Retro Wireless Apple Mouse




It's been a while since we created our last Instructable but we're back! In this guide, you'll learn how to put an old wired Apple ADB mouse to good use with upgraded wireless capabilities! Don't forget vote for us in the Fix & Improve it Contest and to visit our blog: 
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Tools used: 
Phillips Head Screwdriver                   Dremel
Electrical Tape                                   Hot Glue Gun
Soldering Iron                                     Desoldering Iron (optional)

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Step 1: Apple IIe Mouse Disassembly

Clean the exterior of the mouse. These things pick up a lot of grime over the years, especially if you buy yours secondhand like us. We recommend using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

Twist to remove the plastic dial and ball from the bottom of the mouse.

Remove four Phillips head screws from the four corners on the bottom of the mouse.

Once the bottom is removed, unplug the wire at the top of the motherboard; the wire is not needed for this project so it can be disposed of.

The motherboard can now be lifted out of the casing and the disassembly process is complete.

Step 2: Donor Mouse Disassembly

This guide is for the Dynex DX-NPWLMSE Wireless Mouse, but any small wireless mouse should suffice.

The top casing is held in place by magnets and easily snaps off revealing three screws and a battery port.

Remove the three screws and then lift the remaining top casing.

The motherboard is now exposed. Remove the scroll wheel by tugging upwards on the right axle and dispose.

 Once the motherboard is fully removed, you're now ready for the next step.

Step 3: Preparing the Donor Board

The lens for the laser to track correctly now needs to be attached to donor board. We simply used electrical tape to hold it in place.

The assembly that recognizes scroll wheel input must be removed due to clearance issues with the Apple mouse button. You can either gently & cautiously snap it using pliers in a bend back-and-forth motion or desolder and remove it using the appropriate iron. 

The Dynex mouse's motherboard is a little too wide for the laser to line up with the opening at the bottom of the Apple mouse, so we used a dremel to shave the right side of the motherboard slightly. Fortunately, there is a lot of empty, unused room to do so. Be careful not to cut through any traces or contacts!

Step 4: Preparing the Apple Mouse Casing

There are multiple pegs and plastic parts that must be removed for the donor board to fit properly. Follow the photographs and carefully remove them using pliers and a Dremel. 

The cover that once held the trackball in place has to be cut for the laser lens to see through. Use your Dremel to remove a small portion on the right side.

Since there are two buttons on a regular mouse, the Apple mouse button won't line up with the button on the motherboard of the donor mouse.

We used a piece of plastic and glued it to the bottom of the button to line up with the button of the Dynex mouse motherboard. Putting it in the appropriate place at the right length may be tricky, so we recommend using a bit of tape for a trial and error method before adhering it permanently. 

Step 5: Transplanting Motherboard

Place the motherboard from your donor mouse into the casing of the Apple mouse.

Once the laser is lined up with the opening at the bottom of the mouse, you can then use hot glue or another adhesive to properly situate the motherboard inside the casing.

The Dynex mouse originally used a single AA battery, but the fitting was a little too snug for our liking, so we bent the top contact a bit to accommodate a smaller AAA battery. 

Step 6: Reassemble

Place the top casing on top of the bottom casing and insert the four screws on the bottom of the mouse.

Step 7: Final Result

Once you've finished all these steps, you now have a fully functioning Apple ADB wireless mouse!

Note: The mouse is only capable of doing left-click. Download this free program to right-click in Windows. 

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    22 Discussions

    Winged Fist

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea and really well documented Instructable! I've been thinking about a similar wireless mouse project, and appreciate seeing the guts of yours before I dissect mine. You got my vote in the Fix and Improve it contest,and 5 stars;-)

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    nice project my dear


    6 years ago on Introduction

    really cool my friend and I had an idea about making our own console that is open source


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This could be a very nice addition to my macintosh pc project. Very well done. An other way to do it could have been to 3d model the apple mouse and all other internal details according to the wireless mouse internal electromechanics, 3d print the model and obtain a final product. Maybe i can try that ;) Thanks for the inspiration.


    7 years ago on Step 7

    I was with you until I saw the battery. Batteries always die at the most inopportune time.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 7

    I'm sure that once you get everything in place and working perfectly, then you can start modifying it with a rechargeable Li-Ion batteries and USB charging.


    7 years ago on Step 7

    This is nice. I did something similar with a corded usb mouse. Had to do some plastic "extensions" for between the mouse button and the click mechanism. It looks really nice (but with a black cable).

    (This is my first visit and I already found great articles!!!)

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    There is a Hello Kitty "Liquid" Mouse that my daughter really wants. Unfortunately it is a wired mouse and it sorta needs to be wireless. It is already optical. Problem is that half the mouse is sno-globe technology with a floating Hello Kitty toy inside. All the guts are pretty well packed into the front end of the device. I'm thinking if there was any room for a radio and battery, they would have already made it wireless.

    Very nice work. Even better, this is one of the most clearly photographed instructables I've seen in a while. I'm always too busy building to a) be that tidy and clean and b) to remember to take all the photographs I should.

    Did you think about adding right-click at all? The stock look is great and I know there's software, but I wondered as I was reading how hard it would be to split the button in half. I know I could find the ADB mice I know I have in a box somewhere and look but I'm lazy... :)

    And one final pedantic note: It's not a IIe mouse, it's the original ADB mouse that shipped with early Macs, I think starting with the Mac+.

    2 replies

    Bother - you beat me to the ADB comment. I had an apple ][e mouse, was more boxy than the pictured mouse. Sadly it escapes my memory what the plug was but I suspect it was similar to a DB9 9pin plug but different.

    In the end I gave it to a computer museum, who never knew there was a mouse and board available for a //e.

    We considered it initially, but decided to keep it just how it was originally. Thanks for pointing out the error with the model we had! I didn't even realize that, I must of misread the model number or got incorrect information online.



    7 years ago on Introduction

    One thing you could do is cut the mouse signal button apart and then sand shape the two button config. You could test it by making recast of the original in resin. Even recasting some of the bottom of the two mice. Would be an interesting thing to try out, makes me want to do this one myself. Though I usually use a 6 button mouse so it would take a bit to get used to.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    instead of using a "AAA" Battery Why not use a small rechargeable battery and include a dc jack for the charger where the hole for the wire is located ? just a thought other than that great instructable

    1 reply

    That sounds like a good idea. I may consider that if we ever modify it. We also may put a power switch on the bottom of the mouse so the battery doesn't drain while you're not using it.