Making a WonderSwan USB gamepad

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Making a WonderSwan USB gamepad

Post by onilx » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:55 am

I wired up a broken WonderSwan to an Arduino Pro Micro and turned it into a USB controller.

Straight up front, I have to say all the code is based on Sota’s 14 button + 2 Analog controller tutorial. I doubt I could have done any of this without that amazing tutorial.

With that said, if you have a Arduino Pro Micro and a voltmeter, you can easily do what I did. But I’ll post the pads and vias I used to wire an old WonderSwan Monochrome to an Arduino.

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I took a photo of the main PCB and mapped the traces on it while probing the board with a multimeter. Be warned, since I was using my iPhone to do this, the colors used to indicate shared copper do not indicate a shared signal in other photos. The grey photocopy however maps out all the available pads and traces.

So once you’ve found the traces, I used 0.1mm magnet wire to connect them to the Pro Micro. A note on using magnet wire: the ceramic coating will melt off when exposed to melted solder. So don’t try to scrape it off with sandpaper of a blade, you’ll just break the wire. All you need to do is use the wire like your using bare copper wire with the added benefit of not causing shorts if the wires touch.

First I made sure all the ground points were linked up. Most of the buttons share a common ground, but the right side of the board and the Sound/Start pads need to me connected.

Then I added wires to each test pad or via that were isolated. After that, I had a bit of a rats nest so I made sure that each wire went to a pin hole on the Pro Micro and the combined ground wire got a ground pin hole.

Then I just kind of shoved it all inside the case, a red it back together and glued the Pro Micro in the game slot. I added a bit of Kapton tape to keep it stil while the glue cured and to protect the exposed wires and electronics.

I may, down the line add an emptied out game to cover up the Pro Micro, but my Dremel is dead :(

Any questions, feel free to ask!
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Re: Making a WonderSwan USB gamepad

Post by onilx » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:04 am

I couldn’t get the gray photocopies uploaded last time, so here they are. Here you can see a more complete map of all the signals.
Common Traces (the grounds)
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Below you can see where to connect each button to a wire and then to a pin on the Pro Micro.
Uncommon Traces (each button gets its own pin)
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Re: Making a WonderSwan USB gamepad

Post by onilx » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:55 am

I’ve designed and uploaded a a drop-in replacement board for the WonderSwan. It’s a bit on the expensive side but you’ll get three and save a lot of time on the build!
OSH drop-in board For WonderSwan
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Re: Making a WonderSwan USB gamepad

Post by Helder » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:31 pm

Mind Sharing the PCB files? or the board outline? I was going to do one of these when I had free time but you've beat me to it.
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