Instructables

Step 2: Hack a keyboard

For this step, I have modified my keyboard to have a parallel port connector at the back. I recommend you use an old keyboard and place the entire circuit board directly in the guitar (a keyboard's circuit board is usually about 3-4 inches wide by 1-2 inches high), then trash the case and keys.
The trick is track down the traces for 7 keys (14 wires). Though you can use 7 keys of your choice, I recommend you trace 7 keys that are on the same trace (this changes the number of required wires from 14 to 8). Be careful, some cheap keyboards prevent you from pressing certain combinaisons of keys, so 2 or 3 fingers chords might not work.

Controls to be used with the guitar:
Button 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5;
Flipper Up and Down.

I bypassed keys 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, X and Z, by soldering some extra wires to the parallel port connector.

Cut one or two RJ-45 cables (LAN) of about 10 feet long, and solder the wires to the male connector.

Step 3: Rip open the toy guitar

Open the toy guitar and rip off any speakers, wires and processing unit.
Bring your RJ-45 wires from the keyboard to the neck circuit. With a knife, cut the tracing and solder your own wires for the first five buttons.
builderkidj3 years ago
cool!
berkay5 years ago
could you explain how you solder wires that come from neck to circuit board?
qwerty295 years ago
awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
this would be great with frets on fire thats an online guitar heroe basically and you can download almost any song you want its amazing nice guitar btw!!!!!!
FoF is online???
Frets on Fire...PSSSHHHHH!!! Why don't you learn to play a REAL keyboard??

(...hopes the sarcasm is obvious...)
he said in the instructable that its for frets on fire
Hawaii000006 years ago
Sweet
You should be able too, just do the same thing, just make your own drum case (or if u can find one) and add pressure pads, or if ur like me, and dont like to buy stuff, you can try this: 1. find 2 nice sizes of cardboard, 2. cut them out in the shape of a drum 3. stick some (stripped) wire ontop of one of them 4. wrap it in tinfoil 5. repeat steps 3 and 4 for the second peice of cardboard. then solder the wires to the keys just like in this instructable
sonic_dan6 years ago
just made a new guitar hero instructable :)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Guitar-Hero-Fret-Buttons-Mod/
u should be able too, just do the same thing, just make your own drum case (or if u can find one) and add pressure pads, or if ur like me, and dont like to buy stuff, you can try this: 1. find 2 nice sizes of cardboard, 2. cut them out in the shape of a drum 3. stick some (stripped) wire ontop of one of them 4. wrap it in tinfoil 5. repeat steps 3 and 4 for the second peice of cardboard. then solder the wires to the keys just like in this instructable
corl45 corl456 years ago
sorry i replied to the wrong person XD
fercho08166 years ago
im gonna try to do one but can get to this? the special you get?
gh.bmpgh2.bmpgh3.bmp
purpulhaze6 years ago
I found the perfect guitar for this project at Target on clearance for $15.00. It's call Guitar Super Star and it's almost like an original GH guitar. It even has a strum bar like GH. I gutted it and wired up everything to an old usb game controller I had lying around. Changed the buttons around so that the colors would match up to the Frets on Fire keys.
Guitar Super Star (2).JPGGuitar Super Star (3).JPG
I plan on painting the red to black and also adding some custom led fret buttons.
No colors anymore, I want them to turn black...
what kind of usb cable is it? because I was wondering I have one of those and I thought it was junk until I took it apart. and How do you construct it?
Basically your gutting it and using the switches already installed. You can use the encoder from an old keyboard (which is a pain) or an old game controller. I used a cheap usb game controller I got off of ebay. Solder the wires from the Guitar Super Star to the inputs on the game controller. There is not much to construct. You just need a soldering iron and some wire.
Realities (author)  purpulhaze6 years ago
Wow ! This is awesome ! Much better than mine ! At that price, if I get some spare time, I'll rebuild it! But lately I've been busy building a vibrating car seat for my xbox racing games... Thanks for posting !
Is there any way of hooking this up with like a electric drum set so then you and a friend could play a Rock Tour-like game on your computer?
farkob7 years ago
Guitar Hero 3 is also available for PC now, you can play the original GH too!
weaselman507 years ago
Sweet! I love Frets on Fire and I knew exactly that this was for it. Now all I have to do is make it.
i know a lot of people who hate frets on fire and i cant see why... plus you just made it better
koax7 years ago
thx man for this and thx for the new pics too !!
janwa7 years ago
hey.... I'd like to talk to someone who actually made one of these...it's for a radio show. anyone interested in talking? thanks. jb
firebat457 years ago
Wow! I made one of these about 6 weeks ago using the exact same model of guitar. The only difference is that I made mine wireless and I kept the buttons on the guitar for strum up and down. It's a little more awkward, but probably more durable than something I could come up with, and I don't want it to break in the middle of a song.
guitar.jpg
Ward_Nox7 years ago
you ned a whammy bar but otherwise nice
frets on fire does'nt use a whammy bar.
oh ok nvm then
wii maniac7 years ago
i tryed to make somthing like this but miserably failed
so i got one of these : http://www.spectravideo.com/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=503&category_id=
locofocos7 years ago
I've been playing Frets on Fire for a while now. It's pretty nice, even with the keyboard (which is now easier for me than the guitar controller). One thing that's fun is to pause it in the middle of the song (especially after playing for while) and just stare in the middle of the screen. It looks like the note pathway (5 lines, whatever you call it....) is slowly getting taller.
i would love to see a video of this thing in action!
John Smith7 years ago
this is really cool, but I would have painted it a different color, though.
Realities (author)  John Smith7 years ago
Hmm, I didn't paint it.. the toy was coming in 3 different colors... Blue, Lime Green and Pink... :-) Thanks for all the good comments !
Oh, I didn't mean to say that you painted it....I guess I just typed it that way.
Great instructable, I might try it!
but how do we play the game u tell about making it but were we get emulator + game?
Frets on Fire is a clone of the Guitar Hero games, its made to run on the computer without the need of any emulator.. You just download the game, set it up, and your off rocking out!! It even looks like Guitar Hero, minus the fancy animations in the background. This is a real neat instructable, ive always wanted to play guitar hero but i dont have a PS2 or an Xbox 360. -LD