How to Use a Wii Nunchuk with an Arduino

When the Nintendo Wii was released in 2006, there was a lot of talk about their new¬†weird¬†control system. In place of a typical control pad, players would use a one-handed “remote” with infrared sensors and accelerometers in place of a joystick. For those games that required additional controls, players would use an accessory controller in their off-hand.

This ‘accessory’ controller is the Nunchuk. A strange, bean-shaped attachment with a joystick, two buttons, and a three-axis accelerometer. Although the Nunchuk had a lukewarm response when it was first released, it’s the perfect controller for makers who want to add some fine control to their projects.

I purchased a set of 2 cheap knockoff Nunchuks for $10 from eBay. I don’t have access to a genuine Wii remote / Nunchuk, so some of what follows is based off of information I can find online and may be different with a ‘genuine’ article. Your mileage may vary…

Although I’m writing this post with Arduino in mind, most of this information also applies to using a Nunchuk with something like a Raspberry Pi or an ARM-based board.

Let’s get started!

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Assembling Time Circuit Display PCBs

The time is finally here! After a short hiatus to work on the McCree Hammershot project, I’m back to building my time circuits. The display circuit boards have arrived and it’s time to get them assembled and running!

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McCree Hammershot Controller: Bug Fixing and Refinements

Although the controller is now operational, it has a few bugs that need to be ironed out and a couple of controls that need to be tweaked to make the game more playable. I learned a lot from the playtests so now it’s time to make some changes.

There are three problems with the controller that need to be fixed: the flashbang, the aiming accuracy, and the aiming speed.

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McCree Hammershot Controller: Wiring and Final Assembly

The controller hardware is so close to being done! The last step is to wire everything to the completed circuit board and then re-assemble the controller shell.

Most of this wiring I did as I went along, but since the same process was used throughout I thought it would be better to discuss everything at the same time.

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