Introduction: Mouse With USB Port (optional Internal Drive)

Picture of Mouse With USB Port (optional Internal Drive)

This project for me is more useful than it first appears, I use this mouse all the time and all though it was quite fiddly to make It was worth the effort.
Now why would I want a  mouse with a USB port hanging out the side? The main reason is that I do a lot of computer aided drawing on a lap top which is impossible to do with a track pad and  I share and collaborate with students who have all manner of different shapes and sizes of USB drives.
So whats the problem? Well my mac book has the USB ports so close together that it is often not possible to have two things plugged in at once, It drives me mental, and I didn't really want to have to use a USB  hub, as it just another item I have to carry around and get lost.
Also with its internal drive It also saves me carrying around a USB, and it useful for when I use a desktop machine as I don't have to scratch around under the desk to find a working USB port.

The instructable has lots of notes attached to the photos

Step 1: Stuff You Will Need

Picture of Stuff You Will Need
You will need
  • A full size USB mouse
  • Small USB  hub, than can be pulled apart easily
  • Small USB tumb drive (optional)
  • Sugru
  • USB pinout
Tools needed
  • screw drivers
  • box cuter knife
  • solder, soldering iron, solder sucker.
  • hot glue gun
  • side cutters
  • Magnifying glass or glasses
  • Hole saw or drill.
  • Multimeter

Step 2: Strip Down.

Picture of Strip Down.

The mouse has a couple of screws hidden under the 2 plastic slider pads at the back of the mouse, and clips at the front, which came apart without too much of a fight.
The hub was just clipped together, and I used a box cutter to prise the plastic covers off. The final photo shows the mouse and hub striped down, it was still not going to fit inside the mouse cover.
It is important to chose a hub that is small, and can be take apart.

Step 3: Fitting the Circuit Board

Picture of Fitting the Circuit Board

It became clear that the striped down hub was still not going to fit, so I cut a hole in the internal part of the mouse and removed 3 of the usb sockets from the circuit boards.
My plan was to also remove the mini usb socket which is the input but I found it just too small to solder leads onto. In the end I had to also remove the brace across the centre as I just could not fit everything in. 
I gave quite a bit of thought to where the usb should plug in, so it doesn't interfere with the normal operation of the mouse.
Its normal practice to have the USB drive plug in with the label side up, so I didn't want the USB socket mounted upside-down

Step 4: Wiring and Fitting

Picture of Wiring and Fitting

When I looked at the usb mouse wire for some reason the colours where different to the pinout chart. I put one of the usb sockets on the end of the cable and used a multimeter to figger out where they go. The pinout diagram is viewed when you look into the end of the usb cable, not the socket, so a little care must be taken so that  you don't get the wires mirror imaged or reversed.
I simply cut the mouses cable and soldered the mouse end to the hub where the socket was removed and the other end to the mini usb cable, with the cover removed.
Finally I cut a hole in the side of the case for the usb socket to come out. I pointed it up slightly to stop the usb dragging on the table when the mouse is moved.

Step 5: Fitting Usb Drive and Assembly

Picture of Fitting Usb Drive and Assembly

After stuffing the usb hub into the mouse the best way I could, the board was on an angle which look as ugly as sin, but the top still fitted back on and it worked correctly. I used a dab of hot glue to hold every thing in place, and turn my attention to stuffing a usb inside.
I found the smallest usb I could find and removed the covers with a box cutter, I then solder four wires on to the circuit board, using the pinout as a guide. Then it was just a case of soldering in the 4 wires to the hub where I removed one of the  usb sockets. After a quick check I found everything worked, A bit more hot glue, and I put the lid back on screwed it together and put the slider pads back in.

Step 6: Tidy Up

Picture of Tidy Up

At this stage I had a mouse that works and does every thing it should, but I was not very happy with ugly usb socket hanging out the side, held in place with hot glue. I t looked like it was just begging to snap of the first time the mouse was dropped. Then I remembered I won some sugru some time back, which is a type of air drying rubber. Ive never used it before and when I opened the pack it was a bit of a shock "ITS BLUE!" Oh well now I know why its got a blue stripe on the pack.
Sugru is a bit like plasticine and is quite fun to play with, I just rolled up a sausage shape and smoothed it out around the port. It worked really well and has given the port a great deal of strength, though black sugru would of looked better.
So in the end I painted it black


Kaushik LS (author)2014-12-30

Thx for the awsum instrucrable! :) great work! (Y)

Jus one doubt. Someone please answer this asap, emergency.

