47 thoughts on “turn a 2600 joystick into a PSP Battery Pack

  1. The application notes in the 7805 datasheet state you should use capacitors on the input and output sides of the regulator. Also, depending on the amount of current required by the PSP – it may be wise to attach a heatsink to the 7805. For battery powered applications – it may be a better idea to use an LM2940-5 regulator because it requires less input voltage than the 7805 (5.75 V compared to 7 V) and has built-in thermal overload protection.

  2. thanks for the comment forrest. we actually plan on adding more to this such as LEDs to show when it’s on, adding capacitors too, this is our first run with it…and yes, the 7805 does get VERY hot, so we’re kind of pondering how to rock a proper heatsink. it’s by no means entirely done, otherwise it wouldn’t be fun! thanks for your comments.

  3. this is just about as lame as all the other case mods seen here…Why don’t you make the Dream Cast into an external battery. Shit anything with a case can be opened and turned into a battery pack. It was cute with the altoids can and deck of cards. A little less cute with the pack of cigs. Where are all the quality hacks?

  4. If the joystick was functional for the psp, I could see it as usefull, but this is just a waste. Seriously, just get a project box, dowel, and black spray paint, and save the poor controller.
    (red dot sticker optional)

  5. The coolest part of this hack, I think, is the idea of using those high-capacity RC packs as easy-to-obtain rechargable power sources for whatever. I also agree with number 3 above. 2600 joysticks are hard to come by, and they don’t fit in your pocket well (is that your PSP battery pack or are you just happy to see me?). 2600 carts though… especially good ole’ Combat and Pac-Man… are fairly easy to get, and fit in your pocket as easily as the traditional altoids tin. If you do some carts though, remember kids, save the cartridge-door springs… they make great repair parts for broken Vectrex joysticks, if you’re lucky enough to have a Vec. Also, if that RC pack doesn’t fit in a 2600 cart, use a 5200 cart. Those are monster sized carts that you could use for…. hmmm… all sorts of projects… *brain starts thinking up things to do with this idea*

  6. Nice hack….I was thinking of doing a similar project but with lithium polymer batteries instead. This is the battery I want to use.
    2100 mAh, 2 cells (7.4V)
    Rating: 10-12C (21-25A) continuous, 16C (33A) burst
    Output: 7.4V Nominal, 2100mAh
    Dimension: 34mm x 98mm x 13mm (98gr)
    anyone see a problem with using this battery on this same type of setup?

  7. You know, the whole size thing does make this kinda usless. The real hack would be making a 2600 joystick to work with standard HID usb drivers and use it on an emulator (Goes off to see how to do that)

  8. Sorry, folks, but sticking something in a goofy case and calling it a hack is just dumb. There has been too much of that here. (An amplifier! In a dreamcast/mint box/etc!) Come on, If there are that few good hacks, how about changing it to hackamonth.com? Not trolling, but asking seriously.

  9. ok, I know it is in the spirit of hacking and all, but I can’t really see why you would do something like this. Not only did you destroy a 2600 controller, but you can’t even fit it in your pocket.

    Hardware hacking is great, but at some point, you have to draw the line and realize what you are doing has no practical application.

    Look at this:


    It is smaller and lighter than your device, is 3600 mA, and is only $20.

  10. 2 questions:
    – why use a 1600 maH pack? The PSP battery is 1800 maH, your pack will have a shorter run-time than the stock battery, no?
    – why convert to 5v? The PSP battery is rated at 3.6v, isn’t the additional voltage bad for the device?

  11. I agree with everyone else… Could this thing be any more cumbersome? Why not lose the upright joystick piece, cover the hole, and extend the wire so that you can keep in your bag? It serves no purpose, why leave it in?

