Wiimote Project

Hardware Support => IR Pens => Topic started by: crowmagnon on February 26, 2008, 05:51:53 PM

Title: Easy pre-made pen conversion
Post by: crowmagnon on February 26, 2008, 05:51:53 PM
I thought I'd share the pen conversion I did since it turned out to be so easy. Requires no soldering, and really no tools beyond a pair of pliers. No pictures or video, sorry, but the explanation is pretty simple.

I used a Coast V12 Tube Torch (Amazon calls it a Turbo Torch):
http://www.amazon.com/Coast-Cutlery-Turbo-Flashlight-TT7533CP/dp/B00006RGLK

Someone I know picked it up at Frys, I'm not sure where else they might sell it.

1. Screw off the back, take the batteries out. Screw off the front, take off the cover and the piece that goes around the LED.

2. Pull off the little black ring around the LED. I used a pocket knife to do this, you can really use whatever I'd imagine.

3. Carefully pull the LED out of the socket. This might take some wiggling but it should come out without breaking anything. LEDs are notched, where one side has a flat edge rather than a round edge. MAKE SURE YOU REMEMBER WHICH SIDE THE NOTCHED END IS ON. Otherwise you'll mix up positive and negative and it won't work. I marked the side with a small piece of electrical tape on the pen.

4. You'll notice the leads on the LED are quite short, and they have flattened sections near the ends. Normal LEDs have similar flattened sections at about the same location on the leads, but they're not as big. The leads have to snap into the socket in order to make the pen light up, and a regular LED won't snap in like the one included in the pen. This is fixed by using a pair of pliers (or again, whatever will work) to bend the end of the IR LED leads up against themselves like a 'U'. This should make the end of the leads wide enough to snap into the sockets. You'll need to cut down your leads so the LED doesn't stick way out of the pen base, so make sure you leave enough on them so once you've bent them up they're roughly the same size as the ends of the pen's LED. Also, the leads will both be the same length, which is also different than how a normal LED works.

5. Snap in the IR LED, remembering to face the notched side of the LED the right way, put the batteries back in, go to town.

You might want to make the leads on the IR LED a bit longer than the ones on the one the pen comes with so it sticks out of the base farther, but that's really up to you. Soon I'm going to try using an LED with longer leads and some kind of cover so the LED can be completely outside the base of the pen without having to worry about bending the leads by pressing down too hard.

The only problem I've encountered so far is that the switch on the pen is both a momentary and a toggle switch depending on how hard you push it, and it's not always easy to tell when you've clicked it, but that's really a minor gripe.

If you have any questions I'll try to answer them.