Here's how to hack an N64 game controller, into a remote rocket launch controller ... That'll launch freakin' rockets in real life, and ignite fireworks up to 30 feet away.
Some quick links to a few of the materials I used:
[✓] Yellow N64 controller: amzn.to/2cdHMb9
[✓] Green LED: amzn.to/2c38PsX
[✓] Buzzer: amzn.to/2chs8N2
[✓] Red push button momentary switch: amzn.to/2cJEakz
[✓] Momentary switch for trigger: amzn.to/2cGgol4
[✓] Insulated copper wire: amzn.to/2cmBjNH
[✓] 9v batteries: amzn.to/2c21gzQ
[✓] 9V Battery Clips: amzn.to/2c20Byh
Electric Igniters: bit.ly/RocketIgniters
Escaping Handcuffs: goo.gl/tduxyN
Fire Piston: goo.gl/BSl8QT
Rocket Buzz: goo.gl/Nv0bSg
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Project Inspired By:
This was an original idea. (Original to me anyway).
This video is only for entertainment purposes. If you rely on the information portrayed in this video, you assume responsibility for the results of your actions. Have fun, but always think ahead, and remember that every project you try is at YOUR OWN RISK.
Project History & More Info:
This project was inspired by the old Estes Launch Controllers for small model rockets.
Surprisingly, they are $25 to buy online (www.estesrockets.com/302220-electron-beamr-launch-controller)
, which I thought was a ridiculous price. And that was confirmed when I ordered one, and took it apart to look inside.
Looking inside, I saw that basically all it was, was a simple circuit using 4 AA batteries, with a switch to close the connection and send electricity to two alligator clips at the end. There were a couple of other components, but they aren't really worth mentioning.
For $25 I thought I could do a lot better than that, and perhaps make a controller that looked a lot cooler, and nerdy?, than a square yellow box.
I went online and found a yellow N64 game controller for $10 (free shipping).
I originally had a grey controller that I used to play Mario 64 with my kids, from time to time, but I used that one for my prototype and proof of concept months ago (instagram.com/p/0vMHGhmvxy/
I thought the yellow controller would be a nice touch, because of how it matched the rocket and launch-pad color scheme.
I knew that basically all I needed to do was rig the controller with an internal power source, and find a way to re-route the circuits to deliver 2+ amps of electricity when a button was pushed.
Originally I tried soldering and re-routing the existing circuitry, but the internal resistances of the contact pads severely limited the available output current.
I made a trip to Radio Shack to play around with buttons, LED's, and buzzers, and eventually found some that worked for around $5-8 total.
The slot for the controller pack was almost the perfect size for two 9 volt batteries, which is what I was using to ignite the electric matches from a previous project (bit.ly/RocketIgniters)
, however the slot was extremely tight and impractical for the 9 volts, but I couldn't find a way for 4 AA to fit.
I had to modify the slot with a file to shave down the walls enough to hold the batteries firmly in place, but not so tight that they couldn't be removed.
I left the other buttons in the controller for show, and left the circuit board inside even though it doesn't serve any electrical purpose anymore. It just helps hold everything together, and keeps the buttons firm.
I made the lead wires 30 feet long, which reduces the amount of available DC current at the igniter end.
I have measured 2.5 amps at the igniter end, while the controller shows you can get closer to 7 amps of current without the wires connected. I imagine different lengths of wire will produce results between 2.5-7 amps. However, all you need to light an igniter is 2 amps, so it works!
I use this rocket controller for launching the "Randomizer” Rockets I made as part of a design collaboration with my friends at www.sonicdad.com
, and personally, I think it's one of the coolest rocket launch controllers that's ever been made.
But that's just my opinion. :)