Play Hard, Make History

Here's 5 ways to make your own mouse. This mini-guide was written by @FishPBL on the Xplayn Discord server.


The first and easiest is to buy a mouse and then stick your name on it. But that way is for sissies.



The second is to buy a mouse that you like the shape of but has crappy components and then buy a mouse with good components and swap in the PCB from the nice mouse into the crappy one. A good PCB board to do this with is the one from the Rii gaming mouse as it will run you only 10 dollars for the whole mouse and has at least reasonably okay components, except for the scroll wheel that is.



The same as the last but instead of using a premade PCB, you get a PMW3360 development board from a fellow by the name of "Jack Enterprises" on Tindie. You then get either a Teensy 2.0 or an Arduino Micro and cut all but the buttons and scroll wheel encoder out and substitute the removed parts with the new boards. I did this to a 1996 HP three-button mouse and used an Arduino.



Same as third but you make the shell yourself. I would highly recommend using a mouse you already know you like as a point of reference for doing this. If you want to know the specifications of things like sensor lenses so they fit properly go to the website of the manufacturer of the products and find a specifications sheet (in the case of sensors it will be a PDF).

Now you can also do this with a pre-existing board (A LOT of people really like doing this with the Logitech g305 board) it doesn't sound like you care about that.



So, the fifth way, the big boy way, the make the PCB yourself way: First, choose your program, I would recommend either Fusion 360 or ExpressPCB/ExpressSCH. Alternatively, if you're a fan of "Hardcore Mode" you can also use but I wouldn't recommend that. Okay, now that you have your program you need to go and make a Parts list. Making a parts list will use NONE OF THE PROGRAMS I just told you to get. Those will come in later.

In order to find all the parts you need, start at the sensor, CPU, and buttons/scroll wheel encoder/LED's. Find all the manufacturer's data sheets for all the components you chose, they should have a list of all the required supporting hardware including resistors, transistors, diodes, and capacitors. They will also most likely come with schematics of how everything is supposed to be wired together.

Speaking of schematics, it is now time for you to make a schematic! Now a schematic is not the PCB. A schematic is a roadmap for how to make a PCB. To make a schematic you are going to take all the components you just found, and ignoring their real sizes write down what every pin on every component does, and what it is supposed to be wired to. Then wire them up. Now, as stated earlier, you don't have to worry about the shapes of anything quite yet as this is not the actual PCB. We are going to make the PCB now!

Simply select the number of layers you want (I would recommend no more than two for economic reasons) import the schematic into the PCB program and convert everything to their real sizes. Then position all the components into the places you want them and spend the tedious process of drawing the traces (traces are wires that are on a PCB). Now some programs will have auto-tracing programs attached to them, and although these are good for a starting point, it is highly recommended that you edit whatever it creates. You never want any bends that have more than a 45% angle.


Brought to you by a highly uneducated stranger on the internet with absolutely no certifications in electronics or any similar field. Hope you found this helpful. Also, I should mention it is much harder than I made it sound.

@FishPBL on the Xplayn Discord server.