NES gamepad as optical mouse, by Ryan "Zieak" McFarland. The buttons work too!
If your name is Ryan "Zieak" McFarland, when you see two ancient NES controllers at the Salvation Army, you would get 'really excited'. Snapped up for the princely sum of US$1.37, the 20-year old gamepads would live on in the 21st century fulfilling two very different purposes.
One controller would be modded into a USB memory card reader, saving all of Mario's photos of Princess Peach from his SD or CF card, safe from the clutches of King Bowser Koopa. The second controller mod is now finished: an optical mouse complete with working buttons.
From the fit of the mouse's PCB inside the casing of the gamepad, you would be forgiven for thinking this mod was always meant to be - it fits like a glove. A few hours dremelling, soldering and some hot glue, and the ultimate retro mouse is complete.
The end result is impressive, if a little ergonomically challenged. Head over to zieak.com
for the full article, and make sure to check out some of Ryan's other projects
. Here are a couple of pics to give you sneak peek:
Of course, despite the lavish detail of many case mods, most mice go relatively un-modded. Some perform open-heart surgery on their rodent, swapping the red LED for blue; some have tiny fans to keep your hand sweat-free for those frantic late-night gaming sessions. If you're handy with an airbrush
, a slick paintjob does wonders:
If you come across some NES gamepads yourself, modding them into memory card readers or mice isn't your only option: NESBuckle.com
can turn yours into a rather unique belt. As their website says, yes, it's a real Nintendo controller. Yes, it's a real belt buckle, and yes, it will actually hold up your trousers.