*Can a USB Keyboard be attached to this mouse and made work?*

My problem: I have only one USB port in ma desktop and a HUB isn't an option due to various reasons. I'm thinking of MOD-ing the mouse ,add a USB port and use both devices through a single port. Will it work?

if not, any alternatives?

Im sure that will work just fine, but why dont you ad a usb port to your keyboard?

devicemodder (author)2013-12-18

cool but,
do it with a wireless mouse...

Damon Creed (author)devicemodder2014-01-15

Ooh, that would be awesome, and if he did it right add custom colored L.E.D.'s for a really awesome look.

metalshiflet (author)Damon Creed2014-03-07

You can't do it with a wireless mouse sadly. The data would not transmit correctly over the wireless.

3366carlos (author)2013-04-12

very nice. you should make into a mouse/usb built in drive

liquidhandwash (author)2012-10-06

hi turbotonic27
sugru is pretty cool, it drys harder than silicon, its a bit like tyre inner tube when dry. and sticks to plastic really well.

zakamooza (author)liquidhandwash2012-10-07

nice!where can i get some

mrmerino (author)zakamooza2012-12-13

Amazon, Ebay, I seem to think the Instructables shop has some.

liquidhandwash (author)zakamooza2012-10-07

I won some or try

poofrabbit (author)2012-11-27

Hey congratulations on being a finalist in the hack it contest! Good luck to you!

thanks poofrabit I think I'm becoming a bit OCD about instuctables lately seem to be looking at them all the time "ibleoholic"

aeszok (author)2012-10-18

I thought of this, but a part of me just told me that it was impossible, as the data wires are already being used.... thanks!

liquidhandwash (author)aeszok2012-10-18


ohowson (author)2012-10-11

Reckon this would work with a wireless mouse?

londobali (author)2012-09-28

This is epic.. well, your usual great ideas!!
Makes me think: why they haven't sell these yet???

Thanks for sharing !

liquidhandwash (author)londobali2012-09-28

Thanks Londobali,
Before I started I did a google search and didn't find anything like it, I was also going to do a keyboard but you can buy keyboards with USB ports.

Excuse me.

Do you think the USB keyboard you are talking about, has the fun of DIY included in the price?

:-) just kidding...!!..

idkwat2namme (author)2012-10-08

That's pretty epic. I think you have a market for that product sir. Its so simple I am surprise no one had mad that before. A mouse with memory and a USB port. Thanks for the instructable.

Trike Lover (author)2012-10-05

This is one of those "smack-your-head-why-didn't I think of that" great ideas. My laptop has three USB ports, and I routinely have an external mouse as well as an external HDD plugged in. That leaves one, and if I add the Bluetooth dongle I'm down to none. On some of my older laptops, I've added (glued on with super-strength 3M double-face foam tape) a 4 port USB hub on a rear corner of the lid, but that's very awkward to do with my current "daily driver" because of the position of the DVD drive and cooling air vents on either side.
Looking at it, I had the same thought at @payst about adding a bluetooth dongle in addition to the rest - kind of a "SuperMouse".

This is a really excellent hack - Thanks for posting it.

Hi trike lover
"smack-your-head-why-didn't I think of that" is exactly what I was aiming for. I should of called the instructable "SuperMouse" As soon as I read you comment I smacked-my-head-why-didn't I think of that.!
thanks for your feedback

payst (author)2012-10-05

This is really awesome !!! You could also add a usb bluetooth dongle inside there as well as they are very small and cheap. I got mine for 5 bucks including shipping. I know there is a max of 500mA to work with when the hub isn't powered.. What is the power consumption of each addon ?

The hub itself ..
Mouse ..
USB Internal Storage ..
Optional Bluetooth Dongle .
Open USB docking port .

liquidhandwash (author)payst2012-10-05

Hi payst
Im sure that will work, you could plug everything into the hub and check everything works before you start , thanks for the idea.

mpaknazar (author)2012-10-04

It's very cool, but would it work with wireless mice too?

