Question Questioning the possibility of turning a Gamecube controller into a Joy Con, need help from veterans

Discussion in 'Other' started by Biome, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. Biome .

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    I'm new to this, but I think I understand it in concept. I just need some advice on how to go about doing this. Any and all advice one rewiring the buttons and joysticks is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Matthew Formally known as Chaos Staff Member . .

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    Are you wanting to turn the GC controller to use on a Switch? Or do you mean that you are wanting to just make the GC controller look like a joycon? Because if that's the case, then you simply need to put a GC+ in a Joy Con shell.
     
  3. Biome .

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    I'm looking to turn a GC controller into a pair of functional Joy Cons
     
  4. ShockSlayer Ivan - the tyranny of evil men . .

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    Can't you just buy an adapter and plug it in?
     
  5. Stitches 2 and a Half Dollarydoos Staff Member . .

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    You haven't cleared that up at all.
     
  6. Matthew Formally known as Chaos Staff Member . .

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    Honestly you are not being very descriptive and as such, it's very unclear what you want. I can't tell if you are wanting to making a GC-looking pro controller or genuinely want to put a GC controller inside some joycons.

    If it's the latter, than you will need extensive programming, reverse engineering, and understanding of transmitting signals wireless, and then programming the Switch to understand those signals and while homebrew for the Switch is underway, it's not really at a place that a beginner can jump in.
     
  7. Biome .

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    @ShockSlayer I know, I'm actually in the process of turning a GC into a dock and having the ports work, but I want to make this as a fun project
    @Stitches I am looking to take a gamecube controller and cut it in half so I can take it's layout and use it as a pair of Joy Cons for use with my Switch. Sorry if I was unclear before
     
  8. Biome .

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    Essentially I'm looking to make something like this[​IMG]
     
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  9. ShockSlayer Ivan - the tyranny of evil men . .

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    Tearing apart joycons is expensive, but you'd need to do that, then do the same with a GC controller. Make a custom case that fits around the part of the joycon assembly, and also the GC controller.

    You'll also have to swap out the GC controller sticks with ones that have a tact switch, so you can press the stick down. It's kind of complex if you want to pull it off.
     
  10. Postman .

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    I'm with SS on this one. It is doable but it would be very expensive and difficult, if you are a newbie I would recommend starting with a simpler project and working your way up to something like this.
     
  11. So_White_I_Glow .

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    I know how this can be done. We first need a board scan of the joy cons. Then we can create a digital copy and modify that to fit the shape of the Gamecube case, buttons, analog sticks, etc. Once we have this prototype board we can order copies from jlcpcb.com. Then we solder on the components, throw on joy con rails and modified GC controller shells and voila!

    I would have already done this if I had a spare set of joy cons but I'm a broke high schooler ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
     
  12. GingerOfOz no wario Staff Member . .

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    Trust me, money for the joycons is not the difficult part of that at all.

    I know Jackson has been doing some research into reverse engineering joycons, but if you look at the insides of a joycon transplanting some of those chips (the BGA ones espescially) is going to be far easier said than done
     
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  13. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . .

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    Step 1: completely reverse engineer a multilayer BGA circuit board
    Step 2: design a new circuit board from scratch and integrate that design into a premade shell.
    Step 3: transfer BGA components and other parts to this new board
    Step 4: troubleshoot and redesign the board
    Step 5: lots of frankencaseing

    Nothing difficult about any of those steps whatsoever.
     
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  14. So_White_I_Glow .

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    Well yea, most of it can be done pretty easily if you know what you are doing.
    1. This step is by far the hardest and I would need someone else to help.
    2. The board isn't from scratch, it would literally be a clone of the original joy con PCBs.
    3. Solder wick makes connecting small components easy.
    4. This step just takes time.
    5. 3d printing.

    This is not an impossible project. It can be done and I plan to do it as soon as I can get a board scan.
     
  15. Madmorda Painting Queen Staff Member . . .

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    Or instead you could just put the joycon inside a gcc shell and wire up the buttons one by one. The hardware is not hard at all, it's getting the gcc to fit and look nice on the switch that's difficult, rather than just hot gluing it all together.

    Step 1: Don't overcomplicate
     
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  16. GingerOfOz no wario Staff Member . .