  12. since when was soldering a few leads to one component a hack? c’mon, you gotta admit, that is pretty pathetic. and i do get tired of seeing cde constantly defending the relocation of equipment as hack.

    you have some pretty damn cool hacks, which is why i keep coming back. but there is nothing hackish, and more importantly, interesting, about putting a battery or an amp in a box. i put electronic equipment in different places all the time. hell, i’ve got a stereo that been put under my bed. it even has some soldered leads on it. but i doubt you would find it as captivating as a homebrew mobile-rotary phone, or a handheld atari 2600.

    yeah, tis harsh, but its just a bit of a disapointment checking my hack for the day, and finding another battery or amp in some sort of box.

  13. phil, I would prefer to make one then buy one. It always ends up being cheaper and better like that.

    And odders, I do get tired of people complaing about free concentrated information, no matter how useless they think it might be. Besides, where do you see me defending this hack? I did say it was pretty useless because of the size. While you might not find something like the cMoy a hack that doesn’t mean others don’t, or that it isn’t. I mean, I haven’t seen your name in any hack, regardless of how mundane or useless it is. Hackaday is all about showing funny/amusing stuff that people can recreate, reproduce, or top, even if its pointless or cost more then buying a commercial product. Hacks are more about just cause then have a meaningful purpose.

  14. THIS IS NOT A HACK. it is shoving a not very well made battery into a completely useless(not to mention bulky to the point of stupidity)case,destroying the original peice of hardware in the process-a hack adds to or changes the fuctionality of a piece of hardware/software. the only thing remotely useful here is the battery pack,and that belongs on a noob electronics site. i said it before,and i’ll say it again-if you can’t live up to “a hack a day” then don’t bother. posting this crap isn’t fooling anyone,and it just takes away from what used to be a really great site.

  15. …or an original Game Boy shell could be hollowed out to hold a nice LIon battery setup, and be somewhat flat and rugged to boot.
    Put a picture in the screen area to block the innards, or not, depending on how into showing off your work you are!

    Yeah, there are LOTS of areas one could go into to get a nice battery pack housing that could be retro and funtional at the same time.

    If nothing else this project has sparked some lively discussion, and has gotten folks thinking.
    Nothing wrong with a little of that.

  16. I figured out how to make the atari 2600 control work with usb HID standards. You get a el cheapo usb game control that uses HID standards, and you take it apart, soldering the analog connections of the 2600 to the corresponding ins to the el cheapo’s usb encoder. 10 dollar hack, at most. Same thing gets done with Saturn to usb, dreamcast to usb * controler to usb type thing.

  17. Using a linear voltage regulator such as the 7805 wastes a lot of battery power through dissipation (it is only about 50% efficient, the rest is wasted as heat). You might want to consider a switched mode regulator, which are over 90% efficient. It will save you a heat sink as well. This site has a decent explanation.


    And to get into the discussion, I too come here for the more inventive hacks that use more than a few components, but if ‘hacks’ like these give the newbies an incentive to buy a soldering iron and maybe tickle their interest in electronics, I will gladly ignore the posts that aren’t of interest to me.
    – David on4bds

  18. This is just for those who want to use this for a psp battery.

    4 nimh rechargable batteries in series provide a peak voltage around 5.4 volts. during their power discharge curve, they tend to level out around 4.8 volts, and when they start to run out of juice (roughly less than 10%) their voltage starts to fall rapidly around 4.65 volts. Of course, these values will be different depending on the brand of battery.

    The psp power supply I have outputs 5.4 volts, so the rechargable batteries should not overvoltage the psp, and using an adjustable power supply, the psp will continue to work (without the internal battery) until the voltage drops to about 4.65 volts.

    So, now I am going to simply plug 4 batteries (nimh) to the psp power input. I figure it should work, and from my estimates, it should last as long a the standard internal battery. to keep currents low I plan to use this as a supliment to a fully charged psp internal battery.

    On a side note: Usb specs state that a usb port will need to provide 5 volts within a range of 4.75 to 5.25. any usb device worth working with should be able to hande this range also, to it should give you some margin of freedom to play with. I hope this tidbit helps.

