Making a Left Handed NES Controller

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Introduction: Making a Left Handed NES Controller

About: I am an electrical repair tech by day and an engineer by night, after work or free time.

A left handed NES controller is a modified controller that's basically rewired to work upside down with the D-pad in your right hand and action buttons in your left.

It serves to help left handed people better enjoy the classics.

The idea of a left handed controller isn't mine but I was asked if I could make a mod board for this and it sounded like a fun project so what the heck, why not :)

This mod relies on custom PCBs that can be ordered from JLCPCB.

The Gerber files for the two PCBs that are used in this project can be found here https://www.dropbox.com/sh/k1lj9hr2edxsqqy/AAAjAvM...

Supplies

NES controller

Gerber files https://www.dropbox.com/sh/k1lj9hr2edxsqqy/AAAjAvM...

For the switches used type this into the search bar at Mouser.com "229-CAS-D20A1"

Soldering iron

Wick

Flux

Isopropyl alcohol

Step 1: Check Out the Video Covering the MOD!

Step 2: The Mod Boards.

I designed two mod boards to accomplish the rewiring needed for a left handed control scheme. All the "rewiring" is done using the traces on the mod boards and all you have to do is desolder the chip from the NES controller circuit board, solder it onto the mod board of your choice then solder that board onto the NES controller.

The smaller board on the left is just accomplishes the lefty layout and that's it. Its perfect for those who just want to dedicate a controller for left handed use. But what if you want one for left handed use AND right handed use? The board on the right uses 4 dual SPDT switches that allows for lefty use or righty use.

I know the switches are small and housed inside the controller but that was on purpose in order to hide any indication that the controller was modified.

After you decide which board is right for you, lets install them! :)

Step 3: Removing the Chip.

Remove the chip by using solder wick to suck up the solder from the chip. Once all the legs are free you can lift the chip out with ease.

After you remove the solder give each leg a wiggle with some tweezers to make sure they're free. If the chip doesn't lift up with ease, go back and check all the legs. Don't pry it out! You can damage traces if the legs are still soldered even if its a very small amount.

There are two pads that aren't used and they might lift up while deslodering.


TIPS

  1. Adding fresh solder to the joints can help with wicking up the old solder
  2. While wicking up the solder avoid pressing down on the joint and moving. The iron should do all the work, There is no need to press down on the joint.

Step 4: Prepping the Mod Chips.

If you're using the mod board with the switches you'll have to solder the surface mount switches in place then solder the chip onto the board.

For the other board you just have to solder the chip onto the board. Don't solder the chip into the "BOARD" position.

Step 5: Installing the Mod Boards.

In order to connect the mod board to the controller you'll have to first solder short length pieces of wire into the NES controller then feed those pieces of wire through the mod board and solder them into place. After soldering be sure to clean up the flux with isopropyl alcohol.

Try to get the board as flat as possible before soldering it in place.

You may be wondering why the mod board needs to be soldered on this side of the NES controller and the reason for that is simply space. I tried to design a mod board that would install on the other side which would make for an easier install but the added height of the board impacted how the controller shell would close. The front of the controller offers 2 more millimeters which is more than enough for the added height of the board.

Step 6: Closing It Up!

In order to close up the controller using the mod board with switches you'll have to snip away a piece of plastic. After that, it'll close up perfectly! Click on the images to see the piece of plastic that needs to be removed.

For the smaller mod board you may need to shave a small piece of plastic away from the center post. Click on the image to see which piece.

That's it! You can now enjoy playing your favorite NES games left handed!

Thanks for making it this far! If you have any questions leave a comment and I'll get back to you! :)

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