Are your looking for instructions on how to adapt a computer mouse for special needs? According to Johns Hopkins University, attaching a single switch to a two-button computer mouse will enable someone with limited motor skills to use a computer and software.
An off-the-shelf single switch interface can cost around $100, but you can save some money if you adapt the mouse yourself. Even if you have to purchase some of the tools, this do-it-yourself project will be a lot easier on the budget.
Here are the necessary materials and a few simple steps to adapting a computer mouse for someone with special needs.
- Two-button computer mouse
- Soldering iron and solder
- 1/8-inch subminiature jack
- Super Glue
- Insulated wire and wire cutters
- Drill and drill bits
- Fine-point marker
- Remove the screws from the back of a two-button computer mouse. Using a fine-point marker, mark the switch for the left mouse button.
- Remove the circuit board from the bottom of the mouse. Flip it over to the soldered side of the board.
- Use a multimeter to find the two active pins, and mark those pins.
- Strip one end of two pieces of wire, and solder one wire to each of the marked pins.
- Examine the mouse to determine the best location for a jack. It cannot interfere with other wires and parts, and it must allow the circuit board to be reinserted.
- Drill a hole for the jack, working up to a ¼-inch bit. Check the jack for fit.
- Cut the two wires, leaving a little extra to work with. Strip the ends of the wires and solder each wire to the jack.
- Insert the jack. Reinsert the circuit board. Make sure the wires are not in the way of moving parts, and use Super Glue to hold them in place, if needed.
- Your newly adapted computer mouse is ready to use.
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