In the theater room, I wanted to be able to plug the various video game consoles in without having wires tripping all over the place. I also wanted to be able to use any super-cheap (i.e. non-wireless and almost disposable) controllers. So, being the geek I was, I looked around at what was available.

We had up to that time been using an extender so that the cords were at least not stretched tight. There being two controllers on a ps2, we used 2 extenders. One day at EB, they of the now-average return policy, I saw another extender, but this one was different. It was flat, and used what looked like 24awg wires just arranged in a flat ribbon. There were also only eight coductors.

Chris's wheels turn...

Cat-5 cable uses eight conductors. Cat-5 is 24awg. Cat-5 happens to be really cheap. I happen to have a crawlspace underneath the theater room, and don't mind drilling in the floor. Finally, new extenders are also really cheap.


Since there was already an ethernet jack in the floor, as well as several ethernet lines run to the xbox, ps2, and tivo, I didn't see why not to run some from the front to the back. So I drilled the holes, and ran one test line to where it was the farthest. I then removed the line, and made seven more the same length. The run ended up being roughly 30 feet. I then labelled all eight wires 1-8 at several lengths down the wire, then taped them together in two groups of four. With my handy paddle bit attachment, I created holes a good bit bigger than the bundles of wires. Then I went downstairs, with the whole wire, passed both ends up on the tv side, and started attaching. They went across in a V shape, so they were only together for a bit. Being both lazy, and confident, I just stapled all eight wires every couple of joists, so every three feet. Then I passed the ends up and was done with that part.

The pins:

Now, there are nine wires in a ps2 connector. Sometimes you'll see an extendor or a third-party controller with only eight pins. But I didn't trust that. There's no way to know if those were teh broked, or the controller didn't use a feature, or what. After scrounging around the google for a bit, I found several schematic sites for the controller pinouts. Here is an example. The reason I had to use several sites was that some of them didn't quite match. A lot of them say that pins 3 and 8 are both not used. But some of them said just 8. Meantime, I bought two cheapie extenders on fleabay for something like $9 including shipping. We tested them beforhand, not wanting to mess with non-working parts. Anyway, they were both fine so I cut them open, peeled back the foil and found the 9 wires inside.

The wiring:

Of course, I figured it would only have the eight, and wasn't prepared for this. In the end I figured it would be almost as easy for them to do all nine wires as eight just in case Sony decided to use the same jack in the future with all nine pins. So, I stripped all 18 wires back a half-inch or so, and got out my handy multimeter to check to see which color was pin eight. In my case it was black, but you never know. After that, picked a convenient ethernet cable, peeled off its outer sleeve, and stripped a half-inch of those also. Finally, I twisted, then soldered the wires together before finishing them with a piece of electrical tape. Since I was in the middle of a wire, and not on either end, there was no need to see which was which except for the unused one. After one end was done, it was a simple matter of matching the wires on the other side using the same procedure. Finishing up: We plugged one end into the ps2, a controller into the other, and fired it up. It worked like a charm on the first try. Analog and everything. Plus, you can't even notice a delay or anything of the sort. So, I wrote down the schematic and wired the other controller the exact same way. Just in case something happened. I also kept the paper with the codes around handy just in case. Eventually, someone yanked the controller so hard it came loose despite the soldering. Just a couple wires, but I decided to completely re-do that jack. Since I still had the schematic, we just read off what went where, and scotch-loc'd them together. The scotch-locs worked just as well as the twisting and soldering did and was a lot faster and less stressful to do. We've been using them for several months and they work perfectly.

This is the site I actually used for my pinouts.