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Cobalt Flux v2 to RedOctane Control Box Converter Cable


Intro

RedOctane has had, for some time, a standalone control box for their hard pads that works with both the PS2 and the Xbox. The box isn't perfect - it doesn't register as a dance pad in Ultramix - but it's rock solid from a timing perspective.

As a result, CF v2 owners have wondered for a while whether or not they could just use an RO cbox with their CF pad. Many have naively thought that since both use 15 pin connectors that it is just a plug and play situation, but such is not the case. The RO cbox maps its pins differently and lacks some of the functions of the CF cbox (Triangle, Square, and Center panel support), so to use the RO cbox with a CF pad requires that one build a conversion cable between the two.

That's what this guide is all about.

Parts and Tools List

This may be the shortest parts list ever for one of my guides:

QuantityPartVendorPart #Price (ea.)
115-Pin HD Male Solder D-SubRadio Shack276-1501$1.89
115-Pin HD Female Solder D-SubRadio Shack276-1502$1.89
2D-Sub Metalized HoodRadio Shack276-1513$2.29
1CAT-5 cable, cut to desired lengthLowe'sDunno$0.50 per foot?

The following tools will make life easier:

  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Small Phillips head screwdriver
  • Wire cutter/stripper

Prepping the CAT-5 Cable

Let's start off with a quick pic of all the parts you'll need (as outlined above). Just to give you an idea of how simple this really is.


D-subs, hoods, and CAT-5

The first thing we want to do is strip off about an inch of the sleeving from each end of the CAT-5 cable, like so:

There are 8 wires wrapped together in like pairs, the pairs being White-Orange/Orange-White, White-Blue/Blue-White, White-Green/Green-White, and White-Brown/Brown-White. The difference is in the dominant color. The wire that is mostly white with small bands of orange is "White-Orange" while the wire that is mostly orange with small bands of white is "Orange-White". Little bit of info there for those of you who may not have before worked with color coded wiring.

Go ahead and unwrap the wires on both ends, spreading them out like this:

Then, using your wire strippers, strip off about a millimeter of insulation from all but the Brown-White wire. Again, do this at both ends.

Total Conversion

So what we need to do is take the panels of the CF and map them to the pin functions of the RO box. The RO box has its pins configured thusly:

Pin #Function
2B (Xbox) / Circle (PS2) button
3Ground
4A (Xbox) / X (PS2) button
11Right arrow
12Left arrow
13Down arrow
14Up arrow

But what of the Triangle and Square buttons (X and Y on Xbox), you ask? Those panels don't exist on the RO metal pad, so they're not supported in the RO control box. The RO box does have Start and Select assigned to pins on the connector, but those two aren't used on the Flux v2.0 pad, so there's no reason for us to worry about those.

Here, then, is how those functions get mapped to the pins of a CF pad:

CF PinFunctionRO Pin
1Ground3
2Up14
3Down13
4Left12
5Right11
6B / Circle2
7A / X4

Since we have the benefit of color coded cabling, we can now assign a color of wire to each pin to make our lives easier when it comes time to solder each connector.

CF PinWireRO Pin
1White-Orange3
2Orange-White14
3White-Blue13
4Blue-White12
5White-Green11
6Green-White2
7White-Brown4

The CF end of the cable will use the male d-sub connector (since the connector on the pad itself is female). Here's a pic of the wires soldered to it. Notice that they go in the order listed above (WO, OW, WB, BW, WBr).

And here is a pic of the end that plugs into the RO cbox. This end is the female connector as the RO cbox has an embedded male connector.

Home Stretch

At this point, you can go ahead and test the cable to make sure it works. If it does, then all you have to do is assemble the d-sub hoods around the ends and call this project done.

Here's a shot of my quick Xbox test. I would have gone back and gotten rid of that lone Good, but I was in a hurry to get to a LAN party.

And, for the heck of it, here's a shot of the box hooked up to the CF.


If you have any questions or feedback about this mod, please feel free to post them in the forums.