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D.I.Y. X-Arcade Switch Interface
D.I.Y. X-Arcade Switch Interface

This guide explains how to adapt an X-arcade solo controller for disability standard switch use. This adaptation enables limited switch use with PCs, Xbox, Gamecube and Playstations using the appropriate X-arcade adapter.

N.B. Only two or three Able-Net style switches can be used at one time with an adapted X-Arcade controller. 'Ghosting' problems can occur when using other types of switch, or if connecting too many switches or wiring, causing unpredictable use. None the less, this adaptation can still be a useful way for some disabled gamers to gain access to their games.

If you're an absolute beginner, we strongly recommend that you follow "The Basic Soldering Guide" - by Alan Winstanley.

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

Most of the components used are commonly available from Electronics stores such as Maplin Electronics, apart from the Arcade Stick itself. These can be sourced in the UK from Gremlinsolutions, otherwise try eBay or the web-site for international stockists and their Customer Service area for FAQ


1. What you will need



1. What you will need.


1x X-Arcade solo controller
15x 3.5mm mono 'headphone' sockets
15x '1N4148' diodes
Heat-shrink F-25 2.4mm
Wood strip e.g. 4mm thick D shaped
Black paint (optional)
Wood Glue
3 Plastic Clamps
Vacuum Cleaner and Mask

Soldering iron (15 to 30 Watt power); thin solder; soldering flux; desoldering braid; thin wire (e.g 16 strand 0.2mm).

Cordless drill with drill bit 6 (1/4"); Hack saw blade for wood; Stanley Knife; Screwdriver set; Wire strippers (optional).

Patience. Put aside at least a day to adapt these controllers.


2. Wooden strip


2. Wooden strip.
Cut a thin length of wood the width of the X-arcade solo's front underside panel (35.2cm). Drill 15 x 1/4" holes for the 3.5mm sockets as pictured above. If the wooden strip is too thick to screw your 3.5mm sockets into, it may help to burn and cut around the back-side of the holes. From here, paint the strip then varnish it for a harder finish.


3. Preparation



3. Dust protection.


Drilling through the MDF casing will cause a lot of dust. It's a good idea to remove at least the PCB (Printed Circuit Board), switch loom and bottom four push buttons from the case.

Mark out the position of all switches and IDE connectors in pencil then carefully remove them from the X-Arcade.

Finally, tape a bag or sheet of paper over the remaining components.


4. Cut holes in the case



4. Drill 15 x 1cm holes


The case of the X-arcade solo is too thick to directly attach 3.5mm sockets to. You will therefore need to cut holes big enough for these sockets to feed through to the thin wooden strip. Clamp the strip to the case, then mark out the the top and bottom of the strip, as well as each socket hole using a pencil.
Use a face mask whilst drilling MDF as this creates a lot of dust. If the holes are not quite big enough, use a saw and sharp knife to make them so. You'll quickly see why you need a Vacuum cleaner for this adaptation. Messy!

5. Test your sockets



5. Test your sockets.


As not all sockets are connected alike, you will need to find which 2 of the 3 contacts you need to solder to.

Attach a test lamp or multimeter to any 2 contacts. Plug in your switch, then press it. If the lamp comes on when pressed you have the right connections, otherwise try a different combination. There's only 3 possibilities.

6. Connect switches to sockets



7. Wire up microswitch.


Solder a '1N4148' diodes to each microswitch as pictured. Solder one length of wire to the diode and one to the blade underneath, as close to the plastic housing as possible. This ensures that the original blade connectors can still be pushed back on.
Connect these two wires to your 3.5mm socket, with the 'Ground' wire connecting to the diode, and the 'Action' wire connecting to the other blade. Repeat until all 15 sockets are connected to their own micro switch.
N.B. Too much heat can damage your components, so try to make your soldering as brief and accurate as possible.
UP 12cm; DOWN 18cm; LEFT 12cm; RIGHT 18cm.
BUTTONS 1,2,3,4: 16cm, 18cm, 19cm, 20cm
BUTTONS 5,6,7: 11cm, 10cm, 11cm
BUTTONS 8,9: 14cm, 14cm

7. Reassemble



7. Reassemble.


Replace any buttons you have removed, switch loom and PCB. Be careful to ensure that everything goes back into the original position.

8. Key


Key to the X-Arcade solo
Ensure that all your sockets can poke through the X-arcade housing and can be threaded through the wooden strip. If so, and with no socket touching another, glue the wooden strip to the case, clamp it, then tighten all the sockets in place. Reaffix the bottom of the X-arcade.


9. Full Test



9. Full Test.


Find a game that you can test all 15 sockets on, or use the download "Test Utility Program" from

Any problems - disconnect, and restudy the quality of your soldering. Use the soldering iron and desoldering braid to remove, then resolder any poor joints.




Adapters for other games consoles.


Using the X-Arcade Playstation adapter you may be able to daisy-chain to older games machines and computers using an additional Playstation adapter.
N.B. There is no guarantee that this will work perfectly. For instance, with the Sega Saturn - if you press LEFT and RIGHT simultaneously (something that was never possible with D-pads) controls lock up.
D.I.Y. Text and images PUBLIC DOMAIN 2004, 2005 -
X-Arcade solo - (c)

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