Introduction: NES Controller MP3 Player

Picture of NES Controller MP3 Player
So a while back I saw where someone had done a NES controller mod and turned it into a MP3 player. This is my version of this mod. Hope you like it.

BTW, I used a Coby 512MB MP3 player.

And check out if you get a chance. Its a great place.

Here is a video of it playing with the speakers I made for it.

Step 1: Tools Needed...

O.K. if your gonna do this one you will need a few things.

Dremel or similar tool
Soldering Iron
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Low heat glue gun
Spare wire, a few paper clips, wire ties...just the usual crap for improvising. LOL

Step 2: Opening the Case and Getting to the Guts of the Matter...

Take a deep breath and pull apart your MP3 player, and the NES controller ((which for the rest of the instructable will be referred to as the NESC)).

There will be some small screws. Just go slow and take your time. Make sure that you keep all of them for later use should you need them.

Step 3: Cleaning Out the NESC...

Picture of Cleaning Out the NESC...

To make room for everything to fit you will need to use the dremel to clean out some of the plastic from inside the NESC.

Step 4: Stripping the MP3 Player

Picture of Stripping the MP3 Player

Time to put the MP3 player on a diet...

Desolder the USB, headphone jack, and the power connectors.


Step 5: Cutting Up the NESC Case...

Picture of Cutting Up the NESC Case...

In order to fit everything in and have it all look and function well you will need to spend some time with the dremel and a pair of safety glasses.

Now depending on the headphone connector you have you may or may not need to cut out the hole we talked about earlier. i ended up having to drill it out a bit, but you may not need to. Just see if it fits and go from there.

Step 6: How Will We Know If It on or Off???

Picture of How Will We Know If It on or Off???

I thought of that too!

First measure from teh top and from the side of the NESC to the "O" in nintendo.
Now carefully take the sticker off the front of the NESC.
Next use the measurements from step one to mark the hole location on the inside of the controller.
Drill a hole the same size as the "O".
Put the sticker back on and check to make sure that it lines up so that the "O" will light up when the led does.

Step 7: Fattening the MP3 Player Up a Bit...

Picture of Fattening the MP3 Player Up a Bit...

Now it is time to add some stuff back on. We will be adding the USB jack, headphone jack, and the power wires.

Step 8: Putting It All Together...

Picture of Putting It All Together...

O.K. if you are still with me after this long then you can make it to the end. LOL

We now need to wire up the buttons. This part is really precise work. The solder points are very small and if your hands shake then you might want to get a calmer person to do this part.

Just go slow and take a break if you need to.

Now we are only putting the wire on in this step. We are not hooking the wire to the tactile switches yet, just to the MP3 player.

Step 9: Getting Tactile...

Picture of Getting Tactile...

First, go take a break. Get some coffee, smoke a cigarette, play with...just take a break.

O.K. back from your break. Feeling good? Alright, lets continue.

We need to get out tactile switches to stay in place and function well for a long time. It took me forever to figure this out and its really the only part of this that I feel like is a real breakthrough. The pictures are pretty self explanatory, but I will fill in some of the blanks for you.

After you get everything glued in check that each of the tactile switches works freely and is not pressed down too far. Use a multimeter for this.

Step 10: Finishing Up.

Picture of Finishing Up.

O.K. all that is left is to take the LED off the board and wire it up.

Just desolder the LED and then hook it back up. MAKE SURE that you hook it back up in the right polarity. If you get it wrong it will not light up.

Solder the battery up and test the everything.

If it all works well and the switches work then you are free to glue anything loose down and put the case together.

Step 11: DONE!!!

Picture of DONE!!!

You should now have a working NES Controller MP3 player for under $30.

Enjoy and feel free to ask me if you have a problem.


shadowman0064. (author)2015-05-28

maybe one of the batteries from a old flip phone or something

and how long did your solder job last

gameguy1589 (author)2008-03-27

Sweet!! but what happens when the battery dies?

NigelA (author)gameguy15892015-05-14

right! Maybe try a small rechargeable lithium battery or something. Looks like there is enough room

Dragonpike (author)gameguy15892008-05-31

Then you open it up and change it, I think.

genericusername5 (author)2012-01-31

Where did you get your tactile switches?

Matrix-technician (author)2011-11-10

I love your speakers to go with the player! I grew up during a time called "the 80's". Yeah, that's right, i grew up with the greats, sega, nes, tmnt.........I just gotta have one of these now.

дцветков (author)2011-09-05

Hey guys are all of the buttons rubber ?

gneferu (author)2011-08-21

Can u replace the usb for a mini usb? to reduce the opened areas.

zombeastly (author)2011-08-03

EPICCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but wut mp3 did u use?

R.A.T.M (author)2011-06-03

i used a zen stone verry little soder points but its smaller but no i even used mortor wire and i still had troble with fitting it all in probly becuse i did not un soder the jack or mini usb but it works awsome carges and ya it kicks butt

i used a little 3 inch audio extenson  from raido shack and cut all the pastic off

and the green on the plastic is pollish

wout smeets (author)2010-05-13

this is saving money you should not buy more switches

zack247 (author)wout smeets2010-07-29

why didn't he just use the original button plate? it would have saved a lot of glue...

Morte_Moya (author)zack2472011-06-01

With so many of the original plates being in crap shape I wanted it to be something anyone could do with just the case. That is why I did the separate buttons. I figured it would be more beginner friendly that way.

bilder123 (author)2011-04-03

i bou an mp3 from dealextrem it has buttens rechargeble batteries and sd card slot do i stil fallo this instruction plz help im lost

killer77 (author)2009-01-29

it probably uses a cord to charge it like with an ipod

a cookie (author)killer772010-10-17

it uses a battery

InvaderDig (author)2010-08-02

So why hasn't anyone started making these and selling them on ebay? I'd buy one!

