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  Silent Mouse 
 
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Hitman NO.47 Apr 15, 2007, 07:04pm EDT Report Abuse
I want to create a "Silent Mouse" for the purpose of gaming into the late hours of the night without the suspicious click click of the mouse.
The only way that comes to mind about solving this is by using 2 small touch pads to send the high signal when it is touched and replace the switches underneath the casing.

This way of doing it I think will be expensive as the touch pads and chips are expensive, if I could salvage touch switches or anything like it from a cheaper source that would be ideal but I cant think where.
Also using a laptop pad does not suffice as practically moving around with one is not gamer friendly, and the buttons themselves are louder than a standard mouse.

Any ideas, alternatives or solutions are much appreciated


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Adam Kolak Apr 15, 2007, 07:12pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
I guess your PC is in a room where other people sleep?

I made my scroll wheel silent by removing this paper-clip like thin metal rod from inside my old Logitech mouse. But it wasn't good, cause it made it harder to switch weapons with the scroll wheel in FPS games. Not sure about making the buttons quieter. Maybe you could see what exactly inside of your mouse causes the clicking noise. You might be able to cut down on the noise levels of the clicking of the mouse buttons by modifying the plastic parts inside. Perhaps you could remove something or sand down the plastic. But you want to make sure it will still click properly.




Adam Kolak
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phil Apr 15, 2007, 07:19pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
you may want to just google silent mouse i don't mean to be a party pooper ,, but there are several companies making several models of silent mice.. there's also several DIY guides..

.. google.. what a novel idea :D

in fact, here i took the work and fun out of it for you,, $20
http://raremonoshop.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=28&...p;osCsid=6

---
can't access HWA unless I use a proxy... lol

pfft ..f**k that! (almost sounds like work)
Gerritt Apr 15, 2007, 10:43pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
If you are looking for a DIY type project, I'd recommend you look into membrane switches, such as those that are used on microwave keypads, thermostats, childrens toys, remote controls, and other home electronics. If you're like me you probably have a dozen remotes laying around, or even a old cell phone/cordless phone or two. With a little work with an exacto knife and a percision soldering iron you should be able to cut shape and mount one of these. Having said that membrane switches are not as robust as microswitches and are more susceptible to contamination and wear.

Another oportunity is a contactless optical interupt switch. This would be great, but requires a bit more engineering. You'd have to position the switch, a u shaped LED and CCD pickup device that when the "beam" is interupted sends a state change. You would have to shape a "interupter" out of a piece of flat plastic. I'd recommend that it be shaped to "open" the switch in it's quiecent state (not pushed) and have a small ampeture (hole) that would align with the sensor upon being depressed (pushed). This would permit for a very precise signal return with no physical contact, thus very robust. The issue arises with the tensioning or return of the physical button to the unclicked position. The easiest of these to retrofit would probably be a piece of spring steel or other metal such as that in the holiday "clicker" noisemakers, which you can probably pick up from a party supply house for next to nothing. Oh, BTW, the optical sensors you need are probably sitting around your computer room in some of the "opto-mechanical" mice you already have gathering dust....you see the ball rubs on rollers, and these rollers spin slotted wheels by these sensors, so the sensors themselves would probably be a no cost item.

As you can probably tell, I'm a hardware hacker from way back, so who knows, you may be able to produce a new product! Or, you can go with a purchase of a "silicon" microswitch based mouse....but I think that a "true" optical mouse would be cool to see!

If only I had the time......

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
john albrich Apr 16, 2007, 12:32am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
I've found that a small piece of dense foam (like the kind found in those pool "noodle" tubes) works wonders in making switches quiet. The main thing is to make the transition point smooth instead of a quick release. You may notice that as you depress a mouse button, it provides increasing resistance until it reaches a point where it quickly releases the resistance and makes contact. By making that transition smooth, instead of like a saw-tooth waveform, the noise is reduced. Even better, it's cheap and 100% reversible.

You do have to experiment with the size and location of the foam piece.

I also had a problem in that the scroll wheel vertical pressure button was too easy to activate, and just about every time I touched the scroll wheel, that button would activate. A small piece of foam later, and problem solved. I must now definitely deliberately press down on the scroll wheel to activate that particular button. It also does NOT affect scrolling, nor the right and left scroll-wheel buttons (7-button mouse + scroll-wheel)

Gerritt Apr 16, 2007, 12:57am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
John,
Once again a great post!
I'm left handed so can't use most of the "newfangled" mice.
Now based upon my exposure to the pool foam type devices, they do seem to be susceptible to wear and tear as I've indicated for the membrane type switches. But are you suggesting the foam as a sound deadening device vs. a "clickless" device?
If so, I can buy off on it to a degree.

