For me, after pulling apart several mice, this project gained a lot more momentum. Inside of the older mechanical mice I found that I was already relatively familiar with many of the components inside: two switch buttons, rotary encoders (similar in fashion to a potentiomter), and resistors.
I found a 1980’s Apple mouse at an electronics store on Canal St that we decided we could work with. We tested the back of the circuit board for continuity between different points. After doing this we located where the sensors for the each of the rotary encoders were and tested continuity between those two points. Once we confirmed continuity between those two points we marked the places where we would solder to.
After soldering wires to each of the four rotary sensors and to power and ground we were ready to test the readings over Serial.
No dice! After re-testing the sensors with an osscilloscope it became clear that the sensors were returning analog values as opposed to digital values. Next steps will be trying to read analog values without an encoder library.
Research is being collected here.
We also learned during playtesting that there needed to be some sort of impetus for a person to start using the mouse. I liked the idea of giving each user a prompt like “find the cheapest mouse on the internet”. This would set the person off on a series of searches and probably through a few different websites all of which are most likely full of advertisements. Another thing we learned is that the vibrating motor would have to feel different from the vibrating motors we have in our phones as those have come to be recognized as positive signals. It will probably be most effective if the vibrating motor was strong enough to move the mouse out from under the person’s hand or something just as startling.