Introduction: Buzzing Mouse Prank

One of my friends is a little nit-picky about his system setup and sometimes I like to play around with it. I found a dead magic mouse in my "Bin of old dead computer junk" and I had a vibrating motor. This is a play on the very old hand buzzers that would shake when you shook someone's hand, causing them to jump back in surprise.

Step 1: Parts and Tool

Parts:

  • 1 Dead magic mouse
  • Wire
  • A small 3v vibrating motor
  • A harvested Omron micro-switch

Tools:

  • Soldering Iron
  • Snips
  • Vice
  • Hot glue gun
  • Small screw drivers, phillips and flat head

Step 2: Gut the Mouse

Note: Do this with a mouse that is already broken. Making the prank mouse will ruin a working mouse.

It is very important to try to keep the mouse looking as normal as possible. We will remove the green light, but avoid removing the mouse on/off switch.

The first step is to remove the case. Flip the mouse over and remove the batteries. Then remove the two black skids along either side of the battery section. These skids are glued into place and may take a little work to pry loose. The skids will have little black hooks that will get in the way when you put the mouse back together. You may want to just slice them off now.

Next, apply pressure with your thumb to either the right or left battery wall of the mouse while using your finger nails to try to pry the silver bottom case and separate it from the pretty white top. I tried this for a little while and then I took a very small (2mm) flat head screw driver and gently pushed it between the silver bottom and white top. Either way, try not to put too many nicks and dents into the mouse. The case is glued together and has snap-together plastic parts as well as a single ribbon connector. You will almost certainly separate the ribbon connector from the silver body and cause the mouse to no longer support touch sensitivity. That's fine considering the next steps.

Unscrew the front three screws and pry off the controller board. You will probably have to break it off, which is fine. We only want to hold on to the laser lens and the Omron d2f-c micro-switch. You'll need as much room in the front as you can get for the vibrating motor.

The positive battery connectors may fall off. Hold on to these. They are easily reattached using hot glue.

The negative side of the battery connectors are attached through the board. This is because the batteries are setup to run in parallel and we'll need them in series. Snip the back controller board right down the middle, separating the two terminals, and try to take a cm or so out. The goal is to break the connection between the two negative battery terminals. Do not remove the screws, it is handy to keep this part of the board locked in place.

Let's now put everything together.

Step 3: Attaching the Motor

This is pretty much a snap. Ok, it will probably make a few snapping sounds along the way too.

First thing to do is to fire up the old hot glue gun and get it ready to go. We'll be doing a fair amount of glueing.

Spin the mouse around so you can look at the front. Use a dab of hot glue to secure the positive battery terminals. Also, remove the lens from the front board and glue it into its slot on the mouse.

Orient the mouse so the negative battery terminals are facing you.

Solder a black wire to the right negative terminal. The wire should be long enough to go nearly to the front of the mouse.

Use a meter to see if the two negative terminals are still connected to each other. If so, snip more of the board away from the middle.

Run a hot glue line between the two halves of the back board. This will keep them separated and insulated.

Solder a wire from the positive terminal on the right to the negative terminal on the left. This has reconfigured the power to be in series, giving us 3v instead of 1.5v. The motor will react more violently at 3v and we want the motor to shake as much as possible.

Take the micro-switch and check each solder pad with a multimeter and see which two pins activate when the switch is pressed. The above photograph shows that the left and middle pads were the correct ones in my case. You may have a different switch or mouse. Solder a short wire to the pad that is going to be closest to the positive battery terminal. Solder the motor to the other pad.

Carefully solder the wire from the switch to the positive battery terminal. This step caused me a lot of unexpected problems when putting the case back together. You want the wire to be short and thin. You also want to be sure to insulate the bottom mouse on/off switch's connectors to avoid a short between your micro-switch and the on/off switch.

Solder the motor to the black wire hanging from the negative terminal.

Put in the batteries and test that the mouse only starts when you press the switch down. Some motors get pretty violent and they shake like crazy. It's pretty cool.

You can either tape the motor in place or leave it as it is. It will rattle more rather than buzz when someone presses a mouse button. The buzz feels exactly the same as a cell phone. Later, you can harvest the motor from the mouse when the prank is done.

