There are a few great posts out there on building a wireless Bluetooth e-Controller for Zwift, however in my tests I found it was interfering with my ANT+ signal and quite small for my big fingers. I wanted a simple solution, so I decided on a hard-wired button controller.
Prices online for a gaming button controller were over $100, so I rummaged through my parts drawer looking for a cheaper alternative. That’s where I found a USB Nintendo controller:
- Hard Wired – No Interference
- Inexpensive – On E-bay for less than $20 or on Amazon for $12.99 for a 2-pack
- Big Buttons – Perfect for Big Fingers
The next step was working out how to make this work with Zwift. I found this great application called AntiMicro which is a graphical program used to map keyboard buttons and mouse controls to a gamepad. Useful for playing games with no gamepad support which works well for what I needed, Kudos to the developers! This was the 2nd part of the project.
- Ready Available – On the internet
- Inexpensive – FREE Download
- Highly Configurable – Opens possibilities to other projects
The next part of the project was programming. This was easier than I imagined, just plug in the controller and step through and allocate the various keyboard shortcuts for Zwift that you require. This completes the 3rd part of the project.
- Power Up – Button A – Space
- Elbow Flick – Button B – F1
- Screen Shot – Button X – F10
- Wave Hand – Button Y – F2
- Look Forward – Up Stick – 1
- Look Back – Down Stick – 6
- Look Left – Left Stick – 4
- Bird’s Eye View – Right Stick – 9
The final part of the project was mounting the controller and labeling the buttons until I memorize them. For mounting the controller I once again rummaged through the parts drawer and found a clip-on bicycle mirror which I modified by removing the mirror and cutting the surround to fit the controller, hot gluing it in place. I also had to superglue the pivot balls as there was too much movement when I pushed the buttons, the super glue fixed that problem.
Mounting and Labeling
By the time I finished this post I had already programmed more functions into the controller which might lead to further ideas. The next revision will include shortcuts for OBS Studio so I can change scenes from the controller using a toggle button to change sets to a new button layout.
The final revision as it stands is shown below:
- Set 1 – e-Controller – My Default Layout
- Set 2 – e-Controller 2 – Same as Set 1 except camera views are different
- Set 3 – Team Car – Drone view controlled by joystick for better control
This works very well and the total cost of the project is about $20. Bargain!
Editor’s note: this post was originally published on bhbug.com.au. It is reposted here with permission.