Introduction: DIY Xbox Controller Receiver for PC

Picture of DIY Xbox Controller Receiver for PC

Have you ever wanted to use a Xbox360 Controller on your PC and not have to buy a $15 receiver? Now you can! You can use a old Xbox360 RF Module (ring of light). I had one of these from a old RROD Xbox and decided to tinker with it. This is a very simple process. All you will need to do is some soldering and wiring, cutting and installing and your done.

What you will need:

An Xbox 360 RF Board (I used model Rev H)

A Xbox 360 Controller (synced to the board)

A USB cable with Male end

5 Volt Zener Diode

Soldering Iron



Dremel/Something to cut the case (hole for the wire)

Wire Stripper

Xbox360 Controller Driver


Project Enclosure (I used this one from Radio Shack and cut it to size)

Small Zip Tie


Step 1: Getting Prepared!

Picture of Getting Prepared!

To start off, you are going to want to cut the end of your USB cable off, make sure to leave the male end on. Next you are going to be striping the cover of the whole entire cable. I didn't have a wire stripper big enough so I used a exacto knife to cut the outer insulation. Be sure to leave enough room so you can strip the smaller wires inside your cable. I took off maybe an inch. Now, you are going to be striping the small wires inside your USB cable. If you do not have a wire stripper small enough for the wires you can use a lighter and burn the ends off the small wires. Twist the end of each wire to ready them for soldering. You are now ready to start soldering.

Step 2: Soldering to Your RF Board.

Picture of Soldering to Your RF Board.

Soldering to your board isn't too hard. If you look at the images, there is a small diagram to show you where the wires will end up being soldered in. Just follow the diagram and you will be set.

  1. Cut your 5 Volt Diode to length and solder it onto the board. The solder point that you should be soldering to is the one on the far left out of the four solder points that are in a line. Next you should solder the red wire to your diode. Make sure you have a good solder joint.
  2. Solder in your white wire to the solder point on the board. The solder point you should be soldering to is the one next to where the diode is soldered in, the 2nd one.
  3. The next wire that should be soldered is the green wire. The solder point you soldering to is the one next to where you soldered in the white wire, the 3rd one.
  4. The last wire you should solder in is the ground (black wire). The solder point you should be soldering ti is the one next to where you soldered in the green wire, the 4th one.

All of your soldering is done. Double check and make sure your solder joints are good and will not come off after some use. Another thing that I did was put a Zip Tie around the wire and hole in PCB to keep the wire from moving around too much, this should help keep your wire in place and hopefully cause less damage if it gets moved around some.

Step 3: Cutting Your Enclosure.

Picture of Cutting Your Enclosure.

I had a little trouble here, lets hope you don't. I am not the great cutting smaller objects with a table saw. I was able to do it but it came off the saw funny and it cut into the but a little. It looks just fine though. Lets get on to the cuts you should make.

  1. Take your box and from the bottom mark a line at 1 and 3/16 in. The is the line you should cut on if you decide to make your box smaller.
  2. You will now need your dremel or something similar. If you have noticed, your lid to the enclosure will no longer go on. This is because of the lid screw on holes and also the ridges on the side of the enclosure to mount PCBS. Take a sander or cutter and sand or cut the ridges and screw holes out. Your lid should now go on.
  3. The last of the cutting is rather easy you will need to make a rectangle cut on the side of your box to be able to route out the cable. You may choose the size and location of this cut.

Step 4: Finishing Your Receiver

Picture of Finishing Your Receiver

You may now put your board into your project enclosure. I suggest you screw one of the corners of the board into the standoffs inside the case. This will help it stay in place and not move around while inside the enclosure. Now go ahead and screw on your top. It can be hard the first time but after the first time its easy to pull on and off.

Step 5: Installing Your PC Driver

Picture of Installing Your PC Driver

You are going to want to install your driver to your PC to insure it works. Your device will show up in your PC with no driver and you will need to install a driver for it. You can download the driver here. See images for help, if you need more help ask in the comments. You will need to go to: Control Panel, Hardware and Sound: Devices and Printers: Unknown Device. The images should help from then on. After you have installed the driver you are set.

