$3 Mouse Jiggler -- Keep Your Computer Awake!

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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.

Supplies

  • Alarm clock from eBay
  • Single AA battery
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Small round object (like a shot glass) about 2 inches (5cm) in diameter
  • Scissors
  • 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.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Square-Simple-Quartz-Beep...

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.

Enjoy!

7 People Made This Project!

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50 Comments

1
KindOfABigDeal
KindOfABigDeal

1 year ago

Did not work. Did not work on my home computer. Did not work on work computer. Did not work on ANYONE's computer. Did not work with several wireless mice. Did not work with any wired mice.

0
TigerDave
TigerDave

Reply 11 months ago

You might be doing something wrong. Mine is still going strong, every day.

0
nikitaklimboom
nikitaklimboom

Tip 1 year ago

You can also just change settings on your pc, but this way is a way more funny!
Good job šŸ‘!

0
Fehr-Al-Ghul
Fehr-Al-Ghul

Reply 11 months ago

My company is extremely strict and has every setting and download locked out. This is completely undetectable.

0
Pigpen1967
Pigpen1967

1 year ago

wouldn't the second hand moving past once a minute do the same thing? Just skip the paper disk...

0
Fehr-Al-Ghul
Fehr-Al-Ghul

Reply 11 months ago

It's too fine for the mouse to pick up, I tried that first before I bothered printing

0
TigerDave
TigerDave

Reply 1 year ago

Tried that on 4 different mice before making the paper cutout. No bueno.

0
BeardyTechie
BeardyTechie

1 year ago

If you just want to stop the screen saver automatically running, you can play a movie in a loop.
Just download one of the special movies created for this which are tiny because they're blank and have a very slow frame rate. The windows movie player will supress the screensaver. So if your IT department have set an inconveniently short timeout, it's a useful workaround without necessarily breaking any rules, e.g. When doing meetings or making presentations.

0
Fehr-Al-Ghul
Fehr-Al-Ghul

Reply 11 months ago

The only problem with that though is a lot of people want their solution to be completely undetectable. My company literally monitors the computer for any weird programs or activity and prohibits any downloads. Yeah, they're that strict hahaha.

1
swikk
swikk

1 year ago

...or just put some weight on backspace instead in Word or similar application...

0
TigerDave
TigerDave

Reply 1 year ago

What about lectures, zoom calls and presentations, etc.?

0
swikk
swikk

Reply 1 year ago

Put the Word to foreground in small window.

0
timahy
timahy

Tip 1 year ago on Step 9

You may have to try different mice. My wireless mouse did not register the movement, but I found an old wired mouse that worked great.

0
timahy
timahy

Tip 1 year ago on Step 8

I found clipping off the dials in the back instead of using the felt worked too.

0
Antipaten
Antipaten

1 year ago

I love the simplicity of this idea. It's much harder to make simple solutions than complicated ones. Well done!

3
pops6146
pops6146

1 year ago on Step 9

Worked for my last 8 years before retirement at a desk job requiring daily computer work. Got tired of the computer going to screensaver/sign back in, as I would be away from my desk on numerous errands all day. What to do? Open Windows media player, choose a tune from sample music, set to loop, click play, turn off volume. Done. Just the fact that a file was running stopped the screensaver/sign back in routine.

0
euger
euger

Reply 1 year ago

Interesting... wasn't it possible to change the screensaver options to 'None' and Power & Sleep options to 'Never'? Of course, such approach wouldn't resolve the issue of status switching to 'Away' (which the originally suggested solution deals with perfectly), but it would definitely help keeping you from signing back in. Am I missing something? Of course, another reason why you wouldn't want to keep your computer awake and unlocked while you are away is security. But that's not the 'main' point of this instructable, I believe.

1
pops6146
pops6146

Reply 1 year ago

Where I worked, the IT department had all screensaver controls settings locked out, except for allowing us to select different screensaver "themes"