The Quest for Amiga Controllers, Part 1

Hi all,

While I’m still sorting out my ability to SMD solder (i’ve been slowly accumulating parts for a toaster oven to reflow oven mod), I’ve been investigating the fact that I have no Amiga Controllers. I decided a while ago that I was gonna do a knockoff NES controller to Amiga/Atari ST mod. Late last night I got to messing about with my ideal design. Welcome to prototyping land!

I knew that I wanted a few things:

  1. A switch to toggle between the rarely used “second button mode” for certain games and the “second button is Up Arrow/Jump” standard mod.
  2. A molded DB9 Plug so I didn’t have to solder to pins in an adapter,
  3. A controller that looks good.

I tackled number 1 partially, and numbers 2 and 3 fully last night and this evening. Number 1, I’ve tackled with the usual jumper mod but via a switch,  Number 2 was an eBay purchase, easy enough. Without further ado, my prototype of number 3:

Now, this is mocked up on an original NES controller, which I have no intention of sacrificing to be an Amiga controller. It served its purpose being the fit model for a new overlay with some printer paper, an Xacto knife, and some tape. The final product will be die cut as a sticker, with a matte laminate layer to feel like the NES controller overlay. Jump and Fire are being swapped around on version 2.

I even got to have some fun with the back:

This will also be a sticker.

As far as the real details go, I used a caliper to help design the dimensions of the sticker itself, as those were nowhere to be found online. My final version will also have the buttons for NES Start and Select physically removed from the controller. I’ve 3D printed a spacer piece to fill in the inlay for these buttons so the sticker will have a nice flat surface with no holes that you could potentially poke through.

The rest of the parts are coming this week/early next and I’ll post some soldering work on those when I get there, along with prototype testing.