Wiimote IR Pen




I've been browsing this fantasic site, and came across Johnny Lee's Wiimote project.

Here's a clip of what he has found:

So I thought I would try building my own Pen and find the items required in Australia.
I have completed my Pen and have also found an easily accessible Bluetooth device.

We use this now at the School I work at, and it is a handy device and inexpensive to build.

We can use it on any whiteboard, wall, Laptop Screen, or external monitor you can think of.

Here's the finished product:


Step 1: Components You'll Need....

The components you'll need are:

1. 1 x Pack of "Misty Markers" available from KMart For around $3.00 (6 Pack is what I purchased - They come from Hunter Leisure )

2. 1 x Infrared Light Emitting Diode from Dick Smiths $1 (Cat No. Z3235) ->> View Here

3. 1 Pack of wire - will last you ages..... $4 (Cat No. W4010) ->> View Here

4. 1 x Various Heat Shrink tubing from Disk Smiths - will last a fair while (Cat No. W4060 ) $8.99 --> View Here

5. AAA NiMH Rechargeable battery x 2 - $12.99 Important to use rechargeable as the voltage is 1.2V. ---> View Here

6. "AA" Battery holder - S6155 (Used for battery terminals) ---> View Here

7. SPDT Mini Micro Switch - P7802 ---> View Here

8. Araldite singles - Available at Bunnings Hardware. 3 small packs x 1mL

You will also need a soldering iron and some solder. I also used some helping hands ( View Here ) and a Hobby Rotary Tool ( View Here )

Step 2: Build the Pen.

1. Start by cutting the hole for the switch (When I build the next one I'll add some images). I used the rotary tool for this. Made a hard job very simple. Practice using one of the other pens. It's quite easy once you get the hang of it. Just make sure the speed is high to cut away the plastic.

2. Using the rotary tool, make a hole in the the Coloured End of the pen, to fit the LED into (I mean the front of the pen. I burred a hole in the knob sticking out of the front of these pens. Don't take the knob off! Just use the arrow shaped burring tool to make the hole the right size).

3. Solder the Anode (+) wire (that's the longer one - Use the paperwork that comes with the LED if you need any more clarification) and make sure you remember to add a length of heatshrink tubing to fit over this wire and then over the anode after soldering.

4. Solder the Cathode (-) wire (that's the shorter one). (By the way, I had no need to cut either than anode or cathode. Just solder straight onto it). Then added the heatshrink tubing over both the Anode and Cathode and used a flame to shrink the tubing.

5. Cut a very small length of tubing to cover the plastic around the LED at the end.... you can't really see it clearly in the photo, but I have added this tubing over the end of the plastic tube. Make sure you don't cover the LED. You need this part to be CLEARLY visible.

6. Push the LED into the casing and pull the wiring through so it is sticking out of the hole you cut for the Micro Switch.

7. Using a multimeter and the continuity setting on it, locate the two terminals that join when the switch is pressed. If you bought the switch from Dick Smiths, it will be the terminals marked C (Common) and NO (Normally Open). The NC (Normally Closed) terminal will NOT be used.

8. Solder a wire from the Anode (+) to the Common Terminal on the switch. Solder a wire onto the Normally Open terminal.

9. Break open the "AA" Battery holder and remove the terminals from one end. Cut it in half. The Negative wire (Coming from the Cathode) will be soldered to the end with the spring on it. The Positive wire (Coming from the switch now) will be soldered to the other half. Make sure you make the wire long enough to pull the unit apart to replace the battery.

10. Cut the ends of the terminals to fit into the clear part of the casing. You will want it to be a very tight fit, so it sits there by itself when pushed down.

11. Using the araldite, add some glue to the heatshrink tubing around the LED and then around the top of the switch so it does not fall in.

12. Once it has dried, Add some heatshrink tubing over the switch cutting a small section out so it does not effect the button on the switch. Using a flame, shrink this tubing.

Step 3: Other Components Needed.

Now you have almost finished. I purchased this USB Bluetooth Dongle from Dick Smith Electronics in Australia. It cost me $39.95 (Retails for $49.95 ..It was on sale).

