NES Led & Window Mod. Cost Under $5.





Introduction: NES Led & Window Mod. Cost Under $5.

About: I'm a big fan of video games & have a huge collection. I enjoy watching anime & love science, technology, & astronomy. Check my youtube channel out under Nesmaniac.

Tools needed:

Safety glasses


soldering iron

hot glue gun

philips screwdriver

dremel rotary tool with drill bit and fiberglass cutoff wheel

knife to strip wire

pliers with cutters

Materials needed:

glass picture frame ($1 at dollar tree)

10 strand led lights ($1 at dollar tree)

100 ohm 1/4 watt resistors ($1.49 for 5 at radio shack)

5mm green led ($1 radio shack)

small wire

Step 1: Disassemble NES & Figure Out Led Routing.

Remove 6 philips screws from bottom of NES. Remove top cover. Mark where you want your window & use dremel to make the cut about a quarter inch smaller all way around than the actual glass size (to allow room for hot glue) then sand the lines smooth. Hold window glass in place & put a bead of hot glue around all 4 sides taking care to keep it neat but effective in securing it in place. Next get the led strand & figure out exactly where you want to route them & test fit making sure they reach those points Locate the positive side of the wire coming out of the battery box and mark it with tape or something so you know positive from negative then cut the battery box off after making sure the lights indeed work with the AA batteries.

Step 2: Locate the Controller Port Pins on Motherboard.

Trace the #2 controller port wires to the motherboard. There are a total of 7 wires. The white wire is your 5 volt positive. Solder the 100 ohm resistor to the pin the white wire runs to on motherboard which is the 3rd one from front of console. Then solder the positive wire from the led's to the other end of the resistor. Then locate the brown wire which runs to the 7th and last pin from front of console which is the ground (negative) and solder the negative led strand wire to it. Be sure no solder is joining any other points & plug in the NES and power on to make sure you did everything right. Hot glue over all the solder points you did to help keep the solder joint secure as well as insulate it from causing a possible short as well.

Step 3: Additional Led (optional)

I chose to add a green 5 mm led to this custom console since it would help make it match my controller with A and B button activated led's. Simply twist a 100 ohm 1/4 watt resistor lead around the positive leg of the led (+ is the longer leg on the led or looking inside the led bulb the positive is the smaller mass of metal) & solder them together. I used controller port #1 on the motherboard for this led & the pinouts are the same as used to wire the led strand onto port #2. Solder however much wire you need depending upon where you want to place the led then solder resistor side to 3rd pin from left which white wire runs to (positive 5 volts) and negative side (ground) 7th or last pin from left which brown wire runs to. Then test to make sure it lights before hot gluing over your solder joints.

Step 4: Enjoy and Game On!

Enjoy your cooler looking custom NES. If you want to add led's to your controller that activate when pressing A and B buttons be sure to check out the instructable I did on that. Simple fun mods that really set your gaming machine apart from others.



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    10 Discussions

    Don't know if this would work or not, but it would be over the top if you used 2 bicolor leds (1red/green for each port) and hooked them up in a way to have them lit red in the absence of a controller and green when you connect it. I might just have to explore the possibility.

    6 replies

    I actually thought of something like this as well but don't know how to do it. I really wanted to have a red and green led on the console that would light as I pressed the buttons just like the controller but could not figure out how to do it & kind of figured that might be annoying anyways. If you figure out how to do what you said please let me know & post a instructable.

    On a side note, I think you're right. Lighting one every time you pressed a button WOULD get very old very quick. If you did want to do it though, I don't think it would be that hard. find the wire that changes states for each button and then not ate what the "pushed state" is. Find a connection point that's at the opposite state and connect your led between them while observing proper polarity. I would suggest the wires used in the controller could simply be traced to the correct terminals in the jack.

    I found out why the idea of using the outputs from the controller didn't work. All 8 possible buttons/directions are fed into a buffer in parallel and then the buffer sends them to the NES in series so you get a bunch of very short high pulses when not pressing any buttons and longer lows when you do. The reason you got such a low voltage on your data line is due to the averaging of the pulses

    I tried just that a few days ago & used my multimeter to check the voltage on each of the wires from nes controller to motherboard and the data, latch, and clock all had little to no voltage going back to the console. In fact I think the data line was the only one that had something like .31 volts showing and I tried pressing all the buttons but no change on any of the connectors. I thought it would be fairly straightforward to do but apparently not. I thought of just running a bigger cable with extra wiring from the controller led's to get it to work that way but decided against it at least for now. I kind of want to do something different with led's on the NES that actually do something cooler than just stay lit. Still a newbie on this led thing but I find them pretty fascinating for some reason.

    Hmm. Guess that's something else for me to look at when I get around to it. Perhaps the voltages used with the leds on tge controller are data inputs to something in the controller. You still need some sort of output to the NES itself though. I wonder how they implemented it. I'll see what I can learn and then share my knowledge.

    Will do and I'm really excited about it. It will be my first Instructable!

    If you're interested in continuing this discussion and sharing what we learn, perhaps we could email. Much simpler than long drawn out comments.