Xbox 360 arcade stick - for the PS3
I finally got around to writing up how I built the thing.
Click on the thumbnail to see the larger image.
A year ago I built my first arcade stick out of a dead Xbox 360 Arcade console. This was for my Xbox 360. I posted a picture in one of the threads for showing off custom sticks.
Now I’ve taken another dead Xbox 360 and made an arcade stick. This time for the PS3.
That’s right I have an Xbox 360 plugged into my PS3.
I was better prepared this time after building the last stick. In the photo you can see
- Drill + 3mm, 4mm + 5mm drill bits.
- 30mm holesaw + 22mm holesaw
- Soldering iron, solder, solder sucker, heatshrink
- cutting knife
- my trusty console toolkit with Xbox 360 case opening tool
- 3mm screws
- PCB case feet
- 6x 30mm Seimitsu clear-top screw-in buttons in appropriate colours (I’ll explain my choice)
- 1x Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT joystick with mounting plate, joystick wire harness and Seimitsu clear bubble top
- 2x Sanwa 20mm SDM-20 snap-in button
- PS3/PS2/PC board already pre-wired (no longer available unfortunately)
- Dead Xbox 360
- 8mm diameter magnets
- hot glue gun
- wire strippers/cutters
- Tin snips
PCB, PCB case feet joystick and buttons from in2amusements in Perth, Western Australia.
Tools from Jaycar Electronics & Bunnings.
Preparing the case
First step is to remove the faceplate. Next is to remove the grey plastic top and bottom.
There are 6 points, 3 on each side, that hold the plastic piece in place. Sticking a thin screw driver into key points will help undo them. They are between the filled in holes on the sides
Once they are done, it’s time to take the base off (base when the console is in a horizontal orientation). Underneath the faceplate are 3 points that clip together. Undo them.
On the back are 7 points that all need to be pressed in. You can use a very small flathead screwdriver, but my toolkit came with a took for this purpose
Case comes apart. The top is screwed into the metal frame. You’ll need a T8H bit to remove them. There are 6 in total that hold the metal frame to the top
The guts of the machine are now exposed. Take out the DVD drive. Remove the PCB on the front of the unit. This controls the power button and the 4 LEDs that give the RRoD. There are 3 screws that hold it in place. Off the top of my head they need a T6H bit.
Now remove the fan and any other screws holding the motherboard in place. You’ll be left with an empty metal case
The top will have a thin flimsy piece of metal attached to the plastic. Rip it off and discard.
You have your case.
Buttons and Joystick
Using the screw rings from the buttons and the mountplate from the joystick mark the placement of each component. I sat the top part of the case on top of the metal frame so that the case was level. I favour the offset left side buttons while other people prefer the straight alignment. Either way mark the position of each button. I was careful about preserving the words XBOX 360 and MICROSOFT on the case.
I used the joystick hole and the 4 screw holes on the mountplate to work out placement of the joystick. I didn’t mount my joystick with the mountplate, I just used it to mark the position.
Mark the centre of each of the button holes. 30mm holesaw does a perfect job for the buttons while the 22mm holesaw is perfect for the joystick hole and 5mm drillbit for the screw holes around the joystick.
Flip the case over and you’ll see that there’s plastic bits that will get in the way of the joystick and buttons
Scrape away at these with the cutting knife and a file until each button hole is clear. Do the same with the joystick.
Remove the mountplate from the joystick, but keep the screws. Mount it directly to the case. The dust cover for the joystick will cover up the screws.
Screw in the 30mm buttons. For my convenience I marked what each button was and what colour wire would go to each button. I’m aware that the colours of the buttons are not the PS3 colours. I will explain this at the end of the post.
Now to mount the start and select buttons. I chose to put them underneath the HDD cover so that they are out of the way and aren’t visible keeping as much of the Xbox 360 look as possible.
Careful placement means that parts of the plastic cover won’t get in the way of the buttons
Now before I get too far, I screwed up the placement. The cover doesn’t get in the way, but I made the button holes too far apart. It meant that they didn’t fit into the metal case. I had a spare top part though.
Also I will need to get a 20mm holesaw since the 22mm one is too big for the 20mm buttons. They still hold in place, but they can fall out
Of course the metal frame needs to be cut to accomodate the buttons. Out came the tin snips.
Now for the heart of the machine. Rather than gut a wired controller, I managed to find one that was pre-wired for the PS2/PS3/PC. All wires except for the joystick also had .110 quick disconnects on the end to make it easier to hook up to the buttons.
