What input lag do you get?
I made a crude video available on the homepage to demonstrate the input lag compared to a genuine N64 controller. On the technical side, the Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver is scanned every 3ms with one Wireless Controller connected. (Up to about 6-7ms with all 4 Wireless Controllers). The N64 console only asks for inputs every 15-20ms so it should be very close to a genuine controller. This is made possible due to the low level hardware programming of the device.
What controllers can this support?
Out of the box it supports Xbox 360 Wireless Controllers connected via a Xbox 360 Wireless receiver. Although most of my testing was conducted on a Genuine Wireless receiver, the following receivers should also work:
Mad Catz Receiver (USB_VID 0x1BAD, USB_PID 0x0719)
Generic Third Party Wireless Receivers (USB_VID 0x045E, USB_PID 0x0291)
The USB Host Driver is based on the open source Arduino USB Host Shield Library (https://github.com/felis/USB_Host_Shield_2.0). If you have some coding experience it should be possible to add support for other controllers. The USB Driver source code is available at my github (https://github.com/Ryzee119/n360) and can be used as a guide/template.
What is the battery on the PCB for?
The Xbox 360 controllers obviously have no slot to install a Nintendo 64 Controller Pak so I have emulated my own which is built into the n360 PCB. The battery is used to retain saved games that would normally reside on the Controller Pak and would be lost if you removed power from the Nintendo 64 console. The original Controller Pak actually has a similar battery built inside for the same reason. The battery is not included in the kit, but is a readily available CR2032 button cell. The expected lifetime of a new battery is 5-10 years at which point it must be changed.
The technical reason is that the memory chip uses SRAM technology which is known as a ‘volatile’ memory, meaning that the data is lost if it loses power. The advantage of SRAM and why it is required in this instance is that it is not limited by the number of read/write cycles, it is high speed and works exceptionally well at accessing data from anywhere in the chip at any time (Random access memory!)
Can I use original controllers and Xbox 360 Wireless Controller at the same time?
Yes! As soon as you turn off the Xbox 360 Controller, the player port that the wireless controller was synced to will become available to connect an original controller. For example if you have 2 Wireless controllers connected these will occupy players 1 and 2. Therefore players 3 and 4 can use original controllers. If you turn off player 2 controller, player 2 slot can now be used for a original controller!
If you turn off all controllers, all 4 ports are available as they would be on an unmodified console.
What is the default state of the controller peripherals?
When you power on your console, Player 1 will default to the first bank of the Controller Pak. Players 2, 3 and 4 will have a Rumble Pak installed. You can change which peripherals is installed with the button combos listed on the home page. Next time you power down and power up, it will revert to the default state. Just pressing the reset button will maintain whatever peripherals were installed at the time of reset.
How do I sync a Xbox 360 Wireless Controller?
The syncing process is identical if you were to use the Wireless receiver in a PC. Just hold the sync button on the receiver down until the LED blinks, then press the sync button on top of the Wireless Xbox 360 controller. It will then pair and the LED on front of the Xbox 360 controller will illuminate in the quadrant of the next available player slot.
Can this be installed externally?
Whilst designed for internal installation, it is possible to connect this externally for a more portable solution. I have not provided detailed instruction on how to do this and will require a bit more ‘DIY’. You will not be able to use the in-game reset feature if used externally as the required point on the N64 motherboard cannot be accessed.
The following schematic shows the overall wiring requirements:
Controller port connectors could be made from N64 controller extension cables.