1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Case Mod - In Progress Finished - Logitech G5 Budget Mouse Mod- 3rd January 2011

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by weeman1985, 13 Dec 2010.

  1. weeman1985

    weeman1985 Member

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    This may not be a case mod, and it may just be me, but more on mouse/peripheral mods would be nice so here's mine.

    A bit of background to start:

    One day while bored at uni one of my friends lent me his copy of Custom PC. This is where my problems began. Within a month I had spent my full terms student loan on a new computer. It was beautiful, expensive, and didn’t work. Having never actually seen the inside of a computer before, I didn’t realize that you needed a graphics card and a motherboard. Woops. So out I went to get the latest and greatest graphics card, an ATI Radeon X800. Far Cry looked awesome! Still couldn’t really play it though. My keyboard was a crappy generic PC World home brand. It was time to introduce myself to the world of peripherals.

    The funny thing about having no money is that you are more willing to spend it, so out I go and come back home with a Logitech G15. Ooh, light up keys and an LCD! I got instantly better at jumping around like a lunatic. Still couldn’t actually shoot anything. OK, time to get a mouse. Having decided that I like Logitech, and being slightly OCD sometimes so everything must match, I got a G5. Love at first sight. And I’ve been using the same mouse ever since. I’ve always had an eye out for a replacement but nothing seems to suit me better!

    [​IMG]
    Stock G5 image. Got too excited and forgot to take a pic of mine first.


    So why cut it up?

    In the past 3 years I have worked in 3 different countries so unfortunately had to abandon desktop power and live with a laptop. This meant that though the mouse comes with me everywhere (even to work) I had to leave the keyboard behind (actually I sold it on ebay for more than I paid for it in the first place, after 3 years. Some people have a serious problem). Now, this isn’t really a problem, but the first thing I noticed after leaving the keyboard is how often I used to look at the clock on the display. Seems silly, but sometimes you have to live to a timetable so it’s good to know the time. A couple of weeks ago I had the first problem with the mouse, the side scroll and right mouse click stopped working. I was not happy.

    Time to take it apart at last. Then I figured, I might as well put a clock in it. So there it is. All this talk and all I’m going to do is add the time. Having been provided with many hours of entertainment on bit-tech for donkeys’ years and never commenting I thought I would take a plunge and contribute something, even if it isn’t very long. Besides, given the obvious technical expertise of some of the modders on here I was surprised not to find more on people modding their mice (or at least they’re not showing us) so thought this could help start some new ideas.

    First things first, take it apart. Here it is in all its glory:

    [​IMG]
    To be honest I’m surprised at how small the actual electronics board is. I thought I was getting more for my money.

    The sacrificial watch:

    [​IMG]
    LED awesomeness. Got this watch from Next 4 years ago and have never really used it. Apart from the LEDs it’s pretty ugly.


    At this point I realized that I had a problem. To see the time on this watch you have to press the top right button, otherwise you are presented with a blank screen. Also, to change the time you need to use loads of buttons, and then there is changing the battery. Initially I was planning on putting the clock near the surface of the palm rest much like the LCD screen added in this mod. Then I remembered, the G5’s adjustable weights cartridge! Putting the clock in there means it is removable so changing the time and battery would be simple. Still doesn’t solve the problem of how to light up the clock, but I’ll think about that later…

    Anyway, here is the basic idea:

    [​IMG]

    This would mean that the time would be visible from a rectangle cut just above where it says “Logitech”, right aligned. I wanted to cut as little as possible from this top plate so that I didn’t upset the curves and comfort too much. So cutting had to be done in stages.

    Now I have to explain the budget part of this mod. It is not that this mod doesn’t cost much (it really doesn’t) it’s that I am in Japan now and all my tools are at home in Italy. My dremel, my beautiful dremel! So I had to get new tools here and I really didn’t want to spend much money on stuff that I will inevitably leave behind. Off to the 100 Yen shop (Japanese equivalent of a Pound Shop). Little side note, in the 100 Yen shop, things actually cost 105 Yen. It’s an extra 5 for tax. Liars.

    Here are the tools:

    [​IMG]

    Total cost of everything here: 5 quid. And yes, it is a battery powered “dremel”. The packaging says that is spins at 1200RPM! Well, maybe not that fast, but it is close. The problem is that it has no torque. It’s probably fine for engraving but when it comes to drilling, it’s pretty poor. Cutting is also hindered by the fact that I couldn’t find the right part to hold the circular cutting blade. So to cut, I had to drill out many holes, and then use one of the metal filers to cut through. It took a long time. All the cutting so far actually took about 5 hours and 8 batteries. Given that I have to do this all outside where it is cold here too, it’s not fun. But anyway, here’s what I’ve got so far:

    [​IMG]

    There’s still some filing to be done by hand and painting the top plate, but it looks better than in the picture in real life. It’s a bit difficult to take pretty pictures when it’s raining outside.

