Pad hacking, absolute noobie help


Hi all. I’m curious about pad hacking. From what I’ve gathered, the theory behind it is you soldier the buttons that lead to the buttons and stick of your fight stick to the button inputs on a gamepad. So, by this logic, I could take an off brand PS3 controller and use the PCB in an Xbox360 SE, right? If that’s the case, how would I go about doing this? I can’t find a diagram for my pad’s pcb.

this is the pcb:

I don’t doubt that I’m completely wrong about this, it seems too easy, and also, this pcb is giving me a hard time, the button are marked, but i don’t know where to begin.


Obligatory slagcoin referral, it has everything you need to know there

Joystick Controller - PCB and Wiring


golden rule comes first
is the pcb common ground?
test that first with the usb ground and the ground for all the buttons and see if they all connect.
If not you’re out of luck.

read up on the topic of soldering/padhacking in nerrage’s dual modding 101 thread or slagcoin’s pcb wiring section here - Joystick Controller - PCB and Wiring

edit: ninja’d by funkyB =(


How would I go about testing for common ground? I’m completely new to this, sorry for the dumb questions.


You’ll need a multimeter to do that. I said how to test for it up in the previous post there. Its just a connectivity test to see if all the grounds for all your buttons/directions work.

either that or search what brand of controller that is and the model number on srk and see if someone tested it if it was common ground already


See chapter 6, there’s a padhacking section. Also, pretty much most of the info for dual modding and such is here, too.

But that PCB appears to be common ground. I’d need a better picture of the traces, but that’s what it looks like to me.


Thanks for all your help. I’ll get cracking on this tomorrow after my classes are out, and let you know how it goes. Thanks again

Edit: I don’t have a multimeter, so I can’t check for common ground. Here are better pics of the board.


Looks common ground to me. I could be wrong though.
Like I said before, what controller is it that you’re using?


A PS3 controller with no marking or anything. I’ve found it, but it’s called “Wired PS3 controller” so no luck there. I had a spare SE lying around, and thought I’d try to make a PS3 stick with this. Well, thanks again.


Whoa, what controller is that? How much was it? Might get a few for project boxes and 360/PS3 dual mods with DPDT.

Yes, common ground. Red dots are the signal side, Blue dots for (common) grounds. I couldn’t really tell with the Start/Select/PS button area. move out a little on the PCB and make sure the flash doesn’t wash out some of the details.

If you read that guide, you should be able to understand how I did it :wink:


Nerrage ninja’d me to it after i just finished uploading my pics to photobucket.

also get a non-glare shot of the PS button area with a bit more wide spread on it
but from what i can tell in that picture, the left side of the pad is ground and the right side of the pad is signals for the ps, home and select

actually from looking at the first post, that’s a daughter board… You could bypass this board entirely if you were to want that pcb to look more compact


:rofl: Now I can add you to this collection:

I’d agree with you on the signals for the other area, but I wanted to make sure.


what worries me though is the fact that this is a daughter board and he has no multimeter to test, the signals for ground coming from this pad may be getting split up with the two wire harnesses. There’s also no real way of telling its common ground with the L1, L2, R1,R2 pads either. The only way he’ll be able to tell is if he solders on his signals and one ground and tests them all one by one when plugged into a pc

and you prly beat me because i took the time to write gnd and signal on all the pages :3


I have no idea what brand it is, it cost me 15 bucks at a local store

Six_axis Dual Shock Wired Controller for Sony PS3 Playstation

I think this is it actually.


Wait does this pad still work considering all the updates to PS3’s firmware?


Yeah, I played castle crashers with it last weekend. I bought it to have an extra when my friends who do own ps3s come around, but since mvc3 is coming out, I wanted a quick and easy ps3 stick to use when i play them.


True, true. I agree that there’s a chance that it’s not common ground, and that those are all commons to a common line, but I feel pretty good about it. Multimeter would be good to tell for sure.

Coolness. I might get a few.


if i was in the states i’d pick up a few myself considering how easy this looks and how compact it can be minus the daughter boards+analogs.

Also since you don’t have a multimeter you’re gonna have to test this when its plugged into a computer with all the signals tapped via wires and only one ground tapped. Look in your game controllers section and see whether the button lights up when you connect the corresponding signal to the ground wire. If they all work, its common ground and you can solder those wires happily to your SE’s terminal block and main pcb to tap the directions. You’ll then have to connect the power from both boards together as well as the ground (if you haven’t connected it already). Then you’ll have to wire up a dpdt switch to toggle from the data lines in the usb from ps3 to xbox (data lines D+ D- are the green and white wires in your usb cord when its sliced open)


Analogs could be fixed with a few resistors. Could just solder to the main PCB and cut off all the daughterboards. Wow, they are small at that point.


So, I’ve read through the dual modding 101, and I think I’ve got it, I run 1 long wire to all the grounds of the buttons and switches in the stick, then run a wire to each other side of the button and switch to the signal on the board, right?