Wireless/Wii Hack for SNES and NES Controllers

Copyright 2007 Mark Feldman. All Rights Reserved.


This site contains the details for my first ever mod, a wireless hack for SNES and NES controllers that is also compatible with the GameCube/Wii controller ports. One of the first things I did after getting my Wii was to hook it up to my wireless network so that I could start downloading retro games. This is the first time I've played these titles, I never had a SNES or a NES growing up and I never played them on the emulator either. As much as I like the new Classic Controller, I don't like the idea of it being tethered to the Wiimote. I would also much rather play the games on the controller hardware that they were originally designed for.

A 4 minute video showing the controllers in action can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_odzgmV6mhc

These pages contain repeated references and links to Jaycar Electronics and Dick Smith Electronics. I'm not affiliated with either company nor do I own stock in them, they just happen to be the only retailers in the Melbourne CBD that I'm aware of who sell the required components. All components are off-the-shelf through-hole (no surface mount) and should be readily available at any good electronics store. A quick check reveals that SparkFun in the US also sell them online.

While this hack doesn't demand much skill in electronics you will need good soldering skills plus hardware to program the two 16F84A microcontrollers. If you don't already have a PIC programmer then you'll need to get one (at the time of writing Dick Smith sell a kit for AU$22.47). It's also very easy to put together a simple one on breadboard.

The following pages detail different aspects of the hack. The overview section gives a good high-level summary of how it works. The next two articles contain detailed technical specs for the electronics, timing signals, communication protocols and so on (if you're not interested in the details of how they work then feel free to skip these). The last sections contain the information needed to put it together yourself.

This project wouldn't have been possible without the large volumes of work done by others who have shared their information on the net, not just about the GameCube and SNES but electronics as a whole. In particular I'd like to thank the following:

 

*NEW* April 26th 2007: The NES assembly instructions are now available for those that are waiting, if there are any sections that need clarifying then please do let me know. Ive also added a new Frequently Asked Questions page.

 

Also, apologies to anyone whos waiting for an Email response from me.its been a pretty mad few weeks lately including a wiped Windows install and the need to rebuild my home machine from scratch. Im back up and running now though, so Ill be slowly working through my mail over the next few days.

 


 

April 1st 2007: Daniel Hearn has developed firmware for Wii-enabled wireless Sega Genesis controllers. Impressively, they are compatible with the receiver circuit presented in this article! Construction details can be found on the page he set up for it:

 

Daniel has allowed me to host the source code for his hack on this page, and I've also compiled it to a binary hex file. I haven't had the chance to make one myself yet, but will do so soon. I particularly like how Daniel has either found transmitter chips without pins or manually removed them himself, thus allowing wires to be soldered directly to the PCB itself...a much more secure method than soldering to the pins as I did. Awesome work Daniel, I've already ordered a Sega controller off EBay.


Happy Gaming!


Number of hits:

Visitor Map