NES controller on a DS

nesds

You can get most of the old NES games for the DS, but they just don’t feel the same. Sure your hands still cramp up, but its just not the same cramp we remember. What is the solution? Put an old Nintendo Entertainment System controller on your DS.  [Parker] did exactly that. The method he used is fairly strait forward. He opened the DS, wired extensions onto the buttons he wanted to use to a controller. Instead of making it permanent though, he chose to wire it through the GBA slot. This allows him to plug the controller in whenever he wants to use it.  This reminds us of the PSP with a SNES controller we covered back in October.

You can see a video of it in action after the break. You’ll notice in the video, he has also modded his buttons to have LEDs behind them.

In the comments, [tri-edge] points out that you can follow his build in the acidmods forum. There seem to be some other variations as well, including an SNES controller.

13 thoughts on “NES controller on a DS

  1. The author submitted his blog. We prefer a nice blog writeup when possible. But its cool to see the progress and variations on those forums. I’ll update the post to add that link.

  2. It looks like he failed on compatibility, the buttons are wired to the GBA slot pins. Yep you guessed it, the game crashes every time he presses a button.

    I wonder if a pair of ATiny chips communicating over a 1-wire bus would be better? I am sure he could find a spare single pin not attached to the rom chip on the cartridge slot.

    I wonder if the output from the button controller is hackable, he could just mimic the output and transmit the values directly into the CPU.

    Cool, makes me want to hack :)

  3. So far the best I have come up with is this: http://www.bottledlight.com/ds/index.php/Hardware/Chips

    “Pxx = Pin? xx (goes to keys register, i.e. P00 is bit 0)

    * P00, P01, P02, P03, P04, P05, P06, P07, P08, P09 ”

    That is clearly just the raw pins, I wonder if there is a chip between the buttons and the main SOC that outputs the buttons on a bus-interface.

    It would be sick to do a 1-wire mod to the DS and use a chip only in the controller.

  4. @nubie

    its only gba games that crash, and im not even sure if it crashes on actual gba games, as i have only tested it on the ezflash 3in1

  5. I wouldnt mind seeing a commercial product that was a GBA Cart with a SNES/NES female plug adapter on the end (stickin out of course)

    ^ profitable

  6. I see that you misunderstand me,

    Note here: http://www.hardwarebook.info/Game_Pak

    The cartridge pins are fully utilized, so you are shorting the data pins directly when you do this.

    (do you understand how a rom chip functions?), a flash cart and a ROM cart function by necessity in the same manner, the data is transmitted along the same pins.

    This is interesting, but how hard would it have been to find a different connector to use?

    I suppose if all you do is play DS games and (illegal) roms then you don’t need the GBA port to function. Not smart mentioning how you sold all of the games and now have them illegally (you could have just said “this is my game collection”)

  7. Poor choice using pins and a connector that do other stuff. (?)
    Just use a tiny multi-pin connector of some kind and get that stuff away from there, problem solved.

    Straightforward hack otherwise.
    Pretty cool!

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