Air Conditioned Xbox 360 Controller V. 1





My name is Jimi and I like making things with my hands, my hobbies include small and large motor mechanics, software and hardware of computers, wood work, metal work and I dabble in plastic work.

This idea came to me, one hot day while putting an Xbox 360 controller back together after fixing a button. It’s a fairly simple idea of placing fans in the place of the vibrating motors, cooling the users hands down.

Thank you all and don’t forget to vote for me, Cheers.

(WARNING: If you have just brought your controller/Xbox 360, you may not want to do this Instructable, as it may void any warranties you may have)

(Picture Shown of it complete without paint, still deciding on Matte Black or Cheese colour)

Step 1: Step 1 Materials & Tools Used

Materials & Tools used:

Xbox 360 controller

2X  20 mm / 2 cm Fan (SUNON 20 mm KDE0501PDB3-8)

(#2) Flat Blade screwdriver

(T9) Torx screwdriver

Pointy Nose Pliers


Small drill bit of your choice

Hot Glue Gun & Sticks

9V Battery Plug

9V Battery

Shrink wrap

White Cotton T-shirt for Holster

Sandwich bag

Permanent marker

Small knife for making bevelled edges (or you can use a bigger drill bit)


Electrical tape

Step 2: Marking Out

Mark out where your hands sit while using the controller with a permanent marker (you may choose to clean your controller before this step so your cleaner doesn't rub off the permanent marker)

Step 3: Pull Controller Apart Carefully

Pull controller apart carefully, the battery springs are slotted into the bottom so they need to be slid out.
Pull the controller holding both top and bottom away from each other: you may have to jiggle it apart a bit

You will need a certain small size flat blade screw driver #2 Flat blade (flat-blade, slot-head, straight, flat, flat-tip) to snap the rod in the middle of the special screws (TR/Security Torx) these controllers have, just turn it clockwise as if your tightening the screw to pry off the rod in the middle to turn it into a Torx screw for easy removal with a T9 Torx screwdriver,

Place all bits you can fit in a sandwich bag so you don't lose the small pieces, you may have to place the big main controller shells into another bag.

Step 4: Start Drilling!

Start drilling holes neatly spaced apart, start at the handles and keep clear of the screw holes and posts, buttons, around the D-pad and directional sticks and the bits that hold the electrical board in.

Now with a small knife, clean up the holes and make bevelled edges for a cleaner look.

Step 5: Search the Internet for a 20MM Fan

Search the internet or electrical stores for a 20mm/2cm (Diameter) fan of your choice this will be a difficult step, it has not proved easy to find such a small fan, but i eventually found some on eBay for about 10 AUD each and 10 AUD for postage.

Step 6: Installing the Fans

Install the fans by gluing them in the same spot where the vibrating motors were(bottom shell), using a hot glue gun, glue a bit down first so you don't have controller shell to fan noise/vibration, hold the motor in place then glue some around it.

Get your pointy nose pliers and tear of the top vibration motor mount for more airflow and room for the fans to work properly

Don't get glue in the fan apparatus. (TAKE NOTE OF THE FANS DIRECTION, you want them facing upwards)

Run wires neatly down the bottom of the controller and out a hole of your choice.

Step 7: Reassemble the Controller

Reassemble the controller carefully, where the wire is it can get caught on the battery springs.

Step 8: Add 9V Battery and Holster

Use a T-shirt the same colour as the controller preferably, and make a holster for a 9V to slip in, glue around the edges

Step 9: Complete by Connecting the 9V Plug

Before you connect the wires you need to put on the shrink wrap, use about 5 cm and shrink half just small enough to go into the controller but big enough for the wires to go through, connect red to red, black to black(Parallel - Full Power)
(For longer 9V running time wire the fans up in a Series)
and tape up (soldering optional).

Shrink the rest of the shrink wrap with your lighter.

Connect up the battery and feel the coolness, it works well even with fairly flat battery's that I had lying around.


The next one I make will have smaller and less holes and holes facing palms only

I would have used a soldering iron but a friend has it at the moment

Thank you all and don’t forget to vote for me, Cheers.

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    29 Discussions


    2 years ago

    i never noticed my controller to get hot


    Reply2 years ago

    No, but your hands get sweaty after playing games all day. (or for a few minutes)


    5 years ago

    I like this idea bro, could you also put fly screen or some sort of mesh inside and it'll still work? Just incase sweat does get in there.