Don't add anything to the mouse even though it may look like there is room. The mouse is very snug.

Step 4: Put It Back Together

Everything is working so try putting the case back on. The white part should snap right into place on the silver bottom.

The motor may start running. That means one of two things are happening and both happened to me.

1. The micro-switch is being shorted by the on-off switch. Put some electrical tape over the two micro-switch solder pads.

2. The case has somehow gotten smaller and is pressing on the switch. HA! It's called a magic mouse for a reason! There was much annoyance at this. Reopen the case and look inside the white half. You'll see a little round plastic nub that will press the micro-switch when someone clicks with the mouse. You may need to file it down. Getting this right is very tedious. I took very small amounts off until the motor no longer turned on when the case was put back on and left to rest. The trick is to get it just small enough to not press the switch, but not so small that the user has to struggle to click the mouse.

Put the skids back on and attach the battery cover.

Test the mouse with the case on. It should make a nice buzz or rattling when you click the button.

Now bring it to work. Wait till your victim leaves his desk and replace his mouse with your buzzing mouse. Then sit and watch as the person tries to get the mouse working again and then gets the buzz.

UPDATE: I got a little bored and added the only thing I could think of that could increase the rattle noise that was on-hand. So... googly eyes it is! Beads would work better.

April Fool's Day Update:

I swapped the real and buzzing mice before my victim came in to work. He came in a little while later and unpacked his laptop and started to settle in for the day. Three of us were sitting around waiting for him to start working with his prank mouse.

He gave the mouse a little swish and nothing happened. Then he clicked the mouse for just a moment. A tiny buzz came from the mouse and he shot it a glance. He moved the mouse around again and double clicked. The mouse buzzed twice. A sigh of frustration from him gave me a desperate need to laugh. I had to turn away for a moment.

He flipped the mouse over, turned it off and then on. Remember, the power switch has been disabled. "Shouldn't it have a light on?" he asked. "No, the laser isn't visible" I said in the straightest face I could muster.

He opened the battery compartment and took the batteries out and then back in. He put the mouse down and it buzzed again. He turned to us, while holding the mouse button down. It was buzzing loudly. He started to shave himself. It did sound a lot like an electric shaver.

He grinned at us and I was sure the prank was over. Instead, he left to get new batteries. He swapped the batteries out and sure enough, it was still buzzing. He was getting visibly frustrated now. He was about to open a desktop support ticket.

"How about you do a search for a buzzing mouse on the Mac?" I suggested. One of the people in on the joke had a giant grin on his face as we tried troubleshooting the problem. I was really hoping that the search would come back with this instructable. It came back with an Apple Support Forum question called "Mighty mouse makes buzzing sound?" The forum post is really funny and it described something pretty similar to what was happening. The responses to the forum were perfect. He was getting concerned. I was really having a hard time not laughing.

I went back to my desk and pulled up this instructable. I called him over and said "Check this one out, maybe this will help." I pointed at my profile picture and said "maybe this guy caused the problem." I went to his desk and pulled out the real mouse. He finally caught on that it was an April Fool's prank.

This prank went on for about 15 minutes. We were all laughing and it was so distracting that we left for lunch a few minutes later.

We're set to get another guy tomorrow who was out of the office.

Comments

author
OhYeahThatGuy81 (author)2016-09-28

I have to say, this 'ible got me grinning from step 1!

author
happyhippy1 (author)2016-02-11

lol thats great I need to try this!

author
antivibrationmounts (author)2015-03-30

Got to try this with a guy at work, he's a bit of a stiff as well so it will drive him mad :-D

author

The target is picky about his workspace, yet he is a really funny guy with a great sense of humor. I just hope I get a good shriek out of him. :)

author
wongman2001 (author)2015-03-30

Oh man, freak hack ! Brings back fond memories of my swapping track ball with play doh years ago !

author
AndyWilson (author)wongman20012015-03-30

Using Playdoh for an old mouse trackball? What did it do? Did it change from a ball to a football form and stick to the mouse pad? You've got to share what happened!

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