How I Modded My Mouse!

I have used John Samin's CWCom for over a year off and on and I must say that it's a great program and it has been the only way that I know of to practice sending well enough to dare go on the airwaves. I'm still not quite ready but getting there. My problem for a long time was that my main computer is a laptop and it doesn't have a 9 pin connector or game port. This made it impossible to hook up my nice little Iambic key that I made and using the "down arrow" or regular mouse buttons made for some really lame QSO's, hehe!

After talking to a lot of folks about the problem, short of building a USB hub myself, I decided to take the bull by the horns and dug though the attic looking for - and discovering! - a working USB mouse! I took it apart and looked at it. It looked pretty simple - the part I needed anyway - just the right and left click and common pad on the PC board.

So got out my gear and, as my kids would say, modded it!

Here is my procedure which worked so well I can't believe that no one else has done it. I would like to make this link available to anyone that wants to see how I did it - it's pretty straightforward really. If you want to feature it on any of your link pages feel free to do so. Just click on the thumbnails to get the large picture and accompanying text.

Have fun - Rob Thomas, KC4NYK

  First remove the single screw holding the mouse together Carefully lift up the top Make sure the roller ball assembly doesn't jump out - oops! - too late, hehe! Remove the PC board by pressing gently toward the back and out Locate the pins holding the mouse pad assembly  

  And pressing together with your thumbs pop it out It will slide up and out through the top slot I just use my soldering iron as a quick drill to punch a hole in the top of the mouse - it makes a nice little  

  Next locate the To test that you have them right first remember to locate your cursor in CWCom's Flash window before disconnecting your operating mouse. Then plug the PC board's USB connector to your laptop's USB port where you normally connect your mouse. Now you can short the white to each of the colored wires and see which is which. Next I had to figure out which portion of the plug corresponed to which wire After determining that I recorded that in a notepad on the computer just for future reference.  

  Now, after soldering the wires to the appropriate lugs we are ready to insert the phone jack in our hole and screw the ring nut tight Time to put it all together. Note - the wires I used were from a motherboard connector that was convenient but they turned out to be way too large (nice for illustrating this article, however!)So I had to assemble the mouse several times before it would close properly without impinging on the track ball or depressing the microswitches of the mouse keys. If you use really nice thin wire you shouldn't have that problem. Well, here we are!! We've jacked our mouse, created a nice USB port for our key and the mouse still works the same way even while the key is attached. Time to go get some practice in on that great CWCom! 73's and see you out there.  

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