Question Controller help with Nintendo Switch-like Raspberry Pi Console

Discussion in 'Handhelds' started by Tech Flare, Feb 8, 2018.

Tags:
  1. Tech Flare .

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    8
    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg ok so I’m building my own Raspberry Pi console based on the design of a Nintendo Switch

    (features include a controller that is split into two parts and con connect to each other or the console, a dock for easy charging and HDMI out, and a Raspberry Pi running retro Pi.)

    First off let me address that I know this forum isn’t really for raspberry pi projects, but i figured I’d see if anyone could help me with my problem.

    Ok so my problem is this: I’m trying to Find a way to split my Bluetooth controller into two parts: one for the left side of the console and one for the right, while retaining the ability to detach the controllers from the console and attach them to each other to form a regular Bluetooth controller (sorry if that seemed convoluted).

    So to be more specific my first problem is splitting the controller

    My second problem is getting them to be able to detach from the console i was thinking that i could solder the buttons to a male USB plug on one controller and a female USB on the corresponding side of the console, running wires along the console to the other side, where a male USB will be connected to the console and a female USB connected to the other controller. This would allow me to plug the controllers into the console as well as into each other (since one controller has a male and one has a female USB), but the problem Is i don’t think i can do that since there are a total of 15 buttons on my controller and a USB cable only has two data ports. So i need help finding another way to attach the controllers.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
    The Save State Gamer likes this.
  2. fibbef Digimon World Completer .

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    1,177
    Portables:
    3
    Hey Tech Flare! Just because a lot of BitBuilt modders are focusing on this console or that handheld doesn’t mean we’re about other projects as well. Your idea sounds cool and I hope we can help you implement it in a way that works the way you want.

    So I think the first thing to realize is that only half of your controller will be Bluetooth. The other half is just disconnected buttons until the two halves are connected.

    If you want to use some kind of common connector, which I think is a good idea, you’re going to need something with a lot of pins. One half of the controller would need pins for d-pad (or action buttons), start (select), shoulder buttons, and a joystick. By my count that’s about 12 lines. Although they’re not terribly easy to solder to, using HDMI jacks would have enough pins with some to spare for additional ground lines. If you decide not to include joysticks in your final build, that would eliminate a few lines, in which case USB 3.0 jacks could be used (9 pins).

    Since the controller is Bluetooth, there’s really no need to wire controls to the Pi. With the controls attached to the tablet portion, the tablet would act as a pass-through, just feeding the signals from one side to the other. The way it would look would be like this:
    -Right controller has buttons wired to male HDMI/USB/whatever jack.
    -Male jack connects to female jack on tablet portion.
    -Female jack on the right feeds to another female jack on the left of the tablet.
    -Female jack on left connects to make jack on the left controller.
    -Left controller houses Bluetooth circuitry; receives button signals from right through the jack.

    Hope that helps. That all just started pouring out of my head and I just typed it up without seeing if it makes sense. Let me know if something doesn’t make sense and maybe I can draw a diagram of what I mean.

    Edit: I just realized that if both of your controller halves have male jacks, they can’t directly connect to each other. You would need some sort of spacer (like the Switch’s joycon grip) that houses female jacks for the two halves to connect together. Otherwise you could put a male jack in one half and female in the other, but that means you’d have a male jack sticking out of one side of the tablet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  3. Tech Flare .

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    8
    That helped my so much! I never thought of using an HDMI cable for the controller! I’ll probably do that. I’ll research this a little more and come back if i find anything new or if i do something
     
    fibbef likes this.
  4. The Save State Gamer .

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    18
    You could also use male and female header pins as long as you don't rely on them for structural support.
     
  5. Tech Flare .

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    8
    OK so I think I’m going to use HDMI for the connection between the boards, but now i need help figuring out how to cut the board, because no matter how i cut it I’m going to have to cut a lot of traces.
     
  6. Stitches Ruins all paint Staff Member . .

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    777
    Location:
    Australia
    Portables:
    6
    How? A rotary cutter like a dremel is what we use for cutting boards. I find the thin cut EZ-Lock cut-off wheels are the best for it.
     
  7. Tech Flare .

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    8
    Well I can cut the board fine, but the problem with cutting it is I would have to cut a lot of traces in the process (see the pictures in my original post)

    So what I’ve been thinking is to buy a broken WiiU Game Pad and use the controllers from that, and then wire that controller to a Bluetooth keyboard circuit board.
     
  8. Stitches Ruins all paint Staff Member . .

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    777
    Location:
    Australia
    Portables:
    6
    Wire the buttons to a keyboard? That'd probably work well, but you wouldn't be able to use joysticks like that. As for cutting traces, you can rasp the fibreglass off the copper with a knife or fibreglass pencil and solder thin wires to the traces. Then just solder the wires to your other PCB the same way.
     
  9. The Save State Gamer .

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    18
    Ultimately, you could just buy official Nintendo Switch Joycons and then design the portable with them in mind. Work has already been done to make the Joycons RetroPie compatible, but still look into the software aspect before deciding on this.

    But, If you really want something completely custom, you should be using a Bluetooth controller and wiring the button and joysticks to that. Trim the Bluetooth controller to the point where it will fit in one Hackcon. Then use perfboard with tactile switches for both Hackcon's actual interfaces.

    I would just use a Teensy and scrap Bluetooth entirely, but that's my preference.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  10. TheGreenPowerRanger .

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    Last time I tried connecting joycons to retropie it identified each joycon as a separate controller. Are you aware of a way to get them to work as one?
     
  11. The Save State Gamer .

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    18
    I don't personally know, but I do know that people elsewhere are working on it. Check the retropie forums and the retropie github for more info.
     
  12. Tech Flare .

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    8
    I dont think I am going to use real Joycons unless i have too.

    On your second point about a Bluetooth controller: yes i have a Bluetooth controller, but i don’t know where to make the cuts. Maybe you could show me where to cut the board? Pics on the original post. Also, I️ don’t know what a Hackcon is.

    I could try using a teensy, but I’ll have to look into how to get that to work since i know nothing about it.
     
  13. ahrlad .

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Wouldn't it be simpler to cut up two gamepads, keep the circuitry in each, and map each of them to one half of pad 1 in software? Then you could use each independently of the other.
     
  14. DeoNaught .

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    159
    Location:
    Constant Fear
    Portables:
    1/8
    Something like this basically
     
  15. Tech Flare .

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    8
    The picture you attactched isn’t showing up...

    EDIT: oh wait it showed up once I️ refreshed the page. Yeah, basically something like that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018 at 12:43 PM

Share This Page

Loading...