    You may have noticed that there is still no button anywhere to actually show the time. This is where some advice or ideas would be appreciated. To get to the button and fully depress it about 8mm of travel is required (this allows the pin to come back far enough for the weights tray to be removed easily) which is quite a lot. So far my only idea has been to use the top part of a clicky pen with a spring and a plastic needle on the right side of the mouse. This may not look great though. The size is not really an issue to be honest as I’ve checked and my hand won’t actually be on that point, so no discomfort. I was just wondering if anyone knew of a more elegant solution.

    For the moment however, I’m busy enough. I’ve got some fine filing to do to sort out some of the rough edges and straighten up the view, and hope for a day with sun so I can get started on painting the thing. As for the paint job, my girlfriend is an artist so she’ll be drawing something for me based on ideas that I put in her head (telling an artist what style they have to use, what colors, and what theme is not something they like).
     
    Last edited: 2 Jan 2011
  2. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2007
    Posts:
    5,084
    Likes Received:
    160
    Maybe you could just manually close the circuit that the button closes with a bit of wire and some soldering? Does the light stay on as long as the button is depressed or does it stay on for a short time?
     
  3. weeman1985

    weeman1985 Member

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    It stays on permanently, but that's the problem: It's really bright so would be annoying at night in the studio apartment I live in. Also, I think it kills the battery leaving the LEDs on. You have given me an idea though that is much better than mine. Closing the circuit like you said but putting a physical switch in with the tray. It would mean taking it out to turn on and off but I only need a time display when in full screen mode anyway so that could be done when the game is loading (plenty of time for that on a laptop). So thanks for the comment, got the brain working again!
     
  4. stuartwood89

    stuartwood89 Please... Just call me Stu.

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    1,566
    Likes Received:
    52
    Couldn't you just wire the clock into the supply for the mouse, that way you don't have to worry about batteries. Assuming your watch uses a 1.5V button cell, you could use a resistor to step down the 5V voltage from the USB power supply and wire it to the contacts where the cell used to go. Use some tinted plastic or film to calm down the brightness and have it on permanently.

    Just my thoughts on the matter, this looks like a great project so far. I like that you have offset the display to the right, makes it look like it's part of the design. Keep it up! :)
     
  5. weeman1985

    weeman1985 Member

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the encouragement and compliment. It's much appreciated even for a small mod.

    I hadn't thought of wiring the power directly into the mouse, unfortunately my mouse does spend a lot of time unplugged from the computer, especially as it comes to and from work with me every day, so unless I'm completely off target, that would leave the watch to reset its time every time I unplugged from the USB.

    I did think of a solution though, but please tell me if it sounds better in my head than as a real working solution. The idea of closing the circuit on the watch itself got me thinking about using a switch. More thought and I decided I still want control from outside the mouse. Hmm, I don't want wires hanging around everywhere connected internally. It just doesn't seem as tidy. I remember a long time ago I had a Scale Electrix, now the cars completed their circuit with wire brushes rubbing along the two tracks. I think that could work.

    If I simply (he says yet still has no soldering iron, off to the pound shop) connect the button and internal circuit to two wires and have them running brushes underneath the cartridge, and also install a couple of conductive rails to the inside of the mouse (which in turn connect to a small switch on the outside of the mouse similar to the ones on a Fender Jazzmaster, but smaller) then the brushes will slide along the rails and the circuit can be completed! Sounds genius in my head but I have never done anything even similar to this before so it should be an enlightening experience.

    I'm off to Tokyo at the weekend so should be able to get the switch, wires etc and get this done very soon. Christmas holidays with no mouse to kill Trigens (yes, I want to play Far Cry again now that I mentioned it) would suck.

    PS I cannot get the hang of this whole filing a straight line thing. It can't be that hard, can it?
     
  6. weeman1985

    weeman1985 Member

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Update December 24th 2010

    So, the mouse is now done (edit – not quite). Having played around with the watch a bit more I found out that closing the circuit does not leave the watch on, there needs to be an actual circuit change, so I found a switch that does just that. Having not studied electronics I don’t know the name of this type of switch, but it has a permanently closed circuit and pushing the button seems to just flick the circuit(?). I’m not sure how to explain it any better than that! The button cap I found on one of those key ring LED lights. The switch is going to be glued to the inside of the mouse with the button poking through the smallest hole possible to keep the mouse looking as clean as possible. The switch will then be wired to two rails on the cartridge loading tray. The watch will be wired so that when the cartridge is inserted, the two halves of the circuit make a connection with the rails and close the circuit! Genius! This simple idea took me a long time to implement though (edit – so long I haven’t finished it yet!).

