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#1
Creating a SNES-to-VB controller adapter (your results)
Posted on: 2015/9/25 3:51
Nintendoid!
Joined 2014/5/16
USA
116 Posts
Long Time User (4 Years)
I know this has been discussed a bit in the past, but I suspect several more people have succeeded and/or failed to make one since it was last discussed. I wanted to create a topic and ask people to contribute how they actually ended up making their adapter, pictures, lessons learned, etc, rather than just explaining hypothetically about how one might do it.

The basics seem simple enough since it is passive... all you need is the pinout. But specifically, I'm wondering a few things:

-how you handled the power situation (and does anyone know the proper female adapter to use the factory SNES AC adapter?)

-what kind of switch did you use?

-is there anyway to or did you yourself create a microcontroller to change the button mapping? I'm not an expert, but I could envision some kind of setup where with the appropriate microcontroller one could hold Start when powering on for one mapping; hold Select for another... and so on.

Thoughts/pictures/write-ups? Discuss.
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#2
Re: Creating a SNES-to-VB controller adapter (your results)
Posted on: 2015/9/25 8:38
Nintendoid!
Joined 2013/3/25
217 Posts
Long Time User (5 Years)
The US SNES uses a custom DC barrel jack connector. It'd be a lot easier to simply use a SFC AC adapter, or something compatible with it (Famicom, Genesis, Master System, JPN Virtual Boy etc).

I haven't made such an adapter because I think the VB controller is plenty good on its own. In fact, I'd rather see the VB controller on other consoles.
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#3
Re: Creating a SNES-to-VB controller adapter (your results)
Posted on: 2015/9/28 4:49
Nintendoid!
Joined 2014/5/16
USA
116 Posts
Long Time User (4 Years)
Ok. After playing Hyper Fighter I have decided that the SNES-to-VB adapter project will take on more urgency due to the game's hardcore awesomeness. I actually didn't find using the right d-pad and triggers for the punch/kick buttons that bad, but I found doing special moves motions with the left d-pad awkward. Not to mention the muscle memory I have with an SNES controller from countless hours played on the various SF games. But I digress.

I have a vision for this adapter. So you have a simple project box. Out of opposite ends are the VB cord and the SNES cord (obviously the VB plug comes from a donor controller and the SNES from an extension cord). On another side you have a typical switch and opposite that you have the SNES AC adapter port. I did some looking and the back panel to the SNES is readily available online for about $12 bucks (http://www.ebay.com/itm/190682841531? ... geName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) among other sources). So if you could cut out just the portion needed for the AC adapter and affix that to the last free side of the box you would have a clean, sleek adapter (since all the soldering would be inside the box) that required no extra accommodation.

Problem is, my soldering skills suck and my dremeling skills suck even more. I know there are many out there with these talents though. I am ammasing the parts now, but I'm hoping there is someone out there who might undertake this project for an appropriate fee and/or the fun/challenge. It would also serve as a prototype for the rest of the community that has such skills to make one for themselves.

Any thoughts/takers?
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#4
Re: Creating a SNES-to-VB controller adapter (your results)
Posted on: 2015/10/3 15:28
Nintendoid!
Joined 2007/11/10
Austria
136 Posts
Long Time User (10 Years)
Here my quick hack for such an adapter I did a while ago. I always wanted to show it on my Youtube channel together with some other VB stuff, but didn“t have time for that yet.
I simply use a stabilized power supply set to 9 Volts DC output to power the VB and a SNES extension cord and some VB controller cable. The ugly soldering job is hidden within a shrinking hose, so no case here.
It works but for someone like me that didn“t play with a SNES back in the days it does not really make much difference, but of course for gamers that had a SNES it is a completely different story. I still have to test if the SNES arcade stick with the micro switches brings any advantages in some of the games though.

