Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Super Nintendo Classic Controller for Wii

Awhile back, Nintendo released an awesome Wii controller as a Club Nintendo Japan exclusive, the Wii Super Famicom Classic Controller.

This thing is beautiful.  The only problem is, not only is it only available through Club Nintendo, it's a Japanese exclusive.  It's been out long enough to have found its way onto Ebay and other resellers, but it typically goes for about $100.  Not cool, Nintendo.  Not cool.  There are 3rd party versions of this controller, but like the cheap Ebay knockoff SNES controllers, they're crap.  So what's a guy to do?  Let's build one!

So, obviously we have to start with an official SNES controller (or, just because I want to, a Super Famicom controller).  I found this project implementing a classic controller adapter in a cheap AVR microcontroller and figured I could improve the hardware design.  The existing design was incredibly simple, and the AVR came in a surface-mount package, so I figured I could shrink the board sufficiently to fit it inside the controller itself.  Actually, there's a ton of room inside the controller, so I could have even fit the DIP version inside if I'd wanted to.  But I wanted to do better.  So I did.  The PCB did shrink down nicely, and here's the result:

With a minimum of external parts, the final
PCB shrunk down quite nicely
The board fits perfectly over the pin header from the original cable

The placement of the PCB avoids all of the spacer posts, meaning no
cutting or other modification to the controller shell is necessary

You can find more info, including source and PCB design files, at the project page on my site.