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Modding "IBM Stealth Navigator" mouse mod

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Captain Slug, 1 Apr 2004.

  1. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    I've been wanting to do this for a long long time and I only recently managed to buy some IBM Optical Navigator mice on eBay for a reasonable price (60% retail). A "client" of mine caught wind of the idea and decided that he might be interested in one too.

    They arrived earlier today and since I didn't have anything else on my plate I spent 3 or 4 hours tinkering with them. Each mouse was annoying to get apart at first, but I managed to disassemble both, even removing their buttons. both were sanded with 220 grit sandpaper, then polished with rubbing alchohol on a paper towel. 2 coats of Satin blackboard paint (extremely durable) were applied.
    The buttons of each mouse were delicately covered with aluminum tape.
    The LED under the scrollwheel of the mouse on the right (mine) was replaced by a 3mm RED led.

    Both were reassembled and tested.
    [​IMG]
    Oh so much sexier than stock, but still as functional and comfortable as the original IBM Optical Navigators.
     
  2. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    No replies yet? Oh well...

    It was getting too wet here to apply enough coats to make mine durable enough for heavy usage, and I was really falling in love with the grip and texture of the aluminum. So, I spent an hour wrapping the whole mouse in it. Now I have a mouse worthy of becoming a chic Sci-Fi movie prop.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Langer

    Langer Jesse Lang

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    In my opinion chrome paint would have looked 1000times better.
     
  4. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    Maybe, but it won't give anywhere near the sheen or durability of the aluminum tape.
     
  5. 1st time modder

    1st time modder New Member

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    the tape makes it look machine made, as it has the tell-tale straight lines. :hehe: I don't think that spraypaint would give it what it needs. are you going to apply some clearcoats to it so it lasts?
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    I must agree with you there. The seams give it that sexy industrial "welded together" look. Definitely stick with the tape (haha... :hehe:). Excellent mod!

    BTW if you're looking for good quality, chrome tape that flexes around curves and corners neatly, check :this: site.
     
  7. sinizterguy

    sinizterguy Dark & Sinizter

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    I like the LED and stuff ... the black paint etc.

    I dont like the alu tape. But if its comfortable and you like it, then thats the only think that matters.
     
  8. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    I think some people are missing the point. THE "TAPE" IS MADE OUT OF ALUMINUM. It's not called aluminum tape because it simply looks like aluminum. It's just like aluminum foil, but it has a non-permanent water-proof adhesive on one side. It has the look, and feel, of lower grade aluminum and will hold up a lot longer than any paint finish.
    At $6 per roll it's not the cheapest stuff on the planet, it's also rather difficult to find. It's been used for years in the telecom industry for patching RF sheilding on communication boxes and lines. I've only been able to buy it from 2 stores locally, and I think I remember seeing it offered on some larger online electronics retailers.
     
  9. luvbug

    luvbug New Member

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    It's more likely not alluminum, rather stainless steel tape used for heating and air duct work, IMHO, which is everywhere. You can buy it at any car parts store and even Walmart.

    luvbug
     
  10. Xgamer

    Xgamer New Member

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    They look perty damn good IMHO. :rock:
     
  11. a9on87

    a9on87 ...

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    I agree, I especially like the blue LED under the scroll wheel :thumb:
     
  12. Morphine

    Morphine weeee!

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    I would have to agree with Jesse on this one, don't like the look all that much. I have a few rolls of that stuff here at home for patching up the airducts when i ran cat5 through them to a few rooms. I can't see myself using it, and the lkayers of the tape are quite visible, its a thick tape and I would think that feeling the layers wouldnt be all that good.
     
  13. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    It was labelled as "Aluminum RF Sheilding tape - 4" width" when I bought it.

    It's not actually layered. The tape wasn't thick enough to cover the whole back half of the mouse in one pass. So I did a few inches at a time to help prevent wrinkles. Each successive piece was trimmed as soon as wrinkles started to appear, and I ended up with a mild scallop of seams. I can't really feel them unless I pick at them with my fingernails.
     
    Last edited: 4 Apr 2004
  14. 1398342003

    1398342003 Ubermodder

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    Those look really cool. :thumb: Good job.

    I want to do my mouse and KB like that. Can it conform to keyboard keys?
     
  15. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    They'd have to be slim keys because the tape just isn't plyable enough for standard keys.
    You'd also have the pleasure of relabling every single key. Probably doable with vinyl decal letters.
     
  16. 1398342003

    1398342003 Ubermodder

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    Personally I don't need the key labels, but my KB is a MS natural elite and it's keys are primarily standard.
     
  17. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Wetsander

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    What if you concocted some sort of a bending jig from something with the same curvature as the keyboard keys? If this Alu tape works how I think it does, that *might* just work. Dunno... just a thought.
     
  18. metarinka

    metarinka New Member

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    hey I Like the look of the alu Tape! I think some clear coats would keep your fingers from tarnishing and discoloring it tho.
    sparrow hawk I think if you were willing to goto that length it would be easier to fabricated the keys out of thin gauge aluminum and use manual jewelry jigsaws and blades. I think an all alu keyboard would look pretty sweet
     
  19. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    On standard keys it's not going to be possible without seams. This tape isn't thick enough to be pressed around sharp edges without tearing.
     
  20. instant rice

    instant rice New Member

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    That mouse looks really slick. Now I feel like covering my keyboard in alu tape. Maybe jam some pop rivets in it. I'd probably do it to an older keyboard with square edges instead of my rounded one. Possible theme idea there?
     

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