A free program called "Autohotkey" can do magic with your keyboard, mouse or game controller. You can assign different functions to the buttons, that way you can save a lot of time.
From opening a specific application, web page or folder to more complex tasks - all done with a click/push of the button.
In this project, I decided to take a mouse and convert it to a "Mighty Button". It's done by taking 1 button of the mouse and making it huge.
"The Mighty Button" that does not have anything to do with your keyboard or mouse (kind of) and can be customized to match the function.
Something that you can put on your computer desk as I reminder that it's there to be used.
Buttons skin is changeable. One day it can be a Youtube "thumbs up" button, other day it can be a "record" button.
Button is wireless, so you are not tied to the desk. Handy when you want to record yourself singing a little bit further from computer, not to record the noise. It's also handy in case you forgot to delete internet history, and you're about to get caught. One push, can delete the history and you'll never get caught. I am not talking about naughty things, I mean to get caught buying an engagement ring ;)
As I said at the top, you don't need to do any soldering or programming on this project. Well, you will need to write a script to make button do a specific thing, but it's super easy. Of course you can make the button do more complex things that require some learning, but there is plenty of information on the internet as well as ready scripts available.
When I was making the button, I was not sure how the end result will look, that's why I did solder a little bit, but it was not necessary. I decided to keep this project simple as sometimes people don't feel comfortable soldering.
At the beginning I was going to get a door bell and hook it to the mouse. That would mean much less work, but I could not find a nice one. Then I decided that I'll make my own button and keep it simple, so anyone can do it.
What do you need?
- 5 Button wireless mouse
Does not really have to be 5 button or wireless, but there is a reason behind it. Most of people use 3 button mouse (gamers 5). That gives us 2 spare buttons to use. We can't use same buttons for "The Mighty Button" that your computer mouse uses as it would interfere with each other.
There is a way to configure "Autohotkey" and use an ordinary mouse for this project, but that would make this project a little bit more difficult.
The mouse I used is super cheap, bought in eBay under $5
- Plastic noise maker/horn/trumpet
Can be found in toy department.
- Some kind of container, plastic box
I used DV tapes case. Audio cassettes case should also fit well.
- Short tube
Can be cut from a permanent marker. Mine was cut from a plastic bottle stopper
- Plastic bottle with a wide neck
- Sugru (self setting rubber)
- Compression spring or a cable/wire to make one.
Coaxial cables copper core should do the job.
- A nut and a bolt
- A free program called "Autohotkey"
Open up your mouse. Mark the button with permanent marker, so you don't get confused later.
You should be able to remove battery connectors without soldering the cable. As I mentioned before, I did unsolder it because, I was not sure what shape this project is going to take.
See how good it fits your chosen case.
My case did not shut, because of mouse wheel encoder/sensor.
I bent it to shut the case.
I cut a hole for the button and a power switch.
I soldered back the connectors. (One step less for you to do)
Using Sugru, I attached battery connectors to the case. It was a perfect fit.
I also used some Sugru to stick the board to the case.
Then, I used Sugru to fill gaps around the switch. To make it a little bit neater, I used cello tape.
I also attached Sugru feet.
I attached a little tube on top of the hole for the button.
I took the horn and cut off 2 pieces. As horns tube is changing in diameter, one piece should be wider than other.
If you insert the smallest piece into the biggest, you should be able to get it out only one way - they way it was inserted.
I cut off top of the bottle cup, leaving a ring with thread.
Before that, I cut the green ring to see if it fits. Because it was straighter cut, I decided to go with the green one, not the red one.
Then, I cut off the neck.
Using Sugru, I made a button to fit inside of the smallest horns piece.
Then, I attached a nut to the button and screwed in a bolt so I would be able to adjust it later.
Head of the bolt, also got some Sugru treatment.
I joined the ring from bottle cup with biggest piece of the horn.
I decided to add texture to Sugru using a bolt.
I mixed 4 parts of yellow and 1 part of blue, to get a greenish Sugru.
I attached the neck of the bottle on top of the tube.
I covered the thread with some electrical tape to keep it clean and neat. (Was not necessary)
Then, I Sugru-ed rest of the case, apart from the bottom and one side.
I wanted to be able to see the blue light when button is on.
I opened the case and tidied the edges. You want to be able to change the batteries.
As the plastic is soft and smooth, I was able to push the Sugru button out of the ring (with Sugru being set)
I did it so I can change the skin.
If you don't have a spring that fits well, you can make your own.
I used some wire to make one.
Later, I found a spring lying around and that's what I am using now. (Does the job better)
Let's insert the spring and screw on the button.
When button is pressed, bolt will touch the small button on the board.
I also made other designs.
Install "Autohotkey" program and make your button to do some magic.
Basics are very simple.
Run the program and edit the script.
This is how opening instructables.com would look like:
Xbutton2 is the name of the button. Usually 2 extra mouse buttons are called Xbutton 1 and Xbutton 2.
So, script says that when Xbutton2 is pressed to open instructables.com
Watch the video at the beginning, where I demonstrate different things you can do with the button.
What would you use it for?