Category: Hardware

Switch Adapted Mouse

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"DO IT YOURSELF" ENTRY --- PURPOSE: To enable individuals with upper extremity or severe physical disabilities or spinal cord injury to use a computer mouse. To adapt a mouse, disassemble the mouse. (Caution: disconnect the mouse from the computer before attempting any modifications. Electric shock can occur otherwise.) Using a screw driver, locate and remove the fastening screws on the mouse. (These are usually located on the underside of the mouse and may be hidden). Some mice require additional work to disassemble. Remove the roller ball from the mouse and check for additional retaining screws. Remove the screws if necessary. Remove the circuit board from the mouse after grounding (e.g. touch something metal before touching the board). Note the orientation of the circuit board for proper replacement when work is complete. Identify the solder points on the circuit board. These points correspond to the left click button on the mouse. One technique to assist in this process is to connect the circuit board to the computer. Next, power on the computer and place the mouse over an icon. Finally, use a needle nose pliers to short contact points on the circuit board. If a mouse click occurs on the computer, the solder points have been located. Cut the insulated wire into two three-inch sections and strip the insulation one-eighth inch from each end of the two wires. After disconnecting the circuit board from the computer, solder one end of each wire onto one of the two contact points identified. Place the circuit board back into the mouse, remembering its original orientation. Locate a spot on the mouse casing where there is ample room to place the mono jack and mark it with an X. Carefully drill a hole using a quarter-inch drill bit. Use caution while drilling to avoid damaging the circuit board. It may be helpful to remove the board prior to drilling. Solder the free end of each wire to the leads on the mono jack. Insert and fasten the jack to the mouse using the retaining nut that came with the jack. Thread the wire so it will not interfere with the mouse's' roller ball or the optical wheels. Plug the mouse into the computer and turn the power on. Plug any standard one-eighth inch switch into the jack on the mouse and press the switch; if a click occurs on the computer then work is complete. Reassemble the mouse. If the click does not occur, check solder points to make certain they are correct. MATERIALS: Standard Macintosh or IBM-compatible mouse; 26 to 30 guage stranded, insulated wire; and 1/8-inch mono jack (open circuit). TOOLS: Drill with a quarter-inch bit; soldering iron and solder; needle nose pliers; Phillips screw driver SKILLS REQUIRED: Soldering and electronics. TITLE: Adapting a Mouse for Switch Access. WEB SITE: Assistive Technology Partners, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, at REF: Make 'N Takes. Assistive Technology Partners can also be reached at 1245 E. Colfax Avenue, Suite 200, Denver, CO 80218; (800) 255-3477 (In state only), (303) 315-1280, (303) 837-8964 TTY, (303) 837-1208 Fax


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Switch Adapted Mouse