Today’s article is about a useless, but nevertheless quite impressive piece of fun. Gamers know the excellent Razer mouses, mostly known for their precision, but also for their typical illumination inside the mouse. However, this illumination cannot be controlled. Hence the idea to put a Yocto-Color module inside the mouse, to be able to dynamically change the mouse color using our USB-driven RGB leds. More details and even a video after the break...
There is however an obstacle to this idea : the mouse is a USB device, but the Yocto-Color module also needs its own USB link to be remotely driven. One could consider having two USB cables coming out of the mouse, but that does not sound quite right... We therefore have to stuff in a hub as well, inserted straight between the mouse electronics and its USB cable. Then we can connect the Yocto-Color to the hub.
The idea is to stuff a Yocto-Color and a Micro-Hub into the mouse
Of course, we need a USB hub small enough to fit into the mouse. We will use a USB Micro-Hub prototype that we just run into...
The Yocto-Color and the USB Micro-Hub
An old Razer friend that we used as guinea pig
The mouse is pretty easy to open and unmount. There is actually more free space inside than we had expected. But there is not enough space for USB connectors, even micro-sized. So we take the soldering iron. This is not hard-core electronics : we just replace the USB cables that would float around the hub by equivalent ribbon cables, using the soldering pads placed for this purpose on every Yoctopuce module. And then we rebuild the mouse.
Everything is connected, just stuff it back in
Looks like the same old good light, but now we can roll the colors
For testing our new mouse, we spent 10 minutes writing a small Delphi app that reads the color of the pixel at the tip of the mouse pointer and sends it to the Yocto-Color RGB led in the mouse.
However illustrative, this example changing the mouse color based on the pointer target color is quite useless. But there are other more interesting applications to think about, such as a mouse that changes its mood when you've got mail or when you need to get back home...
One more thing. Maybe you think that changing a mouse color is not that fun. But you know what? We now have the only mouse in the world that can provide its led a live firmware update. :-)