If you are a serious video game player, having your own controller is a must if you want to beat your friends each and every time. While you may think it is too hard to DIY your very own controller, it’s actually easier than you think if you have some basic electronics skills. To have a customized controller that will make you unbeatable and the video game king of your neighborhood, here are four ways you can DIY your very own controller.
Gather Your Tools and Supplies
First, gather together some basic tools and supplies. These will include your soldering iron, laser cutter, reflow oven, your PCB, and of course some various electronic components that will bring your controller to life. While it sounds like a lot, the cost of your tools and supplies will be minimal.
After you grab your Arduino, you’ll start prototyping so that you can eventually fit all your components onto a small PCB. The Arduino will have HID capability, allowing you to easily simulate how your controller will function once it’s finished and hooked up to a computer. When doing a DIY for your controller, you may want to hook up as many as 10 buttons and use current-limiting resistors on your LEDs.
Board Assembly and Programming
Once your prototype is completed, you’re ready for board assembly and programming. Look over your options for PCB construction and click here for more information. You will need a stencil to help you with mounting the various components, especially the surface-mounted microcontroller chip. Use your soldering iron for all the through-hole components, which can be used in place of solder paste and a reflow oven if necessary. When it comes to programming, make your customized controller like most other specialized versions and program the right four buttons to WASD keys, while having the left four map to the arrow keys.
Print the Buttons
Since you are an electronics whiz, chances are you either own a 3-D printer or have access to one. When you have completed each of the prior steps, you can finalize everything by using the 3-D printer to print your controller’s buttons. Using a rubber-like material called NinjaFlex, this can be done in only a matter of minutes.
By completing these steps and then grabbing some screws, hex nuts, and spacers, you can soon have your very own customized controller assembled and ready to be put to the ultimate test. Once your friends see how fast your fingers can fly on your controller, they’ll want to know how to make one of their own.