Picture of Take apart an optical mouse
Dr Destruct-o takes apart a couple of Microsoft Explorer Optical "IntelleMice", to see if there are any useful goodies inside.
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Step 1: Here we have a couple of still-together mice

Picture of Here we have a couple of still-together mice
These seem to show up with some regularity in the E-waste bins at work. I don't know if the Microsoft mice are more prone to failure than other mice, but they're certainly more recognizable in the waste bin.
One of these says "version 3" on the bottom sticker, and the other doesn't. They're USB mice, although apparently they'll talk PS2 as well, using a merely physical adapter (these adapters don't actually translate between PS2 and USB protocols, they just connect the wires differently. The processor inside the mouse detects which kind of connection is in use, and reconfigures its pins as appropriate.)

Step 2: Find and Remove the Screws.

Picture of Find and Remove the Screws.
A lot of "consumer" products with "no user serviceable parts inside" will hide their screws, both to discourage dis-assembly, and to make the product look better. In this case, there are four screws hidden underneath the little teflon "slider" pads on the bottom of the mouse. The pads can be pried off with a knife or small screwdriver, exposing normal philips head screws.

Step 3: Remove Mouse Guts

Picture of Remove Mouse Guts
Once the screws are removed, the top and bottom of the mouse separate relatively easily. Since I wasn't planning on putting them back together, I didn't pay a lot of attention; sometimes there are interlocking plastic bits that you wouldn't want to break if you WERE attempting a repair rather than a salvage...
The two mice, despite being outwardly "identical", had significantly different internals. The one in the photos here had three circuit boards, and some additional screws to remove. The other (older?) mouse only had two boards, and was had its internals held together entirely by plastic tabs and slots.
Rakaaaa9 days ago

One of my project need to get 1000 to 2000 frames/Sec. But i not able to get it.Can you help me to get the 1500 frame/Sec by any means..?

ElizabethS52 months ago

What usually fails in a mouse? I have two mini mouse with coil up cable that failed.

Is it the cable or at the roll up item?

westfw (author)  ElizabethS52 months ago

Most of my mouse failures have been mechanical: switches that become flakey, wheels that break, springy plastic bits that cease to be springy. I'd guess your cable; the roll-up part shouldn't have any electrical effect (unless it's just the roll-up part that's broken."

anthonyyy04 years ago
you obviously know a lot about mice right? If i took an optical mouse apart would it have tact switches inside for the left/ right mouse click buttons? if not would i be able to solder tact switches to the places where the left/right clickers/buttons hit the board so that i can relocate buttons? (Im making a NES Mouse :D) Thanks for any help you can give!
westfw (author)  anthonyyy04 years ago
Yes. You can see the buttons as black rectangles with gray "buttons." Typically the casing of the mouse will have various cleverly designed plastic bits that end up pushing the relatively standard microswitch-style buttons. And typically you can either remove and relocate the buttons, or just parallel alternate buttons (watch out if the mouse electronics connects to all three terminals of the switch, though.)
Colonel885 years ago
nice ible i REALLY want to change the mouse so the bottom light thingie was blue so then it would look mad kewl.
omnibot5 years ago
Is there some software to let you use this in any way you like? I'm thinking robotics where the optics could be used for positioning, the wheel for touch-sense and the buttons as bump-detectors. Any suggestions? I've seen some use a PIC as an adaptive interface but software to change it's use from a PC-based robot?
lol i have the same mouse too. other than that great instructable 4/5 stars. (i have more than one of these) (i have an army of mice) lol im crazy
U have same mouse i'm using lol. Give you stars just for that lol ;D
the DIP through hole sensor is probably more useful to you they do have documentation on the protocols usually I2C or SPI
Charlie11387 years ago
I have a logitech mouse I was trying to take apart to make some other project and it looked like there was no solder under the microswitches on the pins.. it also seemed like there was a plastic coating on the bottom of the circuit board holding those pins in.. have you seen anything like this? I tried to heat the solder and scrape it off the pins(if there was any there) but it seemed like there was no sodler there or maybe I didn't have my soldering iron hot enough?
stasterisk7 years ago
Have you ever used the optical bits to get position feedback on your robot?
westfw (author)  stasterisk7 years ago
I have no robot :-( Are you talking about the "eye" sensor or the lesser "wheel" sensor? You might be better off using a nearly-assembled mouse rather than individual bits; a PS2 interface is probably easier to talk to than the raw mouse chip. (One of the things I've wanted to do is BEAM robotics sort of circuit that would permit a robot to walk in a straight line even if it has two mis-matched motors driving two wheels... "walking in a straight line with one bad leg.")
coollllll :-)
ll.137 years ago
Two LED's I'm guessing the tail LED is for eye candy? 0.o