Introduction: PS2 Controller Breakout Adapter for Arduino Interfacing

About: Biology and Technology Currently working on #BioticGames

The PlayStation 2 Controller is a really useful gamepad for robotics projects. It is cheap, abundantly available (second hand), features a bunch of buttons and is Arduino compatible! In order to use it, you need a special connector to wire it up to your Arduino or other microprocessor. In this Instructable we will show you how to make one yourself.

PLEASE NOTE: In this Instructable we assume that you will be using the resulting cable in a WetWareWorks Euglena Arcade device for biotic gaming, but the instructions are not application specific. Please do let us know what you use your adapter for by leaving a note in the comments.

Step 1: Parts and Equipment

You will need the following parts:

And here's a list of the equipment:

  • Soldering Iron, preferably 60 Watts or adjustable
  • Sharp knife, scissors or a wire stripper

Step 2: Cut and Strip the Wires

The goal of this Instructable is to basically breakout the bundle of wires in the PS2 extension cable into individual wires with header pins. The first step towards accomplishing this goal is to cut and strip the wires and expose their inner metal core.

Use the scissors, knife or wire stripper to cut the PS2 Controller Extension Calbe and DuPont Wire. Determining the length of the remaining extension cable is up to you, for the Euglena Arcade we recommend about 15 cm.

Strip about 5 mm of the wires and try to bundle the thin metal threats by twisting between your fingers.

Step 3: Prepare 8 Pieces of Heat-shrink

The Heat-shrink will be used to isolated the individual wires after soldering.

Cut the Heat-shrink into pieces slightly larger than the 5 mm of exposed metal wire. You will need eight pieces in total, one for each wire.

Step 4: Slide a Piece of Heat-shrink in Place

Make sure that before you solder a connection a piece of Heat-shrink is already in place.

Step 5: Line Up the Wires and Heat Up the Iron

Line up a wire from the extension cable and the DuPont wires. We recommend you stick to the standard color coding.

in our occassion the PS2 Controller Extension cord female plug has 9 pins:

  1. Green: Acknowledge
  2. No-connection
  3. Blue: Clock
  4. Yellow: Attention
  5. Red: 3.3V
  6. Black: Ground
  7. White: Rumble Motor power
  8. Orange: Command
  9. Brown: Data

Let's turn up the heat of the soldering iron, and get ready to solder. Make sure you are in a well ventilated place, preventing you from inhaling too much of unhealthy fumes.

Step 6: Join the Wires by a Twist

Twist the metal threads of the wires you wish to connect between your fingers.

Step 7: Solder

Make the connection permanent by melting a tiny bit of soldering tin and apply it to the wires. You only need a little bit, there is no need to over do it.

Try not to touch the Heat-shrink with the tip of your soldering iron, like we did in this picture. It makes it harder to conduct the next step.

Step 8: Slide the Heat-shrink Over the Connection

Isolate the connection by sliding the piece of Heat-shrink over the metal. It is done right when no metal is left in plain sight.

Step 9: Repeat Step 4 - 8 Seven Times

Connect the remaining wires in the same way as the first.

Step 10: Done!

You've done it. Congrats on your DIY PS2 Controller Breakout Adapter!

Here's a video that demonstrates how we use the adapter to allow a player to control 4 LEDs with an PS2 Controller. The circuit scheme shows how it is wired up and the code is open source available on our Euglena Arcade Github repository.