Good with electrics and soldering - want to mod pad into arcade stick

Hey guys,

Just got hold of a Hori fighting commander 3 pro pad and would like to convert it to an arcade stick. I have all the buttons that are required and the joystick. I have done a quick google search but could not find any schematics or guides and was wondering whether anyone has done this before. I will only be using two buttons on it as the arcade stick is custom for Little Big Planet.

24mm Buttons x2: Link
18mm Buttons x3: Link
LED x2: Link

The LED will light the joystick ball which is pink and two of the 24mm buttons which are also pink. I am pretty decent with soldering and a heat gun and on the regular re-ball IC’s on mobile phones, so I’m not completely jumping in to this without any experience. Any help in how to proceed will be much appreciated. Thank you.

EDIT: Sorry forgot to mention buttons I need.
1 x 24mm as button X (Jump)
1 x 24mm as button R1 (Grab)
1 x 18mm as button O (Cancel)
1 x 18mm as button PS (HOME)
Joystick for movement

The config is required as a one off for little big planet and no other buttons will be used. Thank you.

  1. It’ll be tougher to find PCB schematics for that controller, seeing as how it’s generally seen as a “specialty” controller that most people buy because they like the controller as-is (I’m one of those people). It shouldn’t be too hard to crack the thing open and just look at the traces/pad anyways, so if anything, you should open up the pad and take high-resolution pictures before modding the thing either way.

  2. Unless you’re planning on using a large battery pack or have additional wiring, you’re going to have a hard time getting your joystick to light up. According to the description on Gremlin Solutions; it requires 12V to light up, which you will not be able to draw from the Hori FC3Pro plugged into the USB port.

  3. The rest of what you’re looking for is general stick-building information; has all the info you need.

I like to suggest a different PCB for hacking for your custom controller, in the long shot you have a easier time using something thats already been better documented.

I definitely second this notion.

However, I do believe that there are very few controllers that have the LS/DP/RS switch like the FC3Pro, and since LittleBigPlanet requires analog to move Sackboy around, the OP’s choices are pretty limited. I personally can’t think of any other controller with that functionality. Hori and Mad Catz sticks have that feature, but then it makes the whole stick-building problem a moot point. :slight_smile:

All the madcatz Fightpads had the same switch. For ps3 you’d have to use the SFxT version since the previous ps3 fightpads were wireless.
The Kitty and Cerberus have that functionality as well.

Ah, my bad, I wasn’t aware that the Mad Catz Fightpads had that switch; I thought only the sticks did.

Hey thank you for the replies guys, sorry for getting back so late have been very busy at work. I have stripped the Hori pad already and the reason my line manger purchased it was because it had to be used with LittleBigPlanet. I have followed the tracks for the Joystick which was pretty much easy but I am having difficulty in finding the right spots for the buttons to solder on to.I will post some pics up when I get back home of exactly what I need. Thanks.

These is an image showing what buttons need to be wired and used. I will most likely be using a 12v battery to power the LED’s so that shouldn’t be much of an issue. The yellow dots show where I have scraped the area to reveal the contact beneath. I assume this needs to be jumped to one leg on the button and and then the other to a ground. Would be grateful if someone could quickly draw a path to show the completed circuit. Thanks

Uploaded with

  1. Since it’s a common-ground controller, you’ll be able to daisy-chain your ground signal with any of the “other” side of the contacts; ie, anything that’s connected to the meshy-part of the PCB

  2. You mis-labelled your Start button with the Guide button image.

Sorry I did label it wrong, I have uploaded another image which I think is pretty much what I need to do.

I’m only ok with electrics :frowning:

You’ve got that a tad wrong, and I believe you’ll risk frying your PCB if you do that.
According to spenzalii in this thread:

Another note: the LEDs that you linked to in your original post are rated for 5V; you should not be connecting your 12V battery to it.
Instead, you should tap into the VCC line from the controller itself. Also, I’m not familiar with those LED units specifically, but you may need to include resistors as well.

Do a proper scan of the PCB (using a scanner, not a camera) so we can get a better view of the circuit.

No, lets not do that, its a good way to fry your PCB board

The way you want to power your LEDs is by tapping into the VCC or 5 volts on your PCB or keep the LED lighting system completle separated and independent of the PCB

The yellow dots are the button signals you will want to wire up to one of the legs of the buttons (other leg of the button goes to ground). For home (in the corrected image), its signal will be the left contact pad.

For the leds, you can wire up the cathode leg to the button signal and wire the anode leg to a resistor (~100ohms) and having the resistor wired to the usb’s 5v.

Thank you for the replies guys, been busy over xmas so not had a chance to do it. Gummo’s idea sounds easy to follow so I will go ahead and do that. the 12V batt is supposed to be for the LED in the joystick not the 5v LEDS which is my mistake for putting that up! The easiest way to light up the joystick (it needs a 12V source) is to wire it directly to a 12v battery right? Thanks and merry xmas and a happy new year!

I would look into trying to replace the leds in the joystick with 5v leds. Other than that, you’ll need to wire it p to a 12v battery.