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    You need to reevaluate the difficulty you believe this project is.

    We are happy to help people troubleshoot and offer ideas and suggestions, but what you're asking for is a very time and effort intensive redesign of a complex circuit. While reverse engineering a circuit is generally easier than engineering one, something as complex as this would still be supidly difficult to pull off. Espescially if the joycons are four layer boards, which I suspect they are. Don't expect to receive a whole lot of help with that.

    They'd need to be quite a bit different, since GameCube buttons and sticks have very different proportions from original joycons. Not to mention workaround for things like R3 and L3 due to the fact that GameCube joysticks don't have buttons built into them.

    Solder wick is a useful tool, but totally useless when it comes to trying to o hand solder BGA. I'd recommend doing a good deal more research into soldering, since hand soldering BGA is probably one of the hardest soldering jobs to pull off, and you don't seem to have a whole lot of experience with soldering to begin with.

    Time, energy, probably a good deal of money since small mistakes are pretty much inevitable for just about anyone.

    What I'm trying to get you to understand is that if you knew what you were doing, you'd see that this isn't a project that can be done pretty easily. Like Madmorda said, don't overcomplicate what you're trying to do. A much better option for a project like this would be to look into cheaper joycons, and build those into a GameCube shell. Yes, it wouldn't be nearly as streamlined, but it would be a good deal cheaper and less complicated.

    Your overall idea isn't a bad one. It would be awesome to have PCBs that could slide right into GameCube halves for GameCube joycons. What I don't want to have happen though is have you go out and buy expensive joycons and equipment thinking that all you need is time to complete the project.
     
  17. So_White_I_Glow .

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    That's true, but it would be hard to solder to the ribbon cables.

    -----MERGE POST-----

    You can solder the pins to the board using more than you need and then you use the solder wick to remove the excess.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2018
  18. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . .

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    Please look up what a BGA chip is before continuing this conversation. I don't think you understand what you are talking about. You can't reach the joints of a BGA chip after it is soldered in place.
     
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  19. JacksonS . . .

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    The original idea OP posted looks interesting. There's plenty of information already available about the Joy-Con design, so making a custom PCB wouldn't be too hard. The crucial parts are the BCM20734 Bluetooth chip, charging IC, EEPROM, and IMU. Those are all probably pretty easy to deal with in design and assembly. Adding the NFC and IR camera features would be hell though since those are fine-pitch BGA. I think you can leave them out anyway.
     
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  20. moonDoctor .

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    Just joined minutes ago because two reasons: I am doing this exact project (first time padhacker) but minus the rails thing, and second this site is full of so much good information. My end goal is to stuff the guts of my joycons and a joycon charge grip (needed to recharge the joycon batteries and sync to switch if pairing is lost) into a wavebird with minimal change to outer appearance of the wavebird. After a lot of research from knowledge ground zero, I have gathered that it is not the ideal pairing but still entirely possible (need to get-gud on solder skills real quick). ISSUE #1: official joycon is NOT common ground but gcn IS, that just doubled your solder work. BUT it can be done as I stumbled across the fine work of Gummo (@gummowned) at shoryuken.com who has already turned a single joycon into a fightstick. It has taken me 4 weeks to gather enough bits of knowledge, tips, and data on the two pcbs and buy a spare wavebird, two extra switch pro controller thumbstick thingys (its a very reasonable term), new soldering iron (well, cant solder without one), and a myriad other things before I finally soldered the signal wire to the a button on the gcn board last night! I plan on this being the functionality of a pro controller but in a gcn wavebird shape (although cutting in two seems awesome!) The reason i didnt use the pro controller is because it didnt fit nicely into the gcn shape whereas with a little 3d printing here and there, i can make a harness to hold the joycon bits. Sidenote, i think ive bought too thick of wire looking at some of Madmorda's and JacksonS's portables. 60+ wires (beginners stubborness) might be my biggest space hog.

    TLDR: OP please take your time to research similar projects. understand if you can about padhacking and the best methods but dont let that stop you! lastly dont burn yourself with the soldering iron, it hurts.

    (Now that i've joined, i plan to document my journey here somewhere, is there a switch section or should i load into portables or gcn?!)
     
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