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Ziggy587
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Idea: N64 controller with BUILT IN rumble pak

by Ziggy587 Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:33 pm

I had this idea a while back, but as some of you guys know, I have many ideas for things I wanna do. Too many things to do, not enough time to do them! Anyways, my idea...

Fit a rumble pak INSIDE an N64 controller!

I love the N64 rumble pak, but it has some flaws. #1: The most noticeable one has to do with the actual design. Since it plugs into the back of controller, and extends out, it's not very efficient at what it does. It's rumbling waaaaay over there, away from your hands. The weights in a Playstation controller, for example, are right in the grips under your hands. It's much more efficient that way. And yeah, it feels better too.

The other gripe I have with the Rumble Pak, some of you may either not have noticed or just flat out have not experienced it. #2: This doesn't happen on all of my controllers, but on some, the rumble pak doesn't fit in snug. So when it's rumbling, you can hear the plastic on plastic rattle (the rumble pak jiggling inside the controller socket). It gets on my nerves.

"Yeah, so? Just use a controller that it fits snug into then. Duh!" Well, yeah, I could do that. But see #1.

And then there's the weight of it. It puts a fairly heavy weight opposite of where you're holding the controller. Kinda makes it a little awkward. I've played with it in there so many times, I don't notice any more. But picture the rumbles in the middle and right prongs. Wouldn't that be nice?

Anyways, it can't be that hard to fit a rumble pak inside the controller, could it? I call upon the usually suspects to help brainstorm this idea. Not that I will have the time to do it right away, but I do eventually wanna do this mod. Or at least attempt it. I wanna try and make an attempt at in in the first quarter of next year. I'm kinda surprised that we haven't seen this done already, to be honest.



So on with the tech talk: I was looking at the controller pinout. Looks pretty simple, 3.3v, Data, Ground. That's great, I think. The first party rumble pak uses two AAA batteries. So that makes up 3v to power it, right? So hopefully we've got the power already in the controller! If for some reason the power inside the controller isn't sufficient (I don't see why not) I have a backup plan for that.

I think some third party paks use AA batteries. Not sure what a difference that would make, if any. I might wanna take a few paks apart though to get the "right" size motor. See how different paks are made up. Or maybe one pak has only one motor inside, I would need two paks anyway.

If memory serves, the first party controller's prongs aren't exactly hollow. They have support all in them. They would have to be hollowed out. But that aside, they seem to be large enough to hold the motors. I mean, I'm just visualizing the size of the motors inside the rumble pak. Over all, it doesn't even seem like that big of a job, once everything is figured out.

I think the hardest part would would be jumping the pins from the controller socket. Not sure how many pins the ruble pak uses. Perhaps it doesn't use that many. Data, ground, something? Again, I'll have to open up a few paks and poke around. Hopefully it's not that many pins, that gets annoying.

The only real concern I have is keeping the controller socket operational for memory cards. I could jump the pins to the internal rumble pak, but I would have to make sure it still functions for memory cards as well. I have a third party rumble pak that has it's own memory card slot.

This one: http://www.amazon.com/TremorPak-Plus/dp ... 695&sr=8-3

Though there's a switch on the pak, you have to switch to rumble. Then when you wanna save, you have to flick the switch. Maybe I'll have to put a switch on the controller for memory card functionality? Perhaps both a memory card AND rumble pak cannot be connected to the socket at the same time. I don't know if they conflict or whatever.

Kinda just thinking out loud here, but what do you guys think?
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Hobie-wan
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Re: Idea: N64 controller with BUILT IN rumble pak

by Hobie-wan Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:41 pm

Yeah, would probably need to switch either rumble or the slot active. Seems feasible, but would probably only be able to run 1 motor.
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Ziggy587
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Re: Idea: N64 controller with BUILT IN rumble pak

by Ziggy587 Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:18 pm

You think two motors would require more power than the controller can supply?

Hmm, now that I think about it, there might be another problem with two motors. That would be TWO rumble paks working in tandem.

But that's IF the rumble pak only has one motor. I'm assuming it only has one.

And, I don't think I have to use the motor from a rumble pak. I might be able to use the rest of the guts from the rumble pak, and a motor (or motors) from something else. Like a Playstation controller.
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Re: Idea: N64 controller with BUILT IN rumble pak

by vlame Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:29 pm

some rumble paks use batteries and some use controller power...
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Re: Idea: N64 controller with BUILT IN rumble pak

by BoringSupreez Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:38 pm

If you were to start making these, I might buy one.
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Re: Idea: N64 controller with BUILT IN rumble pak

by DinnerX Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:06 pm

Ziggy587 wrote:You think two motors would require more power than the controller can supply?

I'd be concerned. Nintendo thought one motor would draw too many amps to be supplied by the console. Two would probably exceed the max amps the controller power supply can provide.
Ziggy587 wrote:Hmm, now that I think about it, there might be another problem with two motors. That would be TWO rumble paks working in tandem.

I don't think so. I'd get one rumble pack, disconnect the motor, and wire up two motors in parallel connected to where there used to be one. Voltage stays the same in parallel so the only concern is the amps that would want to draw. I'd use AAs in your setup just to be sure you don't end up replacing batteries constantly.
Ziggy587 wrote:But that's IF the rumble pak only has one motor. I'm assuming it only has one.

