Nintendo 64 Controller Internal Rumble Mod

5,601

10

21

Introduction: Nintendo 64 Controller Internal Rumble Mod

This guide will show you step by step how to incorporate rumble motors internally in a stock Nintendo 64 controller. Traditionally, a large rumble pak with batteries must be inserted into the controller in order to experience the rumble feature. This mod will not require batteries to run, and will also leave the controller slot open for memory cards or other peripherals.

Step 1: Supplies Needed

Here are the main components you will need to complete this mod:

Nintendo 64 controller

2 Nintendo 64 Rumble Paks (NUS-013)

Soldering iron/flux/solder

24AWG stranded copper wire

Wire strippers

3.8mm gamebit

Philips screwdriver

Scissors

Razor blades

Rotary tool such as a Dremel (optional)

Electrical tape

Dual pole dual throw switches

Hot glue gun/hot glue

Step 2: Take Apart Rumble Paks

You will need original Nintendo NUS-013 rumble paks for this mod. You can use one or two depending on how much rumble you want. I chose to use two and that's what I will be demonstrating in this guide.

Use a 3.8mm gamebit to remove the two screws and open up the rumble pak.

Carefully disconnect the rumble motor from the circuit board.

Set aside one circuit board and two rumble motors.

Step 3: Trim Circuit Board

In order to fit the rumble pak circuit board in the controller, we will need to physically trim it down. Be very careful to only trim as far as I went in the third and fourth images.

You also want to trim down the gold contacts at the bottom by about half their full length.

I used normal scissors for the bulk of the trimming and a sharp razor blade for the finer bits.

Step 4: Modify the Rumble Pak to Run Without Batteries

In order to allow the rumble pak to run without batteries, you need to bridge two contacts on the circuit board.

Solder a wire between the two points circled in red. I used 24AWG stranded copper wire for this.

Step 5: Add Wires for the Rumble Motor

Add a wire about 6" in length to each of these points for the positive and negative output to the rumble motors.

Step 6: Prepare Controller

Disassemble your N64 controller by removing the 9 Philips screws on the bottom of the controller. Set the buttons, joystick, and circuit board aside.

Remove the plastic support underneath the d-pad location on the left side of the controller. We need this space to fit the rumble pak circuit board.

Simply use a sharp razor blade or a Dremel tool if you have one.

The second and third images give you and idea of where all the components are going to go.

Step 7: Add Leads to Circuit Board

Use flux and solder to tin all of the contacts on the circuit board.

You will need to add a wire approximately 6 inches in length to each of these pins: 1, 2, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32.

Note: pins 1, 16, 17, and 32 are clearly labeled on the circuit board. All pins in between are in sequential order.

The finished product should look something like the third and fourth images.

It's imperative to label the wires according to their respective pins. It will make it much easier later on. I used small pieces of scotch tape and a sharpie to make simple labels for each.

Step 8: Test Fit in Controller

Use electrical tape to cover the exposed rumble pak circuit board, allowing the wires to run out as shown in the image.

This should give you a general idea of where the finished wires will run.

Step 9: Add Switches

We will need to add two switches in order to allow the mod to function properly. One switch will allow us to use memory cards and other peripherals. The second switch is optional but will allow you to shut off one of the two rumble motors.

For switches, I used the C&K 0S203011MS1QP1 dual pole triple throw model from Mouser.com. These ended up working out pretty well after some slight modification. I had to shorten the contacts on the bottom of the switches as shown in the image. Left is a stock switch, right is my modified version. This will allow it to fit in the limited space available. Note that these are triple throw switches, though only double throw are actually needed.

The second image shows roughly where the switches will be mounted.

Step 10: Add Slots for Switches

Make two slots to allow for the switches to be accessible. I used a drill and small drill bit but a Dremel tool or similar would be ideal.

Step 11: Install Switches

Install the switches and use hot glue to fill in the space behind them so they stay in place.

I chose to run short wire leads off the switches before installation to allow for easier access, as shown in the image.

With the left switch, you want to switch pins 18 (rumble pak detection) with one pole, and 31 (3.3v) with the second pole.

With the other switch, you want to switch the positive wire of the second rumble motor. I chose to switch the left rumble motor and leave the right one always connected.

Step 12: Add Rumble Motors

Place the rumble motors in these locations in the wings of the controller. Carefully apply hot glue underneath and around them where you can to hold them in place, making sure to not obstruct the movement of the motor shaft.

They fit pretty tightly even without the hot glue, but will be vibrating a lot so better to be safe.

They should just barely fit in the space available.