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#5
Re: Creating a SNES-to-VB controller adapter (your results)
Posted on: 2015/10/4 4:37
Nintendoid!
Joined 2014/5/16
USA
116 Posts
Long Time User (4 Years)
Thanks for your input VectrexRoli. I am interested in putting a 2 position rocker switch in line with mine as well. I also bought a replacement SNES power socket so I can use an actual SNES AC adapter to supply the power. VBmills provided this handy pinout wire translation in another topic:

Virtual boy pad wire colours:
Yellow - data
Blue - +5v
Brown - latch
Orange - clock
Black - ground
Red - battery supply voltage

Snes pad:
Red - data
White - +5v
Orange - latch
Yellow - clock
Brown - ground

What I'm confused about is how to handle the power aspect of the wiring. First I connect the data, +5V, latch, and clock wires on the VB cable to their corresponding wires on the SNES cable.

Do I connect the ground wires too, or does this come into play closing the loop on the system power.

I have succeeded in confusing myself about how to handle the power so I'm going to put this out there and ask if someone would be so kind as to explicitly tell me how to do it.

So I have the following:
1.) battery supply wire and ground wire from the VB cord
2.) 2 way rocker switch (3 prong: power, accessory, ground)
3.) AC adapter plug (positive and negative terminals)
4.) ground wire on the SNES cord

So how exactly do I connect these pieces together and not blow the whole thing to hell?

I also found it interesting that I check with my voltmeter and my SNES AC adapter puts out a stead 14V DC. I guess the VB steps this down? Or do I need to have a component in-line to step this down if it had previously been done in the AC adapter tap or the VB controller?

Anyway, thanks in advance to whomever it may concern.
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#6
Re: Creating a SNES-to-VB controller adapter (your results)
Posted on: 2015/10/4 8:17
Nintendoid!
Joined 2007/11/10
Austria
136 Posts
Long Time User (10 Years)
I cannot remember the details how I connected everything, as it was month ago, but yes, you connect clock to clock, latch to latch, and so on. You also need to connect ground to ground. "+" of your DC Input from your power brick you connect to "battery supply voltage" and "-" to Ground I would say.
As the VB accepts a range of Voltage input I assume there is some kind of voltage regulator built in and as I didn“t check any schematics how that thing works I went for just 9 Volts input to create not any unnecessary heat. I canot use European SNES adapters anyway as they have AC output instead of DC. But US SNES adapters should work fine.

If you want to use a switch as a power switch all you need to do is to put it in between your power supply voltage line.
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#7
Re: Creating a SNES-to-VB controller adapter (your results)
Posted on: 2015/10/5 4:47
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/26
USA
1444 Posts
PVBCC EntryCoderContributorSpecial AchievementTop10 PosterHOTY09 EntryLong Time User (15 Years) App Coder20+ Game RatingsPVBCC 2013 Entry
Roli got it right, but here it is in a nut shell:

1. Connect all ground (-) wires together (VB, controller, and AC adapter).
2. Connect the positive wire from your AC adapter to one side of the switch.
3. Connect the other side of the switch to the battery input of the VB (not the +5V wire).
4. Connect all other controller wires to their corresponding wires on the VB (latch, data, etc.)

The reason you're measuring 14V at the AC adapter is that the adapter is unregulated, and the volt meter doesn't provide much of a load. You're seeing what is called the "open circuit" voltage of the adapter. Once it sees a load from the VB, the voltage will be closer to what is printed on the sticker. Even if it did provide 14V under load, the voltage regulator in the VB could handle it.
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#8
Re: Creating a SNES-to-VB controller adapter (your results)
Posted on: 2015/10/5 5:50
Nintendoid!
Joined 2014/5/16
USA
116 Posts
Long Time User (4 Years)
Quote:

RunnerPack wrote:
Roli got it right, but here it is in a nut shell:

1. Connect all ground (-) wires together (VB, controller, and AC adapter).
2. Connect the positive wire from your AC adapter to one side of the switch.
3. Connect the other side of the switch to the battery input of the VB (not the +5V wire).
4. Connect all other controller wires to their corresponding wires on the VB (latch, data, etc.)

