Introduction: N64 Controller Switcher
A nifty device that can be used to immediately switch between controllers on a Nintendo 64 using only one of the N64's built in ports.
1. 3 N64 controller ports. (1 male, 2 female)
I used an N64 controller adapter to pc via usb solely because it already comes with two ports and the case is not too big but has enough space inside for what we need to do. This option is more expensive but yields a cleaner result than other methods. You will basically remove all of the internals meaning you're buying the adapter for the case it's in. However, I saved my internals in case I ever want to use a usb adapter.
Note: With this method you must also buy 1 N64 extension cable or sacrifice an old controller for the male port.
You could also just use 2 N64 extension cables although the result will not be as clean and this guide will not go in depth on making a switcher using them.
Note: Using this method, no additional ports are required.
Extension cables ($6.90ea.):
(The cheapest way to obtain ports would be to search ebay for broken n64s or n64 parts. However, then you would have to fabricate your own box which this guide will not include.
2. Small Philips Screwdriver
I used a #1
Random Multi-Tool ($2.00)
3. Soldering iron & solder
No need to get something expensive. this project can be done with no soldering skills. I will explain a bit how to solder here but it by no means needs to be perfect.
Soldering iron without solder ($4)
4. Thin Stranded wire
I just used 22-gauge speaker wire pulled apart. I know, its not the best but really, we're dealing with such small currents, it wont make a difference.
Should be free, you need like 1 foot max. If not, Lowe's, Home Depot or Radio Shack will have it cheap.
Note: If you are using 2 extension cables you will not need any extra wire
5. Toggle switch
You want to make sure it only toggles left and right (no center position) and has three poles underneath.
also look for one short enough that the bottom of the toggle switch can fit inside your enclosure.
something similar to this (around $5):
6. Scissors or Wire Cutters
Step 1: Disassemble
- Use a small Phillips screwdriver to remove the 4 screws in the back of the usb adapter
- Remove all of the components leaving just a shell
- De-solder the ports from the board: Working with one port at a time, simply heat the three solder points holding the port to the board and once they start to liquefy, slowly work the port back and forth until you can cleanly pull it away. Try to avoid breaking the port off the board to ensure good solder points later.
- Discard the board or keep for later.
Step 2: Assemble
Take a total of 6 pieces of thin stranded wire (about 4 inches each) and with the scissors or wire cutters, expose a small bit of stranded copper on each side of each wire. On each port, solder one end of each wire to a pin. Each port should have 3 wires dangling from the pins. Be extra careful to assure that the pins and wires are not touching any other pins or wires when soldering.
*To solder, touch the iron at maximum heat to a piece of solder until a small amount melts on the iron. Take the exposed wire and roll the tip in the solder on your iron to "tin" the wire. Then take the tinned wire and touch it to a pin. while the tinned wire is touching a pin, gently touch the end of your iron to both the pin and the tinned wire. If you still have a bit of solder on your iron tip, it should quickly adhere the pin and wire once you pull the iron away to let it cool. If the tip is dry, hold the iron on both the tinned wire and the pin until they melt and combine or add a bit more solder to the tip.
Next were ready to assemble our components.
Take your male end, whatever it may be, and cut and expose the 3.3V(red), data(white) and ground(black). Using the wire cutters or scissors, expose a bit of the stranded copper of each wire. Using the same method as above, solder the white wire to the middle pole of the toggle switch. Now take the middle wire from each port and solder it to its own pole on the switch on each side.
From here you have all the components together and you can get a good idea of where things will sit and you can cut the hole for the switch. As you can see in the title picture, I opted for the back, cente,r top of the case. To cut the hole, I burned a small hole with the iron, then carved circles in it with the scissors to make it bigger. Obviously there are better ways of doing this but I wanted to keep the materials list short. Make sure to not cut the hole too big or the switch might not sit right.
Once you have you switch in place you can simply combine the wires as shown by the dots at intersecting points on the diagram.
Make sure while doing this, that you have the ports in the correct orientation. I placed the ports in the bottom half of the case to keep them aligned. To combine the wires, you may choose to solder them, but I chose to simply twist them together and cover with tape. Again not the best way but I felt it was sufficient for this project.
With the ports in the same orientation, take the right wire from each port and combine the free ends. From there combine the two previously combined wires with the 3.3v(red) wire. Cover in tape or solder all three. Next take both left wires from each port and do the same, this time combining the left wires with the Ground(black) wire. Cover in tape or solder those three as well.
From here, you are basically done.
If you so choose, you may plug in two controllers to each port and plug your male end into the N64 to test it. While testing, take note of which direction on the switch controls which controller and fasten your toggle with the provided lock-nuts in a relevant fashion. Maneuver the wires in a way that you can close the case while assuring that no exposed wires are touching any other set of exposed wires. You are done.
Please follow if you like. I update the "equipment" banner with photos of this project and others.