Step 13: Connect Rumble Circuit Board

Now it's time to connect the rumble pak circuit board to the controller circuit board. Simply solder all the numbered pins of the rumble pak to their respective pins on the top of the controller circuit board. Again, all the pins are clearly labeled on the controller circuit board and in sequential order.

Pins 18 and 31 should be running from the rumble circuit board, through separate poles on the first switch, and then to the controller circuit board to allow the rumble pak to be disconnected.

The positive and negative rumble motor output wires from the rumble circuit board should be wired to the rumble motor(s).

Step 14: Route Wires in Controller for Reassembly

Now comes one of the most difficult parts; getting everything to fit in the controller. It's a tight fit but you should be able to route all of the wires where they need to go.

The images above shows roughly the routing you want to use.

Extra wires going to the controller circuit board can be tucked in the space circled in blue.

The rumble motor related wires can be run along the path of the red line.

Note that all the wires you are running should be routed below the controller circuit board.

Carefully close the controller making sure not to pinch any wires. It can be very frustrating to get everything to fit, but keep working at it and it will eventually close.

Step 15: Enjoy Your Modified Controller

Congratulations! If you managed to actually get your controller to close, you now have a fully functional N64 controller with built in rumble!

To use controller paks (N64 memory cards), simply flip the left switch to disconnect the internal rumble circuitry before inserting your controller pak. When you are done, remove the controller pak and flip to switch again to turn on rumble. The way the N64 works, both devices cannot be connected at once. You will corrupt your controller pak if you try to insert it when the rumble is still active.

If you want less rumble, flip the right switch to disconnect one of the rumble motors. Not that you would ever want to do that, but you have the option.

Also note that you should only use one of these modified controllers with your system at any one time. The N64 console only has enough energy to safely power two rumble motors directly off the console. Additional controllers can safely use traditional battery rumble paks alongside your modified controller.

Please let me know if you have any questions. It took a lot of research to get this working and I'm more than happy to share it with you all.

1 Person Made This Project!

Recommendations

  • Make it Glow Contest

    Make it Glow Contest
  • First Time Author Contest

    First Time Author Contest
  • Anything Goes Contest

    Anything Goes Contest

21 Discussions

0
NatánS7
NatánS7

1 year ago

Hi there, amazing mod. Just a question, I want to skip installing the two switches altogether as I play N64 occasionally but don't need to use the controller pak because i can save the game straight to my everdrive. In this case, how would you connect both rumble motors directly? Can I solder the motor leads straight to the controller PCB's rumble circuit pins or do i still need the rumble pak PCB? THANKS!!

0
NatánS7
NatánS7

Reply 12 months ago

Thanks again for the help. I'm having difficulty putting it together. Would you mind providing pictures showing how you wired the 2 switches to the pcbs rumble circuit and to the motors? Thanks for all your help in advance!!

0
PhantomAura
PhantomAura

Reply 11 months ago

Switches can be tricky to wrap your head around. In your case, since you don't care about controller pak support, I would highly recommend skipping the switches altogether.

Just connect all the required wires from the rumble circuit board to the controller circuit board. Then connect the positive wires from your rumble motors to the positive (+) wire in step 5. Then the negative wires from the rumble motors to the negative wire (-) in step 5.

That's it! You're done (if you can fit it all in the controller haha).

Sorry I don't have more images. Things get quite cramped when you start soldering things together and I just didn't have the ability to take better images near the end of the guide.

0
NatánS7
NatánS7

Reply 11 months ago

by the way, i made another mistake, I DO need the controller PAK, even with the everderive, as the SD card is only for backup purposes. do you happen to know which is the wire that turns on/off the rumble motors? maybe I can cut off either the positive or negative wire and run a cable along the switch?

1
NatánS7
NatánS7

Reply 11 months ago

Dude, I modded my retrofighters brawler 64!! Mission accomplished! Thank you soooooo much!! I wish I could upload a video though.

You're a hero

20200203_235940.jpg20200204_000841.jpg20200203_004323.jpg
0
PhantomAura
PhantomAura

Reply 11 months ago

That looks amazing, you did a really clean job! I’m so glad it worked for you! Thanks for posting images.

0
NatánS7
NatánS7

Reply 11 months ago

I'm glad to share the pictures. I obviously made many mistakes along the way as I'm an occasional modder. Here's why I chose the Brawler 64: I have big hands for the original controller and both hands touch each other when holding middle and right prongs, plus the analog stick as we all know...sucks (However I bought a Gamecube-style joystick and replaced it, now it's much better)
For me, the Hori-style controllers are too small, so I DO own the Admiral 64, but the Brawler is much more ergonomic for me. I wish retrofighters had made a wireless version for the console. If anyone knows how to make mine wireless that be EPIC!!

