Nintendo mouse

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If you are like me you get really excited when you find two Nintendo controllers at the Salvation Army. One was priced at $1.00 and the other at $.37 (i didn’t fight the pricing). Of course, they get home and meanwhile occupy a part of my brain that is like a broken stove. There is this back burner that is constantly on. Ideas get on there and just simmer away. So the idea for one of the controllers was to make it a card reader that i can plug my sd or compact flash cards into to transfer files. Sunday morning i came up with my idea for the second one… make it a mouse.
Nintendo Mouse

What you’ll need for this project:
A Nintendo controller
A optical mouse
A Dremel tool
Small screwdrivers
Super glue
A hot glue gun
Wire cutters
A soldering gun and solder for electronics
Two (if you do it right) replacement buttons
Four or five hours

First open the donor and recipient up and dremel out some space for the guts (the mouse i used was perfect. I just had to leave out the scroll wheel.) Clean up the mystery child’s coagulated sweat with a powerful cleaning product.
Controller gutted
Fitting the mouse circuit board in
Aw heck, i don’t have the patience for a complete tutorial – i just spent the better part of the day working on it. Here’s the narrative… Hack and cut. make the guts fit. Open a hole for the sensor to shine through on the bottom. Glue the sensor’s clear plastic reflector thing down in place. Remove the buttons from the mouse circuit board carefully. Solder spare wire (i used telephone wire but you could use the wire from the Nintendo controller) onto the board so that you can use the A button as your left click and the B button as your right. Solder carefully. Attach the replacement buttons. Mine were from a dead stereo. Yes, i keep dead stereo electronics around. You should see the collections of crap i have. I had to bend some sort of barrel thing on the circuit board in order for the case to fit. One of the contacts pulled out of the board (as i had expected) and i soldered an extension for it. I cut a piece of the nintendo controller off to fit behind the 4 way rocker so it would feel like it iriginally did. The start and select buttons didn’t have enough space behind them to allow that. I hot glued the hollow part of the A and B buttons so they would contact the buttons i had put behind them. I hot glued the mouse board and the replacement buttons in place once that was all calculated out. I wrapped the cord for the mouse around the posts that prevent the cord from being pulled out. I reassembled and tested and had to take it apart and carve out some hot glue because the A or “left” button wouldn’t click. Here are some pictures…

On the top side the only apparent difference is that the cord is grey and it has a usb plug at the end. The bottom side had the opening for the sensor. The only thing i would do differently is to cover the inside a little better – there are a few points that red light penetrates the sticker on the top of the controller because the plastic case has holes drilled in it. I considered putting the scroll wheel in because i really prefer my mice with them. It could be done fairly easily but i wanted to keep the form factor. The wheel would have come out right between the red buttons and the “Nintendo” logo. Using the controller you put your palm over the 4 way control and your index finger on the A button. I have been using the novelty mouse ever since finishing it six hours ago.


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Also featured in The Crafter Culture Handbook by AmySpencer.

87 thoughts on “Nintendo mouse”

  1. It would have been pretty cool if you setup the down and up buttons on the d-pad to act as the left and right mouse buttons respectively. That way you could rig up the scroll wheel to the left and right buttons.

  2. Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Select, Start. NESMouse ftw. You win 30 internets!!1

  3. now, if you could make the d-pad function for up/down left/right scrolling… and also use it as a game controller… wow, i need one of those.

  4. Why not use the 4-way controller instead? left and right for left and right button, up and down for scrolling. I have no idea how easy it’s to fix thought :D

  5. Why? Not very ergonomic either. Now if you turn it into a keyboard that will let me type A and B, then it might be useful.

  6. 1. not everyone thinks it is awesome. 2. it is every bit as useful as any two button mouse. 3. pickles should be cradled – not slung.

  7. I have a bunch of old controllers and assorted other parts for old video games. anybody want them? free, you pay shipping. let me know. email me and i will tell you what i have.

  8. I tried to make my own, it looks stupid but heres a couple pictures of the outside. I messed up the soldering so both A and B buttons are left click, but I use a mac anyway so ctrl click is no bother, anyway THANK YOU for the helpful tips on building it. I love the super hero wreath. Keep up the amazing work!

  9. “Using the controller you put your palm over the 4 way control and your index finger on the A button. ” you must be left handed?

  10. Nope – the controller sits sort of diagonal in your hand. It isn’t the most intuitive layout but it was the best i could think of given the button placement.

  11. Just spent the afternoon making one, and it’s sweet! Please post instructions for a card reader thing, I still have two controllers left. I’m blogging this. Click my link.

  12. Ummm, how do you connect the circuit boards so that a is left click and b is right click?

  13. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, now i get it. Thanks, im gonna build one tonight.
    But i had an idea, could you solder a wire onto the snes circuit board (the part where all the button stuff goes to) to the mouse circuit board instead?

  14. you should keep making those and sell them on ebay or something. people would pay alot for one of those. i’m really interested.

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  16. That’s bloody brilliant ! =P now if only you could add a scroll button. But that would ruin the retro look

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  18. Im going to do that but probably use a wireless mouse to create a wireless but this will go perfect with my computer because my computer is entirely super mario bros. Lol but i think it would be better or if i could make a computer remote cuz i am constantly watching movies on my computer

  19. i wanna hack QUAKE 3 online, a bathroom mirror, lcd screen, an electric tooth brush, and a mini web cam to make the worlds first in-mouth first person shooter, imagine 50 kids in russia high scoring your teeth into blinding whiteness.

  20. i just made mine from a SNES. pretty sweet. I used the now empty mouse and an old flash drive and I now have a SNES mouse and a mouse flash drive. :-D Thanks for the inspiration

  21. While this is cool. I completely resent the whole retro-computing-gaming-hipster fad that is currently in progress. I do look forward to this fad, and all others being obliterated by an event of apocalyptic proportions whereupon we will focus largely on trying to survive rather that surround ourselves with physical items.

    Ya, Boom-Boom.

  22. “the retro-computing-gaming-hipster fad that is currently in progress” i find interesting. Since i did this project 4 years ago… was i early or is this a fad that is lasting a long time?

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