    The switch and button:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Personally, I’m quite impressed with the way this looks from the outside. Not having the right tools does not help when trying to make circles, I resorted to drilling a hole with a 1.2mm drill bit and then hand filing using a circular file bit by bit. The circle is not perfect, but the more I seem to try to correct it the bigger the whole gets and at the moment it’s the perfect size. With the silver button installed it looks almost factory drilled (OK, kidding myself here a bit but it does look good, right?)


    The next little change to plan was the idea for the brushes to connect the cartridge to the rails. I left two compartments for weights in the cartridge originally just because I could, but I then found out that the cartridges themselves will conduct nicely, so they could be used instead of brushes and make the inside a bit more elegant.

    The rails themselves are made from cut and bent aluminium alloy 3104-H19 (yes, alumin-i-um. There is definitely an “i”). Sounds professional, but wait, the metal itself was procured in the following form:

    [​IMG]


    Recycle, it’s the way forward!!

    What you may not know is that the inside of these cans is lined with some sort of plastic which has to be scraped off with a knife first. This procedure results in lots of aluminium dust being thrown in the air, which I believe is bad for your health. Oh well.

    [​IMG]

    So here it is, Logitech G5 Version 2. Having seen what it looks like with the first couple of coats of paint I realize there is a lot more refining to do to make it look perfect. The main task is to file the edges of the cut-away a lot more to make the cut blend into the shape of the mouse better, because at the moment it looks very “cut” whereas I want a more “formed” look. Having taken the pictures in macro I now realize the amount of effort that some of the serious modders put into filing and sanding plastic. While everything looks fine normally, when you zoom in you can really see all the defects, so some refining is required on my part on the internals. Because, even though you can’t see anything from the outside, I will still know about the mess inside, and that will drive me crazy.

    [​IMG]


    As you can see in the picture I have found “dust blocker” for the cutaway in the mouse. This is a semi-reflective golden screen cover for a phone I found at the 100 Yen shop. Having put some in as a test I think it will match the orange LEDs nicely (and the little orange running man which I can’t bring myself to paint over, it’s just too pathetic when you really look at it).

    Edit: I actually wrote most of this post at work before starting any of the work a few days ago, unfortunately while gluing the switch onto the shell I got a bit overzealous with the glue and managed to glue the switch permanently shut. Damn. I managed to get another one yesterday but still haven’t had time to wire it in. Anyway, I thought I’d post this anyway as it has been a while and I didn’t want this to look like a forgotten mod (I have a few of them back home. They are the unloved few. Technology that has been left alone for so long it is now outdated).

    So what remains is filing, painting and wiring. Hmm, sounds like what I said needed to be done in the first post. Funny, seeing as I have spent so much time on this already (not nearly as much as I would have liked, damn pre-Christmas workload.
     
  7. chrisbarry1313

    chrisbarry1313 New Member

    Joined:
    24 Dec 2010
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a Logitech mouse similar to the one shown here but the scroll wheel spins on bearings until it comes to a stop or you place your finger on it. This is a great feature. The thumb button is however, a bit far away for my reach.

    Overall it is a great mouse!
     
  8. weeman1985

    weeman1985 Member

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Finished - January 3rd 2011

    So, it’s finally done. Overall I’m quite happy with the result but in hindsight I realize that the whole process would have been much smoother, easier and prettier if I had access to the right tools. Hardware from the pound shop just doesn’t cut the mustard. I’m sure it is still possible, but this being my first mod I had a lot to learn. Fixing things is a very different game to creating something. The paint job still hasn’t materialized as I still haven’t thought of a design I really like, but the mouse had to go together as I need to kill something (my wireless Elecom Scope Node though very good with office tasks just struggles with head shots, and I got used to customized switchable sensitivity). So here it is. I apologize for the shot of the mouse with the clock on, I haven’t got a tripod so it’s a bit difficult to take the picture and press the button at the same time, rest assured that when the lights are off in the room (gaming mode) the time is clearly visible and not blurred.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, I used solder as my conducting wire. I figured it would be a good conductor.

    [​IMG]

    All wired up and ready to go! The wiring for this was requisitioned from the TV out cable for my camera. Who uses that anyway?

    [​IMG]

    So here is an out of focus picture of the clock lit up. Lights off of course because they always are when I’m doing anything full screen.

    [​IMG]

    From the right. You can just see the button for the clock here. Sufficiently subtle for my tastes.

    [​IMG]

    I like this picture. I think it really shows off the gold reflective film matching the orange LEDs. (And yes, being that reflective it does make it difficult to read the time in daylight, next time the clock comes closer to the surface.)

    [​IMG]
    Before and...

    [​IMG]
    ...after

    Thanks for reading!
     
Tags:

Share This Page