At some point over the last few years I bought an old Apple M0100 mouse on eBay. I don't remember when or why I did that, which seems to be a common theme for most of my eBay purchases.
I had it sitting for a little while, mainly because it was kinda gross. There was an impressive amount of old gunk of human origin on and in it from the previous owner. I contemplated doing various things with it, forgot about it for a while, and then in the end went with the most straight-forward idea: Converting it to Bluetooth so I could "use" it with my modern day Macbook. I took it apart, removed the guts and cleaned it up. As a donor for the Bluetooth guts I bought a $13 "Connectland" mouse off Amazon and dissected it. I didn't have any plans to add extra input methods to the old mouse, like a right click button or scrolling – which made it easier to position the new PCB inside the old shell. I wanted to make something that looked like it could have been an 80's wireless mouse if Apple had released something like that, and since I had a spare mini antenna sitting around from another project I thought it seemed kinda nice to put it where the cable was originally.
Here's what I did to make it work:
- Shaved down stand-offs in the old case and drilled holes for status LED and power button.
- Cut parts of the new mouse's PCB that I didn't need.
- Mounted new PCB with Sugru.
- Desoldered "Pair" button and replaced and relocated it using enameled copper wire.
- Soldered an old-school orange LED to the status LED pins on the new mouse instead of the tacky blue one that it came with.
- Replaced battery housing with off-the-shelf parts.
- Soldered in a push-style power button.
- Added magnets for keeping the case closed, but making it easy to open to replace the batteries. The mouse was originally held together with screws that I misplaced somewhere.
- Modelled and 3D-printed a plastic part for holding the antenna in place where the old cord came out.
- Messed up with black cyanoacrylate making everything look exceptionally messy, not my best work but at least it holds the different parts in place.
- Obsessed over keeping the same spring tension and button travel as on the original mouse.
I wish I could claim that I did it as some sort of tribute to what Apple did for user experience and interaction design, or that I did it because of my former employer's role in the design of these guys, but really I just did it because it seemed like a fun thing to do. Although, those other reasons are cool too.
After finishing the project I used the mouse for about 45 seconds total before putting it aside. It works fine, but honestly the three decades old design is pretty weird and clunky, and having more than one button just makes a lot of sense. But that's not really the point – it was a neat little project and a great excuse to stay indoors on a weekend without feeling too guilty about it.