Introduction: DIY: EXTREME Power Saving Wireless Mouse Mod

Picture of DIY: EXTREME Power Saving Wireless Mouse Mod
A modified wireless optical mouse. Though rechargeable, eventually the NiMH cells WILL have to be replaced, I have had to recharge every day, and even though I make that as quick as can be (using an Energizer 15min charger) like I said, the batteries eventually will need replacing. Now this Compaq mouse did not come with an ON/OFF switch nor' does it even have the eventual sleep/auto off on idle feature. However, it wouldn't ever get to do the 'auto off' even if it could, seeing as to it's always gravitating towards me on the sofa which I (we) mainly reside. & I know for a fact that an ON/OFF switch wouldn't EVER get used by me, and definitely not as much that it would have noticeable effects in regaurds to power saving.

So like the 'auto off' or 'off while idle' feature that some mice provide, I thought of making it only powered when I'm actually using it, but to improve on the concept, instead of it waiting a predetermined amount of time while not being 'moved' to shut off, and once 'moved turning on again (like I said, with me, it'sa always getting sat on, pushed aside, sliding in towards me on the cushion when I sit, etc..)
FAST>>FORWARD

These Pictures show the VERY SIMPLE process of my successful mod that makes it so ONLY when you have ur hand placed on the mouse like when ur using it (NOT WHEN ITS JUST MOVED)

Step 1: Aquire the Essentials for the Mod

Picture of Aquire the Essentials for the Mod

I salvaged as many different micro contact switches from various electronics I have strewn about my room. I decided to go with the switch that is the closest one to the bottom of the picture of switches. I then placed my hand on the mouse and held it in just about every workable position I would ever hold it in, and found the best spot possible to mount the switch where it would always get pushed down when I am using the mouse.

Step 2: Open Up the Specimen

Picture of Open Up the Specimen

Only two screws held the casing together and neither were under any sticker or other adhesive cover. 4 more screws were removed to separate the inside boards so I could get to the pcb mounted negative battery spring connector and remove it. Then I soldered two thin wire leads onto the switch's solder points, and soldered the end of one of those wires to a new negative battery terminal tab from a salvaged AAA battery box.

Step 3: Re-connecting The.........uh........dots...

Picture of Re-connecting The.........uh........dots...

I put the new negative battery tab/spring in it's slot where the other one would've been. Then I took the remaining free wire tip coming from the switch, and soldered it to the board where I had de-soldered the original spring connection (ground/ neg-) After that, the new connections being done with, I put a little bit of hot-glue on all of the solder points I had just made except for the one on the board (switch connections & new battery tab connection) just enough to be certain that no unwanted contact was made by any of the electrical components when I sealed it back up. Last, I took a dremel to the spot I decided the switch would reside (carefully as to not make too big of a hole for it, I wanted a very snug fit) & after installing the switch with it's push/pin now protruding out of the upper casing of the mouse, I secured that in place with hot-glue as well..

Step 4: Reassemble & Relax

Picture of Reassemble & Relax

Ok, put 'er back together making sure the wires are tucked neatly away, install the freshly charged batteries, & THERE YA GO!!! IT WORKS UNBELIEVABLY WELL!!! I thought the push/pin would be a tad discomforting even though it has little to no resistance to getting pushed, but actually it was soo undetectable I felt I needed to feel SOMETHING (plus I felt that the pin being so small, had the possibility to not be 100% fool proof if I was ever in a hurry and it fell between a crease in my palm or whatever ;) ) So just for a fool-prrof finish, I found the best thing I could (small, thin, lightweight, flexible foamy type bit of material) for the time being, and temporarily secured it with a touch of hot-glue on the pin and put the cut foam piece right over that. When viewed from top it is undetectable, but I took some crappy close up shots of it from an angle. I have also included a quick poorly lit video of the mod shown working VERY well!! Hope this may help others to conserve their battery cells, I can't think of any wireless mice that this wouldn't easily work for, except the ones with different battery packs. (just to point out, the black foamy piece is of my temporary preference, and the mod DID work just fine without it, it looks kind of ugly I know, but it's kew for now :))

- (v)A'|'|' -

Step 5: UPDATE!

