LED Mouse mod guideFormer staff writer -
Well, I was bored this weekend and I figured I should do something more constructive than sitting here watching my log files of my webserver.. I wanted to do something that I have never seen a guide done on before. So I thought about it for a few minutes and an idea came to my mind. I'm sure by now you have seen the optical mice? They're the ones that have no mouse ball and use a laser technology to replace the mouse ball. Well I can't replace my mouse ball with one of these lasers but I can add a nice LED to the bottom of my mouse as found on optical mice. I think it would be something neat to show off at lan party's. So how about we get started?
Opening your mouse
Okay, first off we need to crack the mouse open, not literally of course. I'm using a $3 dell mouse that I got at a local computer store. I would have used my Razor boomslang 2000, but to tell you the truth I wasn't sure if this mod would actually work. You may want to buy a cheap mouse so that you can practice this mod on. Anyway.. You need to take the ball out of your mouse first.
Next you need to find the screws in the bottom of your mouse. Sometimes they are visible and yet sometimes if not all the time they are hidden behind some type of sticker. You will most likely need a philips screw drive to unscrew them. Once you have them out, you should be able to open up your mouse.
Now, this mod will not work on every mouse. One reason why is because the PCB (Printer circuit board) is in the way and you wouldn't be able to install the LED. Do NOT attempt to screw thru the PCB and then on thru the mouse shell. This can, and probubly will damage your mouse and turn it into a useless paper weight.
We need to make a hole for the LED now. I always use a dremel to do all of my modding. If you don't have one a drill should work fine.
Before you go out to buy a LED we have to know what LED to use. How do we know what LED to use? Well, you need to get a voltage tester and check the voltages to find out how many volts your mouse is. Most all mice are around 4-5 volts. Have your mouse connected to your computer with your computer turned on. Find the little plug that plugs into the PCB it should look similar to mine:
Once you have located this, flip the PCB over to the other side and you should see where this plug is soldered to the PCB.
Now, most always the positive will be the yellow wire and the ground will always be the big black wire. Use your voltage meter to test the voltage. If you come up with 3volts thats good, go and buy a 3 volt LED. If it's 5volts just go buy a 3volt LED and also buy a resistor. The formula for determining what resistor is R=(5volts -LED voltage required)/(current in amps) (Change 5volts to however many volts your mouse is) You can also use this program found at http://linear1.org/ckts/led.php to help you.
You now need about 4 inches of wire. I just found some RJ-11 wire in my basement and cut me some of it off. Start off by cutting it into two pieces having (2) 2" wires. Now strip them back with your cutters so that some of the wire shows on both ends, of both of the wires. Now, we get to the fun part :) Turn your solder gun on and let it warm up.. Now, solder one of the wires on to your positive wire and the other on the ground.
Your wire coloring may differ from mine.
Next, solder the wire coming from your positive to your positive on your LED. What? You don't know which is your positive on your LED? Well, it's the longest wire on the LED. Lastly, solder your wire from the ground to the other wire on your LED, which should be the shortest. You should also wrap your naked wires with electrical tape so that they don't short out anything once you get everything put back together.
I did poor soldering here :/
We are almost complete! We need to now install the LED into the hole that you cut earlier. About the only way I found to keep the LED in place was to use super glue. It dries quick and works well. Don't let the LED stick out too far though. If it sticks out too far, your mouse ball won't make contact with your mouse pad. Your LED should stick out almost as far as your mouse feet do. Once it's positioned to where you want it, start super glueing it. super glue bonds very fast but, you should let it sit for about 30mins or more so it can completly dry.
Lots of super glue
Well your done! All we gotta do now is put everything back together and test it out!
Testing and Conclusion
Plug your mouse back into your computer if you haven't already done so and turn your computer on. Your mouse should light up as soon as your computer gets past the BIOS boot screen. If not check your wiring again, check to make sure you don't have solder touching other wires, and check your voltages to make sure you are using the right LED and resistor. This is going to look really good on my glass icemat mouse surface! If your bored and looking for a new mod to do, give this one a try!