Introduction: Wireless USB Page Turner

About: Im Steve, Live Sound & Recording Engineer with over 10 years of hand on experience. I enjoy late nights with my soldering iron, building guitar effects pedals and modifying anything with a circuit. : )

Wireless USB Page Turner Footswitch for tablet

This Instructiable is for a USB page turner for your tablet. I have seen a few other designs out there, but most of them are way too complicated for what it really is. I just needed a foot switch to change pages of sheet music when Im playing live, and didn’t want to pay $50 for it. This one is closer to $20 and wont take you that long to whip up. So lets get to it!

What youll need:

X1 Cheep usb optical mouse - free (if you have one laying around) best buy has cheep ones for $10 as well. Even cheaper on Ebay)

X 2 Spst momentaty soft touch push button switches - $2.99 (ebay is the cheapest place for them)

X1 Plastic project housing case - $5 (Radio Shack)

X1 mini toggle switch SPST - $ .75 (ebay)

X1 AAA or AA battery box (depends on mouse)

Some Braided wire

Soldering Iron

Hot Glue Gun

Drill & Bits

Step 1: Disassemble Mouse

First thing to do here is disassemble the optical mouse down

to the PCB. Make sure you check under the little rubber feet of the mouse for screws that might be hidden.

Step 2: Locate the Switches

Now that we have the mouse in its bare form, you will want

to locate the 2 main switches , the left click switch and the right click switch. They normally have SW1 and SW2 written on the PCB next to the switches.

Step 3: Desolder Switches

Carefully desolder both switches and solder in their place, the

SPST soft touch switches. It does not matter what wire goes to what prong of the switch. This being a SPST switch (single pull single throw) the current is simply passing through and waiting for you to make the connection by clicking the switch.

I like to wrap my wires as shown in the pictures. There is a lot less of a chance of things breaking and coming apart in the future if you sturdy up your project. Us musicians are so hard on our gear! : )

Step 4: Adding a Battery Box for Power

Next, we need to power this bad boy. As you can see, optical

mice have the battery boxes made into the actual enclosures, so we will need to install a battery box in its place. You will need to get a battery box that uses the same battery’s as the optical mouse your using so the unit gets the correct amount of power. See the 2 wires you have left coming from your PCB that originally went to the battery on the mouse? Connect them to your battery box. Making sure positive and negative are hooked up correctly.

***note*** I have seen quite a few mice where the black wire is positive and the red is negative. They wire them backwards just to try and trip you up so be sure and look on the actual PCB next to the holes for the wires for any indication of which one is which. If its not labeled, your safe to go by the colors.

Step 5: Test

After the switches are in, turn on your tablet or device and

test the switches, making sure they both work and make a note of which switch is page forward and which one is page back. This will come in handy when we put it all in the case.

Step 6: On/Off Switch

Next, we want to install

an on / off switch on the project enclosure so you can turn it on and off without having to take it all apart. Locate the battery housing for the mouse. ( see pics for reference) From the battery housing, you will see 2 wires. A black and a red one. Black is ground, Red is Hot. Wire the switch in the middle of the red wire as shown in the pictures. What this does is simply makes and breaks the connection of power between the PCB and the battery housing.

*Side note* I was originally going to just take off the main on/off switch that’s on the mouse and put it up on top of the project box but most of them seem to be SMD switches (really tiny and hard to desolder (but not impossible) without special more expensive equiptment). That’s why I opted for the switch in line with the battery. I want anyone to be able to make this with as little materials as possible.

Step 7: Put It All Together

Now its time to put everything together in the case. DON’T

use metal cases for this project! The wireless signal can not transmit through metal cases, it must be plastic. ( I kicked myself for 2 days trying to figure that one out on my first build). Mark out where you want your foot switches and on/off switch and drill the appropriate sized holes for each. Then mount your switches so there not flopping all over the place.

Step 8:

The final step is to mount the battery housing and PCB. Now

there are 2 ways you can do this and both are dependent on what type of mouse you are using and how neat and clean you want to get.

The proper way to secure the PCB would be with some stand off posts and screws. But If your going to do that you’ll probably want a drill press or at least a dremel because most of the holes on the PCB will need to be bored out for posts to fit.

Now most of us don’t have that time and we just gotta get it
done, so I opted to just use some hot glue to hold the PCB and battery housing to the inside of the case. (just be gentle with the pedal when in use)

Step 9: Optional Stuff

Of corse there are all kinds of things you can do to label and decorate the case. I wont get into to much of that there, all I did here was paint the case, print off stickers and clear coat them onto the case. Quick and cheep.

**TIP** You can get optical mice on Ebay for around .99 - $3.00 that are tiny. So tiny that the entire mouse, case and all will fit in your project enclosure. If you go this route, you won’t need a battery box. You can just mount the whole dang mouse in the box.

You could also add an LED to the unit by using a DPDT switch instead of a SPST, with an LED & resistor if you want to see when the unit is on. The possibilities are endless!