Introduction: How to Assemble and Install an AXISdapter

The AXISdapter is a small printed circuit board made to make the installation of a wireless Playstation 3 controller into an arcade stick as easy as possible.

The AXISdapter project was started was started by ShinJN and Toodles on the forums. Both of us has made a slightly different board that performs the same purpose. This Instructable focuses on the version by me (Toodles) simply because I have one on hand. The assembly and installation of these boards is very similar and should help with assembly of either version.

AXISdapters can be purchased in either kit form or fully assembled form from the following places:
Toodles via :

Please begin at Step 1 if you have an AXISdapter kit and need to assemble. Skip ahead to Step 5 if your AXISdapter is already assembled and you would like some help installing it in your stick.

Step 1: Verify Components

Before starting to assemble your AXISdapter, take a moment to verify you have all of the needed components.
Your AXISdapter kit should include:
1x 20 pin FPC connector
1x 20 pin flat ribbon cable
2x Resistors, 5k-10k ohm
(optional) Screw terminals (2 pieces of 7 pin terminals and 1 piece of 4 pin terminals for the Toodles version.)

If all parts are present and accounted for, it's time to begin putting them together.

Step 2: FPC Connector and Resistors

The 20 pin FPC connector is the most important part of the entire AXISdapter. The ribbon cable that connects to the Playstation 3 gets inserted here, so make certan you which end the ribbon cable slides into. Take a peek at the board; all parts should go on the side of the board with the white silkscreened writing. Make sure not to put the pieces in the wrong side. The FPC connector should snap in place to the holes in the board. The bent pins of the connector should hold it in place easily. Doublecheck that the side the ribbon connector will go into faces the outside of the board so the ribbon will hang off of the end.

Take one of the two resistors and bend the legs close to the resistor. Insert the two legs through the holes for the resistor and pull them through as far as you can so the resistor is as flat against the board as possible. Once it is in all of the way, bend the legs to the side to hold it in place. Repeat for the other resistor.

Step 3: Soldering Part 1

Flip the board over and heat up your soldering iron. Solder the four legs of the resistors into place, and clip the excess legs off.

Solder one of the corner pins of the FPC connector. Pick up the board and take a peek at the FPC connector from the side. We want the connector to be as flat against the board as possible before soldering the rest of the pins in place. Use one hand to hold the soldering iron to the pin you just soldered while using the other hand to hold the board and lightly squeeze down on the connector. When the soldering is melting, you should be able to rest the FPC connector perfectly flat. Remove the iron and let the solder cool to hold the piece in place.

Flip the board back over and solder the rest of the 19 pins in place.

Step 4: Screw Terminals

If your kit included screw terminals, now is the time to install them. Once again, they go on the same side of the board as the white silkscreen lettering. If you opted to not get screw terminals, go ahead and skip this step.

Each screw terminal has an exposed side the wires are inserted into. Place all of the screw terminals on the board making certain that the wire entry points face outside of the board. Flip the board over so the board rests on the screw terminals, double checking that they are all oriented properly. Solder one leg of each terminal to the board to hold the rest in place, then continue soldering the remaining legs until finished.

Step 5: Connecting to Your Playstation 3 Controller

Take a look at both sides of your small ribbon cable that cable with your kit. You'll notice that the wires in the cable are only exposed on one side; there is only insulation on the other side. Take a peek at the FPC connector on your freshly assembled board. You'll notice that the pins that make contact with the ribbon are only present on the top. Go ahead and insert the ribbon cable into the connector on the AXISdapter, but you must make certain that you insert the ribbon into the FPC connector with the shiny exposed contacts facing up.

Take the main printed board from your Playstation 3 controller and remove the plastic button membrane from the connector on the circuit board. Insert the ribbon cable into the connector in its place.

Step 6: Wiring

The important thing to remember about using an AXISdapter in an arcade stick is that you must be careful about which wires you setup as your common. On most common ground boards, there is a single wire that is sent to one pin of every microswitch direction and button. With an AXISdapter, the 'common' lines for your buttons and stick cannot all be tied together. Everything is grouped to be as easy as possible, but please take a moment to be sure of your wiring.

There are two main terminals on the AXISdapter, the longer terminals with 7 pins each. One terminal contains the four D-pad direction, L1, L2, and a common line for those inputs. The other 7 pin terminal has pins for the four face buttons(circle, square, etc.), R1, R2 and a common line for those inputs.

The smaller set of screw terminals is for the 'control' buttons, start, select, and the Playstation 'home' button. On the ShinJN version, there are two 'common' pins, one for the Playstation button, and the other for start and select. Despite the warning above, the start, select, and Playstation buttons do not require a specific common. They can be activated by the common from either of the 7 pin terminals. This makes wiring quite a bit easier as you will see soon.

First, let's wire up the the stick. If you are using a 5 pin connector, like a Seimitsu or Sanwa harness, then wiring is a cinch. Place the 'common' or 'ground' wire from the harness into the common screw terminal for the directions. This is marked 'COM_S' on the Toodles board, and marked 'GND (L)' on the ShinJN board.

The other four wires of the harness each correspond to a cardinal direction. Install the four wires into their matching screw terminal screw them down.

If you are using a stick with four separate microswitches for each direction, like a Sanwa JLW or Happ Competition stick, you need to run a wire from the common screw terminal for the directions (Marked 'COM_S' on the Toodles board, and marked 'GND (L)' on the ShinJN board) to one tab of each of the four microswitches. That's why it is called a 'common'. One wire from each microswitch should then go to the matching direction marked on the AXISdapter.

One nice thing about the AXISdapter is that the start, select, and Playstation buttons can be activated using either of the common lines. What this means is that you can run a single common wire to all of your buttons except for L1 and L2. If you are using only six main play buttons, you don't need or even want to use L1 or L2, so there is only one common wire for all buttons. Take a peek at my crude MSPaint wiring diagram to help illustrate what I mean.

If you intend to use an eight play button layout, you will need to wire up L1 and L2 as well. The common line for these two buttons can NOT be the one you used for the other buttons, or else your inputs will not work properly. It must be common line from that terminal block; the same common you used for the stick. The six play buttons from the other terminal block will have their common, and the last two button will use the other common.