Picture of Apple NesRemote
This idea started when I saw someone on the web putting an iPod Shuffle into a NES controller. I thought it was was a great idea. Then I got the idea to do the same thing, but instead of an iPod Shuffle, I would use the Apple Remote.So, here it is !

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Step 1: Before begining

Picture of Before begining
Here what you will need to do the project :

- NES controller
- Apple Remote
- Soldering Iron, Vacuum plunger or solder wick. (Trust me, you will make mistakes)
- Dremel tool (or a saw, with a lot of skills and patience)
- Small screwdrivers, Needle-nose pliers, wire cutter, cable stripper
- Wires (I think I used 22 gauge, but it can be a bigger gauge. It needs to fit in the controller's holes)
- Safety Glasses
- Spare time
- Patience

- Multimeter or Voltmeter

Warning : Safety first. When soldering and desoldering, use glasses ! It's important. You don't want to have tin in your eyes. So , be careful.

Don't forget to take your time.

Also, I assume you have some skills in soldering. I'll try to explain the best I can, but I might jump over some obvious steps. Still, if you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer them :).

All right, let's start !

Step 2: Opening NES controller

Picture of Opening NES controller
Take the NES controller and remove the 6 screws behind it. Don't lose the screws. Open it, and you'll face a green PCB, a chip and a cable. Don't be afraid of mid-80's technology, it is pretty simple

In this step, we are going to :
- Desolder the chip on the PCB
- Cut & desolder the cable
- Modify some of the case

Pictures :
1 and 2. Front and back of the simple PCB.
3. The top controller is unmodified and the bottom one if the modified case. I used my dremel tool to cut the plastic.
4. Other part of the NES case.
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iacon2 years ago
I have three for sale:

I mounted a battery holder on the NES circuit board this time. You still have to open the case to the change the battery, but considering how long these batteries last, it's not a big deal.
Agurri (author)  iacon1 year ago
bruc3 years ago
Awesome project, planning on doing the same but with this for my linux:

For the desoldering do I have to use the pump thing or can I just heat it up and yank the cable out? Like is it necessary to have it go through the holes?
Agurri (author)  bruc3 years ago
To remove the cable, you can heat of the solder and yank the cable, yes.

But, to solder back the remote's wires, it's going to be easier, more solid, and sturdier if you solder back the wires INTO the holes, instead ON the holes. I think that's what your question. Id you don't have a pump, you can get one on ebay for cheap, or get some copper brass... it'll do the trick wonderfully
tompic8233 years ago
I will likely be attempting this fantastic mod this weekend, albeit with the new aluminum remote (for an Apple TV 2). Do you have any tips/hints/pointers that have not already been mentioned? Thanks!
Agurri (author)  tompic8233 years ago
Not really. As I said in an earlier post, the only major difference between the 2 remote is the added middle button. Either than that, it's pretty straightforward.

Thanks for commenting !
The other major differences appear to be the battery and the infrared LED. The LED does not appear to be a traditional LED so I'm not sure how to extend it/position it in the hole. Anyway, I understand this is past the scope of your guide, so I'll jus thave to wing it. Thanks for the excellent 'ible.
Agurri (author)  tompic8233 years ago
Yeah, I see what you are talking about as not a traditional LED. The new remote uses a surface mount LED instead of a thru hole one. I think this is going to be your major bottleneck.

But I have an idea you could try : You could try to place the remote in a similar way I put mine, but without touching the LED. Near the hole, you could place a small mirror at 45°. That might be a quick and easy solution you might want to consider. At least, I think it's worth a shot.
I like the idea, and I believe aluminum foil also reflects infrared light, so I'll probably try that.

So far all I've done is disassemble the NES controller (haven't desoldered yet) and re-assemble the Apple remote with the battery outside of the aluminum casing. The aluminum remote is much harder to work with than the first generation white remote, though a little electric tap and hot glue is keeping the battery attached to the remote.

