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Ideas: DIY
Ideas: DIY assistive technology


Step by step guides on how to adapt low voltage electronic gadgets and computer controllers for use with external switches. The inexpensive way to get powerful 'assistive technology'.

SAFETY: Adapting equipment voids the manufacturer's guarantee, and the attempt may cause irreparable damage. Always use adapted equipment under supervision, and disconnect any batteries when not in use. These adaptations are at your own risk. Good luck!

I highly recommend using insulated 3.5mm switch sockets (code 126-7396) from Farnell Electronics if there is room for them in your adaptation. Custom boxes (aka enclosures) can be found at Farnell, eBay, Maplin and beyond. For one-off custom shapes see SUGRU and Polymorph Plastic. See this Instructables Basic Electronics guide for more help.

OneSwitch.org.uk switch equipment guides

D.I.Y. - Solderless Foot Switches.

D.I.Y. - Switches.
D.I.Y. - Switches (sip/puff).

D.I.Y. - Digital Camera - see also DRIFT HD GHOST adaptation.
D.I.Y. - Electronic Dice.
D.I.Y. - Infrared learning remote control.
D.I.Y. - OOglies (electronic toy).
D.I.Y. - Ball Launching/Pitching Machine.
D.I.Y. - Scalextric. New-ish.
D.I.Y. - RC Car 'Hitari Tumbler'.
D.I.Y. - RC Plane 'Air Surfer'.
D.I.Y. - RC Power Socket (UK only).
D.I.Y. - Speech Device 'Talking Tins'.
D.I.Y. - Talking Clock.
D.I.Y. - Virtual Betting System.
D.I.Y. - Water Blaster and NERF Super Soaker.

Switch adaptations for games machines

D.I.Y. - C-SID: Game Console Switch Interface Deluxe
D.I.Y. - Analogue Joystick with Switches (PC + some consoles)
D.I.Y. - Playstation Joypad
D.I.Y. - PC
D.I.Y. - Xbox One (Lightened for easier use) - NEW!!!

D.I.Y. - ROCK BAND Drums
D.I.Y. - ROCK BAND Guitar

D.I.Y. - Atari VCS.
D.I.Y. - JAMMA arcade
D.I.Y. - Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
D.I.Y. - Sony Playstation One and PC
D.I.Y. - SEGA Saturn Joypad
D.I.Y. - Vectrex.

Other accessibility adaptations for video gaming

D.I.Y. - Auto-Fire Circuit - Simple circuit for Mice.
D.I.Y. - GameCube Switch Adaptation - From Swiss site Defitech.
D.I.Y. - Guitar Hero - From Gavin Philips (pending).
D.I.Y. - PS3 SAP Analogue Controls - From Geoff Harbach.
D.I.Y. - Talking Joystick - From Instructables.
D.I.Y. - Wii Adaptations - Broad list of adapted Wii-motes. See also this Wii switch mod guide.
D.I.Y. - Xbox 360 Tentacular - External controls for Xbox 360 joypads (WIP).

Other web-site's switch accessible D.I.Y. guides

D.I.Y. - Solderless Battery Interrupter.
D.I.Y. - Battery Interrupter - ACE Centre adaptation.

D.I.Y. - Buzz Switch - Super cheap and easy USB switches.
D.I.Y. - CD Switch - Inexpensive accessibility switch.
D.I.Y. - Foil Switch - Very low pressure switch.
D.I.Y. - Touch Switch - More professional very low pressure switch.

D.I.Y. - Combat Wheelchair - Using foam Nerf Guns.
D.I.Y. - Digital Camera.
D.I.Y. - Mouse - Superb easy to follow guide from MERU.
D.I.Y. - Playmobil Trainset.
D.I.Y. - Scalextric - Instructable from William Merritt.
D.I.Y. - Tape Player - YouTube video guide.

D.I.Y. - Various D.I.Y. Ideas. - New ideas from around the globe.


DIY electronic dice (www.oneswitch.org.uk)

You can purchase most of the electronic components used in these guides from Maplin Electronics (UK) and RSWWW (International). For an interesting array of joysticks and push buttons try Gremlin Solutions (UK), Happ Controls (US), Arcade Shop (Germany) and Akihabara Shop (Japan). Very nice arcade stick shells from B15SDMDesigns (UK).

See the Accessible Gaming Shop for help finding off the shelf switches and mounts if you don't want to make your own.

For further D.I.Y. help, please e-mail. If you would like me to try to adapt something for you, please see my adaptation page.

ROMPA booklet of ideas

Using Switches and Switching systems - Practical ideas for the uses of switches, and a very simple method of adapting basic battery devices.


Various Links

MERU - A UK charity which concentrates on designing and manufacturing a variety of bespoke equipment and devices to meet the individual needs of disabled children.

REMAP - Charity that make free of charge one off technical aids which help disabled people of all ages to enjoy a better lifestyle.


Able Data - Huge number of D.I.Y. ideas and guides.

Acid Mods - Hacking community with a game accessibility forum.

BenHeck.com - Very impressive game controller adaptations, with an active forum. Some of his videos include: A one-handed Xbox 360 hack and collaborative controller "Game Share" hacks.

Build Your Own Arcade Controls - Very useful lively forum.

Gavin Philips Resources - Some fantastic resources for simple to complex accessibility projects. Highly recommended.

Guillaume De Mattéo Ergothérapeute - Organisation that adapts equipment for switch use. Fantastic ideas and help (French).

Circuit Bending - Reed Gazala's very useful electronics information for creating amazing cheap musical instruments.

Circuit Benders - UK Circuit Bending outfit with a very good D.I.Y. page.

Controller Theory! - A basic break-down of how modern controllers work.

Dual-Ring - Superb range of solutions from free software scripts to help with controls, to Ikea furniture adaptations.

Go Baby Go! - DIY guide for modifying kids electric vehicles.

Hackcess - Makey Makey DIY controls, accessibility forum.

Hirai Potter Net - Great enabling hack-projects, switches and software (Japanese).

Japanese Assistive Technology - Some fantastic D.I.Y. projects and help (Japanese).

LED centre - Help around adding Light Emitting Diodes to circuits.

MakeZine - Massive resource of electonics and mechanical projects.Their Blog of Gaming adaptations may be useful especially.

Radio Control Cars - One handed method of adapting some Radio Controlled toys and vehicles.

Raphnet-Tech.com - Many retro game controller circuit boards to adapt for work on other machines.

Science Share Ware - Brad Whaley's great project ideas and assistance, including switch adapted sit-in electrical vehicles for small kids.

Suck and Puff Games machines - Mark Bosanquet-Bryant's inspirational page for adapting Nintendo 64, Playstation and XBOX controllers, Radio Control car adaptions, and much more.

Sugru - self-setting rubber for fixing, modifying and improving "stuff". Really useful for a huge range of projects.

Solder Pad - PJRC Teensy Projects - A range of more complicated projects based around smal off the shelf circuit boards.

The Controller Project - A project designed to shared Game Accessibility solutions, started by Caleb Kraft of Hack-a-day.

Tindie - Market place for small scale electronics.

Universal Remote using a PC - Pointers to the USBIRT and Endurance RC PCTx. Between them these boxes allow for PC control over a wide range of infrared and radio-wave remote control vehicles.

Web-Rings - Other people making their own video game controllers for Arcade Games.

Electronics for Beginners Help

Multimeters for Beginners - from Make Magazine.


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