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
Shadow_Ops_Airman1 Apr 16, 2007, 01:07am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
Adam K. said:
I guess your PC is in a room where other people sleep?

I made my scroll wheel silent by removing this paper-clip like thin metal rod from inside my old Logitech mouse. But it wasn't good, cause it made it harder to switch weapons with the scroll wheel in FPS games. Not sure about making the buttons quieter. Maybe you could see what exactly inside of your mouse causes the clicking noise. You might be able to cut down on the noise levels of the clicking of the mouse buttons by modifying the plastic parts inside. Perhaps you could remove something or sand down the plastic. But you want to make sure it will still click properly.




they are small buttons underneath that are soldiered onto the mouse PCB, you cant really stop the clicking of them as you cant disassemble the buttons, only option is to move the computer into another room, or Stop Playing the game late at night, OR PLAY IT ON THE WEEKENDS.

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john albrich Apr 16, 2007, 01:20am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
The foam appears to do two main things:

1) it makes the transition past the "click" point smoother/slower because the plastic pieces no longer move freely, so the sound generated in the first place is reduced

2) by being physically coupled to the switch (in this case, the broad left or right button) it mechanically dampens some level of contributory resonance from the part.

I don't believe it has any effect on the noise transmitted through the air...so it doesn't act like an acoustic baffle.

I've had my MS Intellipoint mouse rigged like this for over a year, with no apparent reduction in effectiveness. I think as with most mechanical objects, if you take care not to exceed the plastic deformation point, and keep it well within the elastic range, you'll see very little degradation over time.

Kind of like the fuselage of the Concorde or SR-71...the aluminum and titanium alloys used were designed to never exceed that plastic deformation point, so the Concorde aluminum body could thermally expand 6" in flight, and the SR-71 even more, then return to normal length and never show metal fatigue.

john albrich Apr 16, 2007, 01:30am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
Brandon A. R. said:
...they are small buttons underneath that are soldiered onto the mouse PCB, you cant really stop the clicking of them as you cant disassemble the buttons, only option is to move the computer into another room, or Stop Playing the game late at night, OR PLAY IT ON THE WEEKENDS.


It depends a lot on the actual button design. I've come across many of these small PCB buttons that if you press them dead-center, with a small tip (like the end of your finger or a pen) they'll make a very loud click. But, if you cover the entire top of the button with your finger pad and then press down, there is almost no click at all. Sometimes, you can also press on the outer circumference of the button, and there will be no click, but the contact remains reliable.

So, by placing a small piece of dense foam or maybe even a thin rubber pad over the ENTIRE top surface of the button (button plus surrounding casing) you can make it a lot more quiet. In some cases like this, you may have to irreversibly shorten the length of the plunger that extends out from the mouse exterior button to the PCB button.

One might also have to widen the contact point of the "plunger" so that it doesn't cut through the foam/rubber piece...perhaps melting the tip, or "gluing" a small plastic piece on the plunger tip. In other situations I've used an MEK based solvent and cut a small plastic piece from a compatible junk piece of plastic. (often something taken from disassembly of a CD drive, printer, or other computer part. One can find all sorts of shapes and sizes of plastic pieces in these things)


edit to add: it's kind of weird, because the designers go to all the trouble of designing the switches to produce this tactile and audio feedback, and here we are coming up with ways to kill it.

Gerritt Apr 16, 2007, 02:20am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
John,
Insofar as the button design, the original SUN 3 button Mice, they used a plastic return. The actual flextion of the plastic buttons gave the rebound. I found a way to refurbish the "mouse" that bypassed the plastic flexion when it broke, and did not require the replacement of the mouse. Now these "mice" were $400+ to replace, so the re-engineering of them for less than $150 was wourth while. Now adays, this is foolish.

I just find it very interesting that we could use existing mouse technology to totally replace the microswitch in even the "laser" mouse.

The biggest gain in mouse tech has been in the ergonomics...but the ergonomic mice are unussable by left handers.

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
Hitman NO.47 Apr 16, 2007, 07:12pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
i am looking for a DIY project, im probably going to pick up a couple of cheap optical mice and rip them open and experiment, adding new buttons from here there and everywhere.

I shall let you know of all my findings thanks for posting!

Sean Costello Apr 16, 2007, 09:19pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Silent Mouse
perhaps for some free dampining material:
http://tinyurl.com/33znn6

not even kidding, because it comes with a free sample of the material :)

______
Story of My Life- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c764JWVt5Fw


 

    
 
 

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