Introduction: $3 Mouse Jiggler -- Keep Your Computer Awake!
Tired of your computer going to sleep while you are away?
Is your company utilizing an application like Microsoft Teams that shows you as "Away" just because you haven't touched your mouse or keyboard over the past few minutes?
Unable to install third-party applications to simulate key presses or mouse movement like Caffeine due to company policy?
Well, do I have a solution for you -- and for under $3.00 (USD)!
I was looking for a mechanical way to simulate mouse movement and came up with this cheap and easy solution.
Let's get started!
Update May 18, 2022: This project was originally conceived for my wife's work PC to prevent Microsoft Teams from showing her as being "Away" too soon. The laser mouse she had been using recently died. The replacement I gave her was an optical one (there is no red light emitting from the bottom sensor). The original device I made in this instrucable didn't work with the new mouse, so I tried just using a regular clock.
I went to Walmart and found the Mainstays Basic Indoor 8.78" Black Analog Round Modern Wall Clock for just $4.44!
Now she is back in business and I didn't even have to add anything to it. The clock's second hand alone is enough to trip the new mouse and keep her PC awake. So consider giving that a go first.
If it doesn't work, then print out the mouse pad pattern below and add it to the second hand. See the post from user "sb37" in the "I Made This" section for an example.
- Alarm clock from eBay
- Single AA battery
- Pen or pencil
- Small round object (like a shot glass) about 2 inches (5cm) in diameter
- Tape or Glue
- Felt pad
Step 1: Purchase This Cheap Alarm Clock Off of EBay
Buy this alarm clock off of eBay. Make sure you buy the WHITE color since we want a clear case.
If the item is no longer available, search for:
Square Simple Quartz Beep Alarm Clock Cute Portable Travel Table Bedside Clock
It should look like the one in the photo.
I paid just $2.69 (USD), shipped!
Next, wait... Mine took about 3 weeks to arrive.
Step 2: Download and Print Out This Optical Pattern
Step 3: Cut a 5cm Circle From the Pattern
Using a shot glass or something similar, trace a circle about 5cm in diameter.
Use scissors to cut it out.
Step 4: Gently Separate Clock From the Case
Using a small flathead screwdriver, gently pry out the clock mechanism on all sides until it is freed from the clear plastic case.
Step 5: Attach Pattern to the Red Second Hand
Using a pen, make a small dot in the center of the back of the pattern.
Then using scotch tape or glue, attach the pattern to the red second hand. Use the small dot as a guide to help center it. I used a tiny drop of super glue.
Make sure it is centered and does not touch the sides of the clear case once it's reassembled. If it does, use scissors to trim off the edge a bit. It may take some trial & error.
Step 6: Re-assemble Clock
Put the block body back in to the clear case.
The pattern should be right up against the clear face of the clock.
Step 7: Insert Battery
Remove the battery flap, insert a fresh AA battery into the clock, and then reattach the flap.
Step 8: Add Feet
Since the clock has two knobs protruding from the back, it does not lay flat.
Simply get a felt pad, cut it into 3 pieces and attach. Now it's stable -- like a table.
Step 9: You're Done!
The pattern should rotate every second since it's attached to the second hand.
Place your optical mouse on it and watch the cursor move ever so slightly every time the pattern moves.
You might even see the optical LED flash on the mouse at the same time.