First things first I needed to mount it to the case. This is what the case feet are for. There was one hole in the middle of the PCB which I screwed the PCB to the case foot and I used a second foot to help distribute the weight
Wires to the buttons were already sorted, but to the joystick was just bare wires. Sanwa JLF-H Wire harness comes in handy. Now with a joystick the switch on the left is actually for the right direction and vice versa. The switch at the top is for the down direction and vice versa. Think about it
I worked out the colours on both the harness and the ones on the PCB, tinned the ends and joined them, covering them with heatshrink
To make sure that the soldering iron didn’t move around too much and that the cable didn’t get in the way, I used a bulldog clip to keep the cable in place.
Now a big problem. I wanted the cable to the console to come out via the power cable hole. Last stick this wasn’t an issue since it was just USB. But this one has a PS2 plug as well as USB. None of the holes were big enough to feed it through so this meant cutting.
First the metal frame.
Next the plastic. This was a little tricker since part of what I cut is used to hold the top and bottom of the case together
At this point you can test the stick to make sure that it’s all working right.
I sat the top part on the metal frame and hooked up the buttons and joystick
You can see that it’s plugged into my PS3.
Cables through, PCB in place and buttons and joystick mounted and working. The basics are in place. Time to put it together.
Putting it together
Wire up the buttons. Earlier I marked what colour wires should go up to each button. Each button will have two wires - the colours I marked and a ground wire. The board I used has a common ground, so it’s one wire with many connects on it. Joystick connects via the harness that I joined the wires to earlier. I made sure the start and select wires were sticking out through the hole I cut for the buttons, as well as the ground wire too.
There were 6 screws that held the top to the metal frame. After mounting the buttons only 5 of those points are left. Screw them back in, but make sure not to over tighten them. Easy to do. Grey plastic base just pushes back in place on the right hand side (if you look at the Xbox 360 in a horizontal orientation). The grey plastic has the start and select buttons. Put the buttons in and hook up the wires. I put tape around the edges of the hole I cut in the frame to stop any chance of the wires becoming severed.
Fit it back in place and put on the face plate.
Fully functional stick. But there is something missing
The faceplate from the DVD drive.
I cut off the excess bit off plastic from the eject button and put a hole in both the eject button and the faceplate, connecting both with a 3mm screw, keeping both parts together.
The plan was to hold it in place with magnets. There’s a tiny sliver of the metal frame visible on the right hand side of the hole. The left hand side has plenty of plastic to put a metal piece for a magnet to stick to.
3mm screw in the case where the eject button sits.
Hot glue gun kept the magnets in place The magnet in the eject button sits just inside. The one that sticks to the frame is stuck to the back of the faceplate.
Put it all together and you get the finished stick.
Why are the buttons in the colour of an Xbox 360 controller when it’s for the PS3?
- I couldn’t get a clear-top pink button.
- My plan for the future is to make it a PS3/Xbox 360 stick. 360 colours, but with PS3 labels. Makes it clear what button is what just by looking at it.
Which brings me to the very final touch. The inside of each button is just over 20mm in diameter. Photoshop + printer = cheap button labels. To stop them rotating inside a friend suggeted a bit of blutack to hold the labels in place. For now I just used my black laser printer. Later I’ll make the labels coloured.
That’s my stick.
Where do I go from here?
One thing I wanted to do was map the PS3 HOME button to the power button on the case. I discovered that the board I bought has no HOME button. I was disappointed to find this and will keep it in mind with the next board I get.
The first stick I built has this working already. Power = Guide button.
I still want to find a suitable place to put the L1 and L2 buttons. I can’t think of a fighting game that needs more than 6 buttons (excluding start and select) so I don’t want to mount them with the others. I’m going to look into mounting them with the start and select ones so that they are out of the way.
My next stick will be a PS3/Xbox 360 combo stick from another dead Xbox 360 case. I’m still trying to find the best place to mount a switch so that it doesn’t take away from the look of the case. Speaking with a friend (dreamcazman) I’m going to get a terminal block to help keep the wiring neat.
I also plan to make it so that it only uses a single USB cable (Not so hard since PS3 and Xbox 360 use a USB cable).
I want the power button to be the Xbox 360 Guide/PS3 HOME button. I’d love to get the LEDs to indicate which player I am too. I got the guide button to work on my first stick, but the LEDs are quite difficult to solder to since they are very small points.
Been a joy to build and I get a lot of compliments from people that see and use it.
More photos have been uploaded