Picture of UPDATE!

Like I said, I was having to recharge the batteries in this thing everyday!
Now I am very happy to report:

MY LAST CHARGE (current one in the mouse) HAS LASTED OVER 3 DAYS AND COUNTING!!!!

(I probably just jinxed it though !.O!.)


ALSO: Here's another quick update for those interested (see pic below). I immediately took the foam piece off after I posted this (....okay, it fell off, but that's beside the point!)
and had also had this idea until something better comes to mind. I simply used some of the clear plastic packaging bubble as sort of a pressure pad (it works great, but I'm not set on this one either, because it allows the switch to be pressed if the mouse is upside down and such)

Comments

acer73 (author)2007-06-22

Wow, just get a new mouse I have a logitec wireless invisible optic. It has a Reset, On/off buttons plus auto-off. I have had the mouse for over a year an only replaced batterys 3 times

jkinrade (author)acer732008-05-19

That's not really the point of instructables. It's more fun to mod something than it is to just buy a new thing and adding the old one to the ever-increasing amount of trash in this country.

tomxu (author)jkinrade2014-05-21

totally agree

kgee (author)acer732011-09-11

same

batman96 (author)2011-06-16

My Wireless mouse has been running on one AA battery for six months!
Also, those speed chargers wear them out faster, you want to charge the batteries slower.

MAC guyver (author)2008-07-11

hmmm, U did all this cuz you were too lazy to turn your mouse off? I'd have held out for complete freedom. Self-charging mouse anyone?

well some mice (logitech's EX100 for example) don't have a switch to turn the mouse off. Instead they have a built in auto-standby thingy which to be exact doesn't work very well.

DDRBoxman (author)2007-02-25

Wouldn't this work better if you rigged up a photo resistor so that your hand does not have to actually trigger the switch? It might be more comfortable.

FireSnake (author)2007-02-25

Awesome, usable, intelligent mod. Thanks! :)

Jesus10555 (author)2006-10-17

yea, i have that same 15 minute charger..... its awesome.... the only flaw that they dont tell you is that, although it may charge in 15 minutes, you probably shouldnt put it in any electrical device while the batteries are that hot, damn they are hot..... i bought them for my camera, and there is no way im risking anything melting and whatnot, ya know what i mean

Andrew546 (author)2006-09-20

This is sweet. I put this on my mouse and it works excellent. The only difference is i mounted it on the side so the my ring finger will press the button when i hold the mouse. I ended up scavaging the switch from a portable CD player. I just used the switch thats used to cut power to the motor when you open the lid. Now that i look at the picture again, its the exact same kind as you used. I also added a hinged paperboard flap on the side so i could put my finger anywhere on the side instead of hanging to press a very specific point. It works fantastically. Excellent instructable!

Neodudeman (author)2006-09-12

Why don't you just put the switch between the power and laser, so that it wouldn't need to keep reconnecting, but the laser would turn off, and save some power?

aquax (author)2006-09-11

I have a bluetooth mouse without an on/off switch. I usually end up taking the batteries out. I don't think if this system will do exactly what I need, because the bluetooth would have to reconnect every time I touched the mouse, but I could probably wire in a small switch somewhere...

fungus amungus (author)2006-09-11

Nice. I eventually went back to wired mice so I wouldn't have to deal with taking care of more batteries, but this would be a good fix.

Me too - I might look into modding my wirless one now though...

FrenchCrawler (author)2006-09-09

Great Idea, I may or may not try this.
So far my mouse has kept up with me, even during the long days where I have forgotten to put it back in the cradle. Perhaps the M28WC
( http://www.acesuppliers.com/company/information.asp?pid=9395 ) has a better charging system, but I wouldn't really know. It's the only one I've had. If it starts to die out on me, I may do this though. Thanks for the idea.