It does.
Ziggy587 wrote:And, I don't think I have to use the motor from a rumble pak. I might be able to use the rest of the guts from the rumble pak, and a motor (or motors) from something else. Like a Playstation controller.

Right. They just have to connect where the old motor did. Be sure to look at their voltage and resistance labels before you use them though.

Maybe I'll open up one of my rumble paks soon and take a look inside.

EDIT:I opened up my tremor pak plus and the switch to go from rumble to memory card looks like it switches several wires so you probably can't have the two paks fully connected at the same time.

EDIT:You probably know this, but AAA, AA, C, and D cells all provide the same voltage. Bigger batteries just last longer than a small battery would in the same circuit.
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Re: Idea: N64 controller with BUILT IN rumble pak

by Ziggy587 Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:49 pm

vlame wrote:some rumble paks use batteries and some use controller power...


Ah, thanks for that info! I'll have to check out the ones that don't take batteries. They might be better for me to use. Perhaps since they use controller power, they aren't as powerful. These will be things to consider.

BoringSupreez wrote:If you were to start making these, I might buy one.


Well I can't say right now if that would be something I'd do. I mean, I gotta find the time to make one first. Maybe IF it's not too hard to do, I could think about making some to sell. But that's projecting.

DinnerX wrote:I'd be concerned. Nintendo thought one motor would draw too many amps to be supplied by the console. Two would probably exceed the max amps the controller power supply can provide.


Yeah, I was thinking that too. But honestly, the controller might be able to power one perfectly fine. I think Nintendo usually airs on the side of caution. It will be easy enough to test though. Well, kinda a pain in the ass to test current since I'll have to splice the volt line. Luckily I have a couple spare 3rd party controllers I could use for this. Or maybe I'll get an extension cable to test current (maybe the 3rd party controllers will differ some how from the first party controllers).

DinnerX wrote:I'd use AAs in your setup just to be sure you don't end up replacing batteries constantly.


Well I was thinking, my backup plan would be to house batteries in the left (D-pad) prong of the controller. Though I would have to open the controller up to change the batteries. I'd rather it use controller power, obviously, if possible.

DinnerX wrote:Right. They just have to connect where the old motor did. Be sure to look at their voltage and resistance labels before you use them though.


Well it should be easy enough to probe the controller to get those readings. But I'm thinking, since it's a motor, it probably has a decent range that it will operate in. Like, if it's under powered, it will run but just not as fast. If it's slightly over powered, it will run faster. I mean, I assume this is how the rumble is controlled anyway (when it rumbles soft or hard) but it probably has a slightly larger range than it normally operates in.

DinnerX wrote:EDIT:I opened up my tremor pak plus and the switch to go from rumble to memory card looks like it switches several wires so you probably can't have the two paks fully connected at the same time.


Ah, that might get annoying then. How many lines do you think it switches? I might have to rip the switch out of one of those paks to use on the controller. That, to me, is the annoying part. Having to wire up so many connections.

edit: I was just looking at the reviews for this one: http://www.amazon.com/N64-Mad-Catz-Forc ... 893&sr=8-7

One reviewer said that it worked on one controller, but not on his Hori mini pad. That could be power related. Perhaps the Hori pad doesn't supply sufficient power to the memory card slot. Or it might be some other incompatibility that's software related.
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Re: Idea: N64 controller with BUILT IN rumble pak

by vlame Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:46 am

I had this clear purple nyko one that didn't need batteries and it was a memory card with a rumble switch not pass through.
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Re: Idea: N64 controller with BUILT IN rumble pak

by Ziggy587 Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:30 pm

So I was cleaning a lubing some joysticks yesterday, and thus had a look at the inside of 1rst party controllers. If I hollowed out a prong, there'd probably be enough room to hold a rumble motor. The problem though is that a screw post is located right smack in the middle of each prong.

Now let's say I chopped that screw post out, all the other screws would probably hold the controller together just fine. BUT if I'm putting a rumble motor in there, it might not be a good idea. I can't relocate the screw post, and I don't wanna resort to having to glue the controller shut or something like that (especially if I have to use batteries). I was thinking, if you know what the motor looks like (motor - thin shaft - unbalanced weight) I might be able to position it so that the shaft can run along side a screw post. I think the entire rumble motor might be too big though, but I haven't really played with it yet.

I'll just say this now, in case any one thinks of it later. I know there's probably a lot of 3rd party controllers that will have a lot more room inside to work with. But I refuse to use a 3rd party controller. I much prefer using a 1rst party controller.

I opened up my first party rumble pak and had a look. The PCB isn't too big (obviously) and the motor looks roughly the same size as a Playstation controller's motor. I haven't opened my other 3rd party rumble pack yet.
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Re: Idea: N64 controller with BUILT IN rumble pak

by CRTGAMER Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:59 pm

A great Idea!
Putting the motor inside the controller might have more shake affect, plus freeing up the slot. I use NAKI Rumble paks since they color match the controller and do not use batteries. Maybe not as intense vibration as a battery operated rumble pack, but good enough and no battery changes to deal with. The cutoff switch would also be useful in case the motor stays on, this sometimes happens on certain games.
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