A little known fact about me, I like to build things. A while ago I posted a tutorial about wiring a NES controller to a Nintendo DS Lite. Seemingly I was the first person to do this, and now it has been translated into many languages, ripped off, and been featured on many sites. In an attempt to consolidate my online presence, I am moving the tutorial here. So without further adieu.
The question I kept getting while doing this is “WTF, the DS already has buttons, so why why would you need a controller?” The answer being, “so I can play NES roms as they were supposed to be played.”
This is the NES collection that I saved from Katrina only to eventually ebay because I was moving too much to keep carrying them with me. ANYWAY, on to the actual tutorial. First off you will need to disassemble your ds. there are many great tutorials on how to do this already Now that you have done that, you can locate the button pin-outs, which have been mapped by a user over at acidmods.com (thanks dslitemodder)
now all you have to do is solder wire, I used 30awg kynar wire from radio shack to each of the pin outs you plan on using. In my case I used the U, D, L, R of the directional pad and the Y, B, Select, and Start.
From there you can solder the other end of those wires to the GBA pins on the other side of the DS, be sure to keep track of which wires go where. You can do this by saying the U button is the 5th from the left, or however you can keep track of it.
Something to keep in mind when doing this is that the third pin from the left has voltage(+) and the second pin from the right is a ground(-) (as pictured above) other than that you can use whichever GBA pins you like, I used every other pin when doing mine just to give each connection enough room where they wouldn’t short out.
Now you are finished with the inside of the ds
And moving on to the NES controller.
you will notice that the NES controller only has 6 wires coming out of it and you will be needing 8, so you will have to fashion your own length of cable to use.
From this side you will trace the button contacts on the inside on the NES controller to the solder-able points and using the same kynar wire and similar notations as used on the inside of the ds, you can come out of it with this result
On each connection you solder be sure to leave about 10 inches of extra wire so that you dont have to hug your ds when playing with your controller.
With the other end of the wires, align them with the corresponding pins on your GBA filler card, that comes with your ds
To finish up the project I just wrapped the NES cable I made out of the kynar wire with electrical tape.
**A couple of things to keep in mind when doing this modifications! I also use a ezFlash 3in1 with my ds, and the ruble pack and expansion ram both work properly, but the gba games freeze when you press a button…I havent tested this with an actual GBA game, so I dont know if this only occurs with the roms.
Also, I use a DSTT flash card, and on the main menu of it, you select roms to load with the A button, which I did not wire my NES controller to handle…So what I did was solder an extra wire from the DS mother board’s A pin out, to the same GBA pin that I use for the start button on the NES controller. This means that when I push start on the NES controller its actually pressing A+Start, which doesnt actually affect gameplay, but it does allow me to opperate the entire DSTT menu system from my NES controller
AND THATS IT! you can also see my original post on acidmods which also contains a slight SNES tutorial.
whew… I know that Im not the best writer, so if you have any specific questions or anything really, you can usually find me on aim (fatkidslikecandy) or by email (email@example.com)