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Author Topic: Hacking Video Game Controllers  (Read 1457 times)

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Offline VegaObscuraTopic starter

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Hacking Video Game Controllers
« on: June 21, 2009, 03:10:05 PM »
I'll use a very simple example here.  Say I have a PlayStation2 controller.  Say I also have a circuit consisting of just a battery and a light bulb.  I want to make it so when I press the up button on the D-pad, the light comes on.  I don't want to have to use anything complex, and I don't want to use any other parts of the controller, only that one button.  Would it be possible to take that controller apart and solder 2 wires onto the board so it closes the circuit when that button is pressed?  Just to make it as clear as possible I have a battery, with a wire running to a light bulb, with a wire running to the controller, and the last wire running to the other terminal on the battery.  I already can (and have) done this with other kinds of buttons and various switches, but the buttons in game controllers operate differently.  They don't have pins to solder the wires to.  So where do I need to attach my wires to make the up button the PS2 controller work just like any simple button or switch?

Offline SmAsH

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Re: Hacking Video Game Controllers
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2009, 03:54:58 PM »
well, the easiest way i can think is solder + to one side of the button and one side of the light to the other side.
then the other side of the bulb to gnd.
there are more complex circuits around that involve mcu's and they can read all button presses without taking the controller apart but they are much more complex.
Howdy

Offline VegaObscuraTopic starter

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Re: Hacking Video Game Controllers
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2009, 04:10:40 PM »
That would be great if the button has a visible + and -.  But it doesn't, it just has a bunch of confusing little crisscrossing copper lines.  If the button had visible wires or pins I wouldn't  be having any trouble.  The problem is I can't figure out where + and - are on a controller like that.  Its like its just a little black circle made right into the board with copper lines coming from it, and not just 2 of them.  Also most of these lines go to several different buttons, making things even more confusing.

Offline awally88

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Re: Hacking Video Game Controllers
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2009, 05:20:04 PM »
You wouldn't be able to do this without a microcontroller or other circuit of some sort, the data from the controller is sent in a packet which contains the states of all the buttons at once, it also needs to be sent a clock pulse to make it send this data and has to have power running through the controller.

There are a lot of simple projects out there on hacking PS2 controllers, just google for it.

Offline Soeren

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Re: Hacking Video Game Controllers
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2009, 05:47:54 PM »
Hi,

It's quite easy. Just find two traces that gets shunted by the button press and forget the rest of the traces.
Find an empty space on the PCB where those traces run, scrape the lacquer off the traces (careful, you don't wanna remove the trace) and solder your wires on to those traces.

Whether the conductive rubber pad in the button will carry the full current is quite another matter though.
A transistor and two resistors are needed if you can't get the full current through it.

The quick and dirty method - install a small switch in the original PCB (you might need to make a hole to glue it into).
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
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Offline VegaObscuraTopic starter

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Re: Hacking Video Game Controllers
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2009, 06:23:15 PM »
Hi,

It's quite easy. Just find two traces that gets shunted by the button press and forget the rest of the traces.
Find an empty space on the PCB where those traces run, scrape the lacquer off the traces (careful, you don't wanna remove the trace) and solder your wires on to those traces.

Whether the conductive rubber pad in the button will carry the full current is quite another matter though.
A transistor and two resistors are needed if you can't get the full current through it.

The quick and dirty method - install a small switch in the original PCB (you might need to make a hole to glue it into).

Thanks, that did the trick for me.

Offline jamort

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Re: Hacking Video Game Controllers
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2009, 07:12:53 PM »
why are you using a ps2 controller to turn a light on and it only uses one button of like 10? ???

I would just make a switch but i guess you may be doing a science project or something......

um... the best way to do this is by microcontroller.. but u basically stated that u didnt want to do that so go ahead and hack it your own way
my english teacher once said, "dont talk about what you dont know in public...."

so I replied the truth, " Exactly why I dont ever talk about English."

 


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