(Q): Is it possible to mod the Hori D-Pad Zelda/Mario joy con to be wireless?

Discussion in 'Switch - Console, Accessories & Hardware' started by 2DSGamerdude, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. 2DSGamerdude

    2DSGamerdude GBAtemp Fan

    Apr 6, 2015
    Gamecube Land
    hi all,
    I was thinking a while back, now that I have my hori d-pad "Zelda" theme replacement joy con,
    if it is middle possible or even possible to somehow mod the hori d pad to become wireless like the official grey left joy con?

    Hori D=Pad mod pic

    I saw a video on YouTube of someone modded his pikachu theme hori d pad and it worked, but he hasn't made a tutorial how to unfortunately:

    nintendolife also made a video on if this can be done, he showed the insides of each shells,

    tho it is possible to do if you can with some physical editing of the shell.

    how can this be done?

    you can swap out all or most of the parts from the left joy con and put them in the hori d pad one,
    and keep the hori analog stick and the great d pad instead of the buttons.

    tho, the hori d pad insides of the shell "bottom" mostly will need some modding:

    remove plastic and sand down to make the parts all fit.

    3) also, I wonder if you can put the top hori shell together with the bottom joy con shell and it'll all fit?

    also, is this wroth the 90$/e total? for is it a total waste for money?

    I've not done this mod yet, im just wondering if it is possible to achieve/do and maybe even wroth the effort?

  2. coolfunkypanda

    coolfunkypanda Newbie

    Feb 11, 2017
    United States
    Probably not really worth it. With all the work, parts and time required you might as well just replace the joycon shells with the dpad mod. I like the clicks of the dpad mod way more than the mushy hori dpad anyway.
  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Three main choices.
    1) Add wireless to the third party effort.
    2) Swap some amount of the guts from a wireless one into the fancy shell, and fix any associated issues.
    3) If the dpad is not great then might be worth coming the other way and colouring the shell instead.

    For 1) then wireless programmable electronics are available these days but I don't know what it takes to replicate a joycon, or I suppose you could take enough guts from a joycon and bolt that onto the third party effort (though given the wireless issues of joycons that might be easier said than done -- it is not really like the xbox 360 or something where you could harvest a chip or use it as a base platform for something.

    2) sounds like where you are heading. Looking at the second video (as incoherent as it was) that is a considerable effort. I would almost instead think about coming the other way and gutting the hori thing for its buttons and flying those to the original joycon board (think how people do remaps, turbo button or automated button mods to controllers). Might have to make a fatter mid section shell/standoff type thing but having used a joycon that is not a bad idea anyway. That said for that kind of effort I would probably build my own board with glorious microswitches (all that effect for rubber mat switch... why?) and fly that instead. Probably end up smaller as well.

    3) Vinyls and simple painting/colouring efforts might be far cheaper than 90 Euros and yield much the same results. Indeed for vinyls you could probably replace them once a month for the next few years and still end up less than that.
  4. GothicIII

    GothicIII GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jan 4, 2015
    Gambia, The
    Good question but this will unavoidably lead to massive amount of time to invest in.

    I mean beside swapping the electronics and customize the shell parts (drilling/sanding etc.) it will only get really complicated. What I mean?

    How to do this:

    8 very "simple" steps to accomplish what OP asked for:
    1st Informations.
    You'd need to know how the communications between the switch and controller work wirelessly bit-wise from an original controller. Not available? Grab a 2.4Ghz sniffer and start sniffing the communications. You have to filter out noise (like 2.4Ghz networking/bluetooth/radio etc.) and get an understanding of all available commands (dis-/re-/connection, button presses, axis-informations, rumble etc.). Write everything down.

    2nd Informations part 2.
    The same has to be done for the hori gamepad. It is just easier because you'd need to sniff the usb-communication with a special dongle which is most likely cheaper than the 2.4Ghz sniffer. Also write everything down.

    3rd buy hardware
    You'd need an fpga, components (resistors, transistors, capacitors, board etc) and an 2.4Ghz sender/receiver.

    4th create a custom circuit board
    Use a "tool of your choice" to build a circuit board where all bought components will fit into and wire them appropriately.
    Build it as small and flat as possible
    you'd need to fit the later finished product into the hori gamepad controller.

    4th build your board!
    Obviously you need something to work with

    5th write the firmware for the fpga+2.4Ghz sender/receiver
    Grab your writings from before and write the firmware to translate all usb-signals from hori gamepad to the custom nintendo 2.4Ghz frequency back and forth. Flash it onto your custom board.

    6th modify the hori shell and wire your custom board with the electronics of the hori game pad.
    Test if everything works correctly (most likely not). If not go to 7th. If it works you'd propably
    spent already hundreds of hundreds of hours with this project. You can be proud of yourself! Go to 8th.

    7th patch your firmware and goto 6th.

    8th profit.
  5. 2DSGamerdude

    2DSGamerdude GBAtemp Fan

    Apr 6, 2015
    Gamecube Land
    hay guys, im working on the mod, I've done the first section (hori d pad), once I get enough money I'll do the nintendo left joy con section,

    um, as this is a guide/mod tutorial that is WIP, with pics and a video/s, where can/should I post it?
    just wondering since gbatemp doesn't have many of these kinda of projects like modretro forums, benheck etc is?

    since in the past I used to "mod" stuff back on mod retro forums, I'd post it there, but there isn't any switch modding sections, also I can't upload pics to photobuckt as I had to shut it down ue to new free limit rules (pushing me to get paid membership) :( .

    I've asked the person who modded his hori d pad joy con for advise on the mod, so hope he can help me out,

    also, since the analog stick of the hori d-apd is one ribbon cable, unlike the nintendo one which has 2, I can't use it with the nintendo board?

    thanx, and once the mod is finished or successful, I'll post the finished video (sometime in the way, way future).
    Last edited by 2DSGamerdude, Nov 4, 2019
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    2DSGamerdude likes this.
  7. 2DSGamerdude

    2DSGamerdude GBAtemp Fan

    Apr 6, 2015
    Gamecube Land
    cool thanx for the info, FAST6191!

    that's great way, better than photo bucket :)

    okay, I'll do that.
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