Make Magazine's weekend project, 3/4/09

Some Background

Recently, I've been reading a lot of different blogs. Each day I'll read the latest posts on engadget, lifehacker, hackaday, BBG and the MAKE: blog. The problem for me came when I realised that only some of the posts were interesting to me, and to get to the interesting ones took a lot of scrolling.

For this, there are several solutions. I could have set my RSS reader up with each of the blogs that I read and go through the titles daily, or I could have set up a Yahoo! Pipe to filter by words in the title. I didn't much fancy this though, so I set about looking for easier ways to scroll long distances. In my searching, I came across this: http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/powermate - The Griffin PowerMate. The PowerMate is an assignable controller that you can set up for many things, browsing Google Earth, scrolling, Controlling volume etc..

I took a look at some YouTube videos of it in use and thought it was literally a scroll mouse on it's side with a fancy knob and some software. A few googles later, and I found a post on the bit-tech forums about a guy who made his own from a VCR spindle and an old mouse. I fancied a bit of that, so away I went and this is what I came up with. I call it the Griffin PowerFake.

It's made from an old PS/2 Mouse, a project box and, yep you guessed it, an old R/C car.

Step 1: What you will need

To build your own, you'll need the following (note that some of the parts are interchangable, say the R/C car wheel, while some are very specific, like the type of mouse you use):