Wicky777 (author)2008-08-13

Dose anyone know of a cheap mp3 player that works with iTunes and/or mac . I have had 2 iPods but my iPod mini's battery life is so bad and i don't want to wreck a $300 iPod video. Thx for the help.

spork969 (author)Wicky7772008-08-13

Music purchased from the iTunes store will not work on non-iPod players. Music imported from CD's or illegally downloaded (not saying you should, I'm saying you probably do) will most likely be able to play on almost any mp3 player. Mp3 players play mp3s. Its that simple.

Wicky777 (author)spork9692008-08-23

I get all my music off itunes thank you very much.

spork969 (author)Wicky7772008-08-24

Pick one of the following dependent on what you meant by "thank you very much": a) You're welcome. b) You asked a question and I answered it. No need to get angry.

taz9797 (author)spork9692009-03-29

what about limewire ??

Stevie89 (author)taz97972010-07-02

sorry for my late reply, torrents ftw. has albums.

phant0m_sp00f3ra (author)taz97972009-05-04

o also buy also my music form iTunes, but i do it for the safety i'll get that it's gonna be at an standard bit rate, wich i can't assure form lamewire.

ihrtglfx10 (author)Wicky7772009-04-02

I just made one with an Ipod Shuffle, cost me 25 bucks off ebay

how u did the contacts? i was thinking about leaving the controller PCB and wire the shuffle to there (got a 521mb 1st gen Ol' shuffle lying round my home)

bantris (author)2010-06-20

Just an FYI, your zoomed-in portions of your picture do not line up with the actual picture.

KiW (author)2010-06-14

Nice, I'm trying it with a old SAGA 16 bit controler, but I run into a problem, there is no way I could get switchesm and I dont know what Ciken trys to say can you help me with a other way to do it? or explean Ciken's way? BTW NICE WORK!

TSC (author)2010-04-01

Sweet!!!!!!!!!! good job 5 stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

upto (author)2010-01-11

from where u get this chip and how much cost of this circuit reply me....

yawgmoth1 (author)2009-10-22

Well, I'm working on one right now thats so far taken a few days. I've got most of the inspiration from you and ryan. However, I'm using a very different mp3 player (RCA) with an SD card and I plan on utilizing a solar charger for the internal battery. (bye bye garden light!) I'll post pics when I'm finished and let you all know how it went! Thanks guys for sharing these great ideas.

bravomanzoalex23 (author)2009-09-06

hi im building this but i need to know what swiches you used!!! please reply

therten (author)2009-07-03

what is a flux?

dragoncald (author)therten2009-07-12

its to help the solder stick.

PrometheusMMIV (author)2009-02-21

After seeing some of the NESC/mp3 mods other people had made, I decided to make my own. But there were some features that were missing that I wanted to add, namely a screen and replaceable batteries. The battery cover screws on/off. The original player called for 1 AAA battery, but I couldn't get it to fit in the case. So I read on this site that you could take apart a 9V battery to get 6 AAAA batteries, which were smaller. Two of these in parallel is about the same as a AAA, and fit nicer in the case. I also used a mini usb port instead of the standard size. I also included a belt clip on the back, and because I had some unused buttons: a small flashlight, and as a joke, a "Rumble Pak" (vibrator from an old cell phone). I've included pictures of the finished product, as well as 1 of the (cramped/messy) internals. Enjoy!

The player I used is an "Electro Brand" 2GB mp3 player (cheap Black Friday sale). And for anyone interested, this is the button layout:

Up/Down = Volume
Left/Right = Change track
Select = Menu
Start = Power/Play
B = Rumble
A = Light

taz9797 (author)PrometheusMMIV2009-03-29

where did you get the

PrometheusMMIV (author)taz97972009-05-22

I hack sawed the clip off of an old book light that I had.

ihrtglfx10 (author)2009-04-02

Hey guys I just finished my ipod shuffle nes controller mp3 player, check it out here: Thanks Morte for the wicked idea!

corsi (author)2008-11-07

cool nes conversion and i made it all and it works but i have one question..... how would i go and use the origonal curcut bored and just connect the mp3 buttons to the nes controller buttons switch thingy?

taz9797 (author)corsi2009-03-29

go to ryan97128

jrcolas (author)2008-12-06

Really nice, but how do you plug it to a computer?

taz9797 (author)jrcolas2009-03-29

a two male ended cord

291jd87 (author)2009-01-27

i really wanna make this but my dad wont let me have one of many of his nes controllers im pissed!

killeroftime (author)291jd872009-03-05

buy one at a game store that sells old stuff or get one on ebay

taz9797 (author)killeroftime2009-03-29

same here realy cheap

sueman2 (author)2008-11-17

i did this with a small mp3 player and inserted small speakers into it as well. the start button turns off and on the speakers. i will post pics when i get a new camera. (took it apart for a project)

taz9797 (author)sueman22009-03-28

cool looking forward to it

MI6gunny (author)2009-03-28

he, do you suppose that the addition of some small speakers, and a push-button switch to power them could work?

0r7iz (author)2008-06-12

how do you get the usb out of the nesc?

smiling_gandalf (author)0r7iz2009-01-27

I think a battery snap should be prescribed here

About This Instructable




Bio: Normally I use the handle Windcalmer online. Every other project I have done and posted online is under the Windcalmer name. This account was made ... More »
More by Morte_Moya:NES Cartridge Powered SpeakersNES Controller MP3 Player
Add instructable to: