Playing games on your phone. On the plus side mobiles can emulate most machines of the ’80s and ’90s, on the downside, touchscreen controls just aren’t that good.
Well here’s a cheap and quick way to mod off-the-shelf parts to make a handy gadget to attach a PS3 controller to your phone whenever you feel like it without paying for the GameKlip.
I normally write about writing, but I do like making things and here’s my latest project – introducing the DimeKlip.
Android games controllers – attach one to your phone
If you want to connect a PS3 controller (or other smartphone-friendly controller for that matter) to your phone then there is a wealth of options on Amazon and eBay, and then there’s the nifty GameKlip.
I wanted to buy the GameKlip but postage to Britain cost almost as much as the klip itself, so I decided it was time to make my own.
My first aim was to make an adaptor for less than a $1 – it worked (two Poundland plastic clips bolted together) but had a tendency to launch my phone across the room when it slipped. This one is better (could hardly have been worse really) and only slightly more at around $3 but worth every penny – still a tenth of the price I would have paid for the GameKlip to be delivered.
Android game controller adaptor – build your own
Why build an game controller adaptor? I like gaming on my Android and find the PS3 controller to be well built, with analogue sticks and buttons galore that make it easier to control games, even with my Motorola Milestone 2’s hardware keyboard.
Of course I think that the best thing to do is buy the GameKlip, or wait for the iControlPad 2 to launch, but if you want to save money, here’s what to do.
Modding your controller – what you need
- An Android friendly controller, such as a PS3 controller with the Sixaxis mod on your phone.
- A universal car windshield phone holder (though check your phone will fit – this is for you, Galaxy Note owners)
- Plastic hemline snap fasteners, such as these ones
- Tape (ideally black electrical)
- Rubber band
- Sharpie/black marker pen (optional)
- Screwdriver and drill (optional)
What do you need to know?
This is a very simple project but it does mean supergluing fasteners onto your PS3 controller and sat nav holder. I’ve not had any problems with them getting in the way when using the controller, but some people may not like the idea of this.
Likewise with the sat nav holder, you can still use it with the fasteners but if you want to lock the moving parts in position then it involves supergluing or drilling into it.
Again, if in doubt, buy a proper adaptor.
Adapting a sat nav holder for a game controller
These steps are also available in a handy downloadable guide for making your own game controller holder.
- Take the sat nav holder and PS3 controller to ensure they do overlap in a comfortable place for you.
- Take five female fasteners and, with a generous amount of superglue, glue them to the bottom of the controller in an area that will overlap with the holder. I used the Sony label’s corners and the centre as they lined up marvellously.
- Leave to dry overnight.
- Ensure that the sat nav holder is ‘locked’ as its base can twist. Take the male connectors and put them in the female ones on the controller.
- Square the connectors off, add glue and put the sat nav holder in place, glue to the hard plastic bit of the sat nav base.
- Use the rubber band to hold in place. You may want to prop up the controller. Leave overnight.
- Detach and check the glue has help. Then, if you like, take the marker, or paint if you prefer, and colour in the connectors.
- Twist and fit your phone – and there you go!
- Optional stages – unscrew and drill hole in the sat nav joint to let it pivot further and can also drive in the suction cup holder and glue it or join together. I have not yet done this yet.
I paid £1.49 for the sat nav holder, £1.40 for 15 sets of fasteners, so five of them cost 47p. Superglue and the rest I already had (doesn’t everyone own superglue), along with the PS3 controller. Total is £1.96, or about $2.96. That’s a tenth of the price I would have paid for the GameKlip, and a dime is a tenth of a dollar…
Finally, don’t forget that for legal reasons you must own the original game (and in some cases system kernels) for any rom you plan to play.