I am using windows Vista, and in my case I found that the BlueSoleil Software that came with the Pen did not do the job correctly, so I purchased the upgrade to the new version which worked perfectly.

All you do is start the Bluetooth Software (I Prefer the Classic View), Search for new devices by right clicking on the Orange Globe in the middle of the screen and then press the 1 and 2 Buttons together on the Wiimote. The device should then be found. (Make sure the LEDs are flashing like it shows in the image).

Then, again, Press the 1 and the 2 buttons so the LEDs are flashing and right click the device name and select Connect.

Once its connected the Device will go green on the display.

Finally Download the code from http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/. Specifically this is the code you want: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/WiimoteWhiteboardv02.zip

Step 4: Presto! Away You Go....

Start the software and select Calibrate. Point your pen at the points on screen and click the button. Away you go!

Hope this has been helpful.

************** UPDATE ******************

I have found a way to add a AA battery instead of a AAA (Note: These batteries are rechargeable and this is important to the voltage for this LED).

1. Using the Hobby Rotary Tool, the tips will allow you to "burr" out the plastic that is in the way.
Burr it down as far as you can reach with the tools. Leave about 1.5cm from then end still in tact.

2. Pull apart one of the battery comartments you bought from DSE...specifically this one. pull the end apart removing the switch and the two terminals from the same end. Keep the wires attached (see image below).

3. Using the Hobby Rotary tool again, bur a hole just large enough to fit the witch into. It doesn't matter that the switch hangs over the plastic. You want it this way so it doesn't fall into the tube!

4. Cut out a circle, slightly larger than the clear plastic tube using the Hobby Rotary Tool. Now you want to make this fit inside the clear tubing with a small gap on at least one of the side so you can push the wiring down beside it.

5. Once this is done, solder a short wire onto the terminal with the spring on it. Take the plastic circle you have just cut out and the spring terminal with the wire on it and push it down the tube. you want the wire to pop out of the hole you made for the switch.

6. Solder the wire onto the switch. Also solder the other wire coming from the negative end of the LED to the other end of the switch

7. Finally Solder the Positive terminal (coming from the switch in the first half of the pen) to the other plate you removed from the battery compartment.

8. Push it all together! I added some heatshrink tubing over my design and also added an ON and OFF Label.

When I get the time on the weekend I'll take some more photos and add them.




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    11 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    WOW! This is the best DIY touch screen, but i have a quiestion... Is there anything that can be used instead of the wii remote? I


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, but I picked up two LED's from radioshack. The only thing is that they are red, rather than blue, which is what I see in the tutorials. I'm not sure if this would make a difference whether it is infrared or not.

    4 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    The LED's need to be Infrared LEDs. That means, to the human eye, you cannot see any light coming from the LED (aside: a good way to test if the pen is working is to use a photo camera on point the LED at the camera and press the button. You should now be able to see a light source through the viewfinder...the lens in the camera picks it up and translates it as a white light source). So A RED or a BLUE LED will not work. It must be Infrared. Ask the guys at Radio Shack. Also, one thing I noticed when looking at the Radio Shack LEDs was that the voltage was higher, meaning you may need more than one battery (I think it was 2.3 V which would be two 1.25V batteries?).


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Correct. It needs to be Infrared not Red. It's the same sort of LED that is in your TV remote control. You can't see the light, unless you aim it at a camera. and look through the display... I have had a look at Radioshacks web site. Cat # 276-143.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Looks like someone else has used it for this project before (look in comments): PERFECT for wii projects.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Cool instructable. Hey, I lnoticed that the Dick Smith PowerHouse's in Australia (VIC at least) Don't sell the small LED's and resistery type things anymore. Do you know where I can get these without having to go all the way to the nearest ordinary DS store ( a long way away)? Thanks. Anyways, good instrctble. +1

    3 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I suspect that they could order it in from their head office however? Give them a ring and ask if you can order the products??


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the suggestion. I just found out that there is a Jaycar Electronics store close so I'll go there. Thanks Anyway.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Just make sure the voltage of the LED Suits the battery you are going to use, else you may need a resistor.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    great ideea. can't you use many webcameras? thanks !