Picture of NES Controller Belt Buckle w/ Sound FX!
This instructable will show you how to merge a Mario Bros. sound FX keychain with an NES controller to make a belt buckle with sounds from the original Super Mario Bros. This is also my sister's Christmas present, so don't tell her!

Here's a video of the belt buckle in glorious action:

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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
NES Controller
Super Mario Bros. FX Keychain (available online, $5-10, I got mine at Hot Topic for $10)
On/off switch (I got 2 SPDT switches from Radio Shack for $2.50)
Belt buckle, belt buckle blank (available from craft stores), or wire hanger

Soldering Iron (& flux, solder, etc.)
Hot Glue gun
Dremel or some other tool for cutting the controller board
Wire strippers & scissors
Small phillips scredriver
Drill w/ 1/16" bit

Step 2: Theory

Picture of Theory
controller circuit.JPG
Before we get started, let's discuss how this thing is going to work. On the keychain, when a button is pressed it completes a specific circuit that lets a microchip produce a specific sound effect. The button bridges the gap between a hot wire and an out wire to make that circuit. The NES controller works on the same concept, but with a different microchip that interprets the signal as telling Mario to jump (boing!) or spit a fireball.

Since both circuits work on the same principle (using conductive buttons to complete circuits), we can use one board to operate the other. All we have to do is solder connections between the hot wire and the out wires for each button. (see pic) Then when a button is pressed on the controller, the keychain is bypassed and the controller button completes the circuit and sends a signal to the microchip on the keychain board, creating a sound effect. All of the buttons work the same way, so any sound can be wired to any button.

The second picture shows the sounds each of the keychain button makes and how I wired them to the controller buttons, FYI.
schallmau3r2 years ago
Could you be a bit more detailed on 2 Things:

A) Did you drill holes in the Circuit of the Keychain or just scratch the surface to solder the wires on the circuit and then glue the wires onto it?

B) How did you cut the circuitboard? Using a Dremel?

As a sidenote: i used a small piece of a ball pen housing for the batteries to fit in, made the installation a LOT easier for me =)
This is too cool for me to goof up by trying it. If I have the controller and keychain would I be able to talk you into doing this for me for a fee? If so, pretty sure you'd be my hero. Holla.
LMO (author)  mmmdrytinder3 years ago
How about this: try it yourself first, then let me know if you still need some help.
Have to change your name to "Captin N" I may have to make this someday, or more likely pay a friend to do it for me as I'm not good with such things.
i cant seem to find a belt buckle blank any wheres and i really need this for a friend , they want to give it as a gift so im trying to find one fast
See, I have a perfect belt and an NES controller ready for this, but I can't come across the keychain.. Do you know where I can find one or an alternative??
So... I found the keychain for $7.50, but I have to say, I was surprised at what site I found it on

And in case anyone wants to buy it or anything else from this site, here's a list of coupon codes that you can use (only one per order) I used SPOOKY10, 10% off.

WhatULive44 years ago
I made one of these (minus the belt attachments) as a toy for my son.  I've got to start him early!  Thanks for the inspiration...  Gotta say, the battery holder was a pain in the @$$.
Iridium75 years ago
 lol, another way for the ladies to look at your crotch.
luigi1123445 years ago
okay this seems cool but what could the select and start button do you should add the sound of pause in the both
vanceatot5 years ago
how much is this if i want you to make it for me
LMO (author)  vanceatot5 years ago
How much ya got? lol I think cost would depend on the NES controller, wherever you can find it. The keychain is $10, and the other stuff is nominal.
mokojean5 years ago
can you clear up where to glue or solder the wires to the butters?I have all my connections soldered to the controller, but I'm having a hard time trying to see where to attach the other ends of the wires to the circuit board of the keychain. when i touch the wires they make a noise, but when i press the button on the controller it does nothing. please your thoughts on this.
LMO (author)  mokojean5 years ago
Don't solder anything directly to the buttons. If the circuit is making a sound when you complete the circuit manually, maybe the buttons are dirty and need to be cleaned. I also had problems with connections coming undone and breaking the circuit when I put it all back together- make sure there isn't a lot of stress on the connections when you're done. Hope this helps; don't know what else to say.
Bazzatron5 years ago
i see the microchip part of the board has made a miraculous comeback? im more confused now as to whether thats an integral part of the project of not??
LMO (author)  Bazzatron5 years ago
Some of the pics have the microchip in them, some don't....they're not in chronological order (my bad). I took it out to free up some space - it's not necessary at all. The important part is to make sure that all the button circuits are there's one hot wire that snakes around to all the buttons and it must not be interrupted. Let me know if that doesn't make sense.
wait. soo you have to drill holes in the back of the nes controller right?
LMO (author)  daftpunkelectroma5 years ago
Without the holes, the sound is barely audible. Just be careful and drill the holes before you install the speaker....I lost one that way.......
Bazzatron5 years ago
does it matter how haggard the board is at the end of the process?
guessing you just need the button contacts - intact and that everything else is pretty disposable _
JohnnyHands5 years ago
Great Project! I was just wondering if you could give a little more detail about the wiring of the batteries and the speaker... I can sort of see where/how they are wired, but it I'm not 100% sure where the connections are. Thanks
LMO (author)  JohnnyHands5 years ago
When you buy the keychain, the yellow speaker wires and the battery leads are already soldered to the board. You'll see them when you take it apart. De nada.
Valgarn6 years ago
Totaly awesome=O
lukeis16 years ago
Does it have to be a NES controller that works on the NES? Because I have some that don't work with the NES.
If it doesn't work on the console, just make sure the buttons work ( so check with a multimeter? voltmeter? idk what its called, sorry) if u have a current when the buttons pressed your good to go...
mrjubjub6 years ago
good instructable and job _