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Nintendo Super System controller interface and SNES to Jamma adapter
The Nintendo Super System (NSS) was the arcade version of the home console game Super Nintendo
Entertainment System (SNES). It has been my experience having owned several of these machines that the
arcade computer fails and is unfixable. So what do you do with the cabinets when the computer dies? Most
people part them out. Well, I built this adapter so that one could use the home console (SNES) in several
different ways.
Nintendo Super System
Top: SNES controller, Bottom: NSS controller
Integrating the SNES into any arcade cabinet either required a LOT of hand soldering jumper wires or
making a circuit board that does the same thing. The SNES doesn’t have an audio amplifier and it doesn’t
output RGBSync. I wanted to make the adapter plug and play… no hacking open the console or the
controllers. I wanted to make it so that no soldering would need to be done by the end user and if the SNES
console died, then replacing it would be easy. I tried to plan for multi-environments and flexible enough to
take advantage of the capabilities of the SNES. To that end, here is what I came up with:
This PCB was made to directly plug into the NSS cabinet. It also has jumper pins to re-route the inputs so
that it’ll work in a regular Jamma cabinet (see below for Jamma pin out). Note: game like Star Fox that use
all the controller buttons including L and R, then the Jamma harness alone is not enough but there are
provisions where you could.
This PCB was also designed to plug and play into a Nintendo Vs. cabinet. See details below. This PCB was
made to fit a need in my business so its design was to fit my specific needs and not necessarily as a consumer
marketed item. This was designed by a MASTER in the pcb design world. He is one of the best in the
business. Thanks Collin!
BIG NOTE!!!! This adapter is only fully functional on the original version of the SNES, NOT the mini
system or aftermarket consoles. The SNES model # SNS-101 American or Japanese only. I don’t have a
PAL unit to test it on so I don’t know if there are compatibility issues with PAL or not video wise.
This is the NSS controller interface pcb.
fig 1
This pcb is an interface that connects the SNES controls to a NSS controller. It’s a plug and play directly
from the SNES control port to the NSS controls factory wiring connectors (Below Left).
This pic (Above, Right) shows the factory Nintendo controller wiring connecting to the interface pcb. Only
the factory original Nintendo controllers (Below Left) have this connector which makes it easy to connect.
 After-market controllers have only wires that solder directly to the controller pcb which still can be used.
The pic on the right, above shows alternate connections if one wants to connect a controller via 5 wire
connections to be soldered (aftermarket controllers). The colors listed on the pcb are factory controller
colors. Non-Nintendo controllers may have different wiring colors. Use a multi-meter to determine which is
correct.
From Left to Right, 1 (Brown), 2 (not used), 3 (not used), 4 (Red), 5 (orange), 6 (Yellow), 7 (White)
(Note: the numbering is mine and doesn’t correspond to Nintendo’s numbering on the connector but
rather, my numbering on the pcb. Nintendo numbering is just reversed – see below).
This is also a 16 pin header connector on this pcb for a ribbon connector (above). This is used to connect the
NSS controller to the main SNES2Jamma pcb. The NSS controller wiring is very short and if you are
wanting to use this controller with the SNES2Jamma pcb, then this ribbon connector is the way to do it.
Remove the chips on the (above) pcb if using the ribbon cables. Also, the 6 jumper pins (shown below on
the SNES2Jamma) to re-route connections are not functional when the above setup using the ribbon cable is
used. The 6 jumper pins are for Jamma connection only.
(above photo)
P1
P2
P3
SCART connector
I wanted to make this as plug and play as possible. I see all over YouTube people hacking open their SNES
consoles and controllers and hand wiring a SNES to Jamma. So I made this so you don’t have to crack open
anything.
*********Another interesting tidbit is that this adapter can also connect to a NES system for controls and
sound and power ONLY. Since the NES has no provision of RBG internally, this adapter can NOT process
the video. The NES controllers don’t use a connector so the wires have to be soldered to the adapter.
Also, if you notice a VGA connector (above), it’s just a connector. It does NOT convert the video to VGA.
This is the SNES2Jamma SNES to Jamma interface pcb!
(S2J)
This pcb has an integrated audio amplifier. Not a wimpy one either. It’s 12 watts mono. SNES outputs
stereo but when connected to the S2J, it combines the signals to make it mono. An external Amp would
have to be used and cut the CL2 to obtain amplified stereo. The RCA (P3) or the headphone plug (P1) can
be used for audio signal in or out.
One of the big problems with the SNES audio/video port is that it’s a proprietary connector and only the
European SCART cable has internal connections to the RGBSync and Audio L and R. Other cables have
only connections of Audio L&R and Composite Video. For the Arcade world, we need the RGB and
through U7, we strip away the sync signal from the composite video (CV). The Composite video is still
available through P3 if desired. So the SCART (CN3) is used to port the audio and video signals to the S2J
pcb.
From Left to Right, 7 (Brown), 6 (not used), 5 (not used), 4 (Red), 3 (orange), 2 (Yellow), 1 (White)
(NOTE!: this is NOT the same numbering as the NSS controller interface but the colors and connections are
the same. This numbering does correspond to Nintendo’s numbering of their connector’s (above) pin out. I
just got the numbering backwards and had the boards made before I noticed the inconsistency).
Just like the NSS controller interface, it uses the same connectors for the SNES controls or individual wires
can be soldered to it as well. There is a zip tie strap point to secure the cables from being pulled loose.
The S2J has a cable that is used to power the SNES console.
P2 connector ports the RGB signals to RCA jacks should you want to connect these to a TV.
CN4 is a VGA connector. THIS DOES NOT OUTPUT VGA (31 KHz). It was just a simple way to connect
to a monitor that has this type of connector.
This adapter was designed for running Super Mario All Stars (5 in 1) + World and Donkey Kong type games
in arcade Jamma cabinets that have 3 buttons and 1 or 2 joysticks. These games use 2 and 3 buttons. If a
game uses 4 buttons (A, B, X, & Y), then you will need to use the CN2 connector for the 4th button. I may
re-make this pcb with all 5 buttons terminating to the Jamma harness if enough people ask for it.
The S2J has a big power resistor to enable switching power supplies to turn on and/or regulate properly. It
will get warm to the touch. This is normal.
Nintendo Super System cabinet (NSS)
CN2 is used to connect S2J to the NSS with the Jamma and CN2, a SNES can be used in a NSS cabinet.
BECAUSE the NSS deviated from the normal Jamma pin out for speakers and volume control, to get the
audio to work with the NSS wiring, you have to cut CL1 and solder SL2. The NSS actually had the volume
control on the Jamma connector so this is why I didn’t port the 4th button to the Jamma edge because it
would line up with the volume control and cause problems. Additionally, I wanted this to be plug_and_play
for the NSS cabinet.
Nintendo Vs. Cabinet (Vs.)
The Vs. cabinet is typically 2 buttons, 2 joysticks. So S2J is used for 2 button type games (i.e. Super Mario
All Stars 4 in 1). I did this to reduce the amount of wiring and accessories for installation in this type of
cabinet. Because the Vs. cabinet has its audio amp integrated with the monitor, this S2J will send
unamplified audio signal to this amp through the cabinet wiring. If you don’t want (or can’t) use the
Nintendo amp, then J1 is a speaker terminal to connect the speakers directly. Because the Vs. cabinet
originally used a monitor that displays its colors INVERTED (like a negative is to a photograph), the video
from S2J will not display correctly unless the monitor has an inverter board. The S2J has a big power
resistor as a load to enable switching power supplies to turn on and/or regulate properly. It will get warm to
the touch. This is normal.
Jamma Cabinet
Using the S2J in a Jamma cabinet. The main issues are the 6 jumpers. Blue is default.
