How to build the PRS-Tech SNES ZERO Project

What you will need to build it.

1. PRS-Tech SNES-Zero Board:  Availabe on the product page.
2. Original SNES controller or Tomee Knock off SNES Controller. Got mine from Ebay.
3. 40 Pin Surface mount 0.1pitch pin header. ... ND/1824561
4. Pi Zero
5. Mini HDMI to HDMI Cable: ... UTF8&psc=1
alternative cable (tested by me): ... =UTF8&th=1
6. HDMI USB Power Adapter: ... UTF8&psc=1
7. BAT42 Diode: ... ND/3104368
8. Micro SD Card

1. Micro HDMI Connector: ... ND/2785382
2. 47uF 1206 Capacitor: ... ND/3889253

How to build it.

Step 1. 

Remove the plastic bits that must be removed to make room for the PRS-Tech Board and Pi Zero.

The bits that need to be removed are shown in the red boxes. Second picture of the bits removed for reference. some trial and error may be needed to get it just right. I also had to open up the hole for the cable just a little bit. 


With the bits removed


(OPTIONAL) Cut out a notch for the Micro USB Port.

Step 2. 

Trim the legs of the pin header so that they are flush with the surface of the pi zero when the header is inserted into the GPIO.

Top is trimmed, bottom is untrimmed.


Step 3.

Solder the pin header to the PRS-TECH SNES-Zero board. Start with just a couple pins. then hold the Pi zero with the cable attached to it into the inside of your controller to make sure everything lines up right before you solder down all the pins.


Here is where you would solder on the micro USB Connector if you plan to use it. I did not use it as the Pi Zero W i was using has wifi built in allowing me so SSH in and do all the configuration after i got it connected to my network. You may also solder on the 47uf cap now. This cap is not necessary in most cases and may only be needed for certain USB devices.

Step 4. 

Place the pi zero face down onto the pins and connect the HDMI cable. Place the whole thing into the controller. Solder a couple of the pins down with the whole thing in the case to make sure the pi zero sits at the correct angle to allow your HDMI to be in the right place.

Step 5. 

Solder a jumper wire from PP20 to Pin 2 of the Pi Zero GPIO Header. This will carry 5V from the HDMI Connector to the rest of the Pi Zero.


Step 6. 

Desolder the L and R Boards from the original controller main board.


Step 7.

Solder the L and R boards to the PRS-Tech SNES-Zero Board


Step 8. (Optinonal if using USB Port)

Solder jumper wires labeled PP22 and PP23 on the PRS-Tech SNES-Zero board to the corresponding test pads on the Pi Zero.

Step 9.

Carefully pry open the case on the HDMI to USB power adapter and solder a jumper wire as seen in the image. Then Reassemble the adapter. This adapter will provide 5V to your Pi Zero using the the HDMI 5V wire. the Normal HDMI spec is only 50mA. That is why this adapter is needed to provide more current for the Pi Zero. I found that most modern smart TVs expect this 5V to come from the Source device. In this case the power supply is supplying the power to the source device and not the TV. The diode is needed to also put 5V out to the TV side to make it work with modern smart TVs. Once modified, Do not use this adapter with any thing else.

Step 10.

Download and write the most current retropie image to your Micro SD Card.

Step 11.

Follow my Guide for Setting up Retrogame to use the GPIO for button Inputs.

Click Here

Step 12.

Place a piece of electrical tape or something else over the hole in the back of the case made from removing the screw mount.



Put your SNES Controller back together and enjoy your new toy!