Intro: Yet Another DIY Wii Sensor Bar
I've found that the included Wii sensor bar wouldn't allow me to play games far enough away. This could've been due to the actual width limitation of the bar or the strength of the LEDs. Since I use a front projector setup, this required wiring together a solution that allowed the sensor bar to be placed anywhere (and overcome the 10 ft wire extension distance) and also extend the range of the play.
Following the DIY sensor bar initially created by Doctabu, I created one of my own.
My requirements was that I move the Wii around and needed flexibility on the actual play distance. To do that, I wanted two IR LEDs that could be easily repositioned. Thus, a quick trip to the local electronics store yielded me 2 infrared LEDs, 2 battery holders and 2 resistors and 8 AA batteries.
I was aiming for brightness in the IR spectrum and some research had shown that LEDs with a lower 850nm wavelength produced higher degrees of brightness than the higher wavelengths. In the end, my electronics store had a limited selection anyway. The LEDs I was able to obtain were 1.7 forward voltage with a peak current of 50mA. I had a 4 x AA battery pack so that required a 100ohm resistor for each. If you have any other type of LED, your resistor requirement would change. For example, if you choose to use a 2 x AA battery pack for this LED, you'd need a 56 ohm resistor.
Once complete use a digital camera to see the IR light and check that your connections work.
I've attached a spreadsheet to calculate the right width that the LEDs need to be spaced apart for any given play distance.
Step 1: Back and Soldering
Luckily, there was just enough space to drill a hole and fit the LED and resistor inside. The resistor is important to prevent the LED from burning out.
Step 2: Calculate the Distances
I've attached the spreadsheet I used to figure out the exact distance that you need to set the sensors apart for any given play distance.
Setting the LEDs apart by about 17 inches gave me a play distance of 7 to 14 feet which was much more suitable for my front projector setup.
Good luck and hope this was useful.