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I want to make a mouse.

  1. Nov 18, 2013 #1
    I was at the apple store the other day and thought to myself "these products are so pretty. Currently im going to school to be an electronics engineering tech (my schedule doesnt allow me to go for EE), i just want to build a simple mouse for a computer. i know i'd have to program a driver and while i've coded various other things i've never done a driver before. but how do i approach this project? i know datasheets will have all the info i need for parts, but what about the physical shape of the mouse itself? how do i make that? can i buy a plastic box and shape it down how i need it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2013 #2


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    Why not buy a mouse and replace the shell with your own modelling clay version.

    You do not have to write a driver. You only need identify the existing mouse communication protocol.
  4. Nov 18, 2013 #3


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    Do you have access to a 3-D printer? Look for a Maker Faire near you, or similar workshops where you can rent time on a 3-D printer. Then you can make all sorts of neat enclosures for your projects... :smile:
  5. Nov 18, 2013 #4
    good idea. will modeling clay look good?
  6. Nov 18, 2013 #5


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    You can change modelling clay, play dough or plasticine until you think it both looks good and handles well. Paint it or make a mold and cast it in resin.

    You could carve your mouse out of a piece of driftwood, balsa, a sea shell or a pumice stone. Maybe even a rat, try taxidermy.
  7. Nov 18, 2013 #6


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  8. Nov 18, 2013 #7

    That's really not true in general. Texas instruments, and Microchip are pretty good about giving parts advice in their application notes for their products but you're on your own much of the time.

    Do you have an interesting idea for the electronics of your mouse? Even adding a ton of blinking lights would make it stand out. What I'm getting at is that if you want to do something unique with the electronics then I'd be happy to point you in the right direction. It's not that hard. You can get ARM processors and PIC processors with built-in USB clients and example codes that are ready to compile and load for a HID mouse. HID mice don't need drivers for major operating systems. You can mod to your hearts content.

    Arduino probably has a USB shield too though I've never played with Arduino myself but I understand that Arduino is much more approachable for hobbyists and newcomers.

    If you just want a nice do-it-youself case then it will be much easier to buy a mouse and use its eletronics. It will be much cheaper too than getting all the prototyping tools.
  9. Nov 19, 2013 #8


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    Turning the output from an optical laser module, buttons, and wheels into USB HID protocol is non trivial. You can reverse engineer the main parts, but the firmware that does the real work is not going to be available. No doubt you need to start with a mouse and adapt that to your mechanics. You will find that challenging enough. The mechanical design within a mouse is a thing to behold.

    You can buy relatively small wireless mice for cheap, and put them within a package of your choosing.
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