DavidNZ (author)mpaknazar2012-10-04

Nah, I wouldn't think it would work with wireless mouses cause they are not connected by usb between the transmitter and the mouse.

liquidhandwash (author)DavidNZ2012-10-04

Hi David and mpaknazar it might be a good project, would need a wireless hub, if there is such a thing. getting it all inside a mouse would be an issue. good to see a kiwi on here!

The Arbiter (author)2012-10-04

This is a cool instructable,. Though, my answer to people not returning my drives in that I NEVER lend stuff like that. I probably would not put this in a mouse, but I can see a lot of fun n my future tearing down and rebuilding my keyboard! :)

thanks the arbiter, can I call you "The" for short? :-)

Go put a holding patent on it before someone sees it and steals your idea. Microsoft used to make a natural keyboard that had two usb 1 plugs on it for mice etc. I don't think I've ever seen another product like that or yours.

thanks for your feed back

Not to down your project because it's great but if you don't want to carry a hub there are cables made usb one end and socket for usb other end which would solve the too close together problem, plug one into the extension cord which are available in several lengths and the second into the machine or even have two extension cords if it's still too close. Yeah it's another piece but smaller than a hub and cheaper too.

willrandship (author)2012-10-04

While I definitely understand the sentiment of keeping things simple for this project, I would like to note that you could get the hub significantly smaller if you were to trim down the circuit board more. Most of it is empty space to put the plugs on.

You might even be able to get it small enough to make the plug flush with the mouse.

Still, the end result of your project turned out very nice, and unlike many of the other commentors, I definitely see the use of this project.


jedics (author)2012-10-04

while I couldnt deal with a usb stick sticking out of my mouse like that its a fine example of how stupid apple's usb design is, especially seeing they have refused to change it in all these years despite users complaints.

liquidhandwash (author)jedics2012-10-04

thanks for the feedback, generally the usb is only in the mouse to copy files, and I pull it out straight after, so it not in there long enough to become annoying. I have noticed that the silver macbooks usbs are even closer together than the white macs

WatAhh (author)2012-10-04

Very Nice!I Voted

liquidhandwash (author)WatAhh2012-10-04

thank you

farna (author)2012-10-04

Why are you reading Instructables if you're content to go out and buy something ready made? I guess if the keyboard with USB port is one you really like that's fine, but sometimes you have a favorite keyboard that has some other feature or just "feels right", but would be so much better with a handy USB port somewhere...

Datawolf (author)2012-10-02

Unplug the mouse.
Plug the USB hub.
Plug both mouse and key onto the hub.
U R Done.

liquidhandwash (author)Datawolf2012-10-02

Hi datawolf,
I didn't want to do that because, the hub, and usb drive go missing, lost or borrowed. no one asks to borrow my mouse.

AbbieH (author)liquidhandwash2012-10-02

No kidding; adding an extra hub just complicates the problem and gives more for the office staff to "borrow" or steal. Obviously, that person never had to work with the likes of our co-workers. I do understand your point of creating something that no one would want to borrow. I had the same problem with my keyboard, but an extra USB port only made it more popular. When I would come into work, my keyboard would be gone. Eventually, someone would return it just in time to type my report for the day. Finally, I split the left and right sides up, then epoxied a 2 inch solid brass rod between the two halves of the keyboard, and mounted it through the top of my desk to the floor and also to the ceiling rafters. Kinda hard to navigate around but proper typing should dedicate areas for the left and right hands anyway. Now no one takes my keyboard anymore, plus the good part of this is that every time I look up towards the ceiling, there is a nice pair of legs wrapped around the brass rod about to make me mistype something again when those spiked heels reach my desk. I don't mind though and I have become much more popular around the office. Sometimes people just don't get us smart people. "Just add the hub" That's ridiculous.

Siddharth Jain (author)2012-10-02

will soon try to try that out myself!!!... :D

zieak (author)2012-10-01

Great job! I had this on my list of things to work on. I wanted to try for the mouse having internal storage, a port and perhaps try and cram a card reader in as well. Nice work.

liquidhandwash (author)zieak2012-10-01

Thanks Zieak, this one has a 16gig usb inside, its great not having to hunt for a drive, and people don't ask to borrow my mouse unlike my usb, which never get returned. good luck with your card reader mouse.

About This Instructable




Bio: Fixer, Finder, Fabricator.
More by liquidhandwash:Mobile Phone Controlled RobotSplit Grommet for Dishwasher Aqua-stop HoseRat Rod Facelift LED Headlights
Add instructable to: