Question Original N64 Stickbox in Switch Online N64 Controller

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Heyo! I'm interested in putting an original N64 stickbox in the N64 switch online controller. The main reason for this is parts availability. I use my NSO controller along with a BlueRetro adapter to play wirelessly on real hardware, and hope to do so for a long time. The original N64 stickbox is notorious for wearing down, and as such, there are lots of mods and parts for it to return it to a almost new state, or drastically improve the durability so replacements are less needed. Various steel stick mods are fully compatible with the NSO controller, but most people doing mods only do bowls for original N64 controllers, which are not a drop in replacement with the NSO one. Replacement gears aren't available at all for the NSO controller, unlike the original with gears from places like n64gears.com. Since the NSO controller is a much more niche userbase than original controllers from what I can tell, I'm not really holding my breath for someone to make an injection mold, which is quite expensive, for the NSO controller gears, like what has been done with the original. So that's why I'm hoping to be able to put an original stickbox in!

The original stickbox uses a 6 pin connector, and the NSO one uses a 4 pin. On the original, one pin is ground, one is power, 2 are for the X axis, and one is for the Y axis. On the NSO, there is a ground, VCC, X, and Y. In my research, I've found some things that may be of help. In a Wulff Den video, they replace the NSO stickbox with an aftermarket gamecube style one. They just soldered the some wires from aftermarket stickbox to the wires for the controller, and it worked. At first I thought this would be no use, since the aftermarket stickbox uses potentiometers, and the original doesn't use pots. But I realized that the aftermarket stickboxes seem to use an adapter board to break out the 4 wires for ground, VCC, X, and Y, into the 6 pins for ground, VCC, Xa, Xb, Ya, and Yb. I figured if that could be done in a reasonably small board, surely the reverse can too!

Buttttttt I have no idea what I'm doing. My PCB design skills are almost nonexistent. I was able to design a basic breakout board for a chip that I needed for use in a Gameboy FRAM mod, but have no other experience. I have both an NSO controller and original controllers. My soldering skills are competent but not great, as are my hot are station skills. The real problem is that I have almost no knowledge about the actual workings of electronics. I can follow a guide or instructions just fine, but don't have the skill to reverse engineer it.

Any advice on where to start? Other information that could be useful? Has someone else already done this and I just can't find it? Any help would be much appreciated. Cheers!
 

Gman

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The original n64 stick uses encoder instead of potentiometer. You would need to write a microcontroller program to read the digital encoder and then output analog voltage using DAC.

You'll need some pcb design, microcontroller and coding. Would be simpler to use GC style joystick without the encoder.
 
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The original n64 stick uses encoder instead of potentiometer. You would need to write a microcontroller program to read the digital encoder and then output analog voltage using DAC.

You'll need some pcb design, microcontroller and coding. Would be simpler to use GC style joystick without the encoder.
Dang, thought that might be the case. Definitely outside my skillset at this point. Maybe someday I or someone else will take something like this on. Thanks for the reply!
 
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The original n64 stick uses encoder instead of potentiometer. You would need to write a microcontroller program to read the digital encoder and then output analog voltage using DAC.

You'll need some pcb design, microcontroller and coding. Would be simpler to use GC style joystick without the encoder.
After some more digging I found this project that adapts an original N64 joystick to the 8bitdo clone that they stopped making a while ago. Might be able to use this as a base to adapt to the NSO controller? The 8bitdo used pots as well, so my guess is that maybe it could be adapted to the NSO one.

EDIT: Forgot the links :P
 

Gman

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Looks like there is an encoder to analog voltage converter in the schematic. Good starting point
 
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