Modding a Saturn Pad for 360 or PS2


Here’s the result of a project I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It requires that you hack up a Saturn and 360 or PS2 controller for use with a project box. Check out the [media=youtube]l9RpTFqQ5-k"[/media].

Note: This has ‘evolved’ from when I originally posted it. I recommend reading the entire post and especially the OCD method before following the original steps.

Saturn Model 2 Controller
PS1 Dual Shock or Digital Controller/Mad Catz 360 Common Ground Controller
DB-15 10FT M:F Cables from or SF The cables from SF Cable are slightly thinner and work better if you plan to keep the rubber controller nub intact.
Dremel with Drill and Grinding Attachments (Came with my 300 series)
15 Watt Soldering Iron and Solder
Radio Shack Project Box
Radio Shack Nippy Cutters (Flush Cutters)
Small Zip-Ties from Wal-Mart

Photo 1: Prep the Saturn Pad

  1. Snip the Saturn cord and pray that fire does not rain down from heaven for the sin you?ve committed.
  2. Remote the IC (little black board below the holes) using ?Nippy Cutters? from Radio Shack. There are certainly better ways of doing this, but we?re going for easy here. You can also dremel the legs off but you?re more likely to screw something up.
  3. Use your dremel with the small drill bit to make the Mickey Mouse holes shown in the picture. The top two are the normal size it makes which is perfect for a small zip-tie. For the larger hole I used the same bit and then widened it with the little blue grinding attachment. You may want to practice this on another board first.
  4. Use a razor blade or Exacto knife to scrape the copper pads I have boxed in. These are what we will be soldering to.

Photo 2 and Photo 3: Route the Cable in and Zip Tie

  1. Strip the DB-15 cable roughly 3 inches and route it through the largest hole. Run a zip tie through the front so that the little nub is on the back of the board. Push the nub to the side like shown in picture three. Use needle nose pliers to pull it extra tight. Give the cable a tug to make sure that it won?t come loose.

Photo 4 and Photo 5: Check the Diagram and Solder the Saturn Pad

Edit: The original directions are below. I’m now doing these what I call OCD style. Here are the alternate steps for that which are preferable:

A. Drill 1/16th holes at these points.
B. Scrape the perimeter of the holes to expose enough copper for the solder to fall on.
C. Route the cables through the holes and trim their excess.
D. Strip the wires slightly and solder them down through the top.

  1. Route the cables like I have them unless you?re feeling brave. I?ve obsessively rearranged those until the controller felt stock. If you put them where they shouldn?t go then the buttons/dpad will feel mushy when it?s assembled. Note that the X button was moved over because it felt mushy when it was using the placement that it is expected to go.

Photo 6: Prep the Host System Pad

  1. This is straight up pad hacking. It doesn?t matter what the intended system is (360, PS2, etc.) as long as it?s common ground. On the PS pads, scrape off the black coating and tin those points. You?ll regret it if you try using the copper pads.

Photo 7: Solder the Host Pad

  1. Solder the host pad using the same coloring scheme that you did the Saturn pad. A = X, B = Circle, etc. Snip 9 inches from the db-15 and strip 3 inches for the cable in the project box.

Photo 8: Prep the Project Box

  1. Use the dremel and the brown grinding nub to make cable indentions in the box (also see photo 9). Make sure they?re toward the edge like shown in the picture.
  2. Use the dremel and drill bit to drill a small holes for zip ties to go through the project box. This will keep people from tugging on the cables.

Photo 9: Place the Host Pad in the Project Box

  1. Run the db15 and host controller cables out the side of each of your indentions. Loop around the host systems cable to the desired length. Zip-tie both cables to the case.

Photo 10: Close Her Up

  1. This is what it should look like when completed. Go plug it in and pwn some scrubs (like me) with your badass Saturn dpad.

Saturn to 360/ps3 adapter?
Sega megadrive to usb?
Best Ultimate Tech Talk Hang Out Loud Edition Season V

I can’t see any reason why this wouldn’t work. Go for broke man, this could definitely work since both are common ground pads with 5V current.


Thrashing a perfectly good Saturn pad would be a sin. I have a small board in the works (already ordered, waiting probably another week) that could be used with a hacked 360 pad to make your own Saturn converter. You’d need a Saturn extension cable (so you could cut and use the female end for your controller to plug into), one of these small boards with the right code on it, a hacked 360 pad, and a project box to stash it all in. The upside is that you could use any Saturn pad you wanted and swap them out if they die, unlike the hack your describing. The work is about the same either way, but the converter would cost slightly more to do. Just throwing that out there.


