Author Topic: IR Wand Pens  (Read 9581 times)

Offline bubka

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on: February 16, 2009, 05:28:34 PM
I got this idea from a commercial product which had the IR mounted on the end of a retractable telescopic pointer.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4ccysJXhZ4[/youtube]

I have used the wiimote whiteboard in my classroom for over half the school year now and have noticed that:

  • students have trouble triangulated themselves outside of the camera and the IR LED
  • students don't hold the pen in a favorable angle for IR detection

So, I see the AV Rover people have thought of this in their design, thus the telescopic mount.

Now I have a telescopic pointer, but I was not willing to sacrifice it, so I just used a wooden dowel rod mounted in the now infamous dry erase marker.

This is my 3rd custom pen, and I will say probably the best yet.  I made two types, a short for writing, and a long for mostly pointing and easy annotations.


Here it is all apart:


I got tired of buying double AAA battery housings and having to cut them in half so I just made my own from some extra "chromosome" popsicle sticks with some old electronics battery connections


Here are the momentary switches that I have been using, in the past I have mounted a popsicle stick over top which make it easier to engage.


The dowel rod had the LED mounted at the end which is partially split down the center so the + and - IR LED leads fit in.  This one I put electrical tape all the way down.


Final version?


Here is the longer "pointer" version



Getting fancy with the wires


Momentary switch hot clued into place for perfect anatomical usage





Offline Wiweeyum

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Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 06:33:26 PM
Very nice! How easy is it to click smaller things like the X in the top right of windows?


~"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."~
- EF Schumacher


Offline bubka

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Reply #2 on: February 16, 2009, 06:37:34 PM
It is easy, I will post a video maybe tomorrow.  It is nice for teaching because you don't have to block 1/2 to 1/3 of the class for basic annotations and such.  The large one is only good for very large writing.  Anything too small makes it difficult to control the IR at the end to that precise.  Although the more you use it, the better you get.  That's why I made the smaller one.


Offline Macgyver101

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Reply #3 on: March 27, 2009, 03:50:09 PM
I tried your Idea, but I used fiberglass shaft from an old camping tent to run the wires through.  Lot cleaner than black tape and no visible  wires.



Offline bubka

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Reply #4 on: March 28, 2009, 05:01:08 PM
Pretty nice...

The long one is best for pointing, clicking on flash animations, web pages, basic windows navigation.  Students like using it too.


Offline PhyzGeek

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Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 04:14:50 PM
I was also inspired by an AVRover wand, and I'm planning two versions of a pointing wand.

1) A PVC tube as a handle and a length of hollow aluminum tubing as the extension. The aluminum tube is a segment of an old VHF antenna and is very light and very sturdy.

2) A 5-segment telescoping antenna from an RC airplane mounted to a marker handle.  The antenna exterior will conduct one way, and I'll drill a small hole and run fine wire through the hollow center in the other direction. The LED will then be epoxied to the tip of the antenna. However, I've yet to play with this and figure out how to manage the wire on the interior. I may cut 2 or 3 of the segments off and use a long, fine spring to help manage the wire. We'll see what becomes of this idea...

Version 1 will get the most use. Version 2 may never exist. I'm worried about its lack of rigidity, and the wear on solder joints on the interior of the handle as a result of the telescoping wand.