Some more info:

If you install some other programs you can use the Xbox controller as a mouse which can be handy. I mainly built this for playing games on PC, mostly racing games because it is hard with Keyboard and Mouse.

All Done!

Thank you for reading my instructable and I wish you luck if you do decide to make it. If you need any help please ask down below and I will be happy to help you within my abilities. Thanks, Carter.


Aaronstar_McClure (author)2016-09-22

so im trying to do this but i am using a different model rf board that seems to have two extra pins coming from the modified usb, mind taking a look and help me figure out what to solder where? picks should be included with this msg, if they are too blurry i can try to retake them. black light banel thing was removed so i could get a decent picture of the pins.

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. After doing some research, I found this diagram. It shows power points and also USB data points. I have never seen someone try it with this board so if you get it to work let me know!

PierreA37 (author)CarterBond2017-08-27

Just wanted to say THANK YOU, you divine soab! It works like a charm now thanks to your guide and this elusive picture :)

on your original image where you said where to sodder the wires is you said black was ground, could you please identify what each point is? like power in, data, clock, ect? that way if they moved things around, and im pretty sure they did assuming red + diode is power in, i can figure out everything more easily

The picture you have me above is correct. There can be multiple grounds. You do not need the clock pins or anything. You need USB+. Data wires and Ground.

so last question, my model is slightly different, i have five holes, not four. is any hole ok, or should i use a specific one?


I would probably just use the same hole in the picture. I would think it would be the same. Not sure what the extra hole would for though. I'd give it a shot following the diagram. Let me know how it goes.

I found this picture from the same guy, but why does he send ground up to the top instead of one of the pins?

KacperG (author)2016-08-11

Driver page is not working. Please change the link.

smbangwa (author)KacperG2017-07-04

MiladZ2 (author)2017-02-16

Is there any way to put a button on the board in order to sync new controllers and not having to plug the receiver into the console?

p.s: I don't have console to plug the receiver into.

Aaronstar_McClure (author)2016-09-26

ok, so i found this picture from the same guy you got that one from, everything makes sence except why is he sending ground up to the top? though my model number is off by one on the very last number, it seems that would send the ground straight into one of the microprocessors(i think that is what they are) on the back.

picture, sorry

smoak (author)2015-05-17

So how do you sync new controllers to this dongle?

CarterBond (author)smoak2015-05-17

You would have to plug the RF board in to the console and then sink your controler, once the cable is soldered on, it will stick work on the Xbox. I have tried multiple Xbox controllers and it works great. Thanks for having a look at my project!

would you possibly be able to sync with the wired charger and not the console? the one i'm getting the rf modual from is rrod and i cant figure out why (also the console is not originally mine and i don't have any of the controllers synced to it (and by now i doubt they still are))

I am really not sure. The RF Module I got mine from was from an RROD also but I still have it all if I need to sync a new one to my PC

What was the cause of the rrod on yours? Mine was (most likely) a broken cpu heat censor. I say this because the console will not even stay on long enough to sync a new controller

pauloc72 (author)2016-06-09

mine is not working and done all the correct conections, the pc reconize but the led´s don´t turn on, what i can do?

CarterBond (author)pauloc722016-06-09

Hi Paul,

If I recall, the LEDs will not light up. I have seen others be able to have them turned onbut they end up connecting some things up differently. If you want to power the LEDs, you might have to power some of the other pins. Can you use a controller currently?

pauloc72 (author)CarterBond2016-06-12

No can´t use the controller at all it don´t connect to the board and already try to sync the board and the controller.

Drayko (author)pauloc722016-09-05

After doing this with mine. I realized that you have to manually select the xbox wireless adapter driver from windows device management. Right now i have it work with windows 10. Had it working for windows 7 and 8 before.

msansores (author)2016-08-07

How do you sync the controller with this?

KacperG (author)msansores2016-08-11

Controller is already synced.

KevinM (author)2016-05-11

Is there any reason we can't use a USB extension cable modified with the diode in series? I have an RF module from my 360 that needs a reflow, and I don't want to risk breaking it to make this. Also, when I'm done I'll have a 3.3V USB cable, should I ever need one. :D

CarterBond (author)KevinM2016-06-09

Yeah, that seems like it would work no probleb.

