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An ISP dongle is a very common piece of equipment on a maker’s bench. However, its potential as a hackable device is generally overlooked. The USBASP has an ATmeg8L at its heart and [Robson] decided that this humble USB device could be used as an interface between his PC and a SNES Joypad.

A SNES controller required three pins to communicate with a host: clock, data and latch. In his hack, [Robson]  connects the controller to the ISP interface using a small DIY adaptor and programs the AVR using the V-USB library. V-USB is a software USB library for small microcontrollers and comes in pretty handy in this instance.

[Robson] does a pretty good job of documenting the entire process of creating the interface which includes the USB HID code as well as the SNES joypad serial protocol. His hack works on both Windows and Linux alike and the code is available on GitHub for download.

Simple implementation like this project are a great starting point for anyone looking to dip their toes in the DIY USB device pool. Veterans may find a complete DIY joystick more up their alley and will be inspired by some plastic techniques as well.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, hardware

If you grew up in the ‘90s, chances are you have an old SNES controller lying around somewhere. Well, thanks to a recent project from CompSci Studio, it may be time to blow off the dust and transform it into a modern-day USB gamepad using Arduino.

By following the instructions detailed in the video below, you’ll be able to use the retro controller to play arcade games like Super Meat Boy and Fez on either your Mac or PC. To get started, you’ll need an Uno, five jumper cables, and a simple Arduino sketch that creates an HID compliant joystick out of the SNES device.



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