Using guitar hero controllers as a source for PCBs


#1

circuit city (no longer exists) and other places used to have and still have guitar hero wired controllers for $5-20 for xbox 360, sometimes ps3?

has anyone ever used these as a source of PCBs for joysticks? i ask because this would be a very cheap way to get a hold of a PCB. i plan on buying one soon and mapping it out.


#2

hmm that actually sounds plausible


#3

Hey, not to shoot down your hopes, but I don’t think it’s a good idea. Movement would be impossible because the strum bar activates only Up and Down, the whammy bar does some analog movement(not sure about the directions), and you will only have 5 buttons, not counting Start and Select. I’m not sure what the star power switch does, but I don’t think it will be possible to make a joystick out of the PCB.

Wow that was a lot anyway it probably won’t work, though if you still want to look at the PCB for any random Guitar Hero controller try this site.

EDIT: WAIT!!! Before I forget since you said PS3 and Xbox 360 there is also a Dpad on the Xplorer and the Les Paul controllers… wait nevermind. You still have a problem, there are 5 buttons on the controller and unless you’re going to use this joystick for Guilty Gear or anything that doesn’t require 6 buttons then you’re screwed.


#4

actually there is a d-pad right on the guitar so movement shouldnt be an issue.

5 buttons and whichever button on the controller is star power might be the 6th we need

I wonder…


#5

wouldn’t the pcb just be incredibly big? Unless they used wire harnesses to connect the strum bar to the “fret” buttons


#6

ya if i recall some guitars had facebuttons on the body of the guitar, 3rd party probably. But why stop at using it for a PCB? Gut the guitar and mount your parts to it :rock:

Edit: Or maybe it was rock band instruments that had facebuttons? Drums maybe…


#7

I’ll be waiting for someone destined to pull this off :]


#8

the first rock band guitars (you know the ones with the really bad strum bar). has six buttons, the 4 face buttons, left trigger and left bumper (which turns is the tuning switch on the guitar) it also has a d-pad, select, start, and the xbox 360 guide button.

I’m planning on using it as a pcb, but I am waiting on lizard sticks to start taking orders again.


#9

What’s the 6th button, is it the Star power switch? The only problem would be finding out… wait nevermind again. Just plug whichever guitar into something and figure out what button is what.


#10

would be interesting to find out, i have a RB guitar that is a bag of **** and would happily use it in a stick.


#11

I already use my Rock Band guitar to play street fighter IV. I just smash all the buttons and activate star power, then Ken does the flaming uppercut!! works like a charm.


#12

Guitar Hero PCBs have left (or right, I forget which) shorted so that the game can recognize that it is in fact a Guitar Hero controller that is plugged in.

So unless you want a stick that constantly has you moving left, this idea is no go. Don’t know about Rock Band PCBs though, but I’d assume they have a similar short mechanism.


#13

The face buttons on these guitars (I’m familiar with RB’s) are on completely different PCBs. RB’s guitars have separate PCBs for the head and neck buttons but only control the same 5 buttons. The star power is motion based so you’d have to take apart that switch in order to make it a viable button. And I’m not sure but I think the strum bar and whammy bar are mapped to the analog sticks so I think the d-pad would be okay.

It might be possible but it’s not worth the $10 you’d save over just buying a cheap pad.


#14

other then the left trigger everything is very straight forward on a rock band controller (heck they tell you a lot of the buttons and dpad stuff right on the board). I didn’t say this in my last post but I have played street fighter 4 with the rock band guitar and it works, I’ve also played halo 3 with one of the xbox 360 guitar hero guitars.

here is a very poorly done outline of the rockband controllers pins.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c294/z13k/rockbandinnards.jpg

the pins under the other button pins is the same thing as pressing the upper ones one only with a strum down (im pretty sure it was a while since i last tested it).

the Left trigger is an analog control but there are ways to make it just a plane button

as for the regular guitar hero one, if you have ever played halo 3 with it you will notice that you always turn left unless you hold down the strum bar. this can be easily fixed since it is probably just like the rockband guitar and has a simple switch with a spring, if you take out the spring and just turn it all the way right it should work fine, though you will have a worthless wire hanging about inside your box.


#15

Hm, I like how compact that PCB is.


#16

so we are essentially missing RB and RT… i wonder what those other contacts are for on the PCB. gotta get my hand on one of these cheapo guitars.

Toys R US has the activision xplorer guitar hero controller for $7.99 + shipping (or go buy in store and save shipping?).


#17

the contacts on the right of the d-pad and select pins are more up and down d-pad pins which is used by the strum bar, the ones under the left trigger is up on the right control stick (star power) and the whammy bar which is either turn right or turn left on the right control stick if you hold it all the way down (I can’t remember since the last time i tested was a few days after sf4 came out).

EDIT: oh yea, with the guitar hero guitar I’m pretty sure if you shake the controller it would shoot in halo 3, so yes i think there is sixth button on the guitar hero guitar. if some one has a guitar hero guitar they should plug it in and play some sf4 to confirm some of this stuff since mine is currently home.


#18

Oh, I forgot about the tilt. I wonder if that could be triggered for a 6th button. And the PCB is really nice and small. Keep us posted on how it goes.

EDIT: Just tested it out, when i hold the guitar flat on my lap and tilt in any direction, it will do a medium kick, so you can actually get a 6th command from it.


#19

Make it so you can tilt the whole stick! Do it do it do it!!!


#20

i don’t think he meant actually using the tilt to trigger a response…haha