This is a project that I did several years ago, but I photographed and documented it well enough that I can do a write-up here without any trouble. Excuse the photographer, he was young and reckless.
The simple idea behind this mouse mod is taking a small motor with an offset weight on its shaft, and mounting it in a PC mouse. These motors are easy to harvest from an old rumble-equipped Playstation or Xbox controller.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- USB optical mouse
- Off-center weighted motor ( 5V )
- Thin metal or plastic sheet
- Bondo or body filler
- Spray paint
- Spray primer
- Heat-shrink tubing
- Sanding mask
- Tin snips
- Hot glue gun
- Sandpaper (80, 120, 220)
- Soldering iron
- Needle File
Step 2: Open and Drill
We start by finding the spot on the outside of the mouse where we need to drill. Take a hole-saw bit thats a good 5mm ( 1/4 inch ) wider than the protruding motor head, and drill.
Plop the motor into place, and see how it looks so far.
Step 3: Covering Up The Hole
I have a box of small aluminum containers typically used to hold screws and other small parts. I used to use the aluminum cases they came in for all manner of things, so I had a lot of these containers around, and I used one to make the metal cover over the hole. Some thin gauge sheet metal of any kind will work perfectly for this too.
Cut the sheet kind of flower-like so that it makes a rounded shape that will cover the motor without touching it. Once it lines up and is clear for the full rotation of the motor, hot-glue it in place.
Rough it up with sandpaper, as well as the surrounding mouse area.
Our next step is to cover it with Bondo and sand it into shape.
Step 4: Bondo!
First, we need to mix the filler paste with the hardener. After this, we have about 5 minutes to spread it in place. Follow the instructions listed on the container, they're very straightforward and quite specific as to the type of filler used, but almost always involve mixing a tube of hardening agent with a paste.
We smooth the Bondo in place, making sure to not leave any spots uncovered or not covered thick enough, since we would have to add more Bondo later to fix that.
Once complete it will look like the very blue picture below. Leave it to cure for the listed time on the packaging.
When its cured, we can start sanding. Be sure to wear a mask for this as the Bondo particles are smelly, nasty and unhealthy to inhale. Since this thing is curved, we can't use a sanding block. We will have to hold the paper in our hands and just use our fingers to sand. When sanding like this, we need to constantly move around the surface, or else our fingers will sand ruts into the Bondo.
As we go, keep cleaning off the dust and making sure that we aren't removing too much material in the wrong spots. Don't sand through to bare metal! I did this, and it turned out okay but if too much is removed it won't look good when completed.
When its sanded to our satisfaction, we can continue to the next step; Painting.
Step 5: Painting
Next, spray with whatever color of paint you want. I used a glossy Krylon Fusion red spray paint, but anything will work. Use a paint that's made by the same company as your primer to prevent unwanted chemical reactions between different brand formulas.
Step 6: Wiring It Up
Drill a hole in the right side of the mouse, and file it out so that we can fit the switch. Hot glue it in place.
The wiring circuit is very simple. Identify the 5V and GND wires on the mouse board, and solder the positive wire from your motor to the 5V wire on the board. Solder the GND wire of your motor to the switch.
Now, we need to figure out how to connect to the mouse buttons. Most mice buttons have 3 pins, but two are normally connected together or one is not connected at all. We need to use the two outer pins.
Solder a wire from our switch to one side of the button, then solder another wire to the opposite side. Solder that wire to the GND wire of the mouse.
Make sure that there aren't any shorts from 5V to GND, which could damage your USB port. Now, plug in the mouse and try clicking the mouse button. If the motor spins, then its working!
Put the motor in place and hot glue it, making sure that it isn't shorting out any of the circuits on the mouse.
If all is well, we can move to the next step.
Step 7: Putting It Back Together
Go play a game and see how you like it. I didn't have any problems with the cursor being jittery, but if you do, you can add a resistor to the motor to slow it down a bit, or change the weight on the shaft to make it vibrate less.
I hope that this Instructable inspires someone to make a fun, quick mouse project.
Thanks for reading.