36X Controller PCB

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RDC
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36X Controller PCB

Post by RDC » Wed May 23, 2012 1:33 am

This isn't technically a 360 type of hack, it's more like a starting point for other controllers that want to use the 360 controller shell.

I've made a couple of different controllers that use the 360 controller board as the base, the PS360 (PS3 controller in the 360 shell) and PS2x30 (PS2 + PS3 adapter in the 360 shell), and that has always required stripping down all of the components from a stock 360 controller board, and then rewiring it to conform to the new controller's layout.

After toying around with this idea for awhile now, I finally decided I've had enough of that whole process, and if I'm going to make any more of those type of controllers up I wanted a little easier base PCB to work with. Granted designing it up isn't easy, but after it's done, then it's done, and doesn't have to be messed with every time some other controller is made.

I also wanted it to be a bit more versatile than what a stock 360 controller board offers, so that other projects could be done with it as well. For example the PS360 and PS2x30 controllers have different button layouts, as well the PS2x30 sticks power and ground are reversed from the 360 board layout. To that end, all of the buttons, Triggers and such have all been broken out to TP spots, so that it can be wired up for any button configuration much more easily. If I wanted to put a PS3 controller in the 360 shell, it can be wired for that controllers 3 COM line layout, likewise the same board can be used for making up a PS1 controller and using it's common ground button layout, but without having to hack all kinds of different traces up on each one and rewiring it for the controller to be used.

These are some renders of the board as it has progressed..

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..and this was a prototype run made at BatchPCB, to see what all still needs changing around and adjusted and such..

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I still have a little ways to go on this, but as that version board stands it could be used as everything lines up close enough. That's not good enough for me though, so I'll have to run it thru a few more revision changes before I'm content to use it in anything. I'm also still undecided on the D-pad contacts, but they both work the same and it's short comings are the mechanical side of it, so neither one is any better there than the other there.
Screwing up is one of the best learning tools, so long as the only thing you're not learning is how to screw up.
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Diminuendo
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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by Diminuendo » Thu May 24, 2012 5:00 am

this is amazing dude, will you be selling these boards or maybe have them as public domain or anything?

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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by RDC » Thu May 24, 2012 12:00 pm

Thanks. If there is enough interest I may, but it still needs to go thru a couple more prototype versions before I'd be content with making a pile of them and then setting some price.

The more people interested the cheaper it would be though, as the more boards that get made up in a run the cheaper they are. Just making up a handful of them would cost around $50 or so a piece as it is right now, but even at that price, depending on what you're trying to do that is, it's still not really too bad versus stripping downa stock board and rewiring it, but I'd much rather it be less than that if I did decide on selling them.


I've no plans to release the Gerber files, as that's where all the work is at, like the source code is for a coder. I am interested in hearing any input or ideas on it though, but it's really just made up to be a base board for other projects, just giving easy access to all of the buttons and such on the controller, so it can be used for any number of things.
Screwing up is one of the best learning tools, so long as the only thing you're not learning is how to screw up.
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Diminuendo
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36X Controller PCB

Post by Diminuendo » Thu May 24, 2012 11:29 pm

$50 is a little too high for at least me personally; if I'm spending more on the board that I'd spend on the controller there's a problem. I'd probably rather a single side version I could etch myself (actually anything that needs to be mounted could be soldered to the front right? That gives me an idea!)

Is there any way files can be shared while punishing anyone who gives them unauthorized access? I totally pay for access to the files

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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by RDC » Fri May 25, 2012 12:20 am

The board isn't a 360 controller board for starters, so comparing it to what that controller costs is irrelevant. It's made to go into the 360 shell with whatever you want to wire up to it, so to better compare that cost you need to look at it versus stripping down the actual 360 controller board, rewiring it to conform to whatever you're wanting to use it for, and then using it as your base board for the controller hack you're doing. Just straight comparing it to the controller it goes in isn't accurate. For example, make yourself up a PS360 and then tell me a $50 PCB wouldn't have been a HUGE time saver.

If you're not interested in paying for a $50 PCB that's already been made right, I seriously doubt you're interested in paying to use the files either, which would cost more as I've put far, far more than $50 worth of time into them. Then as far as enforcing who does what with them goes, I doubt you'd like being sued for a breach of contract any more than I'd like having too deal with it, so that pile of legal crapola I've no desire to get into either.

As far as cost goes, that's why I said it's the price as-is if there were only a few made up right now. I wouldn't sell them for that, unless that's what they cost, which right now they do, but I'm not, so it's also irrelevant, and again, the more people that would want one would make the price go down because that's how it works with making up PCBs, or anything that's bought in bulk. While 10 of them might be $50 each, 100 might be $25 or so each, just depends on how many are made and where.

