Introduction: Total Armageddon USB Programmable Kill Switch

Picture of Total Armageddon USB Programmable Kill Switch

For those days when the process of clicking through the Start Menu to shut down my computer is just too boring, I built a USB kill switch using a very nifty looking safety toggle switch from RadioShack and the guts of an old USB mouse. With some simple soldering, this USB switch is programmable using the freeware AutoHotkey and doesn't require a microprocessor board.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Here's what you need:

USB mouse (or keyboard, or any game controller)- you can often find these for free or a couple bucks at a yard sale
Toggle switch- this one I bought from RadioShack for $5
Some sort of switch mount- from the electronics store, $1.50

Tools and other mats:

Soldering iron and wire
Electronic tape
Freeware AutoHotkey (www.autohotkey.com)
Project container for the controller, or in my case, Tupperware

Step 2: Open Up the Mouse

Picture of Open Up the Mouse

Opening up the mouse is usually quite simple though it varies by manufacturer.  Look at the underside of the mouse and strip away the rubbery pads; you'll find a screw underneath.  The case should come off easily after that.

** It's recommended that you work in a (relatively) ESD-safe environment to avoid frying your mouse circuit board.

Step 3: Solder Wires to the Mouse Buttons

Picture of Solder Wires to the Mouse Buttons

On the top side of the mouse you should be able to find the mechanical switches for the left, right, and middle (if it has one) buttons.  Flip the mouse over and make a note of the solder joints for those switches; that's where you'll solder to.

I went ahead and soldered wires to all three buttons even though I ended up only using the middle button.  I figured they might come in handy for some future project.

Finish it off with some electrical tape and store it in a container (or small Tupperware) 

Step 4: Connect the Switch

Picture of Connect the Switch

Take whichever wires you're using and loop them into the switch's Power and Acc leads.  Fasten with some more tape or solder if you feel like it. Nothing's necessary for the Ground lead unless you want it to switch between two states.

Then stick your switch into the mounting bracket.  Sadly, the hole on my mounting bracket was a teensy bit too small so I stuck some double-sided tape underneath to stabilize it. 

Step 5: Program in Autohotkey

Picture of Program in Autohotkey

Creating scripts in AutoHotkey is pretty easy with their tutorials. 

Here's a simple shutdown script:

;***********************************************************
; Upon middle button press, send command
MButton::Shutdown, 9

; Sleep function to prevent additional triggering
Sleep 60000

return
;***********************************************************

You can create a script to do pretty much anything, like pretend you're blowing stuff up...

;***********************************************************
; Upon middle button press, send command
MButton::MsgBox BOMB THEM!!

;***********************************************************

Step 6: Flip the Switch!

Picture of Flip the Switch!

Even better, you could link the hotkey script with a World of Warcraft macro and really feel like you're demolishing your opponents...

;***********************************************************
; Upon middle button press, send command

MButton::Send /castsequence reset=84 Bestial Wrath, Kill Command, Kill Command, Kill Command, Kill Command, Kill Command, Kill Command, Kill Command, Kill Command, Kill Command, Kill Command, Kill Command

;***********************************************************

and flip the kill switch while shouting BOOM HEADSHOT

Comments

mmorpgs (author)2013-03-21

Yeah I think the WoW application is the best page I have found so far... Unless you're a hacker and this button formats and degausses your computers hard drives lol. Just hope no one presses it on accident!

whatsisface (author)2011-07-30

Can AHK tell the difference between the switch and your regular mouse? I could imagine it being fairly irritating if you tried to scroll and your PC turned off.

fhidiort (author)whatsisface2011-07-30

AutoHotkey differentiates between middle button press and wheel scroll up/down. I programmed the middle button because I never use it (I use a touchpad). You could do combos of buttons too.

whatsisface (author)fhidiort2011-07-30

Cool, cheers for the clarification.

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