Player 1
Jumper
JP1
1&2=
2&3= NSS
JP2
1&2=
2&3= NSS
cabinet buttons
1
2
3
A
Y
(depends on JP2)
A
B
(depends on JP2)
A
A
B
B
Y
select
start 1
start 2
1&2=
pl.1 start
pl. 1 select
2&3= NSS
no connection
………………………………………………………………….…………………..
JP3
Player 2
Jumper
*JP4 1&2=
2&3= NSS
cabinet buttons
3
start 2
pl. 2 select (note: not used on SM all stars)
Y
JP5
1&2=
2&3= NSS
1
A
A
2
Y
B
3
(depends on JP6)
(depends on JP6)
JP6
1&2=
2&3= NSS
A
A
B
B
Y
select
*Note: SL2 when soldered to a short circuit connects pl.2 select to Coin switch
CN6 (player 1) and CN7 (player 2) are used if you want to use the NSS controllers via ribbon cable and the
NSS controller pcb. The NSS controller pcb only needs the 16p header and Molex connectors, no chips are
needed, in this case.
Again, I made this with my business purpose in mind. The MAJORITY of my arcade cabinets only have 3
buttons, some only 2 buttons so I needed this to adapt to my arcade cabinets as they are which is why I did
the jumpers.
The video output is a little less than what a Jamma arcade pcb would output so if you are connecting this to
an arcade monitor, you might have to brighten up the picture.
This pic shows the VGA connector being used but it’s not necessary. Video is sent through the Jamma
harness as well. The monitor in this picture is a Happ Controls LCD that does a VERY nice job of
displaying the picture.
This is the back side of the adapter. On the left is the power cable that powers the SNES console. On the
right are the controller connectors.
This project cost a small fortune in its creation. The parts alone cost almost $40 and that doesn’t include the
SCART cable – another $8-$9 or the power cable, add another $2.50 for that, and the controller cables came
from SNES controller…. Add $?? for those. It takes me over an hour to populate and solder. So this isn’t a
cheap project. The NSS controller is much less expensive however. If I get enough interest, I may re-make
this in a much smaller, bare bone basics. But I would need a LOT of interest to do that. I’m selling these to
help recoup some of my (high) costs in making this.
Jamma Pin out (same as NSS – Nintendo Super System Arcade)
Parts Side
Solder Side
Ground
Ground
+5
+5
-5
+12
key
no connection
no connection
Speaker +
no connection
Video Red
Video Blue
Video Ground
no connection
Coin 1
Player 1 Start
Player 1 Up
Player 1 Down
Player 1 Left
Player 1 Right
Player 1 push button A
Player 1 push button B
Player 1 push button C Player 1 “select”
no connection
push button D
no connection
push button E
Ground
Ground
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
Ground
Ground
+5
+5
-5
+12
key
no connection
no connection
Speaker Ground
Video Green
Video Sync
no connection
no connection
Coin 2
Player 2 start
Player 2 Up
Player 2 Down
Player 2 Left
Player 2 Right
Player 2 push button A
Player 2 push button B
Player 2 push button C
no connection
no connection
Ground
Ground
Player 2 “select”
push button D
Push button E
CN 2 on adapter (same as NSS cabinet connector)
1
Ground
2
player 2 SNES/NSS
Turn Right
3
player 2 SNES/NSS
Turn Left
4
player 2 SNES/NSS
Y
5
player 2 SNES/NSS
X
6
player 1 SNES/NSS
Turn Right
7
player 1 SNES/NSS
Turn Left
8
player 1 SNES/NSS
Y
9
player 1 SNES/NSS
X
10
Ground
CN6 (player1) and CN7 (player 2)16 pin ribbon cable.
This is used to connect the main jamma adapter to the NSS controller adapter (see above fig 1) only if you want to use the NSS
controls (big arcade style controller)
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