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Thread: Griffin PowerMate converted to send mouse wheel

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    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. #2
    Variable Bitrate csfile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    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. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    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. #4
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    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):
    64 bit worklog (Vista, 7, XP)

    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. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    I'll have to try the Autohotkey. And yes I hacked up a pretty old mouse.

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