Miniaturized N64 controller fits the tiniest of hands

n64-controller-mod

The controllers that came with the Nintendo 64 don’t exactly measure up to the “Duke” of Xbox fame, but they’re not the smallest in the world either. Made by Bacteria forum member [Bungle] says that his girlfriend has incredibly tiny hands, so he thought he might try trimming some of the fat from an N64 controller by cramming its components into an N64 cartridge.

He tore down a 3rd-party N64 controller, tossing out the D-Pad, plug, and rumble motor, retaining all of the other buttons. After gutting the game cartridge, he heated the back side under a lamp and stretched the plastic over a roll of electrical tape to make room for the N64’s trademark “Z” button. Having only removed the rumble motor due to size constraints, he found a suitable replacement at Radio Shack, which fills in for the original nicely.

After a good amount of careful trimming, wiring, and mounting, he came up with the little gem you see above. We’re sure [Bungle’s] girlfriend is pleased with his work, and he seems happy with how it came out as well.

Continue reading to see a short video showing off [Bungle’s] latest creation.

[Thanks, Chris Downing]

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N64 controller input using an ATtiny85

[Larsim] worked out the timing necessary to read button and joystick data from an N64 controller using an ATtiny85 microcontroller. The project was spawned when he found this pair of controllers in the dumpster. We often intercept great stuff bound for the landfill, especially on Hippie Christmas when all the student switch apartments at the same time.

Instead of cracking the controllers open and patching directly to the buttons, [Larsim] looked up the pinout of the connector and patched into the serial data wire. In true hacker fashion, he used two 5V linear regulators and a diode in series to step his voltage source down to close to 3.6V, as he didn’t have a variable regulator on hand. It does sound like this causes noise which can result if false readings, but that can be fixed with the next parts order.

The controller waits for a polling signal before echoing back a response in which button data is embedded. This process is extremely quick, and without a crystal on hand, the chip needs to be configured to use its internal PLL to ramp the R/C oscillator up to 16Mhz. With the chip now running fast enough, an external interrupt reads the serial response from the controller, and the code reacts based on that input.

It seems the biggest reason these N64 controllers hit the trash can is because the analog joystick wears out. If you’ve got mad skills you can replace it with a different type.

A Professional Looking N64 Portable Build

Although Hack A Day is no stranger to console conversions, this portable N64 build is worthy of note. The article itself is in Spanish, but for those that don’t speak the language, the steps and components necessary are well documented in pictures. There’s even a video of the finished product after the break.

What is especially interesting about this project is the professional looking build quality of the finished product. One might think it’s a custom injection molding job or possibly 3D printed, but everything is done with only glue, filler, and paint. A controller and console is hacked up to provide the raw materials for this build. An expansion pack is even attached to this console for good measure.

Power is provided by a 6800mA battery, and the console features a generous 7 inch display. A good wiring schematic is also provided in this article, so maybe it will inspire other quality console hacking in the future. [Read more...]

Bluetooth media remote in an N64 controller

[Phik] wrote in to share his very first microcontroller project with us. He built a bluetooth remote in an old Nintendo 64 controller to control an audio application on his computer. He had been building up the individual modules with the controller in mind for some time, but initially had no idea what kind of enclosure to put it in. After a failed attempt at stuffing it into an XBox controller(surely there was enough space), he realized he had a broken N64 controller lying around that he cold use. We think he did a fantastic job of mounting it, it looks almost like a commercial product. He documented the construction and testing of each individual module. You can find each of those broken into their own post on his site by checking out the archives. Great job [Phik], especially for your first project!

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Awesome portable N64 keeps your games in hand, out of sight

n64_portable

[David] recently wrote us to share the portable Nintendo 64 he constructed with the help of the friendly people over at the ModdedbyBacteria forums. We are no strangers to N64 portables, as you may have noticed, but this one was just too good to pass up.

Sheathed in a metallic blue case, this console is an instant standout among the other portable N64 mods we have seen. As you would expect, he trimmed down an N64 console board and some various controller bits in order to fit them into the case, finishing it off with a 5″ PSOne display panel. A small fan protrudes out of the back side of the device, which seemed out of place at first. However, it not only keeps the console cool, but it can serve as a bit of a “kickstand” as well, if the console is placed on a flat surface. [David] also added a dongle for the bottom of the console, which allows him to use an external N64 controller if he so desires.

To be honest, one of our favorite features is that the game cartridges do not stick up from the back of the case when inserted. He included just enough room to allow the game to be completely hidden while playing.  Nice job!

Continue reading to see a video build log and demonstration of his portable N64.

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N64Boy Advance

[Hailrazer] found a Game Boy Advance carrying case in his closet and thought he could pull off an N64Boy Advance in a few weekends. Despite the fast build time, [Hailrazer] built something that wouldn’t look out of place sitting on a shelf at a toy store.

This isn’t the first time we have covered an N64 Advance portable gaming system that uses a GBA carrying case, but this hack keeps the original styling of the Game Boy Advance without all the epoxy, bondo and sanding. Inside is a 4.3″ screen, GameCube joystick, N64 expansion pack, and enough Li-ion to get 5-6 hours of play time. The build doesn’t include a D-pad because [Hailrazer] doesn’t use that while playing. It also doesn’t have controller or A/V ports, because he doesn’t, “want to sit around with friends playing N64 on a 4.3″ screen.” A very pragmatic build, indeed.

We love seeing people re-purpose odd bits of plastic they have lying around, so we’re wondering when someone with an Original Game Boy Carrying Case will build an NESBoy. Video after the jump.

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Replace an N64’s worn out joystick

As gaming consoles age the controllers will inevitably show some wear, and sadly may give out all together. [Kyle] couldn’t bear to watch his Nintendo 64 controller bite the dust so he replaced the thumb stick with one from a PlayStation. This is a bigger job than you might imagine because the two parts are fundamentally different. The original N64 stick uses a rotary encoder to output data to the control chip, while the PlayStation stick is an analog device. [Kyle's] solution was to read the analog values using a PIC, but lower in the thread you can read about another user who pulled off a similar hack using an AVR. Both convert the signals into the rotary encoder format that the N64 chip is listening for. From the looks of the clip embedded after the break, this couldn’t work any better!

[Read more...]

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