The reason you're measuring 14V at the AC adapter is that the adapter is unregulated, and the volt meter doesn't provide much of a load. You're seeing what is called the "open circuit" voltage of the adapter. Once it sees a load from the VB, the voltage will be closer to what is printed on the sticker. Even if it did provide 14V under load, the voltage regulator in the VB could handle it.


Wow man. Thanks! Good to hear from you again. It's super weird because not 10 minutes ago I was thinking I should contact you directly about this because you did all that great work for me about soldering the LEDs a year or two ago and I was left with the impression that you really knew your shit.

So that all makes sense and I think that should about take care of it. One small point of clarification. You say to connect all the grounds for the VB, controller, and AC adapter. I presume you then connect those to the ground terminal of the switch?

That totally makes sense about the open circuit voltage. I know just enough about electronics to convince myself to know what I'm doing and subsequently fry shit. Incidentally, in doing my checks I noticed that the terminals of the AC adapter tap were measuring a steady 13.8V to my bare AC adapter's 14.0V. I don't know what's in there, but I guess the tap is putting a little bit of load on the circuit which knocks down the voltage a little?

Anyway, thanks for all the input from you and Roli! I'm hoping I can eventually find someone willing to button this all up into a nice, clean, contained project box, but my ghetto mockup will work until that time.
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#9
Re: Creating a SNES-to-VB controller adapter (your results)
Posted on: 2015/10/8 1:05
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/26
USA
1444 Posts
PVBCC EntryCoderContributorSpecial AchievementTop10 PosterHOTY09 EntryLong Time User (15 Years) App Coder20+ Game RatingsPVBCC 2013 Entry
Quote:

astro187 wrote:
Quote:

RunnerPack wrote:
Roli got it right, but here it is in a nut shell:

1. Connect all ground (-) wires together (VB, controller, and AC adapter).
2. Connect the positive wire from your AC adapter to one side of the switch.
3. Connect the other side of the switch to the battery input of the VB (not the +5V wire).
4. Connect all other controller wires to their corresponding wires on the VB (latch, data, etc.)

The reason you're measuring 14V at the AC adapter is that the adapter is unregulated, and the volt meter doesn't provide much of a load. You're seeing what is called the "open circuit" voltage of the adapter. Once it sees a load from the VB, the voltage will be closer to what is printed on the sticker. Even if it did provide 14V under load, the voltage regulator in the VB could handle it.


So that all makes sense and I think that should about take care of it. One small point of clarification. You say to connect all the grounds for the VB, controller, and AC adapter. I presume you then connect those to the ground terminal of the switch?


Thanks for the kind (though a bit profane ) words.

A switch has no "ground terminal" (although sometimes the frame of the switch is grounded for safety). On the switch itself, there are only two terminals which are either connected together or not, depending on the position of the lever/rocker/etc. One is "hot", and the other is either "hot" or disconnected. Connecting either one to ground would make a dead short, along with some heat, smoke, and possibly fire

Just connect the three ground wires together and insulate the connection so it can't touch any of the other wires. Insulate the other connections, too, of course.
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#10
Re: Creating a SNES-to-VB controller adapter (your results)
Posted on: 2015/10/8 15:04
Nintendoid!
Joined 2014/5/16
USA
116 Posts
Long Time User (4 Years)
Thanks for the info RunnerPack. I think I'm finally ready to go create my Frankenadapter. I had said the ground of the switch because the rocker switches I was looking at had 3 terminals (labeled positive, ground, and accessory). I was confused as to why more than 2 terminals were needed and I saw ground and thought connect grounds there, then when I thought about it more I realized that didn't make any sense whatsoever, so thanks for setting me straight on that.

As for the kind words, I did think better of my particular word choice after posting since I don't know the etiquette here very well, but I didn't see where I could edit the post once it was live. Apologies to any members whose sensibilities I may have offended :)
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