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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Adapter: USB To Controller Port

USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

Description:
Build and use this adapter with XBCD on your PC or laptop for use with some games and almost all emulators..

The Build:
You don't need a whole lot to make this adapter. You would need a soldering iron, solder, spare controller port(s), USB cable with a male plug on one end, heat shrink (optional), LED (optional), resistor (optional).

In this particular build I added a blue LED to the mix to sort of spice it up a little. You dont have to, but I did... Including or excluding the LED does not effect the way this adapter works. 
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

First off you want to remove the shielding from the port that you want to use and maybe trim the plastic down to make it as small as possible. You can use a file, sand paper, a saw, or a rotary tool (Dremel). I already had a stripped down controller port from a previous project, so I just used that in this write-up.

Start by prepping the pins by "tinning" them with a small touch of solder.
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

Since I am going to be wrapping this up in heat shrink, to make her look pretty, I added the heat shrink PRIOR to soldering. I used 3 pieces of 1/2" (12.7mm). They were roughly 1 3/4" long each.
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

Next I soldered the wires to the appropriate rails. Luckily this particular cable (taken from an old D-Link 4 port USB hub) used the standard colors. From left to right we have Red (VCC), White (D-), Green (D+) and Black (GND).

NOTE:
Notice that I skipped a pin in between the Green wire and the Black wire. Normally this is the XBOX's yellow wire speculated to be used for force feedback. It is not used in this adapter at all.
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

This next step is completely OPTIONAL. I have included this in the tutorial just in case you wanted to try it yourself :) I aligned the LED to the center of the back of the port. Then I shaped the short leg of the LED (cathode or negative) and soldered it to the "Black" (GND) rail. Next I soldered a resistor to the "Red" (VCC) rail. You can see that I crossed the opposite resistor pin with the long leg of the LED (anode or positive)
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

I soldered the joint and clipped it with fingernail clippers (that I specifically use for modding)
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

I moved the first piece of heat shrink over the soldered area. 
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

I used a lighter while rotating the adapter until the tube shrunk very snug around the soldered area.
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

I repeated this step until all three layers were nice and tight. After it cooled I CAREFULLY used an x-acto knife to trim the "lip" from around the end.
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

This is the finished product... YAY!
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

Time to plug it in and test to see if it actually works.... The first pic is it plugged into my PC. Second pic is it plugged into my netbook. Both worked flawlessly. 
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter
USB To Original XBOX Controller Port Adapter

Disclaimer: 
Be careful using a soldering iron. They're HOT. Your wattage should be between 15 and 25. It is good practice to use "Lead Free" solder (for health reasons). Never leave your soldering unattended, especially around small children or pets. 

Be careful using an x-acto knife. They're SHARP. Always cut away from yourself. Never leave an x-acto knife unattended, especially around small children or pets. If it has a cap, USE IT when you are not using the knife (as goes with any sharp blade or knife).

Please be careful to NOT short out ANY pins on the controller port or USB cable. Shorting pins WILL cause your hardware to FAIL (sometimes permanently). Check and recheck your work before attempting to use it.

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