If you think a single sided board thru a little more and you'll see it's not really worth it. First off it would have to be all top side for the button contacts, which would all have to be coated in some way or the copper will corrode and make them useless. All top side makes installing the sticks more work as the leads have to be bent out to be soldered SMT like, ala crappy 3rd party controller style, and even more to swap them if they ever needed as removing all of that mess is more difficult that way, Bumper buttons also. A lot of holes need to be drilled in the correct spots, the thing has to be cut out and then all of your TP spots are either on the top side of the board, making them pretty useless, or thru hole ones so you're always flipping the board back and forth to get things wired up. No matter how you go about that, you'll end up with something that's not even close to what one done at a PCB fab house would be. I'm not stopping anyone from trying to make one, but it's just not worth it or I'd have done it already.
Screwing up is one of the best learning tools, so long as the only thing you're not learning is how to screw up.
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Diminuendo
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36X Controller PCB

Post by Diminuendo » Fri May 25, 2012 6:29 pm

Ok, I think I've offended you somehow; I don't disagree with you on any point, but you are an experienced modder and I'm a hobbyist (actually my first mod was a nes D-pad on a 360 controller after seeing yours) who starts more projects than he finishes. I don't doubt you for a moment that this board would make a PS360 controller x10 easier, but you regularly make these, I don't, so the value of these is a lot higher in your mind. I bring the view of a poor uni student with an unstable income, which is defiantly going to be different to someone in a different financial position.

As such $50 is way to much for me to afford per board, if you could get the cost of these down to $25-30, I'd be down for 2-4 of these.

I pulled apart a 360 controller after my single side board idea and all the mounts for components can be soldered to the front side, and the analoge pins could be connected to the back if I drilled holes for them, they just wouldn't have any copper to connect to on the board, so this could theoretically be done. But thanks for the tip on the button contacts becoming useless if they are not treated, I would not of thought of that.

My single side board was not meant to be an attempt to out do you- you have much more experience in this field than I do. I was trying to figure out how make a gimp version within my means. This would never come close to the amazing work you have done here

Edit: are there any sites online you can upload your PCB files to, and have people able to order the made boards from, without the purchaser ever getting access to the creation files? Would this be an acceptable solution?

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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by RDC » Fri May 25, 2012 7:09 pm

No offense taken at all, it just isn't made to be compared to a 360 controller. It's made to be compared to the amount of time and work it saves over having to strip down a 360 board and rewire it for whatever the said project is. It's more of an 'over the long run' saver type of thing, and I wish I'd have made it a lot sooner.

Another example is that the CG version boards all have the buttons in a Common Ground layout, so they're a right pain to get into a PS2 controllers COM line setup, plus the Stick's power/ground is reversed from the stock 360 board as well. Something like this is completely open and the buttons, Sticks, Triggers can be wired to whatever layout you want, so it can be used for any number of things, not just making up PS2x30 or PS360 controllers, but it does make that whole fiasco a bit easier. ;)

I'd like to see them around $20~$30 or so at most, but it's a numbers game.
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Diminuendo
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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by Diminuendo » Fri May 25, 2012 7:30 pm

can I link this on mod retro, see if I can get you some more interest?

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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by RDC » Sat May 26, 2012 2:47 am

If you like. The more people that are seriously interested in having one made up means everyone would have to pay less for one. It still needs to probably go thru a couple more prototype versions before everything is where I'd like it to be and works out right, but at the moment it's pretty close to being done, and barring any major issues with the next test version this should be close to what it looks like, before settling on the D-pad contacts that is.

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Screwing up is one of the best learning tools, so long as the only thing you're not learning is how to screw up.
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Bizazedo
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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by Bizazedo » Wed May 30, 2012 7:30 pm

RDC is the best. I know, not a meaty message, but my hands and the controllers they can use thank him for his efforts.

thor17
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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by thor17 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:52 pm

Nice buddy 8)
The layout is very helpful for my next project, a bluetooth remote control.
But, what are the dimensions of the pcb?
I mean the width and height, or the dpi of your pictures.

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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by RDC » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:40 pm

The dimensions are the same as a 360 controller board, they'd have to be considering. That is 136mm x 62mm x 1.6mm, which a ruler could have told you. ;)

These are just 3D renders also, they're not intended for making your own board from. Since it's dual sided, the amount of Vias it has and all of the spacings and hole sizes to deal with, it would make it a royal pain in the rear to try and home etch, but again, I'm not stopping anyone from trying.
Screwing up is one of the best learning tools, so long as the only thing you're not learning is how to screw up.
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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by thor17 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:56 pm

I haven't a 360 Controller here at the moment, so the only thing that the ruler could tell me, is that it is produced by Herlitz :mrgreen:
Hm, etching a dual sided pcb will be a real challenge 8)

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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by RDC » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:00 pm

Etching a dual sided board isn't much more difficult that doing a single sided one, just have to make sure the traces line up really good is all, and normally a few of the mounting or thru holes drilled in the right spots before hand can make sure they get close, but some of them are only 0.3mm wide here, so it's not going to be easy at all. It's the rest of it that's really no fun. The Vias all have to be drilled as small as possible and a wire installed for each one, then all of the traces need coated, as do the button contacts so the copper doesn't corrode away.
Screwing up is one of the best learning tools, so long as the only thing you're not learning is how to screw up.
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Re: 36X Controller PCB

Post by RDC » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:11 am

This is the Pre-Final version of the 36X board. This one is missing the spots for the AA posts and the D-pad contacts are mixed, which makes no difference performance wise as the D-pad bites for numerous other reasons.

The finals will have all of the newer type of D-pad contact, and the AA spots added.

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If anyone would like to give one a try I have a few extras, asking $10 each ($15 outside the US) so I can keep this and similar projects going. Finals I'm hoping to keep around $20 each, and you can PM me about one of these, or those, if you like.
Screwing up is one of the best learning tools, so long as the only thing you're not learning is how to screw up.
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