Wiring an Xbox Kinect for USB




About: I study Aerospace Engineering at RMIT, in the hope that one day I will be able to bring about the return of intercontinental airship cruises. Until then I like to make stuff in the shed, and surf instructables

There are heaps of good instructables about hacking an Xbox Kinect. From 3D scanning to motion sensing, there's a tonne of cool stuff you can do with a Kinect, but so far there are no instructables on how to wire the Kinect for USB.

I don't know what is supposed to come in the bundle, but I bought a Kinect second hand, and got only the device. No adapters, cables or anything. So this is a quick instructable on how to cut of the original plug and wire a USB on, to use with a computer.

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Step 1: You Will Need:

- An Xbox Kinect.

- A 12v 2A power supply. I used an old netbook power supply

- A USB cable

- Soldering iron + solder

- Heat shrink

Step 2: Wiring

Step 1:
Cut off the ends of the Kinect, the USB cable and the 12v power supply. Cut the Kinect and power supply close to the plug, but cut the USB with plenty of cable trailing out of the male plug.

Step 2:
Solder and heat shrink the four coloured USB wires to their corresponding Kinect wires. Red -> red, green -> green and white -> white. twist up the black wires, but don't solder or heat shrink them just yet.
Make sure there is no exposed wire that will cause a short.

I have attached I wiring diagram drawn by Ttunerboy on youtube.

Step 3:
Solder the brown Kinect wire to the 12v adapter positive, and the 12v adapter negative to the Kinect/USB black. Now you can heat shrink it (or try to, with its 3-way junction).

Step 4:
Heat shrink the whole bunch to make it neat. Maybe yours already is, but my job was disgustingly messy, and I needed to cover it up.

Step 5:
Follow the other instructable on this site, to make use of your new equipment!

This will make the Kinect work on a computer, but it will be useless with an Xbox now. If you want to continue using it with an Xbox, you can splice the wires in without cutting of the Xbox plug. If you do so, you'll need to add in a switch couple of switches at the junctions between the USB's and Xbox's green and white wires. This is because when unused, the USB plug causes interference on the data (green and white) wires.

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58 Discussions


Question 3 months ago

Would this work with the kinect 2.0 as well?


Question 6 months ago

I did everything right -the xbox just to pc. No on light no device any help?

1 answer

Answer 5 months ago

You need minimum 12v 1.5A power supply


6 months ago

Awesome instructable! Thank you, it saved me time and money. Mine didn't turn out looking pretty, but it works really well!


6 months ago

is the xbox one kinect cable's internal wiring the same as this?


4 years ago on Introduction

What good timing, I just got a kinect in the mail today to use for 3d printing and it has this silly plug. I found a 12v 4A power supply. will this work? Thanks!

7 replies

Reply 8 months ago

As mentioned the device will only pull the amperage required to work but with all electronics protect it from over voltage by installing an inline fuse 2A should be fine to protect the device


Reply 3 years ago

Need a little clarification on this point. You say that using a 12V 4A power source will work. I would have thought that would put the Kinect at risk. Inversely, I have a 12V 1.5A power source. That likely to pose any issues?


Reply 3 years ago

Electronic devices only draw as much current as they need. So you could use a 100A power supply. It would be a waste of money, but the Kinect would still only draw as much as it needs. You will damage the Kinect if your power supply puts out too many VOLTS. It must be given 12V, no more, no less.

The Kinect apparently draws 1.08A, so a 1.5A power supply will work. If you use a supply that can only supply <1A, its voltage will drop during use and the Kinect won't work. No damage done, it just won't work.


Reply 1 year ago

It's 12V 1.08A. Searched for 2 pages, found a original adapter, says 1.08A.


Reply 3 years ago

i have a 12v 780ma charger will that work at all . . . i seen a guy post he used one that was 800ma and it worked fine


Reply 3 years ago

You can try it. I can't remember off hand what the specified power consumption of the Kinect is, but if your charger can't supply it, it will simply not work. No harm done, except wasting your time.

Carl Gordon Media

3 years ago

Hey man I just followed the instructable step by step, plugged the kinect into my mac with the usb and tried to connect it to processing. I tried to start up one of the examples from the 'Open Kinect for Processing' Library and got this error:

No Kinect devices found.
Failed to open camera subdevice or it is not disabled.Failed to open motor subddevice or it is not disabled.Failed to open audio subdevice or it is not disabled.There are no kinects, returning null

Is there something else I need to do before it works?

3 replies

Did you download any software so the kinect will work on PC? Windows doesn't come with software or drivers for the kinect camera.


1 year ago

Yes, I know that I posted a question, but I'll try to post it here.

What are the dangerous things that will happen to the kinect/computer if you do great/worst?

Also what USB version? 2.0 or 3.0?

1 reply

Reply 1 year ago

It's usb 2.0, or even 1.0. So just the basic pinout. The USB wires are the same colors as in 99% or more of USB 1.0 or 2.0 cables As long as those wires are connected to the correct colors, nothing bad will happen because it's really just a proprietary USB connection on the kinect camera with 12v added to power the multiple cameras aand sensors. Just be sure not to add the 12v to the usb positive and you're okay. If anything's connected wrong, you risk frying the kinect as well as possibly your USB ports The only thing on the 12v adapter that should be connected to the USB cable at all is the negative or ground. So at best you'll be able to use the kinect with PC using the right software, at worst you'll fry one or more things.


Tip 1 year ago

You can also just not have it connected to the xbox while using it on the PC and not have it connected to the PC while using it on xbox, which is probably how people will use it and would completely avoid the data interference problem.