Nintendo 64 Controller Internal Rumble Mod

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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.

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    23 Discussions

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    TrumanN

    Question 15 days ago on Step 7

    So I guess your just not goin to get back to me hear and I’m dead In the water great can complete the mod and all that money wasted down the drain

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    TrumanN

    Question 20 days ago

    Please read through all the comments,replays, questions all again there’s a lot of stuff I’m asking u and u arnt getting back to me

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    TrumanN

    Question 4 weeks 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

    7 more answers
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    PhantomAuraTrumanN

    Answer 25 days 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.

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    TrumanNPhantomAura

    Reply 20 days ago

    For the main on/ off switch u wanna go from the rumble circuit board through the switch then to the controller u say? What goes from the rumble circuit board through the switch the ground wire from the rumble circuit board and the what goes from that same switch the the controller please just draw a diagram and upload it I’m sry I know I’ve been harassing u but this doesn’t make sense

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    TrumanNPhantomAura

    Reply 20 days ago

    Where r u attaching ur grounds to the rumble motor are u soldering the 2 ground wires from rumble motor 1 & 2 to the one ground wire coming off the the rumble circuit board and same thing for the two positive wires from rumble motors 1 & 2 to the one positive wire coming off the rumble circuit board please help be very Precise with ur words this still isn’t making sense to me please help me hear draw a diagram and upload it for me please I really wanna get this don’t I’ve spent a good deal of time and money trying to do this

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    TrumanNPhantomAura

    Reply 25 days ago

    Ur still leaving this all up to guess work I need to see the widening of everything before the controller is closed up

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    TrumanNPhantomAura

    Reply 25 days ago

    Just open the controller up and show me how everything is wired

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    TrumanNPhantomAura

    Reply 25 days ago

    Still not detailed enough just give me a diagram or a pic of the final product I need to see the final wiring of the switches u still r not clear enough on how to route power to both motors and threw the switches just open up the controller and show me

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    TrumanN

    Question 20 days ago on Step 11

    The 3 wires coming off the switch on the right what goes to each of them again please be more detailed with ur words this all would be much easer if u had taken more pics and made a wiring diagram

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    TrumanN

    24 days ago on Step 9

    U need to give exact details on the wiring of the switches u hav 4 wires coming from the first “left” switch and 3 coming from the second “right” switch why?...and how what hooks up to the switches how does the order go and the switches have 8 contacts on them do u bend the poles together and solder one wire to each 2 poles u gotta make this More simplified it’s just not making any sense the way ur describing things use pcb express schematic software it’s free and show me how u rigged everything and be super detailed u gotta show everything ur leaving way to much up to guess work

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    TrumanN

    25 days ago on Step 9

    And also these switches hav 8 contacts on them do u bend them together or what that’s what I’m saying u need to dumb this down so much it’s not even funny

    2 replies
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    TrumanNTrumanN

    Reply 25 days ago

    Dude I’m serous I will literally pay u at this point to show me how this is done cuz at this point Iv wasted a lot of money for nothing u gotta be more detailed I’m so serious I’ll pay u to show me how this is done

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    TrumanNTrumanN

    Reply 25 days ago

    Just please I’m begging u open the controller and show me what u did pretend ur talking to a person who knows nothing about wiring and show me what u did

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    TrumanN

    27 days 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

    1 reply
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    PhantomAuraTrumanN

    Reply 25 days 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.

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    PhantomAuraTrumanN

    Answer 25 days ago

    I like the Nokorode Regular Paste Flux by Rectorseal.

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    mason_CO

    3 months 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!