Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 15, 2006

Hacked LED Mouse Light

at 5:50 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks

Most of us have a bunch of these old mice laying around collecting dust. If you didn’t make some cool art with your mice last week here is another idea to recycle it into a cool project. This article will show you how to turn an ordinary mouse into a flashlight, perfect for looking into computer cases that always seem to be in the darkest corner of the room.

You will only need a few items for this hack.
* 360 Ohm resistor
* 9 Volt Battery Snap
* Heat Shrink (optional)
* White LED

This is the basic single LED version. A more elaborate version will be documented in the near future. Look at the bottom of this article for a sneak peak of the high end version.

Look to see how to crack the mouse open. Most have some visible screws on the bottom. This one doesn’t…

After removing the glider pads the single screw is revealed. Removing this screw is all it takes to open the case.

This is a typical mouse. Lots of room and a big roller ball in the middle.

Start carefully removing the guts. Most of the components in this one were just slotted into place.

To make room for this mod the circuit board will be cut. This is also a convenient way to disconnect the switch that we will be using from the original circuit.

As you can see with the modified board installed there is now lots of room to play with.

A plastic fin on the top cover had to be trimmed to allow the battery to be installed. A simple snip of the side cutters is all it took.

There was also a small clearance issue with the side of the battery, we need this extra room since there will be a battery snap attached to the battery. Again the side cutters made easy work of the plastic fin.

I decided to use the original wire grommet as the LED hole. The wire diameter is smaller than the 5mm white LED that will be installed.

The drill press is overkill to enlarge the hole but it was handy.

The base of most LEDs have a flange, to accommodate this I simply used the tip of a soldering iron to melt away a some of the back of the grommet.

This mouse is designed quite well, the grommet slides right back into place with ease.

The LED is now slid into the grommet. Use a bit of hot glue if it is a loose fit, in this case it is held in there quite well with no glue.

Next we will solder some current limiting and one battery snap lead to the mouse switch. I am using the left click switch in this case. It is usually very easy to tell where to solder to since most mouse circuits use only N/O (normally open) switches which is what we need. If the switch has three connection you are usually safe to use the same ones that the original mouse circuit used.

Next I used some heat shrink to cover the resistor and bare wires.

Some wires are now connected to the LED and heat shrink is used to cover the bare wires. Red from the battery snap and the wire from the switch are used.

That is the entire circuit done. You can connect the battery now and give is a test.

Another shot from the side.

Slide the board back into place. Depending on the model of mouse you may need a bit of hot glue to hold it in place. For this one that was not required.

It is possible to have both switches control the single light, all you need to do is jumper the two switches together.

Since we are going to keep the roller ball in place make sure it will not rub on the wires when the unit is closed up.

Connect the battery. In this case it fit quite well, if the case is a bit larger you might need some foam to keep it from bouncing around inside.

Close the lid making sure not to pinch any wires.

That’s it, you now have a new flashlight.

Looks a bit like one of the old optical cordless mice from the front. In fact when it was sitting on the desk I have grabbed it a few times and wondered why the mouse cursor wasn’t moving on the screen…

Give it a push and make sure it works.

Now when you are working on your computer you can use a light that is cool and functional.

Here is a sneak peak of the next version of the LED mouse.

This is a three button mouse that controls four white LEDs and four UV LEDs. The UV LEDs are on the bottom and are used to check for counterfit money, cheques etc.