Upcycling the SNES controller

You'll need to gut a SNES gamepad controller and use the buttons, elastomer gaskets and PCBs. Start off by disassembling the controller by removing the screws in the back of the controller.

Disassemble Gamepad

With the back plate removed, carefully remove the cable from the enclosure followed by the PCB, elastomer gaskets and buttons.

Unsolder main cable

Secure the gamepad PCB to a panavise jr. or third-helping hand. Heat up your soldering iron and unsolder the 5 small wires from the main cable.

Separate the PCB

We'll need to separate by PCB into three pieces - DPad, A+B , Pause + Select. You have the option to choose your preferred method. We found using a Dremel resulted in a higher quality than using super scissors.
Be extremely careful when using power tools and sharp tools. Wear protective eyewear. Only in an area with proper ventilation. Consider wearing a dust mask. Use a proper vise to secure PCB while cutting.

Etching Traces

Use an xacto knife or razor blade to expose the needed traces that will wire up to the Pi cable. Follow the photo above and the circuit diagram to reference solder points.

Tin PCBs

Now that your PCBs are cut and etched, you'll need to tin the pads with a bit of solder. Again, use a panavise jr. or third-helping hand for assisting while you solder. The SNES controllers tend to use phenolic PCBs which do not take extended heat as well as FR4 so work quickly and studiously!

This guide was first published on Jul 02, 2014. It was last updated on Jun 25, 2014.

This page (Prep Button PCBs) was last updated on Jun 25, 2014.

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