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MPA (midi pro adapter) conversion hack for PS3/Wii

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As many of you already know, there are Rock Band accessories built for PS3 and Wii which share the same hardware. The basic controller functionalities (directional pad, navigation buttons and similar) of these controllers built for Wii work fine in PS3 and viceversa, but the Rock Band specific functionalities (such as the keyboard actual musical keys) do not work if you connect to your console the controller meant for the other system. A conversion however is possible and fairly quick and easy to do, which helps if you have difficulties finding an accessory for your own console.


Accessories which are confirmed to be convertible between PS3 and Wii are:

- Pro Keyboard

- MPA (Midi Pro Adapter)


In this thread I want to share my experience with converting an MPA for Wii into an MPA for PS3. Please be careful when doing any sort of hardware hack, and accept the risk you might damage your device permanently. I don't take responsibilities if you do!


1) Opening the MPA.


The MPA can be opened by removing a few screws from the back of it, however some of these screws are hidden under the tiny circular rubber pads. These pads can be removed easily by hand, and the adhesive below should remain sticky enough to be able to put them back when closing the MPA again, as the process doesn't take too long. You might have to apply some pressure to the side groove of the MPA to pop it open. Be careful not to pull or rip any electrical wire when doing so! Here is how the MPA looks from the inside.



2) Finding the key jumper.


All that separates a PS3 MPA from a Wii MPA is a single jumper or zero-Ohm resistor. Presumably, this connects the main board to an additional part of the circuitry. This jumper is present in the Wii version of the MPA and absent in the PS3 version. Notice the set of resistors at the centre-bottom of the circuit board, the key jumper is the one labelled as JP2 with "000" indicating it is a zero-Ohm resistor (or short-circuit).



3) Removing the key jumper.

All you need to do to convert a Wii MPA to a PS3 MPA is to remove the jumper. This can be done with a simple tweezers. The only difficulty is to actually grab it with the tweezers, because it is very tiny. Once you get a hold on it, twisting the tweezers with a small force should be enough to make the jumper come off, just be careful not to scratch other parts of the circuit board. Should you need the opposite i.e. to convert a PS3 MPA to a Wii MPA, the task will be more difficult and likely require a soldering iron in order to create a short circuit at the otherwise empty JP2 location. Here's a picture of the board after removing the JP2 jumper.



4) Closing the MPA back and enjoy!


Here's a bonus picture to give you an idea about how tiny the JP2 jumper really is :)


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Nope, as far as I understand xbox requires some special chip. Maybe you can convert an xbox MPA to PS3/Wii though, but I don't remember the xbox jumper configuration for xbox.

Also, I can confirm that the mustang and the squier will work on any console using the MPA no matter the root console for the guitar.

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3 hours ago, WarMarioDragon said:

Hmm ty for sharing this post. I just opened my broken my Xbox Midi adapter, and JP1 and JP2 are both solderer with jumpers. Think it would be as simple as to solderer the jumper(s) onto a PS3/Wii versions to work for xbox? I can provide pictures of it but cant atm.

As Alternity already said, unfortunately xbox controllers are another matter, and I don't know if a conversion is possible.


I am not sure exactly what wireless technology is used by these controllers to communicate with the console, but I think PS3/Wii controllers use Bluetooth (and need a USB dongle plugged into the console, but a Wii dongle would work for PS3 and viceversa), while xbox 360 controllers use a proprietary protocol (and don't need a dongle). If that's the case, then the two types of controllers have different wireless chips inside.

It is not completely impossible that MadCatz had put both wireless chips in every version of their controllers and used jumpers to activate either, just like they did to differentiate Wii/PS3 controllers. This sort of idea is chosen when having a single production line for 2 versions of the same printed board saves more money even if you end up with part of the printed board itself that is not needed in the final device. However, my guess is that MadCatz didn't manufacture the wireless chip themselves but bought it from a specialized vendor, so it's not printed on the board but attached to it, and it costs a few bucks per piece... meaning it would have been more economical to have only the single wireless chip required by the target console in each device and not both.

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