We’ve seen NES, SNES, Sega, and just about every weird controller Atari put out connected to microcontrollers, but connecting the N64 controller to a project has remained one of those seldom-seen, rarely copied endeavors, not often tackled by makers around the globe. [Pieter-Jan] decided to throw his hat in the ring and give reading an N64 controller with a PIC a try, and we’re pleased to report he’s been completely successful.
One of the difficulties of reading an N64 controller is simply the speeds involved; with only three pins on the controller port, the N64 controller uses a serial protocol to send 32 bits of controller data at a fairly fast rate. Armed with a PIC18F ‘micro, [Pieter] realized that programming in C would be too slow, he needed to go all the way down to the bare metal and program his micro in assembly.
Every time the N64 controller data needs to be read, the console sends out a 9-bit polling request. The controller responds in turn with a 32-bit sequence informing the console of the status of all the buttons and joysticks. Once [Pieter] got his micro sending the correct polling response, it was only an issue of parsing the data returned from the controller.
Right now, [Pieter] has a small demo board rigged up that flashes a LED whenever the A, B, or Z buttons are pressed. This can be expanded to the remaining buttons and joystick, but for now we’ll just enjoy [Pieter]’s demo after the break.
Continue reading “Reading an N64 controller with a microcontroller”
Star Wars Episode 1 Racer for the Nintendo 64 has a rather interesting feature: by entering the code RRDUAL on the cheats menu, it’s possible to plug two controllers into the console and control each engine independently. This gives the game an awesome arcade feel, but dual-wielding N64 controllers is a bit of a burden. [Clarky] thought it would be a good idea to combine two controllers into one, and the Star Wars Racer controller is the result.
Like most console mods, the build began by tearing apart two N64 controllers and gluing them together. With a ton of bondo, sanding, and fiberglass, [Clarky] had a mutated N64 controller perfect for the Episode 1 game.
[Clarky] will be updating the build with a built-in rumble pak, but for now he’s doing his best to learn how to fly a pod racer with both hands. You can check out the demo of his build after the break where he plays the Star Wars game as well as a round of Goldeneye using his akimbo controller.
Continue reading “N64 controller mod means playing games akimbo”
We’ve seen portable N64s before, but none were at the level of [Bungle]’s oversized N64 controller casemod.
Instead of the usual ‘sanding Bondo and gluing styrene’ method we’ve seen in other casemods, [Bungle] decided to make a silicone mold with a positive master. Not only did [Bungle] end up with a case indistinguishable from something produced in a factory, but the molding process left him with more internal room and the ability to make identical duplicates of his over sized controller.
The electronics are the standard fare – a slightly modified N64 with a PSone LCD screen. Because the rumble and memory packs are built in to the body of the gigantic controller, [Bungle] added a multifunction pak to provide ports for power, brightness controls, a/v, and a second controller.
This is an amazing build that really steps up the game for console modders. You can check out [Bungle]’s demo video after the break.
Continue reading “N64 in an N64 controller”
Just looking at this little thing makes our hands ache. But [Kirren] did do a great job of building an N64 controller inside a tiny project box. It’s not a mod, but a ground-up build based on a PIC 16F628 microcontroller.
It has most of the buttons found on a standard controller, and he assures us that you can play most games without missing the ones that didn’t make it into the design. You can just make out the analog stick to the left, but that silver ring on the right is actually a 4-direction tactile switch which stands in for the C buttons. He’s also included Start, A, B, R, and Z.
The link above goes to his Wiki, and there are more than enough details if you’re interested in doing this yourself or just understanding how everything works. Check out his writeup on the protocol, and you can even get a copy of his code. There’s also a video demo after the break which shows [Kirren] playing some Bond with the controller. Continue reading “Tiny N64 controller comes with hand-cramp guarantee”
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]
Continue reading “Miniaturized N64 controller fits the tiniest of hands”
Remember those old wireless controllers made for the consoles of our youth like the NES and Super Nintendo? They didn’t work well, mostly owing to the fact they were built using the same infrared technology that is found in a remote control. Now that all the modern consoles are wireless, [micro] over at the nftgames forum decided to update his classic systems for wireless control.
The transmitters and receivers are built around an nRF24L01+ radio module that operates in the 2.4 GHz band. [micro] has the process of converting his controllers down to a science. He cuts the cord and wires the controller up to an AVR running at 16 MHz. The AVR sends this to the receiver where the button presses are sent through the original controller port. Basically, [micro] recreated a WaveBird controller for his NES, SNES, Saturn and N64.
The controllers are powered by internal lithium batteries, but the charging ICs are too expensive to put in each controller. To solve this problem, [micro] crafted a small external charging circuit that plugs into a 3.5mm jack on each controller. Check out [micro]’s controller demo after the break.
Continue reading “Wireless controllers for all your retro systems”
For those of us who can’t be bothered to dig out or N64 whenever we want to play Ocarina of Time or our NES whenever we get the urge to play Battletoads, emulators are a godsend. There is a problem, though. A keyboard doesn’t provide the right experience as a the classic NES ‘brick’ or the N64 tritopus controllers. Enter the Funtendo, a breakout box that converts all your well-loved controllers to USB.
The Funtendo uses the Gadget Gangster Propeller Platform with a terminal block module. Putting together the electronics is fairly easy; just strip the ends of the controllers and screw them down to the terminal blocks. N64, NES and Wii Classic Controllers are supported by the Funtendo. Going for the Classic Controller over a Super Nintendo controller reduces the complexity of the build. The Classic Controller can play SNES games and uses an I2C bus, making it easier to wire.
For interfacing the controllers to the computer, the Parallax Propeller Tool, Parallax serial terminal, and PPJoy convert button mashing into readable buttons for the emulator. The build may take more time than pulling an NES out of the attic, but even with a large project box it takes up much less space.
Check out the demo of the Funtendo after the break.
Continue reading “Funtendo connects all your Nintendo controllers to a PC”