Intro: In-depth Wiimote Whiteboard How-to
This Instructable is an in-depth step by step process on how to create the Wii remote interactive whiteboard, christened the "Wiimote Whiteboard." It will go through the supplies you will need to complete the Wiimote Whiteboard, the free programs that you will need to download, how to construct and Infrared pen, how to connect the Wiimote to the computer and program, where to place the Wiimote for use with the Wiimote Whiteboard, how to calibrate the system, and advice for using it.
Step 1: Supplies
First, you will need some supplies.
- Wii remote with batteries
- Infrared LED
- Momentary switch
- Wires for circuits
- One AAA battery
- One AAA battery holder
- Large highlighter
- Electrical Tape
- Computer with a monitor
- Wire cutter
- USB Bluetooth connector (unless one is already built-in to your computer)
- *Needle nose pliers
- *Projector (and a surface for projecting)
- *Rubber Bands
- *Pre-made Infrared pen
- *Electrical know how
*= Optional Materials
Step 2: Software
Now you need to download a program or two from the Internet.
First, download the actual Wiimote Whiteboard program. For macs, the only one I was able to find was the one at uweschmidt.org. For computers operating on Windows you have a few more options. You can download one off of uweschmidt.org, smoothboard.net, or Johnny Chung Lee's original software at johnnylee.net/projects/wii/. When there, you will have to scroll down to Low-Cost Multi-point Interactive Whiteboards Using the Wiimote and click on Wiimote Whiteboard v0.3. Linux users can download software at uweschmidt.org (again) or at code.google.com/p/linux-whiteboard/.
Second, you will need to download Bluesoleil, if you are using a Bluetooth connector that does not provide already software. Most Macs should have Bluetooth built-in, so Bluesoleil should be unnecessary. Windows users should visit bluesoleil.com/download/index.asp?topic=bluesoleil5x and download the software. If you are using Linux, you should visit bluesoleil.com/download/index.asp?topic=bluesoleillinux then download the appropriate file.
Step 3: Infrared Pen
Now for the technical part, building the Infrared pen. Take the highlighter and disassemble it by taking off the bottom cap and pulling out the insides. You should be left with just the highlighter casing, which will be used as the Infrared Pen's body. Take the highlighter casing and cut it in half lengthwise with an Exacto-knife. You will need to make two cuts to completely split the casing. Put that aside and recreate the schematic (below) using your supplies. Keep in mind the anode and the cathode of the IR LED, the correct battery ends, the correct momentary switch tabs and the short length of the whole circuit. After that is complete, lay the circuit in the pen body and mark where to cut a spot for the momentary switch. Use an Exacto-Knife to cut out a spot for the momentary switch. Next, tape the circuit into the highlighter casing, and make sure that the IR LED sticks out of the top of the pen body. Tape the second half of the pen body to the rest of the pen body and and circuit, and in the process completing the highlighter form factor. Test the Infrared pen in front of a camera. When the momentary switch is activated, the IR LED should shine extremely light blue, but is invisibly to the naked eye. If the Infrared Pen does not work troubleshoot the circuit because that is most likely where the problem is.
If you prefer you can also buy a pre-made IR pen on Ebay, from http://www.infraredpens.com/ or from http://irpensonline.com/.
Step 4: Wiimote Connection
Next up is connecting the Wiimote to your computer.
For Windows and Linux, if your computer has built-in Bluetooth your computer should have easy prompts to follow, if your computer does not have built-in Bluetooth, plug in the USB Bluetooth driver. Find and open Bluesoleil. Simultaneously press buttons 1 and 2 on the Wiimote, the 4 blue lights should flash. In Bluesoleil, click on the orange circle. Note: the Wiimote's lights must be flashing, if not, press and hold buttons 1 and 2 on the Wiimote again. When the device pops up, double click on its icon. Right click on the Wiimote icon and select Connect> Bluetooth Human Interface Device Service. Follow the prompts until there is a green dashed line connecting the Wiimote icon to the orange circle.
For Mac, the process is very different. Locate the built-in Bluetooth application. Turn Bluetooth on if it is not already on. Make sure that the Bluetooth settings are set to "visible." Simultaneously press buttons 1 and 2 on the Wiimote, so that the four lights flash. In the Bluetooth application, click "scan for devices" (or something similar). The Nintendo Wiimote's name should eventually pop up. Click on the name and register or pair with it. Open the actual Wiimote Whiteboard application. The program should immediately identify the Wiimote and connect it with the program. If part of this precess does not work make sure that the lights on the Wiimote are flashing or on at all times.
Step 5: Wiimote Placement
After syncing the Wiimote, you must place the Wiimote in a spot where it will be able to sense the Infrared's movement. This step is the least predictable and sometimes the most difficult part of the whole Wiimote Whiteboard process. An important tidbit of information to keep in mind while executing this step; a Nintendo Wiimote has a viewing angle of about 45 degrees.
For a desktop screen, laptop screen, or a small projected surface, place the Wiimote at a height about as tall as the middle of your screen. Next, the Wiimote should be off center 8"-16" left or right. I suggest to the left for righties and to the right for lefties. The Wiimote should be about three feet back from the screen for a 20" screen. It should be farther away for larger screens and closer for closer screens. Also, the Infrared camera end of the Wiimote should be pointed at the center of the screen. Since the Wiimote cannot magically suspend itself in mid-air, you will have to use either a full sized tripod or another elevated surface to stabilize the Wiimote in its rightful place.
For a large projected image the process is very similar with a few changes. A quick fix is to place the Wiimote on top of the projector with it pointing towards the center of the projected image. This will not work for every configuration, but has worked most of the time for me. Otherwise, the Wiimote can be placed half way up the screen, off center three to five feet, back five to eight feet and pointing at the center of the screen. Adjust this placement as needed because it is very subjective. The Wiimote can be held in place by a tall camera tripod or a ladder, which will probably look tacky. You might also be able to attach the Wiimote to a ceiling, but the placement would obviously be a little different.
Step 6: Calibration
The last step for actually setting up the Wiimote Whiteboard is calibration. Start by opening up your chosen Wiimote Whiteboard program. Click on the "Calibrate" button, it should be obvious. A nearly blank screen should pop up with a tiny crosshair in the upper right-hand corner. Put the IR LED right in the center of the crosshair then activate the momentary switch. A new crosshair should pop up, and again use the Infrared pen to "click" on it. Repeat this until the calibration screen goes away. This step is crucial because it determines how accurate the Wiimote Whiteboard will be. If the "clicking" does not seem accurate enough, the calibrating can be re-done as many times as you would like. To calibrate again, just re-click "Calibrate" and repeat the crosshair prompts.
Step 7: Advice
If you are having problems with your Wiimote Whiteboard system, post a comment on this Instructable or search for your problem on www.wiimoteprojects.com or a similar forum. Each Wiimote Whiteboard program is different, so to find more specifics on your Wiimote Whiteboard program, go to its website and there should be more details, or explore the application.
Thank you and good luck!