A SEGA Dreamcast Controller With A Built-in Screen

[Fibbef] was hard at work on a project for a build-off competition when he accidentally fried the circuit board. Not one to give up easily, he opted to start a new project with only two days left in the competition. He managed to modify a SEGA Dreamcast controller to hold a color screen in that short amount of time.

The Dreamcast controller’s shape is somewhat conducive to this type of mod. It already has a small window to ensure the view of the visual memory card is not obstructed. Unfortunately [Fibbef’s] screen was a bit too large for this window. That meant he would have to expand the controller and the circuit board.

After taking the controller apart, he desoldered the memory card connectors. He then cut the circuit board cleanly in half vertically. He had to re-wire all of the traces back together by hand. It turned out initially that he had messed something up and accidentally fried the right half of the controller. To fix it, he cut a second controller in half and soldered the two boards together.

With some more horizontal space to work with on the PCB side of things, [Fibbef] now needed to expand the controller’s housing. He cut the controller into several pieces, making sure to keep the start button centered for aesthetics. He then used duct tape to hold popsicle sticks in place to make up for the missing pieces of the case. All of the sticks were then covered with a thick layer of ABS cement to make for a more rigid enclosure. All of this ended up being covered in Bondo, a common trick in video game console mods. It was then sanded smooth and painted with black primer to make for a surprisingly nice finish.

The screen itself still needed a way to get power and a video signal. [Fibbef] built an adapter box to take both of these signals and pass them to the controller via a single cable. The box as a USB-A connector for power input, and a composite connector for video. There’s also a USB-B connector for the output signals. [Fibbef] uses a standard printer USB cable to send power and video signals to the controller. The end result looks great and serves to make the Dreamcast slightly more portable. Check out the demo video below to see it in action.

12 thoughts on “A SEGA Dreamcast Controller With A Built-in Screen

  1. For a second and just for a second (before I read the article), I thought that was an XBox controller. Must be my Halo itch acting up again. Nice mod by the way. I just wish Sega would allow for open-source support for the Dreamcast. That was a kick ass system that was ahead of its time.

  2. With the Dreamcast running windows mobile, i think we might need to also beg Microsoft to open source it too. I personally still have a dreamcast hooked up to my television, it mine and the daughters favorite game console.

  3. Now if the mod to replace the GD-ROM drive with an SD card full of GD-ROM disk images would be put into production… The person who built it has a tendency to either finish a project then shelve it or *almost* finish a project then shelve it – never to revisit it or share or sell any information.

  4. Will you possibly make this commercial or put the design specs out for us to make our own this with the Dreamcast sata hdd mod and GDemu ODE and SD mod Custom Bios’s and VGA and :P several other mods I cant pinpoint atm make for a still vibrant thriving market please do tell :)

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