Here's a list of mistakes I made, and suggestions for anyone interested:

-again, choosing the brawler for THIS mod was harder than the original controller. I guess the PCB is a different shape, button layout, etc, so when you pull off the back shell, the PAK port is stuck somehow, until you pry it loose, a little hard to work with if you ask me. So I chose to desolder the port.

-Next time, and for all of us, I think it's better to FIRST solder all wires to the controller's circuit board, run the cables through available crevices, and THEN solder them to the rumble pak PCB, this way you'll have some slack and orient the rumble pak pcb to where it should be mounted.

-NEVER, NEVER use non-flexible cables!! I don't know what it's called, but I made the stupid decision to use some cable that was so hard, like barb-wire, that it was giving me a hard time closing the controller. I recommend using ribbon cable, flexible. that way you wont run into having to tape and number all wires, you'd just have to mark a "1" and the rest should be all other consecutive pin numbers.

-If you choose to mod the Brawler, before glueing the rumble motors, place them on the controller, grab a pen, and mark the lines where it sits, THEN glue a bit in the center only, then place the rumble motors firmly and add hot glue on top and along the sides.

-for the Brawler, before closing the controller, you might want to file down those two poles sticking out where two screws go in, if you don't they might end up touching the rumble motors.

0
PhantomAura
PhantomAura

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you for your compliment! You will still need the rumble pak circuit board. It handles the rumble signal processing and power delivery to the motors. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!

0
GluDigits
GluDigits

2 years ago

Love this mod! It worked great!

0
PhantomAura
PhantomAura

Reply 2 years ago

I'm glad to hear that! Enjoy your controller!

0
TrumanN
TrumanN

2 years ago on Step 11

What’s ur wiring set-up for routing power to both motors cuz I can’t figure it out by looking at the pics the instructions in general are not detailed enough a lot is left up to guess work it’s almost as if it’s assumed you already know how to do the mod like I say I need more details i need to know how the motors and switches are wired up and in what order or arrangement at this point Iv already started the mod Iv drilled the holes and Iv got the switches and I waiting on the rumble packs to arrive but with out your guidance and farther explaination im dead in the water and hav wasted all this time and money and a perfectly good controller just to end up with nothing please get back to me ASAP

0
PhantomAura
PhantomAura

Reply 2 years ago

Please see my response to your previous comment for instructions on how to get power to the rumble motors. I have also clarified the original post.

0
TrumanN
TrumanN

Question 2 years ago on Step 7

What kinda of flux? There r many kinds liquid? Paste?.... please help

0
PhantomAura
PhantomAura

Answer 2 years ago

I like the Nokorode Regular Paste Flux by Rectorseal.

0
TrumanN
TrumanN

Question 2 years ago on Step 11

Hi so I’m having trouble deciphering your wiring for the switches and motors everything els is pretty strait for ward but you never show or tell where to attach the positive and negative leads from the rumble cercuit and you never show the rumble motors all hooked up help please I have no way knowing how everything hooks up to the switches I don’t know the arrange menu everything goes it it would be perfect if I could just see a pic of the final thing all wired up before u close the shell back up so I can sea where all the wires go

0
PhantomAura
PhantomAura

Answer 2 years ago

The positive and negative output wires on the rumble circuit board should be wired directly to the rumble motor(s). I have clarified this in the original post. Thank you for catching that!

For the main on/off switch, you want to go from the rumble circuit board, through the switch, then to the controller.

0
mason_CO
mason_CO

2 years ago

Love the idea of giving it internal power and internal motors, but couldn't you do both of those while still making it function by connecting the pack externally? Since you can't use a controller pack anyway that seems a lot easier and more appealing to me than trying to fit all those wires. Glad it worked for you though!

0
PhantomAura
PhantomAura

Reply 2 years ago

I see what you're saying, but no, I don't believe you could do that. You need to connect the positive wire from the internal rumble motor(s) to the + motor output of the rumble pak circuit board, regardless of where it is located. This + rumble motor output on the rumble pak circuit board is not connected to any of the pins, meaning you would need to run a wire from inside the controller to the inside of whatever rumble pak you connect.

That being said, if you don't care about ever using a controller pak, you could totally do the rumble circuit board trimming until the board fits within the controller. Then mount the rumble board permanently in the expansion slot and just run a positive rumble wire into the controller motor(s) from there. That basically gives you the option for two motors, and no bulky thing hanging out of the expansion slot at the cost of no controller pak or transfer pak support, which for most people is probably acceptable.

Thank you for your comment, and let me know if you have any more questions!