Bluetooth Super Nintendo controller for Android gaming

bluetooth_snes_controller

[Rich] needed to come up with a senior design project and decided to combine two things he loved: his Android phone and Super Nintendo.

While touchscreen phones are great, he felt that nothing beats the tactile feedback of a physical controller when it comes to gaming. He figured out how the controller’s signaling works, then wired it up to an Arduino Pro Mini 328. The Arduino interprets the SNES controller’s signals, sending them to his Android phone via a BlueSMiRF Bluetooth module.

He originally had all of the components crammed in a cardboard box, but much like we pointed out yesterday, he realized that a project really comes together when housed in a proper enclosure. He managed to squeeze all of his components into the SNES controller’s shell aside from the battery pack he used to power the remote. After a little bit of Bondo and a few coats of paint were applied, the controller is looking quite sharp.

Stick around to see a quick demo video of his controller in action, and check out this tutorial he put together explaining some of the principles he used to construct it.

Comments

  1. IceBrain says:

    Nice. The BT modem is a little expensive, but you could use the much cheaper Silver module – it’s not like you could play more than 50 feet away from your phone anyway ;)

    An N64 version would be excellent. I wonder if you could gut a Rumble Pack to serve as the transceiver; it already has a battery enclosure and it plugs into the pad. Hmm…

  2. tehgringe says:

    Snap! I was looking at dropping a IOIO inside a modded SNES controller case, and work the top section to allow the Android phone to dock in landscape mode.

    This is pretty decent but I still think I want the screen and controller combined in a single portable unit.

  3. bADitCH says:

    Would work great for the PC for playing those classics from the comfort of your couch!

  4. Hackerspacer says:

    Gah! Bondo a proper case does not make!

  5. GeneralSpecific says:

    “Gah! Bondo a proper case does not make!”

    have you ever been part of a senior design project? I’m amazed at some of the kludges teams get away with; given that they’re EEs and not MEs it’s understandable, but this guy made a decent enclosure here.

    well done!

  6. cpmike says:

    wow, i was planning to build one of these with almost the same hardware. using an RN41 bluetooth SPP module, a LiPo battery and an ATmega you should be able to cram it all in. havent gotten around to finishing it because i got myself a gamegripper http://www.game-gripper.com/ … nice to see somebody build almost exact vision and finish it

  7. Freddo Frog says:

    I wish people would stop wrecking vintage video gaming hardware. Use a clone brand or something and leave the genuine stuff for us collectors. :I

  8. Amos says:

    Yeah, because something that actually gets used can be sub-standard as long as the high-quality, first-party one gets to sit in a glass case in your mom’s basement :P

  9. cde says:

    I wish people would stop hoarding old video game hardware. Leave the stuff to those who will actually use it instead of putting it in a box to rot.

  10. fileoffset says:

    Freddo, I’m pretty sure that is a clone brand controller

  11. DudeGuy says:

    Now just fashion a docking cradle on the back of the controller to fit the phone so the screen sits just above it and that’s one awesome homebrew retro machine.

  12. strider_mt2k says:

    How about latency?

  13. Daid says:

    I’m 100% sure that’s a clone. The original had different colored buttons.

  14. mk2soldier says:

    Awesome!

  15. Daniel says:

    50 million SNES consoles were sold. 100 million controllers? I don’t think anyone should feel bad about hacking a high-quality original controller.

  16. Bruno Soares says:

    The finish was very good!

  17. strider_mt2k says:

    Anyone bitching about hacking an SNES controller should just snuggle up real tight to the one they have and leave the rest of us to hack our own stuff, thanks.

  18. Freddo Frog says:

    I don’t know where you guys get the idea that I don’t use my stuff, you may be right about it actually being a clone though.

    strider_mt2k: I’m sorry. :)

  19. Glitch808 says:

    At the end he states that he is not aware if the game uses the left & right buttons. This was a big disapointment for me. Every fan knows they cause the racer to hop, and that they are essential for drifting.
    After all that work why not test all the buttons?

  20. dgr8ifier says:

    Nintendo already made one of those. It’s called the Wii Remote.

  21. filipe ortega says:

    very cool man!
    I’m using arduino and snes controller to control a unipolar stepper, take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZKmCCr20KY
    the x and y buttons controls the speed, adn buttons control the rotation.

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