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Atari-themed shell for converted NES controller

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#1 MaximRecoil OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:42 PM

I have a pair of NES controllers that I converted for use with the Atari 2600 (and 7800). They work perfectly, but they still look like stock NES controllers, so I started working on it:






Until a couple of days ago, I'd never done any 3D modeling, nor had I used AutoCAD before. However, I've done plenty of work in vector programs, particularly Abobe Illustrator, so I did all of the 2D drawing in Illustrator (getting all of my measurements from an OEM NES controller shell) and exported it to .DWG, and did the 3D work in AutoCAD.


I made quite a few changes to the design of the OEM shell, mostly internal, because I was making it specifically for converted-to-Atari innards (the external dimensions and D-pad and buttons locations are the same as OEM though). Also, since the plan is for this to be machined from a solid block of material rather than injection molded like the originals, I decided to retain as much plastic as possible. In an additive process like injection molding, thicker walls cost more, but in a subtractive process such as machining, you've already paid for the block of material, so why waste it by going with thin walls? I plan to use black Delrin, which machines beautifully, and which is particularly dense for plastic (1.42 g/cm3, vs. 1.14 g/cm3 for the some-flavor-of-nylon used for the OEM shells), and that high density combined with very thick walls, means these controllers will have a very substantial feel; they will weigh about 7½ oz. each including the cord, vs. 4½ oz. including the cord for an NES-to-Atari controller in the OEM shell, and 6½ oz. for a standard Atari CX-40 joystick with cord.


There's no guarantee that this will ever see the light of day, but my friend just sent me a picture of the pile of parts on the floor that arrived today; parts for building a CNC router, so that's a good sign.

Edited by MaximRecoil, Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:59 PM.

#2 AtariBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:02 PM

Very cool .

#3 0078265317 OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:27 AM

Nice. How did you convert nes controllers for use on 2600?

#4 forrestsmith OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:27 AM

You guys should hook up http://atariage.com/...e/#entry3346606

#5 MaximRecoil OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:09 AM

Nice. How did you convert nes controllers for use on 2600?


It involves replacing the stock cord with an Atari 7800 controller cord (I believe you could also use a Sega Genesis controller cord; Atari 2600 controller cords are usually missing some needed wires for 7800 functionality), removing the IC and cutting some traces on the PCB, adding two resistors and a jumper, and soldering the new cord's wires into the holes where the IC once was.


You guys should hook up http://atariage.com/...e/#entry3346606


He makes use of the Start and Select buttons (for rapid fire functionality), the holes for which I've eliminated in my shell design (and I don't like "turbo buttons" anyway). Also, I wouldn't use aftermarket innards; I like my controllers being OEM where it where it counts.




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Posted Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:46 AM

Those are super cool, have been thinking about something similar for a long time, great job

#7 MaximRecoil OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:09 PM

Those are super cool, have been thinking about something similar for a long time, great job


I have too, but always in terms of modifying the OEM NES controller shells. Making new shells didn't seem feasible until several days ago when my friend said he was building a CNC router.


I drew a D-pad and buttons to add to the model so I could see it assembled (if these ever get made I'll be reusing the OEM D-pad and buttons though):




I don't intend for them to be glossy like that (they'll just have the as-is finish of a block of black Delrin, like so), but that was the only material and lighting option I could find in the render software that looked somewhat realistic (I have zero expertise when it comes to rendering software).

#8 bohoki OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:18 PM

seems like with some struts it could be a 3d printer object mayeb even use a perf board with some of those little switches from vcr front panels even 3d print the d pad and buttons


even go all late 80s neon pink buttons neon green d-pad and a blaze orange shell so if you look down you will go temporarily blind

Edited by bohoki, Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:21 PM.

#9 Sak OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:49 PM

Excellent work Maxim! Now use a woodgrain texture layer for the pad, and silver fuji and letters and you are done! :)

#10 MadZiontist OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:51 AM

Whoah! Very nice! I wish I was knowledgeable when it comes to hardware modding. So many ideas, so few means. Atm, I need to put a newer GBA SP screen in my GBA SP (NES Classic model). I just unboxed it recently, and disovered that it was released with the original GBA SP screen model, which is dim and generally horrible looking. Should be a pretty easy mod though (famous last words, I hope not!),

#11 TrekMD OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:06 AM

Looks very nice!

#12 BassGuitari OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:42 AM






This would be great for NES-to-7800 controller conversions. :) I like that it isn't a radical departure from the look of the 7800 joypad, yet is simple and unique.

Edited by BassGuitari, Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:46 AM.

#13 papa_november OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:04 PM

You may not even need to use any original NES parts when making these if you're already making the shell - this place makes reproduction Game Boy button parts which can be made to drop into NES shells with little effort.


You might also want to consider keeping the Start/Select buttons around for a pause mod. You could take a page from the FM-TOWNS/J-PC standard and map Start and Select to simultaneous presses of Up+Down and Left+Right. You could then create a circuit for use inside the 2600/7800 that would watch for these impossible button combinations and trigger Pause (which would be where Select was) and Select (which would be where Start was) as necessary. You could even implement a "Squaresoft reset" that would press Reset if both buttons, Pause and Select were held down simultaneously on the controller!


#14 hiitsbrian OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:44 PM

Is there anywhere I can buy something like this?

#15 hizzy OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:33 PM

I'd buy this with some wood accents and orange buttons!

#16 cjameslv OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Feb 2, 2016 3:15 PM

This case would be awesome for SMS controllers that have been converted for 2600/7800s. Since they have no start/select like nes controllers do.

#17 RangerG OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:35 PM

Those are great! I like the black and red, not a wood grain fan. I would buy one.

#18 Raticon OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:06 PM

I really like this. I am a woodgrain fan myself and would love to see some wood accents added somewhere.

#19 cjameslv OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:19 PM

If MR releases an stl or 3d file, i can print it out with a wood filament or a glossy black one and see how it comes out.

#20 grips03 OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:35 PM

would be neat if you can round the edges a little more like the pc-engine gamepad

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