JeffF45 (author)2016-04-04

A replacement to screwing in the board to secure it to the project enclosure would be to use hot glue since it wont affect anything electrical on the board. You can also use it to secure your wires in place if your soldering job wasn't too great (like mine).

CarterBond (author)JeffF452016-04-05

Good idea! Mine has been going strong since I made it so I don't it being an issue. Either way would work.

terminal_building (author)2015-11-23

I'm trying this with an Xbox 360s RF board. Any tips on where to solder?

CrispyK (author)2015-10-26

Nice tutorial, i had to edit the drivers because my pc wouldn't recognize the board. And i didn't have a diode to get it to 3.3v and don't have a hardware store near me and didn't want to wait, so i had an old HDD with sata that i cut the power connector off, and i then ran the power cable for the Xbox board to the sata 3.3v power ;) Works perfect.

CarterBond (author)CrispyK2015-10-30

Cool cool. Glad to hear it! Part of the whole DIY experience is working around problems though. Nice job.

IsmirH (author)2015-09-14

Thank you , I made it , it works.

joshua.cameron.98 (author)2015-05-29

I soldered the wires on, but when I plug it into my computer, it doesn't register any new device. Is there a step I'm missing?

Is it possible that it isn't working because my RF module is a Rev: VA?

prince link (author)2014-09-20

I finally got around to doing this (I didn't have a soldering iron). But I found the connector on the Xbox side of the Ring of Light is a modified USB so instead of soldering to the board (just in case I need the board later), I soldered the wires and diode to the modified USB "prongs" that correspond to the connections on the other side of the board.

CarterBond (author)prince link2014-09-20

Cool! I didnt really look around for other areas to solder. I will have to look at the board again. You got any photos I could see?

prince link (author)CarterBond2014-09-20

I'm afraid not as soon as I plugged the thing in my diode came loose and was smoking. it would be just my luck.

brmarcum (author)2014-07-03

What is the point of the diode? There are no schematics that I can find where I've seen it used like this. As it is right now, it's doing nothing except stopping current to flow back into the USB +5VDC line. Considering that the board you soldered to was designed by skilled engineers, I highly doubt it needs this protection. I'm curious to know where you got your reference for building this.

CarterBond (author)brmarcum2014-07-07

The xbox has it running at 3.3 volts so you have to make the +5VDC 3.3 volts or you will blow the board after a while.

brmarcum (author)CarterBond2014-07-08

Now I'm confused. If you need to regulate the +5V supply down to +3.3V, why are you using a 5V zener diode, and why in this configuration? Don't you need a 3.3V diode? Also, zeners need to be reverse biased to do their job as disigned, but that means you have to connect the cathode to your supply and anode to ground, as per the image taken from Wikipedia. What I see with your design, well, isn't that, so I'm confused about what you are using it for. A diode placed as you have it protects the source from current flowing into it, but won't regulate the voltage down except for the standard forward voltage drop. Assuming you are using a 1N4733A 5.1V Zener, the max forward voltage is 1.2V, which will drop your +5V by that much and give you +3.8V. That would do the job, but it's still high for the board and not at all how the diode was designed to be used.

I haven't looked into it and don't own an xbox, but there may also be a 3.3V regulator somewhere on board. Since xboxs are just glorified computers anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a +5V supply somewhere inside that was regulated down to +3.3V, and very likely on that board you are using, since that is where the voltage is needed.

A different solution would be to attach the four USB wires directly to the board as you show, but then attach a reverse biased 1N4728A 3.3V zener across the red and black wires, (black stripe on the diode attached to the red wire) which would provide a very stable +3.3V.

prince link (author)2014-05-29

Will any Diode that's 5v work or does it have to be a Zener Diode?

CarterBond (author)prince link2014-05-29

A regular 5v diode should work. You just need to drop current to 3.3v. A Zener Diode only allows current in one direction so its about the same thing. I have only tried Zener Diode so I suggest using it but if you do use a 5v diode please tell me if it works.

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