Anonymous said...

hello,
same problem!!! I have five cats so I dont know which one did it....but anyways thanks for posting this info now I can enjoy a night of super Mario =)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the awesome work.

This sounds like a lot of work just to save 15 bucks on a new sensor though. For an all-thumbs like me who has no soldering iron. : )

But i was VERY glad to get this info so I knew whether I should attempt it or not, thank you!

Add another hash to the Rabbit column!

... this time I'll protect that tiny cord -- either electrical tape to cover the cord and tape it to the back of my TV cabinet, or the clear tubing suggested above (I happen to have some from Halloween), or the soap idea -- thanks for that, I'll use it on all my TV cords!

Anonymous said...

Tim - Its an age old problem passed down from generation to generation, it continues to this day in 2010, CATS!!!

Johan said...

Thank you very much for posting this! Tried to fix on my own. Nothing. Applied your procedure = worked immediately! By the way, in our case one of our house rabbits was the culprit ;o).

Thanks again!
Johan

Anonymous said...

I just stripped the wires back twisted the gold wire to the other gold wire and red to red then burnt a bit with a lighter taped them up cut off the white cotton and it works fine

Anonymous said...

Thanks, was able to fix the bar after the two kittens were done with it. Was trying befor reading on my own but did not know to burn the wires. Thanks again. Works perfect now.

Anonymous said...

I vacuumed ours....

candygirl25 said...

Thanks so much! My rabbit chewed through mine :)

Anonymous said...

Thank u sooooo much 4 this useful information! We wanted to play the wii over the festive season and due to my kids...yes my kids lol cutting the wire we thought we would have to buy a new one! Fantastic information! :-D xxx

Desguardia said...

I tried burning away the other stuff between the wires hoping that was keeping them from getting a solid connection, but it still doesn't work. Both wires are individually connected with full contact and nada.

Any other suggestions? (for rewiring only, not for alternative sensors.) Thanks

Anonymous said...

This works great!!! Now we can play Mario!!

Anonymous said...

thankyou for that info it did the trick i would never thought of burning the insulation off i was going at it with a sharp knife (that didn't work) thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe that I googled "cat ate my Wii and this came up! I had already ordered a refurbished sensor bar from Nintendo, but will keep this for next time

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank YOU! It was your tip about burning off the insulation that saved me having to buy a new one!!!

Anonymous said...

Give another point to the bunny category. She was quick too, we were using the wii and left the room to get something to eat came back and it was chewed through. I like the bar of soap idea, for my bigger electronic wires I had been encasing them in 3/8" x 1/4" id polymer tubing but hadn't had a chance to encase the smaller wires. Thought the wires were safe because we usually are diligent about not letting the bunny behind the TV.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post!!! I was bunny sitting back in June and the bunny chewed through the wii remote and ds charger wires. I tried to splice but gave up and ordered cheap replacements off ebay for $10 bucks.

Now I'm bunny sitting a different bunny that went behind the tv and chewed the sensor bar wire. They must taste like carrots!!!! Didn't want to shell out more $$ and more importantly wait for a new one so I tried your tips and the kids are up and running again.

The trick for me was rubbing off the burnt insulation really well and snipping the burnt ends.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip, I think Rabbit ate the sensor wire

Anonymous said...

Seriously the best advice I've ever gotten online....now, back to Super Mario Bros =)

i5m said...

Another cat cause here, but fix worked perfectly, thanks!

Anonymous said...

My vacuum ate my wire but I'm back in business. thanks,

Nominals said...

Kitten ate mine here. This was a quick fix and worked like a charm. I too didn't solder anything like many other commenters here.

Lisa & Zachary said...

It's all part of Kitty Galore's evil global plot!!! THANK YOU, my son is now happily watching the rest of Spy Kids thru Netflix thru the Wii! The cat is also less likely to be exiled once my husband comes home. You are the secret weapon to foil kittycats everywhere!

By the way, I did the no soldering method but the burning of the wires and keeping them separate made all the difference.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is a lifesaver! I just set up the Wii for my son and his friend to play and was devastated when the cat bit through it in one bite! I thought I could solder it but there was that coating and a cloth like substance I wasn't sure about, you have given me the secret weapon! I will get Mommy of the year for this! Thanks!
P.S. cats are obviously evil and plot way to prevent us from having fun.

Gregx said...

Great post..had it fixed in 3 minutes..once you burn off the insulator off the copper and silver wire..just spece them bk together..sand tape it all bk together running one set of wires one way, and the other set the other direction..avoide later shorts .

Anonymous said...

I ate mine and my cat fixed it... Great advise though..

Orn Kristjansson said...

Rabbits here as well, Thanks.

Simon said...

Hehe, thanks. Cat ate my cord as well... Was able to fix it thanks to your post, never thought about burning the plastic off, tried to strip it, but it never worked, thanks to your idea, the kids had a great evening ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks fa det ole advice.. It sholl work.. Preciate det.. Yall use this advice cuz trust me it works

jessie said...

Great guide, this is what worked for my sensor http://howtofixstuff.blogspot.ca/2013/08/how-to-fix-wii-sensor-bar.html

Anonymous said...

Ha -- there's a mouse living behind the TV which we can't catch -- I see his little bite marks along the cord. thx for the fix.

I am Jenifer said...

Let me just start by saying, I love you. Lol. Worked like a charm. You just saved my wii. It was another victim of the imfamous kitten attack. :-)

Denni said...

This saved me! thanks so much! vacuum not cat. :D

Anonymous said...

Man! It's 2014 and I just solved my Wii sensor bar with your help. Seven years later... Thank you! Worked like a charm

Henry Jon said...

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