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Messages - edtech2020

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1
Wiimote Interactive Whiteboard / Schoolwide Implementation Problem?
« on: May 20, 2009, 10:38:41 AM »
I'm reasonably happy with my classroom system.  I'm still working on a permanent wall-mount, but so far I've got nice 3V power from the wall into the WiiMote (so no batteries), and I've taped over buttons 1 & 2 so that the WiiMote is discoverable for the first 20 seconds it has power.  I've even purchased a remote AC switch so I can turn the power to the WiiMote on and off from the front of the room.

So I'm feeling pretty good about the WiiMote in my classroom, and I'm ready to share the wealth with my peers.

But if their WiiMotes go into discoverable mode while my laptop is open . . . won't my computer have as much chance as theirs of pairing with it?

I'm using the only Mac-friendly software I know about for connecting with the WiiMote (from http://www.uweschmidt.org/wiimote-whiteboard).  Problem is, it is always in "searching" mode.  Is that similar for PC users?  If it's always going to try and pair with any WiiMote in range, then that spells major trouble for a school implementation.  I've seen the threads where folks are trying for permanent pairing, but that seems to be stalled for now.  Hmm.  Any thoughts?

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Project Ideas / Re: Syncing with a Permanently Mounted WiiMote
« on: May 08, 2009, 01:20:50 PM »

This week though I've been working with an electronics store to source some parts, bought a few ... I don't want to give too much away yet as I'm still experimenting ...

Aaagh!  And leave me/us in suspense!?

I'm very, very interested in seeing your successful venture.  So far I think I'm traveling a parallel track, and here's my shopping list:

Walmart: AC/DC power adapter $13
Walmart: WiiMote $35
Amazon: DSI EZ Outlet $25
IRPENS.CO.UK:  DJewel IR Pen $17

I don't like my method for mounting the WiiMote yet . . . still pondering theft-deterent, wall-mountable methods for permanently mounting the setup.  Probably I'll end up stuffing the AC/DC adapter and the remote AC on/off piece inside the mounting box so that all that dangles out is a white extension cord that stays plugged into the nearest power.



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Project Ideas / Re: Syncing with a Permanently Mounted WiiMote
« on: May 07, 2009, 10:09:35 AM »
Our connection procedure goes: push our remote synching button, pair the wiimote and computer, start the software, teach! If the wiimote goes out of discoverable mode before a connection is made, simply push the remote synching button and try again. Because the remote button is usually positioned beside the computer this is very easy.
(If you haven't tried the excellent WiiConnect yet you should - great for those using the standard Microsoft Bluetooth stack and takes a step out of the process).

Dave,
I don't see on your website (http://www.3pinteract.co.nz/products.html) a remote syncing button.  What are referring to?  Is there a device that sits near my computer that will jiggle the mounted WiiMote to become discoverable?

I'm in an all Mac district--do I need WiiConnect?

~Tim

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Project Ideas / Re: Syncing with a Permanently Mounted WiiMote
« on: May 06, 2009, 06:58:35 PM »
I'm having some preliminary success using a method (I read about it here in the forums) where you tape down buttons 1 and 2 and get the WiiMote to enter sync mode by unplugging the AC charger, waiting 20 seconds, and then replugging it in. 

When it's first turned on, the WiiMote flashes blue and becomes discoverable by my laptop for about 20 seconds.  It doesn't seem to matter whether WiiMote Whiteboard (software from http://www.uweschmidt.org/wiimote-whiteboard for my Mac) is already running or not . . . if everything is working as it should it will connect as soon as both a) the unit is plugged in and b) the software is running.

Unfortunately it's not as reliable as I might like after the computer has been running a while.  When the computer is freshly back from logging out and logging in, this works beautifully and reliably.  I login to the laptop and then activate the WiiMote Whiteboard software, then walk over and plug in the WiiMote.  Ready to roll!

I think this will work for me, but I'm interested in hearing about other ways to make the WiiMote "discoverable" that don't involve plugging in the power--it would be nice if that step could be skipped.  But I haven't yet seen how to make a WiiMote always discoverable.

Also I haven't seen yet how this will work with multiple WiiMotes in multiple classrooms near each other.  Yikes!

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Project Ideas / Re: Syncing with a Permanently Mounted WiiMote
« on: May 06, 2009, 11:40:03 AM »
I'm sticking with my Fishing Line Connection Device, FLCD or FLiCD as in Flicked a switch. (Just thought of that creative idea too. Thanks) until someone else shows me something cheaper, easier, more reliable and better to connect.
Cheers,
Joe.

<blush!>  Sorry, Joe.  I didn't intend for the fishing line comment to sound like a smart crack.  </blush>

I am the guy in our school who MacGyver's things together and gets them to work--even when it's outside the box.  But though I like things that work and don't care about packaging and polish, the folks who run the district distrust anything they didn't have to pay big bucks for.  Honestly, they'd be happier to pay $600 for something that looks slick than to even allow me to use my own money to have something that looks the slightest bit hacked together.  I've run afoul of the tech fashion police before in my own computer lab.

Your district sounds like a less restrictive environment.  That has its advantages!

~Tim


6
Project Ideas / Re: Syncing with a Permanently Mounted WiiMote
« on: May 05, 2009, 10:29:55 PM »
I've seen wiimote USB rechargeable battery packs, but I've only seen 5 volt USB AC chargers.  Does the rechargeable battery have a voltage regulater in it that allows the USB charger to be plugged into the wall?

To me BoonJin's wiki section under  "Powering Options" suggest you can, but since I've already fried two remotes I'm hesitant to try without more clarification.

The one that I have working now is plugged into a multi-voltage adapter that I've soldered onto the contacts, but I was going to use the USB version.  Maybe I'll have to chuck the USB option and keep with the AC/DC adapter and soldered contacts.  Did you burn out the WiiMotes on 5V USB power?

And to be clear, I can't afford to have fishing line or anything that could be labeled "contraption" in the setup if I want it to become a widespread adoption in the district.  For my classroom, fine.  For other teachers to get into it, it needs to be totally hands off and not so "creative."  That's the dilemma.  :(

7
Project Ideas / Syncing with a Permanently Mounted WiiMote
« on: May 05, 2009, 01:49:03 PM »
I have thought through my approach to the mounting and AC/DC powering (thanks to many forum posts), and now I confront the challenge of syncing WiiMote to laptop when you can't get to the buttons.  I've appreciated the creative approaches I've read about involving fishingline and yardsticks, but though I'm the kind of guy who would think that's a cool way to solve the problem, I can't sell the idea to a school full of teachers when it involves "creative" workarounds.

So imagine with me here for a minute.  The wiimote itself is inaccessible (on purpose--we teach middle schoolers).  It is powered from an AC source that is accessible.  What needs to be happening (and in what sequence) in order for the laptop to sync each morning and stay synced until the laptop closes or powers off?  What needed to be done to the WiiMote before it became inaccessible--depress the red sync button, tape down buttons 1 & 2, etc?

~Tim in Central Oregon
www.edtech2020.com


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