The new Nexus 7 is a fantastic gaming platform. But for some of use, the holy grail is to have a mobile gaming power with the better controls from a physical gamepad. Touch screen controls can only go so far.
In this instructable, I go though how to create a mount for a Nexus 7 Android tablet. It's light, cheap, and does what it is designed to do really well. Basically, BEST. ANDROID. ACCESSORY. EVER.
This can also be adapted to fit other controllers and other Android devices.
I made this at TechShop. The tools there really helped make this doable.
Step 1: Materials
Hopefully you already have at least these things laying around your house.
Nexus 7 Tablet - $200
PS3 / Xbox controller - $50
For the Mount
1/8" dia x 48" Mild Steel Rod -$3 (OR 1/8" dia x 48" Copper Rod)
48" of 1/8" MDPC Expandable Tubing - Comes in packs of 20' rolls for $7
This is the stuff that people use to manage cables inside of computers. But you want to have a flexible tube that won't scratch your device.
1/8" Heat Shrink Tubing - $2
For some grippy stuff and to clean up the ends.
A big vice
Step 2: Bending for the Controller
The idea is to work from the middle out. Pick the shape that will work best with the controller and the device.
As far as I can thing of there are two ways to attach the controller. By making a clamping U shape to across the back, facing up and across the front, facing toward the device. I'm doing the latter.
1. Bend in half with the end having a small radius. 0.5 to 1"
2. Create a V shape, this will act as a lock for the controller later. (This can be tricky)
3. Bend around the end of the controller and back to the front.
4. Create the opposite V at the end of that. (This V is slighter than the first one)
5. Position the end to be out of the way of the middle buttons on the controller and at the correct angle for the device.
Step 3: Bending for the Device
Starting from the two ends sticking out parallel from the controller part;
1. Bend outwards to make a BIG V
2. Measure the correct angle and distance to put the corners of the device inline with that V.
3. Bend up at those points to make the back.
4. Bend forward across the device.
5. Bend down to complete the mount
At this point you should have a lot of extra metal rod. Just cut that off at the proper location and call it good.
Step 4: Softgoods
This is just a wire frame. You don't want to scratch your stuff. So take the MDPC tube and cover the entire length with it.
Then add the heat shrink.
Good locations include:
-The bottom of the controller
-The bottom of the device
-The top of the device
Then use a little bit of heat shrink to close off the metal ends showing.
And your done! You might want to do a little manual bending to get it just right though.
In order to actually play games using the PS3 controller though, you will either have to play games that already are built for wired gamepads and then use a OTG usb cable
Download the Sixaxis app from the app store and emulate the touch controls. This method really opens up gaming options!