Excyber, building ps to sat controler converter.

I thought I could find a commercially available component, but I haven't had any luck. So I figured I'd make my own!

My starting point is the Playstation pinouts I found here:Playstation pinouts

And the Saturn pinouts I found here:

Saturn Pinouts

I apologize if you have allready answered this question, or if someone else would be better suited to responding to this, but I've read through the entire board and haven't seen anything similar. So I did at least look. I anticipate a small project box to house the various components necessary to do this. If you know of a FAQ or tutorial that allready describes the process, that would be cool too.



Staff member
This is certainly possible if you have the right circuits. I think this is a task better suited to a microcontroller though. A ton of info about the PSX controller protocol can be found here (note that the circuit there would be useful for doing a Saturn -> PS adapter). I don't know of any straightforward docs on the Saturn controller interface, but the info is known and could almost certainly be reverse engineered from the DirectPad Pro pad reading sources and the adapter schematic. I can help you out with that part if you're serious about building this.

Thanx! I'll follow that link now and post specific questions. As an aside, I'd like to complete this project and post the process on Sega Extreme in a FAQ. Well,.........off to work! :woah:
Ok, this is the pinout for the Saturn.

pin # Name Function


2 Vcc(5V)

3 Audio.1(1v-pp) Headphones

4 Audio.2(1v-pp) Headphones

5 Vcc(5V)

6 P/S ƒVƒtƒg/ƒ[ƒh(o)

7 CLOCK(125KHz) ƒVƒtƒgƒNƒƒbƒN(o)


9 DATA Button Data (I)

ƒf[ƒ^“à–ó(ƒVƒtƒg•ûŒü ¨, ‰Ÿ‰º = Hi) ƒf[ƒ^ˆÊ’u d7 d6 d5 d4 d3 d2 d1 d0

1st Byte B A Left Right Up Down O O

2nd Byte 1 0 0 R R X P C

When d0, d1 = zero, 3DO assumes next controller

This is the link to the PSX pinout you provided.

PSX Pinout

It looks like half the pins line up and won't require any work, but the COMMAND, VCC, ATT, & ACK pins on the PSX controller don't appear to have a counterpart on the saturn,..... does anyone have a suggestion on how I should begin?

it's not gonna be as easy as rewiring the plug. you'll need to build a circuit and quite possibly use more or less special chips to do the de/encoding of the signals.
Thanx Arakon. I am getting the PS to DC converter you mentioned, but I swore Lik Sang had a converter like this allready, but they recently cut down their inventory. Can you confirm this? Anyway, I'm willing to finance, build, and share my notes on a successful prototype to share here, so if either yourself or anyone else would like to assist that would be great. I think this project is admirable and in the true spirit of Sega Xtreme!
Besides, I know you could do it with the right incentive! As an aside, I'm seriously considering opening it up and replacing the internals with a dual shock so I can have it rumble!!
That kind of project is easier for me than building the adapter. What's your opinion on that? Am I cracked, or do you think that would be worthwhile?


Staff member
The Gamestation X page on Saturn is completely wrong. It looks like it's actually for 3DO (note the line: "When d0, d1 = zero, 3DO assumes next controller.").

Saturn is a multiplexed parallel interface (for compatibility with Mega Drive / Genesis, which was that way for compatibility with SMS/Mark 3), not a serial one. Converting from raw button signals to Saturn shouldn't take anything too exotic; I'm more worried about generating the appropriate control signals for the PSX controller (the main reason that I thought an MCU would be better).
Just a shot in the dark,.....how does the PS convert the controllers signal? Is there a dedicated chip to handle the decoding?


Staff member
I don't remember. It's probably lumped into another chip with so-called "glue" functions like address decoding, though, since the protocol looks pretty close to the metal and doesn't seem to require enough circuitry to justify giving it its own chip.
I have a Psykopad KO. It has the ability to be used on the Playstation, Saturn, and SNES by swaping the cable that leads to the console. All three cables use a 15 pin connector. I'm just mentioning it because I opened it up and looked for a chip that handled the signal conversion, thinking maybe I could make a dump of it onto an eprom and use that,......... But there were several (5) chips on the PCB and I couldn't tell. ???

I'll keep researching this though!