With the release of the Raspberry Pi Zero last month, we’ve been waiting in excitement to see the first creative hacks to come out, making use of its tiny size; which if you didn’t know, is smaller than a business card. [Terence Eden] hopped to it and made what might be the first Raspberry Pi Zero emulator: inside an Xbox controller.
Thanks to its small size it’s actually a fairly straight forward hack with minimal modification to the controller in order to make it fit. In fact, you only need to remove the memory card holder from the controller and snip one bit of plastic in order to make it fit right in the middle — awesome.
Now it does stick out a bit as you can see in the pictures, but we’re sure it won’t take someone long to make a 3D printed part that snaps into the controller giving it a more stock appearance. Unfortunately since HDMI can’t carry a power source to the Pi, [Terence] is using a micro-USB to power it — but there is enough space inside the controller for a battery pack if you wanted to make it truly portable.
On the software side, he’s using a pre-built image of RetroPie which means you pretty much just need to load it and go. Is it just us or is the Raspberry Pi foundation working? Super accessible and easy to use computing for all!
PS: In case you’ve been living under a rock and still don’t know what the Pi Zero is, you can check out our original coverage of the device here, and a more thorough history and explanation of it here.
18 thoughts on “Shoving A Raspberry Pi Zero Into An Xbox Controller”
Wait, what? I thought HDMI provided +5V on pin 18.
Never mind, that’s the wrong direction (+5V from source to receiver, e.g. Pi powering the TV) and not enough current anyway.
This bit me once before, the logic completely escapes me.
This 5V is to read the EDID EEPROM. You want to be able to read it, even if the monitor/tv is turned off.
A good use for the new smaller form factor but if it gets dropped a single time kiss those USB and HDMI ports goodbye! (I’m a big fan of ruggedization)
Mine is hanging of my PC USB port and is working find despite my amateurish attempts to break it and the cat keep swiping it with her paw. Still all connected……
Back to the idea of a 3d printed part. Just enclose the entire cable ends just past strain reliefs use a screw down clamshell and no chance of snapping the ports. If a cable needs to be replaced just disassemble plug new cable in and done. I don’t see a problem here.
Awfully cheery after the last article where you thrashed it, HaD. Feeling a little negative criticism?
Two different authors… We do all have our own opinions. Makes for interesting discussions.
I suddenly have a plan for a custom controller with MAME built in.. a combined HDMI/USB cable to provide TV signal and to source power from the TV’s USB port. MAME roms on SD Card with a very minimal ROM image with linux and MAME setup for almost instant boot.
I haven’t seen instant boot images for Pi. Are they just stripped down or is some other trick used to get up quickly?
Another left thumb dufus controller. Yeah it’s the most handicapped member of your body, unless your left-handed. But then that’s another handicap.
What a joy it is to use a joystick with those buttons where they should be, all at the same one hand. Time for some 3D printing! Open source joystick. Next gen. It’s ambidextrous!
Why duplicate a really cheap way of making controllers? A circuit board, a rubber mat, and little tiny buttons.
My total lifetime on such stuff… less than 5 minutes. Done. It’s broken. We know how to do it right.
I want to play the game, but not the button game. I like to use only half of my brain to do one thing, vector.
Most FPS games uses the left joystick for movement and the right side for the more precise aim/trigger. For a right handed person, the right hand is more precise so this arrangement make perfect sense. I have some success on some games using the controller with my left hand and mouse with my right hand on the hard levels.
You can reassign the arrangement to suit your needs, so this is no big deal. Then there is the steam controller with crazy customization.
first thought : This is nice.I liked that controller a lot, and looks like a nice project.
Second thought : This could be improved, seems a bit too much “green” even for a hack.
Even prototypes have cases and shortcut protection…
Third thought: HaD loves piZero now? :^)
And the xbox controller got a two port usb 1.x hub inside, nice.
OK, technically 3 port, one for the controller and two for the memory cards.
How has no one mentioned that cable splice yet?
The article should carry a Trigger Warning.
Why not take power from the usb (Xbox controllers are connected over plain USB + vsync (they might even be HID)
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