Hacking a Serial Mouse




the best laid plans of men and mice.
All I wanted is a temporary hack of a serial mouse to see it a computer fan would work off a serial cable.
The RS-232 25 pin serial cable has pin9-10 an power. Research i learned Most mbds use SuperIO chips which are set to the RS232C standard i.e. +/- 12V with not a lot of current (usually 50 milliamps) available. so this is not a good idea i have found nothing to show fault protection unlike a USB prt that can be reset from the desktop.

Step 1: Parts Needed

1:Serial mouse ( look in the very bottom of the junk bin )
2:P lll coppermine CPU fan (wow right beside the mouse how nice )
3:Paper clip
4:just a small phillips screwdriver
5:wire cutters (only to use on paper clip

Step 2: Open N Shut

Open up the mouse ,only 2 screws in mine.
Using a VDO meter find pin 2 and pin 3 between the plug and the header.
Then plug in the mouse and start computer.
warning!serial mouses not plug n play!
Do this only to an unplugged computer!
With the volt meter check that you have power at the mouse (mine were green / white wires yours might be different).
I used 2 short chunks of paper clip to plug the fan header to the serial header , if permanent then scrape back insulation and soder the leads from the fan to the wires.
Another paper clip to make a stand for the fan the legs are stuck into the 2 screw holes in the base.
Some reason I dont know why the fan will keep the serial mouse form booting on computer start up .
So if this is a permanent setup i would have to cut the "hot wire"and insert a micro switch.

Step 3: Running the Fan

At 50 milliamps the little fan is weak and not up to full speed so this is stupid. It does work .
The fan is 12VDC at .15 amps so it is at 1/3 power
My tower has a USB header on the MoBo and I have a Serial Jumper with same header have to try that ,might get more power form it.



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    17 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This gave me an idea,one can tap into PS/2 from the serial port and stream data in like that

    3 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I recently recieved a serial to ps/2 adapter, it came with a very very old trackpad that my friend gave to me.  I think that this would be easier to hack and stuff.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    long time ago was one of 2 ways to stream data ,the setting are a little odd compared to using usb . WARNING!!! serial ports are not plug and play must load any drivers and then cold start with new port connection ,even then have to go into the dark parts of device manager to get the port setting right ,good luck and please post anything of interest .how about the wireless thumb jacked to serial port?as I still have modems that are serial it should work with out much rework?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Oh and it's "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley" which means "The best-laid plans of mice and men / Go often wrong."

    Funny. Your plans went a little "agley" (referring to the photos).

    The text of the poem.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Some times I just pull quotes from the back of my dusty skull,I do appolgise if did not get it correct . As we add more cool stuff to our computers we have less "ports " to use ,most people have nothing plugged into the serial port. .I was talking with someone and this came up,they told me serial ports had no power on them.Not thinking this was true popped the cover off a very old serial mouse,got out volt meter and rebooted system. the rest is history


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, I thought you changed the quote on purpose. Also, I program my Basic Stamp 2 (a microcontroller) from my PC's serial port. it really is the only use for the port. One thing I like about the serial port is that the standard is easier to work with when designing hardware and software for it than when designing hardware and software for the USB protocol.