Introduction: PC Toggle Switches for Gaming (or Whatever)

    I play alot of Mech Warrior Online, but I'm sure there's lots of instances where someone might want a switch on some software that stays on.   SO, if you are in that situation, here's how to go about it. 

You will need....
An old game controller, capable of USB input.
Project enclosure, unless you're goin quick and dirty.
Switches.
Epoxy putty (If you jury rig like I did)
Hot glue
Solder
Soldering skills???

I had some standard (old ps1) controllers lying around, so I bought an adapter for 2 bucks on ebay.  I had some latching pushbuttons leftover from gutting an ancient flightstick, so I used those, but any simple on/off switch will work.  Skip to step 5 if you aren't custominzing your box.

By the way, it would be way easier to just drill holes and mount some simple paddle toggles.  Also, I do not use the D-pad on these, since it reads as an axis and gets a bit tricky.  Even without it, you can accomodate 10 on/off switches per controller, that's 20 on one USB port!!!



Step 1:

Here's the buttons I need to salvage from the old flightstick.  The house has all the holes predrilled, and standoff for perfect height.  I think it'll be easier to save part of the housing.

Step 2:

    I used my "circuit trace eraser" to isolate my leads from the original circuit.  I'm only using the board for holding the components perfectly in place.
    I also used the Dremel to cut the entire section of plastic out of the original housing.  Now I'm ready to move on to the new housing.

Step 3:

I traced my edges with a pocket knife to mark it out.  Then carved out the hole with the Dremel.

Step 4:

    Once I got the 2 parts to fit pretty close, I put duct tape across the back.  This holds the part in place, and cuts down on sanding the filler.  Then I filled in the gaps with a liberal amount of Bondo filler/putty/stuff.  Once cured, sand it flush.   

Step 5:

     I had planned on using the cheapy brand aftermarket controller and keeping the nostalgic original, well, original.  Sadly, some testing showed the fancy circuits of the Turbo and Ozone prevents it from working with my adapter.  So, it looks like I'll be using the original afterall.  I went ahead and marked each button for where it shows up in the computer joystick calibrate screen.

Step 6:

   So, the first pic is what you see as soon as you open the controller.  The black....stuff has to be scraped or sanded off to get at the copper for soldering.  You can see the copper in the second pic.  The traces are terribly tiny, so if you have too much trouble, find another, larger spot in the same circuit trace and attach there.

Step 7:

    So, i dry fit everything inside my project box, to ensure fit and figure out how long to make the wires.  I always go a bit longer than needed, so I cut speaker wires the length of the box.
    As I said, those tiny traces are a pain to solder to.  You can see where I jumped to the sides where I had a larger pad on some.

Step 8:

    Once i got all the wiring done, U put duct tape over my circuit board to prevent shorting out, and hot glued the controller board in place.  I also knotted (gently) the cord to prevent any strain from making it to delicate parts.
    I finished off the outside with some textured black spraypaint.  More sanding would have looked nicer, but good enough for gaming in a dark room.

Step 9:

  Its complete, and it works!!  I'd love to stay and talk about it, but there's gaming to be had!

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