Introduction: Wiring an Xbox Kinect for USB

Picture of Wiring an Xbox Kinect for USB

There are heaps of good instructables about hacking an Xbox Kinect. From 3D scanning to motion sensing, there's a tonne of cool stuff you can do with a Kinect, but so far there are no instructables on how to wire the Kinect for USB.

I don't know what is supposed to come in the bundle, but I bought a Kinect second hand, and got only the device. No adapters, cables or anything. So this is a quick instructable on how to cut of the original plug and wire a USB on, to use with a computer.

Step 1: You Will Need:

Picture of You Will Need:

- An Xbox Kinect.

- A 12v 2A power supply. I used an old netbook power supply

- A USB cable

- Soldering iron + solder

- Heat shrink

Step 2: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

Step 1:
Cut off the ends of the Kinect, the USB cable and the 12v power supply. Cut the Kinect and power supply close to the plug, but cut the USB with plenty of cable trailing out of the male plug.

Step 2:
Solder and heat shrink the four coloured USB wires to their corresponding Kinect wires. Red -> red, green -> green and white -> white. twist up the black wires, but don't solder or heat shrink them just yet.
Make sure there is no exposed wire that will cause a short.

I have attached I wiring diagram drawn by Ttunerboy on youtube.

Step 3:
Solder the brown Kinect wire to the 12v adapter positive, and the 12v adapter negative to the Kinect/USB black. Now you can heat shrink it (or try to, with its 3-way junction).

Step 4:
Heat shrink the whole bunch to make it neat. Maybe yours already is, but my job was disgustingly messy, and I needed to cover it up.

Step 5:
Follow the other instructable on this site, to make use of your new equipment!

This will make the Kinect work on a computer, but it will be useless with an Xbox now. If you want to continue using it with an Xbox, you can splice the wires in without cutting of the Xbox plug. If you do so, you'll need to add in a switch couple of switches at the junctions between the USB's and Xbox's green and white wires. This is because when unused, the USB plug causes interference on the data (green and white) wires.


johnsons12 (author)2017-10-22

hello, i did follow up closely but my kinetic didnt come up. although i got a msg on the system which says device not recognized. any help help please

ahmedn98 (author)2017-10-12

hello ,, will it work with mac ?, i will use it in matlab for image processing

Bloudit (author)2017-09-07

Anyone know if this is the same for the second model for the Xbone?

EveS1 (author)2016-12-14

Hi, I've connected everything as it's said but the kinect doesn't even turn on.
First I tried with a DC adapter that it's supposed to give 1A, when I measured the current it was 0.6 mA. The I tried with another source that can deliver up to 3A and I had the same current 0.7mA.

A friend of mine gave me that kinect so I don't know If I'm missing something or he kinect is damaged.

klokanek1965 (author)2016-11-25

Super. Funguje to. Jeste se s tim naucit pracovat. Skvely navod. Dekuji

ckuefler1 made it! (author)2016-11-07

Today I bought a $10 kinnect at the pawnshop and spliced in an old 12V 3 amp random made in China power supply I had laying around, using your tips, first thing I've ever soldered and it works beautifully.

Thank you!

Ghostrider513 (author)2016-09-27

This looks like it will work but I think I'll buy the adapter kit for $12.00 Seems like a safe way to connect the Kinect. Now, that being said this ible is filled with great info. I can now download the SDK for my Kinect. Thanks for the link.

AnaM127 (author)2016-09-15

Thansks, it work great! i use an dapter of 12V 3A.

SeanS5 (author)2015-01-23

What good timing, I just got a kinect in the mail today to use for 3d printing and it has this silly plug. I found a 12v 4A power supply. will this work? Thanks!

squiggy2 (author)SeanS52015-01-23

That'll work perfectly! Good luck and show the results!

makeitsonow (author)squiggy22015-11-22

Need a little clarification on this point. You say that using a 12V 4A power source will work. I would have thought that would put the Kinect at risk. Inversely, I have a 12V 1.5A power source. That likely to pose any issues?

squiggy2 (author)makeitsonow2015-11-22

Electronic devices only draw as much current as they need. So you could use a 100A power supply. It would be a waste of money, but the Kinect would still only draw as much as it needs. You will damage the Kinect if your power supply puts out too many VOLTS. It must be given 12V, no more, no less.

The Kinect apparently draws 1.08A, so a 1.5A power supply will work. If you use a supply that can only supply <1A, its voltage will drop during use and the Kinect won't work. No damage done, it just won't work.

FrancisR20 (author)squiggy22016-08-16

i have a 12v 780ma charger will that work at all . . . i seen a guy post he used one that was 800ma and it worked fine

squiggy2 (author)FrancisR202016-08-19

You can try it. I can't remember off hand what the specified power consumption of the Kinect is, but if your charger can't supply it, it will simply not work. No harm done, except wasting your time.

