Cellphone Battery Mouse Modification

Ever wanted to increase the battery performance in your wireless mouse? [Davetech] shows you the way with this guide for converting a mouse from AA to lithium batteries. We were delighted by his hack-tacular approach that seems to have a nice little work-around at each step in the process. He grinds down the plastic battery housing that is molded into the original mouse body, then uses an old Compact Flash card connector as a set of spring terminals for a Nokia cellphone battery. This battery has more capacity and recharges faster than non-Lithium AA cells. But unfortunately the spring terminals didn’t quite reach the recessed batter contact. No problem, he just builds up solder on the battery to bridge the gap.

[Davetech] manages to fit the entire battery inside the mouse and the pointing-device still works. Your mileage may vary by model (both battery and mouse). It is necessary to take the battery out of the mouse for recharging, but since this only happen about every couple of weeks thanks to the extended capacity it’s not too much of a hassle. Perhaps someone could carry this to the next level by adding a USB port and the necessary charging circuitry?

23 thoughts on “Cellphone Battery Mouse Modification

  1. Is the battery life really that bad? My wireless mouse uses a single AA battery, I usually end up putting in used AA batteries and only need to change it maybe once a year. And I’m a pretty heavy user of the mouse.

  2. Unless I have it wrong this will lower the time between charges.

    A Nokia BL-5C is 1020 mah * 3.7v = 3.774 watt hours
    2500mah * 2 * 2.4v = 4.8 watt hours

    Is my maths just completely wrong? I know batteries don’t drain perfectly and whatever else but I just don’t see how this is worth it.

    Just buy a mouse that lasts longer. New logitech mice last over a year.

  3. @pete:
    your first try was better. it’s 6 watt hours, actually.
    using LSD cells (eneloops or similar) tackles the self discharge problems with NiMH cells. much better.

    the wireless logitech mouse i had a few years ago used to suck up batteries like crazy, while MS did an awesome job with their mice.
    otoh, who needs a wireless mouse when you have a wired trackball?

  4. @kikkoman:

    Modern (V and M series) Logitech mice go a long time on a set of Alkalines and even longer on LSD cells. I have a V270 bluetooth mouse that goes about four months of on-time between charges of its Eneloops, and an Anywhere MX that I got last summer that I still have yet to charge.

  5. @Daid

    Or you could, you know, not be a stick in the mud and say you have an idea for a grand hack which never requires you to charge your mouse again.
    I’m thinking induction coils for wireless power. Far cooler than a wire.

  6. For most non-Eneloop NiMh batteries, there is a inconvenient self-discharge rate which can EXCEED the actual device drain by 50%. This is why rechargables suck in remotes and in mice, but Eneloops are perfect for that.

    The only downside of Eneloops is slightly higher price. Even then, not much… and had I started off with Eneloops I woud never have bought a 8-bay battery charger (I could have just charged up a boxful of Eneloops… 6 months or a year later they still have 75% charge so you can have more batteries “ready” when needed with a simple 2-battery charger)

  7. There are other low-self discharge batteries out there more affordable than the eneloops with close to same performance, so there’s no real difference.

    It’s still worth noting that battery capacities are quoted only at 1 discharge rate, and lithiums/NiMHs/eneloops have very different capacities as a function of discharge rate.

    Just as an example, alkalines AAs actually have very high capacity (~3000 mAh or more) at very low discharge currents, but at an amp they’re basically empty.

  8. @Patrick – If you know a way of finding these Eneloop-like ultra-low-discharge batteries using specs displayed on the packaging.. please mention your easy method. (Searching for reviews on batteries is not always possible).

  9. My Microsoft wireless optical desktop mouse/keyboard combo almost never needs to have its batteries replaced. The mouse runs on 2xAA (like most others) and I think the last time I replaced the batteries was about six months ago- before that, a year. It’s nice that the mouse can survive on just one AA in case the other goes dead or you’re just plain lazy.

    Still, maybe if you have a laser mouse that doubles as a laser cutter and really drains batteries, a cellphone battery swap might not be too bad of an idea.

  10. I use 2 rechargeable AA batteries in my wireless mouse at work. The batteries are cheap and they are old and they don’t hold much of a charge. Still they last over a month. Sounds like the problem is with the mouse, not the battery.

  11. Wow, I happen to have that exact type of mouse(sitting on a shelf). It really is a turd for power consumption. Alkalines last about two weeks at most, regular nimh only a few days. Two problems that I see: it has a blindingly bright LED, and the mouse stops working at a voltage that’s fairly high for two alkaline or nimh(I can’t recall the exact voltage). This does make me want to get the mouse out and do some work on it- was a $25 combo with a great basic wireless keyboard that I’m still using right now, lasts many months on two AAA.

  12. That’s interesting about the power draw. My mouse (Logitech bluetooth M-RCQ142) is nowhere near that hungry, needing fresh Eneloop AA rechargables about every 6-8 weeks.

    I just noticed the mouse sticker says “3.0v 100mA”.

    From what I know… 2 rechargeable AA’s will -not- provide 3V (especially after a few weeks). Then it would seem that the better cordless mice will have a voltage booster (joule thief?) in the device right? nice.

    Can’t comment on this mouse’s LED brightness, as it falls outside human visible spectrum (IR?).

    Now I’ve been really pleased

  13. nice job. I did the same thing with my xbox 360 wireless controller and had 4 extra batteries. the built in lowvoltage cutoff in battery just shuts off the power without warning tho

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