So like many here, I have a front projection system that I game on and also picked up a Wii on Sunday to end up disgusted at the 11' sensor bar cable and general lack of component cables. Good job Nintendo, way to keep up the shortsightedness. We're not all 12 years old playing on 19" combo dvd/tv's in our bedrooms. Anyway, I digress.
Stuck without a way to make the console work as I needed a 30' sensor bar connection and not seeing anyone else take the plunge yet, I snipped my sensor bar wire in order to splice in an extension.
The wire is 2 conductor stranded and very thin. There's white fabric shielding around the wires and a couple strands of white shielding wrapped up with the wires. The 2 conductor wires are twisted. So, I stripped the lines back and separated to the two wires. Again, they are very fine, thin strands. One is red and one is orange.
I cut a short segment of 24 gauge, 2 conductor wire I bought at Radio Shack, and proceeded to solder it in for testing. I figured no sense using a huge wire length just to verify if this works. The sensor bar wire doesn't take to solder too well. It was resistant to sticking. Finally, though, I got the solder to stick and went to test.
I just got failure. The system wouldn't respond to the controller at all. I did all kind of tweaking. Power cycles and so on, but nothing fixed it. I thought maybe I had a bad solder connection as I did it myself and it was difficult to hold the wires.
So, I cut that splice out and re-soldered a new one. This time my wife assisted to hold the wires together and get a better connection. I went to test that splice and again failure. I was getting some voltage readings on the exposed wire this time, but it was intermittent. When I did get a stable reading, I got 7.8 volts DC.
Again I tried power cycling and different placement. Still the sensor bar ignored the controller. Finally I gave up and went to lead my World of Warcraft raid.
After the raid, I figured I'd give it one more time before bed. This time IT WORKED!!! I really don't know what changed or what was different, but the system responded to the Wii remote like nothing had changed. It was quick, responsive, and accurate.
Tonight, I'm going to cut the splice out and put in a full 20' extension and run the line through my basement to my gear closet properly.
As far as why it went from not working to working, I'm still at a loss. The instructions say to connect the sensor bar before powering on the system, and I was connecting and unconnecting the bar earlier without always power cycling. I guess it has some load detection/fault handling electronics logic perhaps. I do have some bright lights that can shine into my living room as well, so I'm not sure if they played a part.
Anyway, splicing the cable does work. You can also buy replacement bars from Nintendo.com for $10, so if you're stuck like I am and don't want to wait for months until some 3rd party solution is released, you can fix it yourself.