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DIY Buttonbox for under 15 € parts and this one old gamepad you never use

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Christian Militzer, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Christian Militzer

    Christian Militzer
    Premium Member



    With the great news, that Stock Car Extreme now supports up to 6 USB devices, I wanted to build a simple buttonbox on my own. Do I need one? - hmmmmm maybe. Do I want to solder and build around a little but? - YES! So please see this as a fun little project to improve my little soldering and building skills a little bit. Inspired from good online manuals like:


    I wanted to turn my over 10 years old, unused Thrustmaster Gamepad (http://www.thrustmaster.com/en_US/products/360-modena-upad-force) into a buttonbox. The first thing I did was removing the screws from the back and open the case. What I saw was quite satisfying:
    Image by: http://www.ixbt.com/peripheral/thrustmaster/360modena-upad/360modena-upad-in.jpg

    There was one main pcb with the main electronics and little ones with the majority of the buttons, which were connected by cables. The buttons itself were the usual comb-shaped electrodes which gave a contact if the button was pressed, plus a diode per button. (which use i couldn't figute out) So I went online shopping and got me a few new buttons (14 buttons a 0,25 €) and a case (6,88 €).


    I proceeded to figure out, what cables were for what button (by following the canals on the pcb) and cut off the cables from the main pcb. Then I just soldered the diodes off the old pcb and onto the new switches. I soldered the new switches to the main pcb in the way it was before - so i actually just replaced the switches. Since I had no use for the analog pads, I just removed them.


    After drilling some holes in the case, I installed the switches and everything was done :) A new buttonbox with 14 buttons for 10,38 € parts and an old gamepad. It was really fun to build and the good thing is - even if you are not good at soldering like me - what could go wrong? :)


    Sorry for the lack of pics, I was too fascinated building it :)
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  2. Good job mate, have fun with it:) Cheers AussieStig
  3. looks good!

    i wish i could make one myself

    but i am not really handy with a soldering iron so i would fudge up the whole thing xD
  4. Christian Militzer

    Christian Militzer
    Premium Member

    I'm not a really good solderer either, so just try it :) This is in my opinion the kind of project, where you can improve or even just test your soldering skills with little risk. Whats the worst that could happen? You destroy an old gamepad and end up with a box and a few buttons. Then just look around, somebody will surely have another old gamepad or you buy a cheap one on ebay. Even if you realize in the end that thats totally not for you - you may lose 15 € for some soldering fun - sounds legit :D

    If you need help, feel free to ask me :)
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
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