Really now? Toodles, that sounds VERY intriguing. This’ll save me the hassle of bringing around multiple project boxes for my HRAP2:SA and Saturn pad when you make this board available. Does this board you’re brewing require a common ground pad or could it be used with official controllers too?


It won’t work with non-common ground controllers without getting kinky with it (adding additional electronics) but it will be able to properly work on the common ground controllers that have the flipped triggers, like the newer MadCatz pads that require an inverting transistor to work.


Sounds good Toodles. I’ll be on the lookout for that.

I know it’s blasphemy but this looks considerably easier than I ever expected. I have two brand new Saturn pads that have been sitting around waiting to be touched. That probably lands me in an even deeper layer of Hell.


I’m also very interested in this.


Have a look here, someones already done it


If you look closely, you’ll notice that the Madcatz Fight Pad is actually a Saturn pad. They even admit to lifting the design.


This one is the closest I’ve seen to what I wanted to do. I asked him for more information but he didn’t reply.

Yeah, I’m aware of that one. From what I remember he spent a couple of months sorting out the finer details. I was more interested in blowing an afternoon.

Reportedly the diagonals are very hit and miss on these. I play primarily on a stick or I would have picked up one of these. I just have some old lame fondness for the Saturn pad.


Lame fondness? The Saturn pad is a beast! I’m going to watch this thread as I’m after exactly the same thing as you…


Since there seems to be a renewed interest in this I sent Fallback (the owner of the 360 Saturn pad) linked above a PM asking for advice.

For any of the other brains here, could I use a db15 cable to hook this up? I would be happy to make a tutorial if I could get it sorted.


I have the diagrams etc. that I used to hack at my other office computer… I will post them later. The first one that was hacked that I had I bought from shrimpnoodles but I opened that one and used what I saw to hack some others. For me it was not easy as the damn points on the saturn pad are so tiny and I am not the best solder-er. lol

I used a 10 Ft 15-Pin DB15 M-M Cable. I ordered it here though there could be cheaper places. I used a common ground 360 wireless pad. (The halo mcfarlane ones are all common ground.) I think db 15 is a good way to go so that way you could use project boxes for multiple systems.


Thanks a ton for the reply. MonoPrice has them for $2 if I can’t find one locally.


Here is the pic of my other hacked saturn pad with a DB15 cable. I may have overdid it with the cable length. LOL

I dug up a pic I used when hacking. This should help someone.

Also this should help as well :wink:

Saturn Pad Pinout:

(Please note that the numbering sequence for the pads is as follows: 1-12 run from left to right on the bottom, 13-24 run from right to left on the top. Note, however, that the furthest you will need for any mod is pad 13, maybe 14.)
01 - Down
02 - Left
03 - Up
04 - Right
05 - L Trigger
06 - Y
07 - R Trigger
08 - Z
09 - C
10 - B
11 - A
12- Ground (one of many)
13 - X
14 - Start


Thank you. That should definitely help. Now I’m curious what these points are since they aren’t labeled in the Slagcoin diagram or the IC pinout you listed:

I’ve got some DB15 cables on the way from MonoPrice. I’ll make sense of it all when they arrive and post back.


Those are alternates. Instead of using all the numbered pinouts (1-12) they used those points instead so they didnt have to solder so tightly in the 1-12 area.

So basically at the bottom they used that point for the start instead on the #14 start point and the top left point was used instead of using the #5 spot for the L Trigger.


Thanks again for the picture and pin-out. I poked around at my pad for a little while and came up with this. It’s accurate afaik but I’m curious why more face buttons weren’t soldered. It looks like there’s 5 (LT, X, A, B, Y) of them were done from what I can tell.


I found that pic on the web a while back when doing my mod. When I did my mod I had to solder to more of the pins than what is done on that pic. Just use the pinout I posted to see what you need.

For example “9” © and “8”(z) are not soldered in that pic but you will need it for street fighter LOL


Hah, thanks, I was taking this all way too literally. Did you take ground from the that top left point? I don’t guess it especially matters. And did you use a fine tip iron on the points from the IC? I have a run of the mill 15 watt iron from RadioShack and I wish it had a finer tip for those.