Mouse Wheel Encoders

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I have an idea that involves using a mouse wheel encoder, but I can't seem to find any info on them. Does anyone know where you can get hold of mouse wheel encoders, including the wheel itself? 

Something like these:

I've been searching all evening but so far I've only been able to find info on the rotary encoder part, and not how the wheel is held in place.

I suppose i could break into some old mice to see a few ways of doing it, but I'd rather see some actual drawings and technical info if possible...

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You're not gonna have much luck finding a premade assembly, save for the ones you find when you open up a mouse.  They just use generic quadrature shaft encoders, and the little plastic bits are all custom made by the manufacturer to fit the design of their mouse.  How it's held together isn't really relevant as far as the encoder's concerned.  The easiest, and probably cheapeast way of getting your hands on a ready to use assembly is to go buy the cheapest optical mouse you can find and pull it apart, though in most cases the case of the mouse is what's holding one end of the wheel;  you'll have to add your own support if you don't want the case.

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is to go buy the cheapest optical mouse you can find

Shouldn't that be non-optical mouse?

 

I'm thinking an optical mouse uses a mini-camera and doesn't require the mechanics at all.

 

JC 

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Shouldn't that be non-optical mouse?

 

I'm thinking an optical mouse uses a mini-camera and doesn't require the mechanics at all.

For the X-Y yes, but for the scroll wheel it's generally a cheap mechanical quadrature encoder.  I wonder if some of the higher-end mice use an optical encoder such as is used by the lower-end mechanical mice, but for the scroll wheel?  Probably not, since those are generally free-wheeling whereas the scroll wheel usually has detents like a mechanical encoder.

 

However, a mechanical mouse might be cheaper, and if optical encoders are fine for the OP then job done.  Plus, two per mouse.

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Well just an optical mouse cause that's all you can find anymore...Probably a little redundant! But the mouse wheel should work the same on either one, unless you dig up a mouse with an optical encoder on the mouse wheel...I don't think that's a risk on cheaper mice though.

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You won't find one on an Apple mouse!

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Rezer wrote:

The easiest, and probably cheapeast way of getting your hands on a ready to use assembly is to go buy the cheapest optical mouse you can find and pull it apart, though in most cases the case of the mouse is what's holding one end of the wheel;  you'll have to add your own support if you don't want the case.

 

I thought that might be the case, okay well that isn't much of an issue, I'll just have to design my own wheel and support mechanism! Thanks.

 

joeymorin wrote:

... since those are generally free-wheeling whereas the scroll wheel usually has detents like a mechanical encoder...

 

That's a good point, I hadn't thought of that. I'm not sure it it's actually what your referring too there but the way a typicall scroll wheel feels like it has notches along the wheel as you spin it isn't really suited to the application here - not a massive issue by any means but definitely something for me to think about...

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Perhaps take a look here : 

 

http://hackaday.com/2008/05/16/h...

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sparrow2 wrote:

Perhaps take a look here : 

 

http://hackaday.com/2008/05/16/h...

 

Thanks!

 

Does anyone know where I can get hold of the actual encoder parts? Similar to the one seen in the first image in my OP? Can't find so much as a simple data sheet, which is surprising seeing that they're so common

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Your photo has "TTC" pressed into the metal part you want.

So:

https://duckduckgo.com/html?q=%2...

 

And then the firs hit looks pretty much the same:

http://www.icstation.com/1pcs-11...

 

And of course Ali is full of those things, they seem to cost < 20cent each ( 20 up):

http://www.aliexpress.com/wholes...

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

Last Edited: Thu. Feb 16, 2017 - 12:09 PM
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Following on to Paul, an eBay search for "mouse encoder" shows that you can get qty. 5 delivered to your door for a buck:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5PCS-Mou...

 

But that is just the encoder.  With that search term I didn't come up with any full wheel assemblies.

 

 

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Depending what OP want to make and max price, I will suggest a optical solution, (not that I can see it on the pictures but I expect that those cheap ones are mechanical switches ). 

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Thankyou Paulvdh & theusch!

 

sparrow2 wrote:

Depending what OP want to make and max price, I will suggest a optical solution, (not that I can see it on the pictures but I expect that those cheap ones are mechanical switches ). 

 

Well essentially the function I have in mind is sort of a tape-less tape measure if you will - so imagine turning your mouse upside down and running the wheel along a surface. I'm looking to use this to measure the distance traveled.

I'm open to suggestion so by all means post a link or something to an optical solution and I'll happily take a look. 

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So you're doing something like this:

 

EDIT

 

Or this

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Last Edited: Thu. Feb 16, 2017 - 06:06 PM
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see #8 an old mouse

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The first one yes, pretty much exactly that.

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https://www.aliexpress.com/whole...

 

But those are a bit big.

I suppose you are looking in an order of magnitude smaller to measure lengths on paper maps or similar?

Hmmm...

Reminds me of ... Homofaciens. He did some experiments of using a 16x16 bit camera of a mouse for high resolution measurements.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

 

Note:

Don't let yourself be put off by the seemingly low quality of his builds. Homofaciens is not into building the best quality he can, but he is much more into building something that works with easily obtained and cheap components.

Unfortunately at about 6 minutes in his video he discoveres that the firmware in the mouse is designed to discard small / slow movements to prevent the cursor from jittering.

 

Note:

I've also seen some attempts to use a standard webcam & image analysis software for measurement.

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

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The target application won't be for measuring lengths on paper maps as such, though in truth it should be able to do that, but what I have in mind is more of a tape-less digital tape measure. So for example you could measure the distance between two points that aren't along a straight, flat surface - like a curved wall for example. (The device I'm to build will do a few more things than just this, this will actually be used for a calibration process.)

The sort of size i'm after is pretty much the typical mouse wheel size funnily enough. The reason I wanted to be able to purchase something was in the hope that there would be an accompanying data sheet. That way enclosure design is no issue and everything fits as it should as I'll have every dimension associated with the product. 

Of course I can measure things myself, but I prefer to have an actual drawing, especially with something like the little rotary encoders used for the mouse wheels. What with the device being so small it'll be quite fiddly to acquire all the dimensions by hand, especially some of the angles involved, and I'd rather not c**k it up ha!

Anyway, I have a data sheet for the encoder part, and I might simply design my own wheel and have it 3D printed, that way I'm in charge of the dimensions myself.

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Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

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Yes, but no tape, and measuring distance won't be the primary function.