Hacks and Mods: DIY NES Controller


The article will guide you on how to use NES
controller in Atari 2600 or ZX Spectrum using an Arduino. Read through
the entire article to have a better idea. An arduino and a few
connectors are the only components involved here. Since the source code
is small, any Arduino board can be utilized. The detailed list of
components involved is mentioned below:

  • Arduino
  • DB-9 Male connectors – 2 nos
  • DB-9 Female connector
  • 5 Leds for the test dongle
  • 5 resistors 330 Ohms 1/4 Watt for the test dongle
  • Connecting wires

The DB-9 female plus wires can be replaced by a used Atari Joystick cable if required. The NES
cable also can be cut and connected to the arduino. But the wires
should be identified without any confusion. The source code is compiled
and uploaded to the Ardunio. IDE version 0.22
was used to develop the code. In order to observe the exact behavior of
the circuit, a dongle has to be used before the circuit is conneced to
the ATARI. Buttons on the NES controller are used to activate the LEDs in the dongle.

The Arduino board has to be powered if a dongle is used for testing
the circuit. The joystick controller provides the necessary power that
is required for the Arduino to function. No external power is required
in this case. This marks the end of the design and testing. The
controller is now complete and ready for use.


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