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BlueCubeMod: Bluetooth GameCube Controller Mod Kit

Convert your GameCube controller to Bluetooth for playing on the Switch, emulators and more

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I love Smash Ultimate on the Switch and also love the feel of an Original Nintendo Gamecube Controller, but there wasn’t a great wireless option I was happy about. Nintendo still somewhat supports the GameCube port but I think Bluetooth is the best way to future proof what many believe is one of the best controllers ever made. This is a great mod even for beginners, there’s just a little bit of soldering required to hack your own. And if you’re hardcore, It should be open source soon. My plan here with the Hackaday Prize is to gather the resources to develop and ship a great mod kit at a reasonable cost. I have a few early versions I’ve been putting to the test and I am satisfied with the results, its currently my go to controller for playing Smash Ultimate online. I'm a couple months away from being able to sell kits on tindie.

How it works:

The BlueCubeMod currently uses an ESP32PicoD4 on a custom board that fits perfectly inside your controller, allowing for USB charging and power to replace where the cable once was. Rumble is not supported in the mod, so the 700 mah battery replaces the motor. After soldering in the battery and I/O from the controller, the chip communicates on the logic line of the GameCube controller, requesting button reports. The ESP32 runs as an Bluetooth HID Joystick, which can connect to and control a variety of devices. As of now Switch support is achieved through an 8Bitdo wireless USB adapter. The adapter should allow compatibility with any console 8bitdo says they support (I haven't tested everything)— I’m currently working on an adapter-less solution that will lower final costs of the kit as well as remove the hassle of an adapter. 

GIVEAWAY:

I’ll be giving away the controller in the picture AND a mod kit to 2 lucky people who LIKE this post for the Hackaday Prize. At the end of the bootstrap (6/1) I’ll randomly select 2 users who liked this project. 

What to expect from the next few updates:

-Posting code, schematics, BOM

-Small batch of kits to sell on tindie within 2 months

Heres some demos of Switch as well as Mac/PC support.

Zip Archive - 164.21 kB - 05/02/2019 at 20:05

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Adobe Portable Document Format - 31.99 kB - 05/02/2019 at 20:04

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Zip Archive - 14.10 kB - 04/29/2019 at 10:46

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BlueCubeMod Wiring.png

Controller wiring diagram

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 990.09 kB - 04/18/2019 at 22:34

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  • 1 × ESP32-PICO-D4 RF SoC
  • 1 × STBC08 Power Management ICs / Power Supply Support
  • 1 × 10K Resistor 0402
  • 1 × 8bitdo Wireless Adapter
  • 2 × 4.7k Resistor 0402

View all 21 components

  • Make your own BlueCubeMod, added firmware & PCB files, battery design

    NathanReeves05/02/2019 at 19:48 0 comments

    BlueCubeMod firmware is now on GitHub: https://github.com/NathanReeves/BlueCubeMod

    If you have your own esp32 dev board and a gamecube controller you can try this out right now:

    I’ve added the PCB files which contain a few updates from the previous board:

    -Onboard USB to UART programmer w/ auto program 

    -Blue LED tied to GPIO34

    -Slimmed USB port

    -New vertical switch


    Battery Design:

    The 700 mah batteries I could find didn’t fit well in vibration motor slot. For this to work, the battery needs to be smaller than 15x30x20mm. 

    Another idea I’ve been working with is putting the battery in the controller handle. This would allow a larger battery, at the cost of making the controller off balance.  

    Pros/Cons:

    500 mah battery(9x30x20mm):

    -4 hour battery life

    -removes vibration motor

    -balanced

    1000 mah battery(10x35x30mm):

    -8 hour battery life

    -keep vibration motor

    -off balance

    I can offer both options for kits, let me know what you think.

    What I’m working on next:

    I need to create a mount that will help secure the mod in place. My idea is to 3d print a cap that screws onto the post that goes through the board:

    Now that I have a final board design, I’ll be getting things ready for a small run of kits to sell on tindie.

    If you like this project, don’t forget to hit like for a chance to win some hardware. I’ll be choosing 2 people on June 1st.

    I would love your feedback, if you have something to say let me know!

  • Added Schematics, Wiring Diagram, Components

    NathanReeves04/18/2019 at 23:08 1 comment

    I added the current working version of the schematics. I've been testing these designs with no issues. I also added a parts list, here's a link to the project on the Mouser website where I get my parts: 

    https://www.mouser.com/ProjectManager/ProjectDetail.aspx?AccessID=a8b03ec8d2

    Parts come in at $15.52 not including the battery

    Here's a rough wiring diagram to give you an idea of how the mod works

    The final battery is actually 700mah. With the current hardware I estimate a 6 hour playtime but haven't timed it irl. I currently can play a couple hours/day for 3-4 days before needing a charge.

    Coming soon:

    I'm making some final adjustments to the board shape so expect to see the PCB files soon. I get my boards from OSHPark, the design has been no problem to manufacture.

    Stay tuned for when I release my code and my plans for manufacturing and distribution...

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ashwin.venkat wrote 05/11/2019 at 05:06 point

For the antenna I noticed that there is no tuning circuit, I want to do something like this but stopped after I realised that I don't know how to tune it. Your project gives me hope

  Are you sure? yes | no

NathanReeves wrote 05/11/2019 at 20:21 point

Thanks! This antenna doesn’t require an external matching network which is nice

  Are you sure? yes | no

ashwin.venkat wrote 6 days ago point

Awesome! Thanks for sharing this information

  Are you sure? yes | no

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