  19. This is neat, I admit. Cumbersome as well.
    I have a much better idea.
    I designed a power supply that uses no chemicals, no moving parts. Not rechargeable.
    Lasts for 3-5 years depending on work load.
    I’m currently in negotiations with certain electronics manufacturers and hope to see the alkaline and lithium battery markets slowly die over the next five years. *grin*

  20. i think that an easier way to do this would be to just get a higher capacity batter pack rated at the 3.6 volts that the psp operates on when it is powered by the battery. The only thing would be to figure out a way to modify the contacts and all to connect the battery to the psp. Another thing would be exactly where to put it. A larger battery obviously will not fit in the cavity provided by sony.

    Another method would be to get a battery that has a voltage rating of the charger and then wire it to where you can just plus a lead into where the charger usually goes. Also lets not forget a method to actually charge the larger battery pack. Anyone have any ideas how to actually do this?? Also where can you find large capacity 5v batteries??

  21. I just posted and i am looking into making an external battery pack. I have never done this but this is what i plan to do. I am going to get a 2000MaH 9.6 volt battery. Then step the voltage down to 5 volts that way i can plug it into the PSP’s recharging port. I need help as to actually how to do the wiring correctly. How does the voltage regulator get installed? Does it connect directly off the leads of the battery? Any help on this would be most appreciated! I tried looking at the pictures, but unfortunately they are to small to reveal much detail…

  22. i created my own battery pack using an old sony ericsson cell phone car charger. it outputs the 5v needed and is pretty flexible on the required input voltage. i replaced the connector to the cell phone with the 5v plug needed by the psp. i got a battery pack that uses 8 aa nimh batteries hooked in series (8*1.2=9.6v), and soldered a plug to the input of the charger. it works like a charm.

  23. Dude! You people are nuts, This is so a hack. And about the pack voltage being higher than the psp’s, thats cause its a CHARGER, it charges the internal batts, extended playtime is just another bonus. Mkaes me wonder if you could make it into a more practical shape though, like an nes controller. Cool idea though.

  24. I do not think that the point was the fact that he could get a battery to fit into an atari 2600 joystick. The point I feel is that he took the initiative to try to find other options in the PSP short battery life battle. Think about how much this mod cost as opposed to how much another PSP battery would cost. The point I feel of this mod was to get people thinking of other things that they could home build and use. So in a sense I feel that this mod has a practical application…just maybe not in the package that he put it into. For instance would anyone have thought of the 2600 cart battery pack idea if someone had not created an impractical 2600 joystick one. Sometimes impractical things are a good way of getting people to think practically. And as he said this was a first run.

  25. Hey all of you guys!!
    Thanks a lot. All your arguments really solved one of my biggest problems. I had to install one of my motherboards to my robot. but the board when connected to the 9V dc supply from the battery, exhausted the battery in minutes.
    I guess the way to save power loss would be to replace the 7805 with a switching voltage regulator or better still a direct 5V power supply to my controller. Anyway i think i can figure out a way now. Thanks!!

  26. Oook over the datasheets for the LM3622 Li-Ion charger, and the LM2621 switching regulator. These chips are available from National Semiconductor at http://www.national.com. String the charger output to the Li-Ion battery, and the power supply inputs to the battery pack. The reference designs should work.

  27. I could see this working if the cord was a few feet long and the user carries a backpack with them all the time. Still not a PSP hack, though. If anything, you are hacking the Atari controller to do something that has absolutely nothing to do with its original intended use. It is also a waste of the controller, you could just as easily use something less bulky and less valuable like a deck box or something of that nature.

  28. i like this building, it just shows how creative
    brains can be, this is cool, phreaky and crazy,
    just saying it is stupid is lame, it is not only
    a hardware hack, it is a mindhack, the psp is a
    playstation and the cool retro joystick is from
    a playstation, so “old” meets new, i like this
    stuff – it is a phreaky original, this is creative

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