I plan to desolder the controller wires and chip tomorrow, and then solder 22 AWG wire from the remote to the controller within the next couple of days. I'll be sure to post back with my findings and pictures of the setup with the new remote.
Desoldering went fine, though two of the center pieces on the Apple remote broke off while soldering, so looks like I'll be abandoning the project :/
Thanks for all the help!
Agurri (author)  tompic8233 years ago
Sad news ... You could try to buy a second hand one on ebay. I think you can get one for less than 15 $ shipped. Or, you could try to solder back with tiny wires the broken arms. Good luck on whatever you try.
cody7774 years ago
can you do it with the new remote
Agurri (author)  cody7774 years ago
I don't see why you couldn't. The teardown process with obviously be different but the rest should be similar. The main difference between both remotes beside the casing is the addition of a button in the aluminium remote. But still, it should work with the new remote, yes.

Here's a teardown blog entry of the remote.
koeljong5 years ago
 and the mac???
Zootch5 years ago
Does it need a battery door?
iacon5 years ago
iacon iacon5 years ago
I'm selling mine.
jlomprey iacon5 years ago
Do you still have this? If you do...How much would you want for it?
Agurri (author)  iacon5 years ago
Congrats !
For anyone interested, know that these instructions are perfect, and i LOVE my new NESmote!!! A few pointer for those attempting this: DON'T use a "ColdHeat" to solder electronics. They're ridiculously hard to use, and more than once i thought i had totally destroyed my project. (had i messed up, new apple remotes go for $10 on ebay, and i was able to find old NES controllers for $5 locally) Also, I did my solder points on the NES controller on the opposite side than the one shown here. I found it was much easier to fold the wires down than to wrap them over the top. Anyways, thanks again Agurri, you rock socks! Now if only there was a way to incoroporate an iphone into something like an old gameboy.....
i saw the other day a sticker (like a skin) that would atach itself to the back of your white iPhone and simulate a gameboy :P was really funny
ihrtglfx106 years ago
I just finished my Ipod Shuffle NES controller, check it out here:
Mr. Squishy6 years ago
Thats so cool! I do have an Apple Remote, but I do not have an NES controller.
Fasteners6 years ago
this is awesome!
REA6 years ago
Windows compatible?
Agurri (author)  REA6 years ago
As long as you have a mac running bootcamp, I don't see why it should not work. But, I have tried on my macbook and I can play/pause, next track, last track and volume up and down with ease. But iTunes is kinda the only thing the remote works with in Windows.
serchsari6 years ago
Great Instructable, I just finished mine, it controls my ipod speakers, it is really cool check the video, it is in spanish since I am Mexican. But I hope you enjoy it. Again great instrutable
Agurri (author)  serchsari6 years ago
Wow, it seems cool. Good job on getting it worked :D. Two thumbs up !
danyforreal6 years ago
*sigh* I wish I knew about soldering and wires so I can make this. I have the controllers but I don't have the knowledge. I thought it was going to be simpler to make. :(
Just keep trying, people are not born with the ability to do things, like Jimi Hendrix might have been born with a guitar in his hand, but didn't learn to play it till he was seven :P
there are plenty of instructables on how to solder. I taught myself just by playing around (safely) with solder and a soldering iron.
I'm new to this site. I found some good things but It may be a while before I start working on this. Wish me luck!
Agurri (author)  danyforreal6 years ago
Well, before doing the project, practice you soldering skills. Also, look on the Internet for some soldering guide. Concerning wires, you can go to Radio Shack and buy some; you don't need exactly gauge 22 wires... they just need to be small enough so fit in the PCB's hole. I'll be glad to help you if you have any problems.
zjharva6 years ago
good job! i thought about doing this a few days ago, but this got posted! i guess i'll go to gamecrazy at hollywood video, they have these for about 5 dollars, or an n64 controller.
Bartboy zjharva6 years ago
N64! yay!!! that is the best system!!!!
zjharva Bartboy6 years ago
yeah, although i haven't played my family's n64 in years.......... xbox360
Bartboy zjharva6 years ago
what games? it is my favourite system, even thought i have loads, including wii
zjharva Bartboy6 years ago
games for n64 or xbox360?
Bartboy zjharva6 years ago
zjharva6 years ago
Since apple remotes are $20, i'm gonna use my $2.50 dealextreme stealth mini remote!
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