6

I have a wireless mouse and keyboard combination that uses a USB dongle like this:

USB dongle

This is at a desk that I share with other people, so it is important that when I (or others) leave and take my laptop, the dongle stays put. However, it is so small that often I forget to take it out of my laptop and leave it on the desk. I'm not worried about it being stolen -- just forgotten.

I thought of trying to superglue a key ring or something to it, in order to make it more conspicuous, but wondered if others have dealt with this?

6

I have multiple dongles for mice, trackballs etc. They aren't all the same brand so I have to match up the device and the right dongle. When I buy a new device I put a blob of paint on the device and on the matching dongle. I use artists' acrylics so I have lots of different ones available.Seeing the paint on the device might remind you about the dongle. The other thing you might try is to connect the dongle via an extension lead long enough to reach your desk.

2
  • 1
    I think a 30cm USB extension lead is the best answer – perhaps a brightly coloured one. It would be very noticeable when the laptop is closed and packed away. It's rare for me to vote on other answers. Perhaps tape the dongle to it, so it stays there with the dongle and all users benefit. As OP says, anyone might accidentally take the dongle. – Weather Vane Nov 7 '20 at 13:05
  • 1
    I ordered the USB extension -- found one that's 6" / 15 cm. I may epoxy the dongle in place. If that ends up working I'll come back and accept this answer. – LShaver Nov 7 '20 at 16:37
3

This hack is based on the idea that a dongle will be easy to misplace anyway.

  • Get a small pot that is big enough to hold a bunch of keys.

  • Keep the dongle in the pot when unused.

  • When you plug in the dongle, place your keys in the pot.

  • Leave the pot right beside your laptop where you can see it.

  • When you leave, swap the dongle with your keys.

This is on the assumption that you won't get far without your keys. But if you don't drive, use another object, such as an ID tag.

2

I'll assume that you take your laptop with you and the dongle is supposed to stay on the desk.

Superglueing a keyring to the dongle probably won't work for long because superglue is brittle and breaks off if anything bumps into the keyring. A better alternative would be a ribbon or other piece of textile. You can tuck it out of the way while working, but when you pick your laptop up to put it into your bag, the ribbon should remind you.

If superglue doesn't manage to keep the ribbon attached, try 2 component epoxy from a home construction store. They often have 5 minutes epoxy available in a double syringe like this enter image description here

2

Dongles like the one you showed are small and the same color as your laptop. That's why they're so easy to forget. So get some bright tape (yellow electrical tape would be great) and attach a long piece to the dongle, like a kite tail. Fold the tape over itself to cover the adhesive so it's not sticky. The yellow tape will attract your attention!

enter image description here

3
  • Nice idea Brett! Do you have any recommendations for tape that will not leave a sticky residue behind? Electrical tape is notorious for that! – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Nov 8 '20 at 22:23
  • 1
    Maybe clear Scotch tape? If so, make a yellow "tail" out of something (yellow cloth, yellow paper) and then attach it to the dongle with Scotch tape or any tape you find that doesn't leave a residue. – BrettFromLA Nov 14 '20 at 14:46
  • 1
    Thanks for the idea Brett! Just FYI, when responding to a comment to someone who didn't write the answer, it's good to "@" them so they get notified. I happen to be following this question, so I still got notified. Either way, thank you for the idea... much appreciated. :) – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Nov 14 '20 at 20:58
1

Duplicates are handy

Anything that is related to my laptop I try to get two of. One lives on the desk where the laptop stays most of the time and the other is in the backpack with a laptop compartment. At least the power supply is labeled "backpack computer_name" so it is easy to remember which one it is and where it belongs. Other things that I may not label, but I usually have an extra one of in the backpack:

  • Ethernet adapter
  • USB-C to USB-A/HDMI adapter
  • USB cellular aircard (you can probably skip getting an extra one of these)
  • USB to Serial adapter
  • Mouse, or in your case: a mouse dongle

Naturally I've had to steal things from the backpack when the item on my desk fails, but yay for not waiting for the replacement to show up to keep going forward. Power supplies don't die very often, but before the USB-C era you needed to have that exact power supply or you were sunk.

1

Your situation is different but I never temporarily connect them directly, either use an extension cable or hub.

0

If it's supposed to be attached to the workstation, how about ... attaching it to the workstation? Attach a piece of string to it, and tie the string down somewhere. You might want to have two strings, one attached to the dongle, and one to the workstation, and then attach the two strings with something that detaches easily (if you pick up your laptop without detaching the dongle, you don't want to damage the dongle) but conspicuously. For example, you can take two binder clips. If you put the handles of one together (that is, putting its mouth in the open position), and then put the handles in the mouth of the second, they will each keep each other open. If you pull them apart, they will snap closed, making a noise.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.