Hacking a PS3 pad to make an arcade joystick.

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by dragonstrap, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. dragonstrap

    dragonstrap Spirited Member

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    I'm probably never going to do this, but I built up this information and I figure it's a waste to just leave it in my documents folder, never to see the light of day.
    All the information should be accurate and complete.

    Parts needed:
    - Two 8k resistors
    - Two 7k resistors (only needed if you want to wire up L2 and R2)
    - Up to Ten 10k resistors (for most inputs)
    You may need less than Ten 10k resistors, depending on how many inputs you actually want to wire up)
    The only buttons that don't need any resistors are Select, Start, PS, L3 and R3.

    When you look at a PS3 controller, you'll notice that there is a daughter board connecter in the form of a plastic overlay. This overlay has resistance in parts and the PS3 design has 3 separate common lines which make this mod more involved than what you might be used to. Anyway, when you take off the daughter board, you'll notice either a socket, or a number of graphite-y covered points in formation as numbered below (ignore the dots, I used them to align the numbers). The actual reason for this resistance is because PS3 controllers actually have analog buttons, they are pressure sensitive. If you look at the underside of the rubber insert you will notice that the contact is curved. If you press it lightly, there is more resistance; if you press harder, there is less resistance. The sensitivity won't be matter for any game requiring an arcade joystick but I thought I'd mention it out of interest.

    . . 02 . 04 . 06 . 08 . 10 . 12 . 14 . 16 . 18 . 20
    01 . 03 . 05 . 07 . 09 . 11 . 13 . 15 . 17 . 19 . .

    Now, I'm going to assume that you know how a switch works and that's all your doing when you wire up digital inputs - when the input triggers you complete a switch. In many controllers there is a common ground and connecting each input to the ground which fires the input when the switch is completed. PS3 is different in that it has a few grounds depending on which button. For PS3 controllers you will also in many cases need to solder in a resister on the input side of the switch. There are also 2 resistors which need to be soldered in to connect COM1 and COM2 lines to V via resistors. The full list of connections is detailed below.

    For all inputs, when I say somethign like "19 R1 Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM2" I mean that pin 19 corresponds to the input for the button R1. Pin 19 should be connected to a 10k resistor and the other end of this resistor should be wired to one side of your button's switch. The other side of the button's switch needs to be connected to COM2. I am using the symbol "-/" to mean "a switch".
    The entries for 07 and 13 (which are COM lines and not inputs) obviously do not include the use of any switches.

    01 L2 Connects via a 7k resistor to -/ COM1
    02 L1 Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM1
    03 Dpad-U Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM1
    04 Dpad-L Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM1
    05 Dpad-D Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM1
    06 Dpad-R Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM1
    07 COM1 Needs to connect via an 8k resistor to V
    08 V
    09 PS Connects directly to -/ V
    10 COM3
    11 Select Connects directly to -/ COM3
    12 Start Connects directly to -/ COM3
    13 COM2 Needs to connect via an 8k resistor to V
    14 V
    15 [] Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM2
    16 X Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM2
    17 O Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM2
    18 /\ Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM2
    19 R1 Connects via a 10k resistor to -/ COM2
    20 R2 Connects via a 7k resistor to -/ COM2

    L3 Connects directly to -/ COM3
    R3 Connects directly to -/ COM3

    *Note: L3 and R3 aren't included on the daughter board connector, just wire them up from the buttons on the pcb.
    Both L3 and R3 each connects directly to a switch to COM3.

    Resistors that YOU NEED TO CONNECT, regardless of which buttons you want to end up using:
    - An 8k resistor between COM1 (pin 7) and V (pin 8 or [pin 14])
    - An 8k resistor between COM2 (pin 13) and V (pin 14 [or pin 8])

    The details to follow already appear above, but I'll restate them here in a different form for convenience.

    Which COM line for each button?
    - COM1 is for L1, L2 and all Dpad directions
    - COM2 is for R1, R2, Circle, Square, Triangle and Cross
    - COM3 is for L3, R3, Select and Start
    - The PS button doesn't have a COM line, it connects to V.

    Which resistor values for inputs?
    - 7k resistors for L2 and R2.
    - 10k resistors for all Dpad directions, L1, R1, Square, Triangle, Circle and Cross.
    * You don't need a resistor for Select, Start, PS, L3 and R3.

    Which resistor values for COM1 and COM2 lines?
    - 8k resistors for each

    Hope this helps someone, some day.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  2. Kaicer

    Kaicer Site Supporter 2014

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    nice info to know.
     
  3. dc16

    dc16 Dauntless Member

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    Yeah it's nice info, but kinda useless anyway for me. It's easier to just get a cheapo USB game controller, than waste a $50 wireless one.
     
  4. dragonstrap

    dragonstrap Spirited Member

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    Yeah - this is more the kind of thing you would do if you came across a complete junk ps3 pad that you got second hand.
     

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