    Cheers for the feedback.
    Yes you could, I wanted to, but only had some brittle fibreglass mesh lying around, you could just hot glue it in so it doesn't touch the fan blades. The fan blades are fairly well cased anyway.


    Reply3 years ago

    do you or anyone else know how to separate your hand from the circuit board but still have good air flow?I was thinking about holes on just the bottom but then that misses most of my hand.


    4 years agoon Introduction

    dose any one know where i can find the specs for the dualshock motors in the 360 controllers... wanting to use salvaged motors out of a controller for a different project


    5 years ago

    This idea is cool but you should make a video and paint it on YouTube

    I like the concept! There's nothing worse than feeling the controller get wet when you're sweating!

    I had a few tips you should try to polish it a bit:
    1- soak a cotton ball or paper towel in isopropyl alcohol, it'll take the sharpie right off.
    2- try using a larger drill bit to clean up the holes. Use the tapered tip on both sides to remove the frills left from the first drill and leave a nice chamfer. A lot of times it's easier to do it by hand.
    3- try wet sanding with a 500+ grit paper for a smooth finish.
    4- see if you could use a buck converter (DC to DC up converter) to use the battery pack voltage and convert from 3v to 9-12v. It's going to cost a little more, but it'll save on expensive 9v batteries.


    Great feedback thecheatscalc, a buck converter, I will definitely look into that.
    Great idea about drilling the inside as well, it would definitely give a cleaner look, cheers for the great info.

    If you want to use 3V (2x AA in series) instead of 9V, its gonna be a little more complicated, and you'd use a boost converter, not a buck converter. The difference is a boost converter BOOSTS the voltage, while a buck converter REDUCES the voltage. A buck would be used if you wanted to go down from 9V to 3V, but you could also do that with resistors (a much easier and cheaper circuit to build). A good idea, just wrong component name.

    RocKiN Ranen

    5 years agoon Step 8

    If you're replacing the vibrators with fans, couldn't you wire the fan to receive the signals intended for the vibrators, activating the fan every time a vibration was intended?


    5 years agoon Introduction

    Seems like using bondo? ( or some kind of molded plastic might be better for securing the fan. Might you need the case to pin the fans in there if all you use is hot glue? Also wonder if the battery being warm/hot from charging might soften the glue.

    I second the notion of a paint job or at least something to get the sharpie off. Also, an internal mesh fabric might be good to keep sweat,dust,dirt,etc out of the controller innards.


    Reply5 years agoon Introduction

    Hi Istarian,

    The hot glue I am using dries rock hard, these fan don't budge at all.
    I assume that the glue will not be affected if you are using a rechargeable battery pack because the fans are the not that close to the battery pack, that the controller s plastic will stop the heat reaching them.

    Thanks for the feedback.


    5 years agoon Introduction

    Looks cool. I just saw a controller at the store that had fans inside to do what you are doing. It looked OK but yours looks better!


    5 years agoon Step 8

    As a suggestion, you could use button cell batteries instead of a large 9volt battery which would look less conspicuous, but would need to fashion some form of holder for them


    5 years agoon Step 9

    i might have tried wiring the fans into the rumble motor contact(properly rated of course). then instead of rumbling, which happens on a fairly regular basis for many games, they would fire up the fans, using the controller power(which was going to be used anyways)

    this doesnt account for games with lull in them or little chance for vibration, so i might use a simple pullup resistor into a couple double a batteries wired to give you the 3.3v which i'm assuming is the rating for vibe motors in controllers, and thus the fan one would try to find.

    that's just my random thoughts on it, and in no way shape or form meant to denigrate your efforts one bit as i think it's a great idea


    5 years agoon Introduction

    Let's hope that if your hands do still sweat, it doesn't drip in and short out the controller, lol!


    5 years agoon Step 9

    Nice. Kind of like the one I have had for years:


    5 years agoon Introduction

    This is a valiant effort and all, but if you've made holes that expose the innards of the controller, all of your sweat is going to go inside it. Sweat has a lot of salt in it, so you've essentially found a way to rust out your controller.

    Again, nice try... on paper it's a really good idea, but I wouldn't recommend this.,,,,,,,,,,