  • An old PS/2 Mouse, preferably one that has a ball rather than an optical one, and one that uses a Rotary encoder as a scroll wheel, not one that uses an IR Transmitter/Detector. If you don't know what a rotary encoder looks like, see the last image of this step.
  • An old R/C car/ Other circular object you can use for rotating that fits in your hand easily. Other suggestions are the spindles from an old VCR or maybe even an old CD-ROM drive, spinning the CD like a record on a turntable.
  • A project box of your choosing, I used an old one I had lying around.
  • A metal rod of suitable length to go through your R/C car wheel, project box side and the rotary encoder.
  • Solder
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder Wick/ Desoldering pump
  • Tape/Glue/Double sided foam pads/ Pressure sensitive tape to mount the encoder.
  • Superglue
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Small piece of strip board (Optional)
I made a wireless one, it doesn't go very far, but it works nevertheless.
hey bro how did you do that man . share with us please :)
Just finished mine! Woop woop! (i only started it about 15 mins ago, not when i posted my previous comment-just so you know) Thankyou so much for giving instructions on how to do this, it's so useful!
Is there any other piece of software for this needs? I think the idea is to actually be able to use second mouse INDEPENDENTLY from main mouse. By that I mean using just a wheel without keystrokes or use mouse buttons as modifiers
<p>By using the guts of a USB mouse (or PS/2 mouse converted to USB) in this instructable, it will be sending USB &quot;Human Interface Device&quot; or &quot;HID&quot; commands over USB. This is a standard for keyboards and mice, and includes only standard commands like &quot;letter A key pressed down&quot;, &quot;letter A key released&quot;, &quot;mouse X moved +N ticks&quot;, and &quot;mouse L button clicked down&quot;.</p><p>Virtually all USB *drivers* built into all modern operating systems consider HID commands coming from multiple devices to all be sent to the single Windowing Manager for use in any windowed application (thus the application that received mouse-move events, for example, is controlled by the Windowing system-- generally sent to the active window, sometimes sent to the window overwhich the mouse is positioned). note that it is the Windowing Manager that renders the mouse *pointer* which follows mouse movements (commands coming from the mouse device). Generally this means you can plug in a bunch of mice and any one will move the cursor and no one mouse is the master; and different software does not &quot;claim&quot; any particular mouse nor can distinguish between different mice.</p><p>Theoretically if you program the USB (or PS/2 serial) driver at a low level, you can &quot;read&quot; the events from one USB device and, importantly, also keep those commands from being forwarded to the Windowing System.</p>
is is possible that I could attach a steering wheel to this and us it in a game like Flatout 2 respond ASAP I AM a N00B
This is one-hundred percent possible as long as you can steer in flat-out 2 with the scroll wheel, that being said if u are a noob you should get some experience first.
Thanks for this, it was helpful for my side scroller. <br> <br>http://wackomedia.com/giant-scroll-wheel/
its called potentiometer...not encoder XD
No, it's called a rotary encoder, there's a difference.
Hi Sir,<br><br>Please see attach image of my DELL mouse.but i can't see encoder.Can you please help me where is encoder in this mouse?
It's the thing next to the left click button.
I think...i don't have encoder in this mouse.but i think you can see potentiometer near left side button..please describe briefly if my mouse have encoder then where it is and if not then where can i find this encoder?
If this is a &quot;Rotary Encoder&quot; then PLESE tell us the difference between that and a &quot;Potentiometer&quot;. After searching out the web for this part I found a discription for a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_encoder">Rotary Decoder</a>&nbsp;but I have a hard time comparing it to what you've got in the picture. <br /> <br /> ...I'm sorry, but if it's a Duck then lets just call it a Duck.
A rotary encoder shorts two of the legs protruding from it together, followed by another different pair of legs. By interpreting this, a microcontroller can tell which direction the shaft is turning in, and thus the computer knows whether to scroll up or down.<br /> <br /> I repeat, it is <strong>not a potentiometer.</strong><br />
Really? It has 3 Pins and it looks like a potentiometer...
And its name is a rotary encoder. Just like a Voltage regulator has 3 pins and a tab for a heatsink, that doesn't make it a MOSFET.
Funny that you mention that. I've had to remind myself over and over to check the tiny print on those things to keep from confusing them!
man, i wish i could do this. im too poor to afford a good soldering iron. all i have is an old one from like 1999 that dosnt work =(
Hey there, I built mine and it doesn't seem to work. Can my regular mouse still be plugged in while I use desktop scroll wheel? <br>Please respond. <br>Thanks.
I can only say for certain on Windows as I know it can recognise two mice. Other OS's may not be able to.
Would this work on a Mac?
I see no reason why not, I'd check first to see if OSX can recognise and use two mice beforehand.
i have 4 wires sticking from my mouse which one to use<br>red,black,green,yellow
is it possible to do this with a usb mouse? <br>
would this work for a usb optical mouse?<br>yes it has a rotary encoder
I don no ... but mine didn't work .... it's still like a mouse ... but a butchered one ... clicks still work like before (like right click or somethin') ... and when i scroll the handle thing.... nothin' happens ...:(<br />
So, After a long while, I was poking around some arcade cabinet sites, and low and behold... I found a site that had instructions on how to build a simple spinner from a mouse w/o a rotary encoder. That's right, he used an optical scroll wheel and it worked well apparently. Take a look, It might help anyone who can't get a solid state encoder.<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://arcadecontrols.com/arcade.htm">http://arcadecontrols.com/arcade.htm</a><br/>
Turns out the link isn't direct, so go to the controls tab on the left, then go to spinners to find the building instructions.
whatsisface, you say that an IR setup is no good for this. what is the reasoning behind this? Reason I ask is I made a wheel following another post and used an IR setup. I have been using it for a few days and today it seems to be generating phantom mouse clicks. Caused by the IR? Any ideas?
My dad gave me his old Wireless mouse when i ordered a new one for him, but i cannot make this, he said it works, but only half the time. But this is the first thing i thought about when i got the new one in the mail.
Hi, I really like this idea but my cable has about 5 wires running through it. Would you know without looking at it what the wires I need to solder to rotary encoder are?
could you put buttons on the side maybe to emulate keyboard strokes or left and right clicks and use the software so that only this mouse would do the adjusting? that way you just press the button on the side and scroll to adjust what you want without affecting other work!
Yes, thats very possible.
Can the software make each mouse do different things; for example: make the left mouse button on the griffen wheel emulate a keystroke? Or does anybody know of some software that can do this?
macs have a softwar called keyboardmouse that will probably do the trick
This software won't do that, and I'm personally not aware of any that can.
Yeah, I tried hotwiring the buttons externally, and it worked. Find the two terminals on each button that are used, only 2/3 are used.
cool this looks like fun if i need some thing to do and i find a usb mouse ill will do this
can it be done with a wireless mouse?
I have no reason to believe it wouldn't, you'd need a way of charging it though.
So do you need a mouse with a scroll wheel?or are you using the ball's sensor things instead? i'm confused.
Sorry,I hadn't read your instructable thourorly enough.It is a scrool wheel, i now understand.
I just made one that hotwired the buttons to an external one. IT WORKS.
I have a griffin powermate and it rocks. the software is very easy and the built in led control rocks. Nice Ible though
i got a mouse the was an IR resiver all i did was leave it in there without thw top of the mouse and put a pool throw the end on the scrool weel and turned it to its side and used a bigger box, oo and i used a pencil insed of a wheel cause i count get and weel to rotate strat in always title and scratched the sides
okay so i got the mouse in today. it is the right type; however, the circuit board is JUST a little bit too big to fit inside my project box. would the entire thing stop working if i cut off the IR detectors for the trackball?
I very muc doubt it would, just be careful not to damage any of the tracks leading to the other components.
what if all it has is a sensor against the scroll wheel?

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