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« on: January 28, 2008, 12:51:21 AM »

I got my Wii Remote in the mail (I don't actually own a Wii) and stopped by RadioShack to see if they had appropriate parts for an LED pen.  While the LED itself is a lower output than the recommended device, I thought I'd give it a try.  I also picked up some 1.4V Zinc-air hearing aid batteries for powering it and their sub-mini momentary SPST switch.  Here's the result:



I'll have to wait until tomorrow to try it all out (I don't have any Bluetooth capable computers at home), so we'll see how well this LED works.  I confirmed with my digital camera that the pen is working, but it isn't especially bright. 
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2008, 02:14:59 AM »

First of all: good work
Second:
Did you place the LED on the back of your pen?
I think that's pretty good, since you can now just touch anything, and it works, but when you change the angle of the pen, it'll move the mouse to another postition. that will make it hard to operate i think
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 04:27:20 AM »

The LED is on the tip with the button on the rear.  It's not intended to be pushed against a screen since I'll be using it with free-hanging projection screens. 
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2008, 11:48:12 AM »

ahh, didnt think about it that way yet:P
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2008, 08:02:17 PM »

Well, the RadioShack LED isn't bright enough to work via reflection, only directly pointed at the Wii remote.  Of course, it's about 1/3 as bright as the one Johnny recommended, which I'll pick up when I do a Mouser order in a couple of days. 

On the plus side, I didn't have any trouble getting the Wii remote to connect to my laptop and getting the whiteboard app to work. 
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2008, 11:45:24 PM »

How bring does Johnny suggest the Pen be?
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Rich
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2008, 01:17:54 AM »

He references a Vishay LED that is 40mW.  The RadioShack one lists as 8mW on the webpage, much lower than what he was using in his videos when reflecting the light off the surface. 

In a basic comparison using my digital camera as an IR viewer, the RadioShack LED was noticeably dimmer than my TV remote control. 

The Mouser ones are also much cheaper ($0.21 each) than the RadioShack ones ($2 each), but you need to be ordering lots or other parts to make an order to Mouser or Digikey worthwhile. 
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2008, 05:30:02 AM »

Okay, it looks like the RadioShack LED is more workable than I thought. 

I took one of these LED keychain lights: http://www.photonlight.com/Photon-Micro-Light-II-Keychain-LED-Flashlights-p/p2-keychain-led-flashlight.htm

and I replaced the two 2016 batteries with a single 2032 battery (this takes the voltage from 6V to 3V) and replaced the LED with a RadioShack one.  This requires no soldering, just a small screwdriver and some small needle nose pliers.  The LED leads have to be cut down and bent to match the removed LED.  The result is a much brighter light (higher voltage and current capability) that works when pointed at the screen (if slightly angled towards the Wiimote). 

After thinking about it, it could be that the hearing aid battery I tried in my pen is also not capable of putting out much current.  I'll try and hook a AAA battery to it and see if the output is higher. 
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2008, 06:39:05 AM »

the radio shack LED has a max forward voltage of 1.6v so are you adding a resistor to your 3 volt power source?
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2008, 08:02:51 AM »

the radio shack LED has a max forward voltage of 1.6v so are you adding a resistor to your 3 volt power source?

Nope - it will have a shorter life, so this is a temporary solution.  I'm not entirely sure how short the life will be, but long enough to find a better option. 

I also picked up one of these at the store for $5 - http://www.rayovac.com/flashlight/brsledpen-b.shtml

it was the only LED light there that used a single AAA battery, which provides the appropriate voltage for these IR LEDs.  Unfortunately, the button isn't momentary, it's a click-on click-off.  The LED also doesn't appear to be easy to replace, but I'll keep poking at it. 
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