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My first post!

October 26, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

My very first post will unfortunately be a bit of a rant. I’m not really furious but rather disappointed. I recently got a really cheap Wii Nunchuck from Ebay. The listing had the following description:

100% brand new ;100% high quality.
Simple, Intuitive, Easy to Use.The Nunchuk controller is designed to work together with the Wii remote sold separately on the Wii console. Contoured to fit perfectly in your hand, the nunchuk adds extra buttons, an anologue joystick and additional motion-sensing control to expand your gameplay possibilities. Brand new, official Nintendo Brand, comes straight from the factory. Contoured to perfectly fit a player’s hand, the Nunchuk controller builds on the simplicity of the Wii Remote controller and goes an extra step to meet the needs of gamers. Used in conjunction with the Wii Remote controller. Connects to the Wii Remote controller at its expansion port

I had my doubts as the price was too cheap for the real thing. But I thought why not. It’s cheap even for an imitation nunchuck.

When the package arrived, I quickly unpacked it and WOW! It looked so authentic. If I didn’t already own two original nunchucks, I would have no idea that it was a fake. It’s that good! The only thing that might have given it away had I not own an original to compare it to was the connector end. I had to inspect real close just to notice some imperfections. However, Nintendo didn’t do a perfect job here either. So maybe the imitators were trying to imitate the imperfection and failed?

Apart from that, the joystick did feel significantly stiffer. However, since I’m comparing to seasoned nunchucks that hardly qualifies. I could swear that the buttons felt different, but it’s probably psychological. The thumb grip felt more err…latexy (is there even such a term?) and flexible.

Enough with the exterior, what’s inside? This is where the similarities end. The first thing to be noticed is the cable stress relief. The membrane switches were also different. Removing the thumb grips reveal that the joysticks are very different. The original has a little notch on one side of the stick for alignment of the thumb grip (not that it’s necessary).

The pcb is COMPLETELY different. The original had the accelerometer chip with what seems to be filter caps on the top side (the side with the joystick). On the other hand, the only component on the top side of the imitation is a huge (relatively) 16MHz crystal. A microcontroller is present on the reverse side of both boards but the one on the imitation is encapsulated with epoxy (I presume). There’s another encapsulated chip which I presume is the accelerometer and a third chip which I didn’t bother to investigate. I’m guessing the chips were encapsulated to conceal the part number? There’s also a huge (again relatively) mylar capacitor near the cables. You’ll also notice that the original only has 5 wires whereas the imitation has 6. It’s quite clear that the pcb of the imitation nunchuck is anything but elegant.

I haven’t done a thorough investigation of the digital data coming out of the nunchuck yet. From preliminary tests, I’ve found out that the imitation x-axis joystick data starts exactly at 0x80 but saturates when the stick is moved to the far left or far right. This means that pushing the stick further than a certain point will not result in faster or more movement (in your game for example).

I did contact the seller to notify him/her that the nunchuck was not an original. The seller however refused to admit that the nunchuck is an imitation and even insisted that he/she sold it to me at a lost. Pft! Yeah right! Anyways, I had no intention of getting a refund as sending the nunchuck back would cost me more than what I paid for it. I expected to get a fake for what I paid for but I’m really pissed at the seller for claiming the nunchuck was an original. And who does business at a loss?!! That’s just ridiculous! I think people wouldn’t mind paying a cheap price for an imitation, but claiming it as an original is just very dishonest. Remember, if you found a deal that’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Pretty lengthy for a first post no?

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  1. Yew Meng
    October 26, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Long indeed haha. You didn’t mention though which one in the pics are the fake one…

    • October 26, 2009 at 10:50 pm

      Imitation is on the left and original is on the right. You’ll see it in the description if you click on the thumbnails.

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