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Griffin PowerMate converted to send mouse wheel

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  • Griffin PowerMate converted to send mouse wheel

    My PowerMate was always unreliable. The *#&* driver sucks because it stops working after hibernate and resume. As you can imagine, having no volume control much of the time is no good. To recover, only a reboot helps. Unplugging and replugging of the PowerMate won't do it.

    I messed with devcon but gave up because it lists a million devices and I couldn't figure out which one of them was the PowerMate.

    I wanted another solution that works with the mouse wheel and software like volumouse.

    I took an old Kensington mouse. It turned out that the rotary encoder of the PowerMate is compatible with the controller of the Kensington mouse. Three pins: ground and two signals.

    I unsoldered the original controller from the PowerMate. I wired the rotary encoder to the Kensington controller with one half of the original PowerMate cable. I wired the other half of the PowerMate cable to the USB side of the Kensington controller. I also wired the push-switch to mouse button three.

    It works, using volumouse I got volume control on mouse wheel with my modified PowerMate.

    If you try to repeat this, be sure to use a mouse that uses a three pin, electrical rotary encoder as opposed to an optical one.

    Spray painted PowerMate with mouse controller:

    PowerMate controller is removed and the rotary encoder wired using the original cable:

    The leftovers. The PowerMate controller is the disk shaped board:

  • #2
    nice...I was thinking of hacking up a mouse to make a knob and use volumouse. I just couldn't find the right knob. Never thought of using one of my powermates.


    • #3
      Thanks for the inspiration! I hacked up my powermate similar to yours and it works great. I actually bought a 3DConnexion navigator too, but decided to go with the powermate. The 3DConnexion has more potential, but the powermate suited my needs of simplicity.


      • #4
        You're welcome. Was your donor mouse an antique (like mine) or of current production?

        You may also find AutoHotkey useful for volume control (tested with XP 64 and Vista 64):

        With this solution, my volume control reliability skyrocketed :-). Seriously, it is amazing the hoops you gotta jump through for something as trivial as a hardware volume knob.


        • #5
          I'll have to try the Autohotkey. And yes I hacked up a pretty old mouse.