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My family received 10 wireless mice in excellent condition for free, but must eschew the hassle and cost of batteries. How can I add a cable to them to plug them into USB ports like USB mice?

Please don't ask me to sell them, then buy new USB mice.

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    To save on the cost of batteries you could use rechargeable ones, but with more hassle. Just because they are free does not mean they are worth anything. Feb 17 '20 at 19:01
  • Batteries in decent wireless mice last years nowadays. The hassle might not be nearly as bad as you expect it to be. Feb 19 '20 at 19:56
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How can I convert a wireless mouse to USB mouse?

You must properly understand the current design of the mouse and the electronics circuit and components. However, they are a business secret, and you will not be able to understand them.

Conclusion: you cannot convert them.


Please don't ask me to sell them, then buy new USB mice.

Nobody asks you to sell them. But if you want USB mice, it is much cheaper to just buy them. You can easily find very good cheap USB mice.

Keep the wireless mice as souvenirs.


A crazy hack (expensive, a lot of work, under-optimal experience) would be to have some adapters 220V / 110V to 3V, and connect the 3V wires to the battery terminals. The data communication would go wireless, while the power will be wired.

There is a chance that a phone charger will work, but it might burn your mouse as well, since it generates 5V instead of 3V.

However, this site is not the right place to ask for these kinds of hacks. Also, the price of a USB mouse is most likely smaller than the price of the hack anyway.


Bottom line: you are welcome to shoot yourself in the foot by converting. However, we warmly recommend you to just use the things the way they were designed.

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    You can purchase "Battery eliminators" that are usually used to convert battery powered Christmas Tree lights into mains powered lights. As a hack this may work to not needing to change batteries.
    – TiO
    Feb 17 '20 at 14:49
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    And where do you make the exit hole (in the mouse body) for the cable? While your hack might work for the Christmas tree lights or a portable radio (where a dangling cable does not hurt anyone), the mouse needs to move freely on a flat surface. And the cable must exit somewhere in the front, under the buttons - if there is any space left.
    – virolino
    Feb 18 '20 at 9:27
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    Also, how many wired mice can one buy for the price of one "battery eliminator"? On this site (batteryeliminatorstore.com) the starting price is 50$ for an eliminator.
    – virolino
    Feb 18 '20 at 9:29
  • The current draw of a mouse is much less than that of a string of tree lights -- a "wall wart" designed to operate or charge a 3V device can often be found at second hand stores for under a dollar. Then there's the cost of a compatible connector for the mouse, and the time to install the connector. A USB charger would probably work; batteries change voltage enough over their life that devices that need it have regulators built in.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Feb 18 '20 at 20:13
  • @ZeissIkon: I agree, the number of amps required by the mouse is pretty much irrelevant, at least compared to the tree lights. The big NO-NO here is the price of the "eliminator" (I have yet to see an offer for one worth the trouble), and eventually the need / risk of running the cable through the body of the mouse. I agree about regulator also, but we cannot know what corners were cut when those specific mice were designed and built ;)
    – virolino
    Feb 19 '20 at 5:32
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This would possibly be better off asked on electronics.stackexchange

My thoughts on it are:

  • obtain a usb extension cable
  • hack the connector apart sufficiently to take power and ground wires off it but not so much that it is destroyed and non functional
  • plug the wireless receiver into it
  • mount the receiver end of it (including receiver) inside the case of the mouse
  • send the 5v from the usb cable to though a 5v to 3v converter (common component) and wire it to the battery door contacts

You now have a wired mouse that still employs the wireless part in a way that can't get lost or separated from the mouse. If you're happy to just have the power down a cable and still have to use up another USB port for the receiver, perhaps look at getting a USB battery charger designed to charge two AA batteries- it will probably convert the 5v USB into 3v or so and apply it across the batteries in series - it's hence a 5v to 3v ish converter on the end of a wire and if you can hack it into the internals of the mouse and wire it up it'll power it

Give consideration to mounting the cable in a way that repeated movement won't fatigue it

OR

  • for a hack utilising the usb charger above, consider modifying the mouse so it has external metal contacts on the base /edge that are permanently wired to the battery connectors
  • fit rechargeable batteries to the mouse
  • hack together a cradle with spring contacts (after you've finished hacking the charger apart you should have a couple) so you can just place the mouse in it to charge it
  • run a wall watt charger if you don't want to leave your computer on and consume x hundred watts just to charge the mouse overnight

OR

  • buy high capacity rechargeable batteries - you'll need to change them once or twice a year (not a great imposition, IMHO) and a charger and swap them like a non lifehacker would :)

OR

  • investigate the swap shop / freecycle / local exchange of goods services and put them up for direct swap for wired ones

Also consider that anything hacky might take a few hours for the first mouse and an appreciable amount of time for the subsequent ones. Factoring your hourly rate of pay onto the conversion it would far outweigh the cost of simply paying to replace the mouse with a wired one. Perhaps you could donate the mice to charity, or a local school that would appreciate them (and show their appreciation by offering wired ones in exchange?). A local computer shop or office setup business might have access to new wired mice (like the default basic ones that come with new PCs) if they also supply new high quality mice as part of a computer package - my last place of work bought hundreds of houses desktop PCs tray cane with mouse and keyboard but offered all employees top notch Logitech mice and keyboards anyway and binned the bundled ones

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You're wanting to get rid of the battery, and want them connected to an USB port. If you can live with them connecting wirelessly, it could be an option to buy a 1 AA / 2 AA battery eliminator, either powered directly from the main supply or by USB. The price range of these devices varies, a quick search revealed prices from 2-3 USD to 60 USD depending on various factors.

Depending on your level of expertise you can also consider doing this as a DIY project, see instructables or hackaday for some more information. Basically it involves creating something to put in the battery compartment, and then making a small electrical circuit to provide the needed power.

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  • The link you provided provides a solution for 60 USD. There are a lot of wired mice in that price.
    – virolino
    Feb 18 '20 at 11:17
  • This answer only talks about power, but if the OP truly wanted to make it a USB mouse without the wireless communication, it should be addressed to make this a good answer. IE: since there's no USB communication chip in the mouse and likely no place to connect to when adding one, it's highly unlikely this conversion is going to happen, unless they are an EE. Feb 18 '20 at 19:19
  • @computercarguy: yes, it talks only about power. Transforming the data interface from wireless to wired means switching he entire electronic board of the mouse with a new one. Even EE degree would not help much. And we ignore the carving of the body of the mouse, for installing the wire. But the price of that "eliminator" still suggests to better buy new wired mice.
    – virolino
    Feb 19 '20 at 5:26
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You can't. The wireless mice lack circuitry essential for the USB link. By the time you've added that, you've spent more than you would on 10 new USB mice.

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  • The receiver, however, does have USB circuitry.
    – user253751
    Feb 18 '20 at 18:29

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