The other major build which I initiated, but for which my father did most of the work for. All I did was some of the measuring and soldering. He completed this in less than three weeks, when I realised that the AVCon VG budget could fit the construction costs in.
Giant NES controllers aren’t so novel and rare these days, and they’re a pretty straightforward construction (says me who palmed off the actual work to her father). Here’s a list of the sites we used to as reference:
Giant NES controller Coffee Table
A version based on a GameCube controller by the Mario Marathon guys.
An explanation of how the controller transmits button-press data back to the NES
Some progress photos…
Here’s the MDF box with buttons in place.
I was thinking with the tight deadline that we’d just take it to AVCon unpainted was as there would not be time for painting. However my dad likes to do things right…
Unfortunately during painting he missed putting down one strip of tape to protect the gray from being painted over with the black. Spot the error!
Here’s my dad posing with his creation.
Here’s a look at the underside of the D-pad, with an ingenious improvised pivot to ensure that no more than one button can be pressed down at once.
During testing, we found that hitting the D-pad in a certain way would occasionally trigger the A-button. I concluded that we were getting invalid inputs, causing the IC to output the wrong data to the NES. I placed the blame on the D-pad and we spent a good while fiddling with the pivot and the button-holes, making sure the buttons weren’t jamming.
However, it wasn’t the D-pad’s fault at all! The vibrations across the controller were enough that they were causing the A-button to bounce in place and trigger the switch underneath. We used sponge rubber underneath each button to help the buttons stay properly suspended and to improve the feel of the button response.
Finally, here are some attendees on stage at AVCon, playing Super Mario on the controller.