Quadrature optical encoder built from a mouse

mouse salvage

Everyone has at least one extra mouse laying around; why not get some use out of it? Disassembling the mouse you can get two optical encoders plus four infrared emitter/detector pairs. Then you can reassemble your new sensors into a quadrature incremental optical encoder. You’ll be able to tell how much the sensor has rotated and by comparing the signals from the two IR pairs you can also determine the direction. These cheap devices would be good for keeping track of robot wheel movements or doing absolute positioning telescopes.

[thanks joelanders]

Comments

  1. Zaphoid says:

    Finaly! A HACK!

  2. Rob says:

    Yay a hack…tho its pretty specific… not something i would do if i dident need one

  3. Wurx says:

    Holy Cr*p…a hack on hack-a-day! Yea!

  4. carpespasm says:

    YAY! it’s been a lil while. I was starting to fear this site becoming a slashdot mirror.

    But in all seriousness, we all seem to want more hack pages. Well, quite the bitching and go make some, i’ll probably start covering some of the things i do soon to add some material. I understand that there are only so many hacks that are well documented on sites enough to be good material, some look more like some dumb case mod. like my firewall computer in an old toolbox.

    So get out, hack, take pics, and make material for the community. same as the linux community, you don’t like something, fix it.

  5. GOD says:

    Talk about pretty specific, your guy’s definition of a hack is pretty narrow! Just because you don’t have to take out the soldering iron doesn’t mean it aint a hack.

  6. rob says:

    I’m not saying its not a hack….its just not something any one would do unless you need one of those Thin-a-ma-bobbers. In the Highly unlikely chance that i would need a “Quadrature optical encoder” I would look it up on google…
    And if you look at the newer so called “hacks” on hack a day a downward spiral starts to emerge…IMO sure by now hack a day has noticed a drop in hit counts, even tho i still check hopefully for something interesting or even amusing. I’m sorry but i have really lost faith in this “hack site” *cough Slashdot Mirror…*

    Hack a day is circling the drain )-:

  7. wetsmellydog says:

    Checking only three online dictionaries for the term Hack, I came up with these definitions:

    Two came up with this one:

    To use ingenuity and creativity to solve computer programming problems, to overcome the limitations of a system and expand its capabilities. 2. A solution to a programming problem. 3. A clever yet harmless practical joke. 4. Software designed to upgrade the existing usability of a computer or add new features to the operating system, like language support.

    One came up with this one:

    (v) 1. To write program code.
    2. To modify a program, often in an unauthorized manner, by changing the code itself.
    (n) 1. Code that is written to provide extra functionality to an existing program.
    2. An inelegant and usually temporary solution to a problem.

    Its seems that the term Hack originated as slang for software modification and was adopted to hardware modification.

    Bottom line, it is all up to the person interpreting the word Hack!

  8. Fubster says:

    What part of “fix it” are you confused about? If this site is reposting slashdot stories, that probably means it needs more content. That’s where you come in. Try submitting something instead of whining because other people aren’t submitting enough.

  9. Tom61 says:

    cool! I was actually looking (not very hard) for a solution like this, for my P.O.V. toy project, that way it could keep track of how fast it is spinning.

    come to think of it, for more advanced project ‘brains’, you could just hook up the mouse itself and read from it.

  10. Gino says:

    yay eliot!

  11. Looks like a great hack, but the “read” button yields a 404. Has the article been moved or removed?

  12. dev says:

    i like to implement the same in my robot for the school project, can anybody help me to write the code in pic basic. or how to control/calculate the movments of the wheel, how to re-program it?

  13. dev says:

    i like to implement the same in my robot for the school project, can anybody help me to write the code in pic basic. or how to control/calculate the movments of the wheel, how to re-program it?

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