BugsyB (author)2016-07-29

That cloth is at least 15 years old.

jnjani (author)2016-07-06

Connected with PC as shown in diagram. PC detects USB connection, green indicator glows on Kinect BUT nothing happens.

erik_m (author)jnjani2016-07-07

Have you installed the Kinect for Windows SDK v1.8? get it from here:

jnjani (author)erik_m2016-07-07

Thanks for your reply. I have downloaded and installed Kinect for Windows V1.8, still, there is nothing.

erik_m (author)jnjani2016-07-07

does it show up in the Device Manager as Kinect for Windows? If not, it might show up as Primesense in which case try updating the drivers by right clicking on each part select Update Driver Software then Browse my computer for driver software the Let me pick from a list... If that doesn't work, I'm not sure what else to try as I'm a bit out of my depth. I don't know what software you're trying to use it with but to test if that is at fault, try and see if it works with that.

erik_m (author)2016-07-07

This worked for me! I was having issues at first, it failed to connect in reconstructme, but it turned out I had an early SDK/drivers installed. After installing Kinect for Windows V1.8 from here: it works!

Carl Gordon Media (author)2016-07-02

Hey man I just followed the instructable step by step, plugged the kinect into my mac with the usb and tried to connect it to processing. I tried to start up one of the examples from the 'Open Kinect for Processing' Library and got this error:

No Kinect devices found.
Failed to open camera subdevice or it is not disabled.Failed to open motor subddevice or it is not disabled.Failed to open audio subdevice or it is not disabled.There are no kinects, returning null

Is there something else I need to do before it works?

Hello, i have the same problem but i'm on Windows.

GersonC1 (author)2015-08-10

I made a mistake with the polarity and my kinect is not working anymore.
How can I fix my kinect?

Thank you

squiggy2 (author)GersonC12015-08-10

If you take apart the kinect, there may be something obvious like a capacitor that is surrounded by a big black splodge - they let out a lot of black stuff when reverse polarity is put onto them. If there is one like that you could replace that, but otherwise you might have to get a new kinect

Andajus (author)squiggy22016-04-05

I have one dismantled Kinect. Sadly, there is no capacitors. Mine is not working and I can't figure out reson why...

KieranR10 (author)2016-03-21

Is there any weird things going on with path length dependence? I thought these kinds of signals needed to be accurate to the near micron?

squiggy2 (author)KieranR102016-03-23

What do you mean? Which kinds of signals?

fugiapple12 (author)2015-12-23

so, do i just put the red and brown cables together? kinda confused

squiggy2 (author)fugiapple122016-01-05

There are four wires on a USB plug, and five on the Kinect. Once you've kinected (see what I did there) all the wires on the USB with their matching colours, there should still be a brown wire left coming out of the Kinect. This is soldered to the +ve wire of the 12v power supply. The -ve of the power supply is wired in with the black wire of both the USB AND the Kinect

michaeloliver (author)2015-10-24

hi, i changed it and the light on the Kinect is flashing, i have all the drivers installed (finally) , device manger sees the devices and says they are working, but no picture and when i look in printers and devices from control panel it only recognizes a kinect audio device, the kinect studio says my kinect isnt there what do i do now????

Skyrocket64 (author)2015-07-02

I just finished making this yesterday, it works. The only issue I have is that my Color Stream only responds when an object is almost touching it, I'm not sure if i used too big or too small of usb cable for the data pins or if the problem is just Client side. Anyway, great Instructable!

squiggy2 (author)Skyrocket642015-07-02

Glad to hear I helped! Since the data cables have milliamps running through them, I doubt it could be a size problem with the USB cable. Get some aluminium foil and wrap that section of the cable to recreate the shielding that you destroyed when stripping the wire. Make sure the foil has electrical contract with the original shielding at both ends. If that doesn't help then I reckon it's a software issue

mizami (author)2015-01-22

does it matter the polarity of power supply? i don't know how to find which wire for ground or +12V..

squiggy2 (author)mizami2015-01-22

Very much so!
You might damage the Kinect if you have the wrong polarity.
Do you have a voltmeter? (multimeter). If you measure the voltage of your supply one way and then swap the probes, one measurement will be positive and the other negative. That will tell you which way the supply goes. Another way is to buy a 5v LED for a few cents. If it lights up, the side connected to the flat side of the LED is ground. The LED won't light up if the supply is the wrong way around.

squiggy2 (author)squiggy22015-01-22

oops, 12v LED, not 5v

Samiran (author)squiggy22015-05-27

you can have a diode bridge . take 4 pcs of 1N4007 and make a bridge. make sure the output to be same. Now even if you alter the input the out put will be always of same polarity. Have fun

wimkluijfhout (author)2014-07-12

The power of the kinect goes through the metal shielding, not through the black signal wire. Sometimes these are connected, sometimes not. You might want to connect them when you solder all of this together.

About This Instructable




Bio: I study Aerospace Engineering at RMIT, in the hope that one day I will be able to bring about the return of intercontinental airship cruises ... More »
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