Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wireless control for the wiimote

A large disadvantage to the wiimote IWB was its buttons were inaccessible when mounted on the data projector. I developed a Fishing Line Connection Device -FLiCD - to turn on discovery mode on the wiimote without having to leave my seat. It works seamlessly and Itill use it but some people on the wiimote project said it could be labelled as a contraption.
I then set out to develop an electric wireless system.
My first attempt used a remote central locking system from a car. I pulled apart the wiimote a solder it to connections on the circuit board of the wiimote to "short out" the red sync button and therefore put it into discovery mode. This was an expensive choice.
I then used cheap $10 3 volt wireless doorbells to do the same job. The instructions are very easy to follow and takes about an hour to do. The result though is a very professional system that compares to any commercial rival.


How to Make a Remote Control to Turn on Your wiimote.
The Final Frontier to the Professional Set Up.

1. Remove cover off Wiimote. You may need to get a special screwdriver.
2. Carefully remove circuit board from housing.
3. Locate red sync button.
4. Solder white wires from each of the bottom terminal switches. (Nunchuck end). These wires effectively short the red sync button when signal is sent so therefore put the Wiimote into discovery mode when the remote door bell button is pressed.
5. Solder black wire to negative terminal - right side of circuit board.
6. Solder red wire to positive terminal – left side of circuit board.

These four wires will then be soldered to a remote door chime. Find one that is a 3 volt – 2 AA batteries. The battery that powers the push button remote control is a 23A, 12 volt. This just sends the signal so it can’t harm the Wiimote. It will also last a very long time. Probably 2 or more years in a classroom environment. Some Doorbell remotes use “Button” Batteries. It just depends on the brand.
You can buy cheap wireless door bells from Bunnings Hardware stores for about AU$11.00

To install door chime.
The one in the photo has had the original battery compartment cut off to reduce its size. Also I have removed the speaker and the switch for the different songs. The whole unit, both Wiimote and door chime is now powered by a 3 volt AC adapter.

The first thing to do before you remove any switches, cut wires etc is to find out where to solder the white wires which will short the red sync button. Put charged batteries in both the door chime and the wiimote.
A lot of trial and error may be needed so having 2 people helps.
One person to hold the white wires, the other to press the remote and reset the wiimote.
At this stage batteries should be in both the door chime and the Wiimote. I connected up the AC power in the last step to eliminate batteries. (and to ensure that I didn’t hurt myself)
I have virtually no experience in electronics but this method works. It is safe. No matter what I did, it did not compromise the wiimote or door chime. You need to find 2 terminals on the door chime to touch the white wires to that doesn’t start the Wiimote going into discovery mode immediately i.e. Four blue leds blinking. Your assistant will pop out one battery slightly when this happens so you can check another two terminals. – it speeds up the process otherwise you need to wait 20 seconds for it to time out before trying again.
Also the door chime may sound. This can be a little annoying especially after the 20th time of the same ding song.
Once you have found the 2 terminals, press the door bell button to see if it will start the sync. Solder the white wires to these.
Tip 1; try reversing the white wires on the same terminals as there can be a different outcome.
Tip 2; what we are looking for are the terminals that receive the instruction from the door bell remote to then make it chime. It is not the speaker wires. (in a central locking system for a car that I also set up to a Wiimote, I soldered the white wires to the unlock relay. This was more complicated and more expensive as the control locking system was 12 volt as it was initially designed for a car. I then had to build a 12 volt to a 3 volt regulator so that I could send the power from the remote central locking system to the wiimote. $45 for the Central Locking System, $15 for the 12 volt to 3 volt regulator, $15 for the 12 volt power supply and a lot more components time and mucking around to set it up.
The doorbell is by far the easiest and safest way to convert your wiimote.

1. Solder the white wires to the previously determined terminals on the doorchime and test.
2. You can now cut off the speaker to the door chime and retest.
3. There is often a switch to select different tunes. I removed this too but Ihad to short out 2 terminals with a blob of solder so that it thought that it was still connected. It just made things look less complicated but it isn’t necessary.
4. Solder the red wire from the Wiimote to the positive terminal on the door chime. You can follow the wires from the battery compartment if you’re not sure which is which.
5. Solder the black wire from the Wiimote to the negative terminal on the door chime.
6. Replace batteries in the Wiimote and test. You shouldn’t even need batteries in the door chime anymore.

To connect 3 volt AC adapter.
1. Get your 3 volt AC adapter and cut off the connection. Bare the 2 wires.
2. There will be 2 wires. A positive and a negative.
3. The insulated one will be the positive – in this case a white wire.
4. Solder it also the positive terminal on the door chime. Where you soldered the red wire from the wiimote.
5. Put a little heat shrink on the negative wire (if necessary) and solder it to the negative terminal on the door chime along with the black wire from the wiimote.
6. Test again with batteries only in the Wiimote.
7. Take out batteries then plug in AC adapter and test.
8. Successs. A remote control for the Wiimote.

Assembly and routing of wires.
1. Assembly and wire routing can be up to you but you may need to slightly modify door chime housing and Wiimote housing for wires to pass through.
The soldering iron is excellent for this. Melts plastic and makes holes easily. CAUTION. Don’t breathe in fumes.

Depending on how you intend to mount the wiimote will largely depend on where you want wires coming out and how you will attach the doorchime housing to the wiimote. You could simply place both units in a small electrical box which you buy from Jaycar for a few dollars. Cut out a section in the end of the box for the wiimote camera to stick out of. Hot Glue everything in place. Pass the power cable out the back. Pop rivet a bracket to the casing and mount to the wall, data projector ceiling mount or even the ceiling. There is a huge range of galvanised brackets available for less than $2 from most hardware stores. Builders use them to hang and / or join timber joists and bearers. There are so many types that one will suit. They can also be bent easily if you need to make fine adjustments to the final set up.

I’m even considering just taking out the circuit boards from the wiimote and the door chime and concealing these in an even smaller box. Use silicon to glue them in place. Just need to use the coloured lens from the wiimote for the IR camera and set it in to the end of the box. Should provide a tidy, professional unit which can be done in less than an hour and cost less than $40 to convert.

Parts List.
Soldering Iron and solder.
Wire. You can use any wire from virtually anything.
Heat shrink or electrical tape.
A multimeter to find active terminals or you can trial and error. Remember this is only a 3 volt system so you shouldn’t cause any harm. If in doubt – DON’T!!
Wireless doorbell. If you are going to install several in close proximity, buy ones that have multiple channels to reduce interference. The one for $11 has 16 different channels. You could buy different brands too.
3 Volt AC Adapter. These usually cost about $20 and are available from most electronics stores. I got mine for $1.91 each!!! What a bargain!!

Good Luck and have Fun.
Enjoy and relish in the fact that you have just created a very professional product that will equal many of its rivals but for a mere fraction of the cost!!!!!

This has been produced to enhance the teaching and learning environment of my students in our school. There is no doubt that this technology engages and enthuses children with their learning. For teachers, well the benefits are almost immeasurable. As educators, we now have the latest and the best teaching resources literally at our fingertips at all times. I believe that the time I have invested in researching, setting up, trialling and perfecting this set up will be easily recovered through the higher quality lessons that I can now provide. It will therefore reduce classroom management and behavioural issues (not that I really had any anyway) but it will help me achieve the most important goal - achieving greater academic success for my students.


  1. So many ideas from so many different people around the world. Isn't it great just fantastic. Thanks you for sharing your comments.

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