Tracking movement with a computer mouse (help!)

I need to build/rebuild a system where the movement of a styrofoam sphere are tracked using a hacked optical mouse. I have had a little dig for the sensor/chip that makes the reading on the computer mouses but only seem to find obsolete/end of life (EOL) parts… Which must be a complete mistake from my side, as there are, well, many many computer mouse in production still…

does anyone have a pointer/link/project suggestion I could look into??

I know that @biomurph has a nice open project for a mouse, but from what I have seem it also uses an EOL part? Any suggestions?

1 Like

I totally agree @biomurph will know.

Are you filtering by through-hole vs SMD? I know that loads of places are depreciating through hole versions of so many things. @kaspar might be able to help finding the components?

1 Like

Yes, many of those pars are EOL, but there are new ones made by a company called PixArt. They have many options in the Optical Tracking portion of the Product listing.
They are also not so easy to get ahold of. I’ve been pinging them every couple months about getting a quote but all I get is crickets.

If you’re looking for a 1-off or only want to make a few, I can hook you up :wink: I have extra bits from the open source mouse project. LMK and I can ship you some pieces.


thanks both!

No filtering @julianstirling, really just an odd difficulty in finding this…

@biomurph getting a couple of parts would be great! at least to get things started here and see if we learn something along the way in terms of sourcing more? I can send you a private message with address… Also happy to pay for shipping and the cost of parts!

I took some of the part numbers from PixArt website and threw it in, seems they are distributed by other companies (which I never heard of), and they also require a message to be sent to get a quote… (what the hell happened to the online shopping cart experience?? :stuck_out_tongue: ) I can let you know if one of these companies ping me back…

@amchagas I put up some instruction on the Mouse github for assembly of the old (old old, from 2010) hardware. Scroll down on that assembly instructions page and you will see the old hardware instructions (old). I sent you two kits, 'cause it’s always better to have two.
There’s also an old library for Arduino that I added which should work… If you have any issues, please put them into the github issues tab. That’s what it’s for.
Enjoy and let me know how your project works out!

1 Like

Thanks @biomurph !
I’ll let you know how things go!

aaahh good old 2010…
we looked into this too with urs @gaudi and some others.
old notes are here:


we usually sourced the chips ftom the mouses we found in dumpsters.

1 Like

Hi Marc, thanks for the link, loads of useful info!

How is it going with the mouse kit?

hi @biomurph !
As you can see by the delay in replying, I am completely behind on a lot of things! The mouse kits work fine! thanks for sending them out.
I am yet to implement them in the experimental system we have in the department… will let you know as soon as we have done so!