PC In A Mouse

PC in a mouse

[Slider2732] got his Orange Pi Zero working with a 3 watt amplifier, wireless keyboard (with built-in mouse), and car reversing monitor. But he needed a case to house it in. He remembered that he used to make parameters for ghost hunting by filling PC mouse cases with all sorts of electronics. So why not put the Orange Pi Zero in a mouse too? Looking through his mouse collection, he picked out an old Logitech optical mouse and went to work.

We like that the Logitech has transparent bottom halves, perfect for proving to anyone who might be skeptical that the PC really is in the mouse. A great enhancement we think would be to make the mouse actually be the mouse too! But there doesn’t seem to be enough room left for that. What’s smaller than a Pi Zero that will also run the armbian Linux distribution, OpenELEC Mediacenter, Kodi and a bunch of games?

He even set up the wireless networking for watching YouTube videos. Check out the build and demo video after the break.

If we can’t make the mouse be a mouse, a search on Hackaday finds all sorts of things that can be made from the discarded mouse innards. You could use the sensor to watch the spinning dial of an electricity meter or make an ododometry sensor to tell how far your robot has traveled.

37 thoughts on “PC In A Mouse

      1. Ah yes of course! So more correctly an EMF Meter or a Thermometer or an EVP recorder. No sign of any Para Meters… I had no idea there was so much ghost hunting stuff available. Maybe a good subject for a Hackaday comp?

        1. Not in a box.
          Not with a fox.
          Not in a house.
          Not with a mouse.
          I would not 3D print them here or there.
          I would not 3D print them anywhere.
          I would not 3D print green eggs and ham.
          My Prusa clone burned down, Sam-I-am.

  1. I has one of these stashed…


    Couldn’t find a pic that gives you an idea of scale, but that’s a 3″ ball on it. So could probably get a full Pi model B board in the thing. Also the logictech trackball I have seems to have enough empty space in for a zero.

    The advantage of trackballs for this is that you’re not so encumbered by the lack of flexibility inherent in a HDMI cable or even AV cable.

    1. I guess the mouse plugs into nothing — things plug into it. After all, it’s the computer.
      But you got me wondering about power. I asked in the comments to his video and he said he’s using a 2A USB adaptor plugged into the wall. He also said the monitor is supposed to be 12V but it worked anyway.

  2. There are mice about half the size of that Logitech one these days, just browse around on your favorite Chinese ebay-like-site, get one of those 2-3 bucks mice, take it apart, stuff the hardware below the pi.

    Will possibly need some de-soldering and re-soldering with extension cables, but should definitely fit. (if it doesnt, reconcider the amd branded fan… seems pretty useless to me imho)

    1. The guts of an optical mouse can generally a 1-inch square circuit board. Bigger problem is making the buttons, much less the scroll wheel, work, as in most mice the injection molded plastic links to switches and stuff on the larger circuit board.

  3. With the tech out there if someone wanted to i’m sure you could make a mouse on a chip including the laser .. probly a very small chip to boot . then just mount on the pcb with the pie or whatever.

    not saying any one ever made a mouse on a chip yet.

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