So you may ask "Why build a giant controller?" Well you see I had no idea what to build and I thought to myself what could I build that would drive me to do my absolute best. So I started thinking about what I love. Since I couldn't recreate my girlfriend I decided to go with video games.
Step 1: How It Works
It doesn't take an electrical engineer to make this. This was my first time soldering and although I think I might grow gray hairs a little earlier than expected, I didn't think it was too bad. All I did was mount the switches where I wanted them to the board and soldered the positive wires to the circuit board of an actual NES controller and the negative wires to the ground solder joint on the circuit board. (Watch the video above if you don't believe that it works)
Step 2: It's Dangerous to Go Alone! Take These!
- One 56x21 in 3/4 in thick piece of wood (available at Home Depot or Lowes)
- The rest of the 3/4 in thick board to make the buttons
- 12 springs (I got mine at a local hardware store)
- About 20 1/2 in screws
- About 15 1 inch bolts and nuts
- 10 N/O push button switches (such as http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00GTEQXYS/ref=mp_s... )
- 1/8 in thick piece of wood (just to make it more realistic if you want to make yours look different you can.)
- Red and Black wire
- A couple 2x4's
- A NES Controller. (An original one because they work the best) I got mine at a local video game store.
- Lots of time and patience.
Since the wood was donated the total cost for this project was $45 but I'm positive it could be done for much cheaper.
Step 3: Preparing the Board
Now like I said you'll need a 56x21 in piece of 3/4 in thick wood. It doesn't matter what kind of wood. You could use mdf, walnut, oak, hazelnut, softwood, hardwood, even firewood (I would not recommend firewood). I just used a piece of ply-wood. Now my piece of wood was bigger so I cut it out to the dimensions I wanted and I had my piece.
Step 4: Cutting Out the Buttons
With the left over wood I made my Directional pad, A&B buttons, and my start and select buttons. I used a band saw to cut out the directional pad and I actually 3D printed the arrows and the circle in the middle and glued it to the wood. For the A&B buttons I used a 4 in hole saw and used the circle it cut out. I had to use some saw dust and glue to fill in the hole the drill but makes in it. Then for the start and select buttons I cut out a 3x1 and 1/2 inch piece of wood and sanded down the sides to get the curve on the ends of each.
Step 5: Cutting Out the Holes in the Board
The first thing I did before I started cutting out the holes for the buttons was section the board into three. I made the section with the directional pad 20 inches wide and the other sections each 18 inches wide. I then used the hole saw to cut out the A&B slots. With the same saw, I cut out 4 1 and 1/2 inch circles and then the jig saw to connect the circles to get that ovular shape. I used the jig saw to cut out the cross shaped slot for the directional pad.
Step 6: Making It Look Pretty
Now you don't have to follow this step if you do not feel like it. I was trying to make mine look like an actual NES controller. (It's not there yet, but it's coming along) I painted the Directional pad with a Rustoleum paint to give it a shiny look. The other buttons were painted with a matte paint. The A&B were painted red and the start and select were painted black. The board itself was painted with a satin black.
Step 7: The Wiring
Now this may turn some people off to this project but it actually wasn't that hard. First mount the switches on the board where they need to go This was my first time soldering and I didn't find it too difficult. Just solder a wire to the solder joint on the circuit board (refer to the picture to see where to solder each wire to the circuit board.) Also solder a wire to each switch for the negative end and connect all of those wires. Once you have all those negatives together solder another piece of wire to them and connect it to the ground solder joint on the circuit board. Make sure you are connecting the right switch to the right spot on the circuit board.
Step 8: Connecting Your Buttons to the Board
This is where you are going to need the springs and the nuts and bolts. Glue two bolts to the button. Drill two holes near the switch after you mount it underneath your board. Put the spring there. Put the bolts through the holes and the springs and push down and screw the nut on. Walah You have a button.
Step 9: Making It a Table
At the bottom of the board I attached 2x4s all the way around the sides. And then I attached legs that are also 2x4s. Don't forget to use coasters when you place your drinks on it too!!! You don't want to be messing up your brand new table.
Step 10: Having FUN!!!!!
Now you have your giant controller and you can show all your friends. You can tell them that you beat Bowser and traveled Hyrule as Link with a giant controller.
If you have any ideas how to make it better please let me know in the comments also I'd love to see how you guys made yours. If I could fix a couple things I would definitely make it a little smaller and I would find a better way to attach the buttons to the board. All in all it took about three months of 45 minute class periods Monday through Friday to complete this project. I'm still working on the aesthetics of the project but they should be done soon.