360 wireless padhack: relocated (regular and rechargable) batteries w/USB Charge & Play port


#1

Here’s my latest stick, using Sanwa parts and walnut bentwood to. I won’t get into details about the box itself and how to bend wood.

http://www.nicksantillan.com/gallery/d/2117-1/a1b.JPG

I wanted to make a simple but elegant design with a minimal case. The draw back is minimal interior space to work with, so excuse the wire mess. The inside:

http://www.nicksantillan.com/gallery/d/2120-1/2a.jpg

Stick Mount
One thing I didn’t take the picture is the stick itself and how it mounts to the box. You’ll notice I don’t have the metal mounting plate. I removed that and mounted the stick using the metal plate’s mount location, which you can barely see the screw visible under the dust washer. I’ll be making a larger dust washer to completely hide the mounting screw. It’s the most simple way to have a hidden mounts for your stick.

Charge & Play / USB Port
I bought a Plug&Play clone cable (a few bucks off ebay), took the shell off to access the PCB. Inside you will find 4 wires that goes to the USB. You basically plug the Plug&Play PCB to the joystick PCB, then cur off the 4 wires to a USB female port. Mount the USB female to the case (I used a dollar store USB 4 port hub for parts for the port connection and the outer casing), so all you need to do is plug a USB cable from the stick to your PC or xbox to recharge.

http://www.nicksantillan.com/gallery/d/2123-1/2b_001.jpg

**Battery Relocation (Standard & Rechargeable)
**
I cut off the joystick shell that enclosed the batteries so I’ll have a place to put the batteries into. If your case is large enough you can remount this section back to the PCB and call it done. If you want to relocated the battery location, you’ll need to extend 2 groups of wires: the standard and rechargeable battery wires. In red is the standard batteries positive/negative location. I used a spare (broken) joystick for parts, it cut off the battery leads and hot glued it into the plastic battery shell enclosure, then wired them onto the joystick PCB. In Yellow is the 4-wire charge&play battery wires. Using my spare parts PCB, I removed the white battery contacts and hot glued it into the plastic enclosure.

http://www.nicksantillan.com/gallery/d/2126-1/2c.jpg

Hope that all makes sense. The only thing I would do (but will get more tricky) is to have some sort of light to indicate it is charging or finished charging. Extending the micro-LEDs is really really hard to do without proper professional soldering tools IMO. A simple solution I’ll be doing is to just drill a small hole at the bottom of my box to act as a window to see the plug&play PCB LED light.


SUCCESSFUL Wireless + Recharging Fight Stick?!
#2

Love it.


#3

I want one of that.


#4

I had a similar objective (being able to use a wireless pcb with a USB port to recharge the batteries without having to open the case), I’m quite excited you actually went through with it, especially since you went another route than what I had envisionned.

What I’m planning to do is to actually ditch the original battery case altogether and rely on a lithium-ion battery + charger (such as this and this), what you did is more cost-effective but on the other end rechargeable AA tend to wear down after a while, so you still have to replace them every now and then which can potentially be annoying in the long run (plus these chargers have breakouts for status leds built in).

Do you know if the batteries are linked in series or parallel in the original pad?


#5

This is very cool good job.

Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk


#6

Thanks for the feedback!

@John: I believe the batteries are linked, there’s only 2 leads (+ and -). If you cut the shell and reattach just the battery section to the PCB you wouldn’t have to worry about any wire extensions, I just didn’t have the room inside my case so I had to relocate the battery elsewhere. If everything is done right, we won’t have to open the case often, so I wouldn’t have to worry about opening the case every X months to replace the batteries (even so it would only take a minute to do so any ways). I’d just get a name brand 360 battery, they seem to last awhile (my Chinese knockoffs only last 1/3 the time as the Microsoft battery), they’re cheaper as the battery you posted. The charge & play cable is only $5 off ebay as well, which is half the cost as the charger you posted. Everything works fine from the factory so I wouldn’t mess with adding extra work.

Actually originally I extended the charge&play port (6 wires with easy contact points) to mount it behind the case. This would eliminate any USB conversion, but the charge&play socket has an overhang (that wraps slightly over the controller shell) that would need to be trimmed off. But I had a spare plug&play cable so I just decided to open it up and go with the USB port instead.


#7

I had some questions about bending wood so I decided to give a quick info here in case others are interested as well. Bending solid wood is a different method all together so I won’t go into that. I did veneer bending, I pretty much did all the work (making the mold to bend the wood to making the arcade stick box) using only a drill (and a dremel), a jigsaw, clamps, and sander.

Bent Veneer:
I’ve done a few products in the past. This one in particular is 7 layers, but thickness and strength will vary depending on wood species and the veneer itself. Veneer isn’t cheap unfortunately. But I used offcuts from a local cabinet manufacturer, trade a case of beer for a large box of offcut veneer.
.
1)** the veneer layers**: each layer should have alternating grain directions. So if top layer is left-to-right, the 2nd layer should be front-to-back, then back to left/right, etc. There really should be odd number of layers, as the top half of layers should mirror the bottom half. If not the piece will most likely dry warped and twisted as the grain will have too much pull in one direction. Also if all layers have all the grains going the same direction, it would be strong against the grain but very weak with the grain. Also cut the veneer sheets larger than the actual size (at least an inch on all sides). Especially if the ends had a bend, it’s easier to bend in the middle then in the very edge, so leave an overhang if the bend is at the edge. If the product will be thick, save yourself money and use thin plywood instead of all veneer layers.

2)** design basics: **there’s limitations on how you can bend the wood. The bend can’t be extremely drastic. Also it can’t have organic bends (can’t make a bowl or a ball out of a flat sheet of veneer). There’s ways to do this but the process gets a lot more complicated. Also be aware of how you will make the mold; can’t make a spiral curve as it would be impossible to make a mold for it. **
**

3)** make a mold**: make a solid mold where the veneer will be placed onto. Foam (the blue or pink insulation foam boards used for dry wall) will work as well. I used MDF with cross support sections (like a skateboard ramp) inside to save material instead of making it completely solid. Make the mold larger than the veneer pieces as well, especially if it bends near the ends. Seal the mold when done so the glue won’t stick to it. I use packing tape and tape the entire surface up, cheap and effective.

4)** pressing the mold**: there are 2 main ways to press the veneer layers onto the mold.
4a) Vacuum bagging: place the entire mold with veneer layers into a vacuum bag. Turn it on for 4 hours or so, overnight if possible. Practice a few times before doing it for real. Pros: even pressure all around, only 1 piece mold is needed. Cons: extra tools needed (inexpensive hand pumps like roarockit is an alternative). Takes longer for the glue to dry, longer turnaround time process.
4b) Clamp molds: make a 2 part mold (top and bottom), place the veener layers in between then clamp all around very tightly. This is the method I used for this arcade stick. Make sure both molds are very close in shape from each other, especially around the bends. If not the top layers of veneer will be very bumpy and not smooth. You could place a thin layer of rubber sheet in between the mold and the veneer to all surface area will be clamped more evenly. Pros: less costs, less machines needed. Faster drying time. Cons: more chance for veneer layer to warp from improper mold mating.You could technically remove it after a 30 minutes or so (faster if placed near a heater), but overnight preferred.

Trim and finish.


#8

Do you have to open it up to sync to another 360?