Picture of Scroll-Wheel Hack
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Super inconvenient way to scroll though the web with galloping fingers on fabric buttons. (Smile)

The scroll wheel inside my mouse is a very simple but brilliant mechanism that basically pushes two buttons in succession every time I scroll it fwd one click. The succession of the pressing of these two buttons is opposite if I scroll the wheel in the other direction. Thus it can tell which direction I am turning it and how far or fast I have turned it.

So I de-soldered this scroll wheel from my mouse and replaced it with two fabric buttons which I can now basically gallop on with my fingers to control the scrolling of my mouse and it is a very inconvenient action but I still think it is cool.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

- Cheapest mouse you can find (hopefully it will be very similar to mine inside)
- Pen and paper

- Screw driver
- Soldering iron
- Helping hands
- De-solder or de-soldering tool
- Wire cutters
- Wire strippers
- Multimeter
- Crocodile clips

Step 2: Open the mouse

Picture of Open the mouse
Unfortunately I used a mouse for this Instructable, which I had already disassembled ages ago and gotten rid of the outer shell.

But basically look for screws on the bottom of the mouse, they might be hidden under stickers or little stuck on feet. Make sure you get all the screws out and then the mouse should open nicely. Inside there will probably be more screws keeping the circuit board in place. I have learned that it is good practice to take photos of the circuit as soon as you have opened it because later on if wires come loose or you want to reverse your actions these photos will come in super handy!
So take photos and even notes.
Thanks for this. I've got a scroll wheel that has this 3 pin arrangement, and have spent the week-end trying to Google how the thing worked. (Most docs said the scrollwheel was an optical encoder)

What I plan to do is build an autocue controller. Basically, the faster the 'clicks' are sent to the PC, the faster the browser page will scroll, and vice versa. The 'clicks' will be controlled via a 555 timer and an inverted signal, (thus will have the flip-flop arrangement to emulate two switch presses) The timer will be controlled via a preset connected to a knob held between thumb and forefinger. Turn one way to speed up page, and opposite to slow.

Now it's just a question of thinking of a system to decide clockwise (up) or opposite.
Colonel885 years ago
Hmm... this is only good for nervous people. *tapping fingers*
delvarworld6 years ago
Pretty useless :) . Why not just wire a small motor to the mouse which turns the mousewheel like a gear controlled by the buttons?
Errrr.... Effort?
I'd much rather glue a smalll animall to it... see how it turns out =|
lol i like your idea better.. late reply
Fix the original scroll wheel encoder to a hamster wheel, poll the wheel rotations in software and see how fast the hamster's running - and in which direction :-D
im going to use that in school today!
stephan2886 years ago
Best invention since the electric pig.
And how! If it wasn't for the Electric Pig, we'd all be in the dark ages still.
wethecom6 years ago
to make somthing useful i think this project would mix together nicely
with the hard drive dj project
...this would eliminate the micro controller portion of the dj project and all the software

hard drive dj project
Foreverhex6 years ago
That has to be the only mouse I have ever seen that has an normal encoder instead of LED encoder.
Nah, that's very common, some old monitors use it too for menu-selecting spinning controls.
I agree totally with your arguement.
yep rotary ENCOder scroll wheels can be found on many different brands and at surprising price points. It's completely up to the manufacturer whether they install IR or rotary, whichever happened to be cheaper at the time most probably! Optical can get bits of cat hair in the gears and rotary can loose its accuracy over time.
xwx6 years ago
yeah this seem kind of time consuming for a scroll wheel even though it looks cool... you could change the scroll rate though!
Joell6 years ago
Ouch, either you weren't endowed with too much coordination or something but that looks extremely time consuming even if you were to up the lines-per-scroll number. Doesn't it get annoying after a while by the way? An innovative idea,... just that there has to be a simpler (and cooler) way to use what you've learned.
Plusea (author)  Joell6 years ago
I think part of the idea is that it is kind of backwards and not innovative and useless and still kind of cool at the same time...
Joell Plusea6 years ago
Oh okay,... if you were just having fun with it it's cool. And btw, thanks; dint know about the micro switches and what not so you saved me having to screw up a mouse to find out. Now at least i'd know what to expect if i ever opened one up :)
i know this is a strange idea but could you set up a switch for up that auto gallops up and down does down? I am pretty new to electronics but its a thought!
That has to be one of most inefficient-yet-cool instructables I've ever seen. Interesting idea, but very impractical.
justinkuo6 years ago
Thank you for your clear description on how the mouse works. Some time ago, I had imagined using a mouse as part of a distance measuring device attached the front wheel of a bicycle. That device would count up when I rolled the bicycle forward and would count down when rolled backwards. It would be the electronic equivalent of the Jones Counter used for measuring and certifying road running courses.

I imagined the mouse attached to an inexpensive electronic bicycle odometer or palm device. I lack the skills and know how to make this work. Any ideas on how to get started? Thank you. -- Justin
Bartboy6 years ago
I thought you made a huge scroll wheel, LOL!
endolith6 years ago
The scroll wheel inside my mouse is a very simple but brilliant mechanism that basically pushes two buttons in succession every time I scroll it fwd one click.

You mean a rotary encoder? :)

You could hook these buttons up to a simple circuit so that one acts as "scroll up" and one is "scroll down" if you get sick of galloping...
Plusea (author)  endolith6 years ago
thanks. i knew (of course) that it had a name. but was really too lazy to go look it up. also, i thought i might get disappointed to find out that it is just another regular component with a name. i was kind of excited when i discovered how it worked by working backwards. but now i will go read about it, because it really is a cool component.
robots1996 years ago
I prefer a griffin powermate from thinkgeek for about fifty bucks.
=SMART=6 years ago
Sweet ! How fast can you go !! haha
mkamchin6 years ago
that sound worse than scrolling with a mouse
frollard6 years ago
In software if you up the 'number of lines per scroll click' it would move a lot would be a neat gesture pad on the desktop :D
Koil_16 years ago
Hey keep those micro switches. Those can be seriously fun to play with in other projects...
Ph3nomin0n6 years ago
Well you could enter a fingerbuidling contest and win heavyweight :)
This is really cool.. I would love to do something like this...
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nice idea, but i dont wanna imagine scrolling through long web pages. my fingers might fall off =d