Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Not Very Detailed Quick Start Guide

Hello hackers and fans, obviously I haven't finished designing my project website yet, but for all of you guys that knows a little bit about computers, here is a quick start guide. This guide is not that detailed and I have no pictures to show you each step. If you are not sure what I am talking about, you should probably wait for my detailed instructions or video tutorial.

To fully understand this... Well let me explain to you how the Wiimote works and what the Wii sensor bar does. There are 8 infrared LEDs (It's been a while since I opened it up. Might be a different number.) in the Wii sensor bar. The Wii outputs 7.2 volts of power for the LEDs to light up. That's all that is in the Wii sensor bar. The Wii does not communicate with the Wii sensor bar. In front of the Wiimote, there is an infrared camera that picks up the infrared light and calculates its position. The data it calculates is fed back to the Wii via Bluetooth.

First of all you will have to be able to turn on your Wii sensor bar or provide another source of infrared light without the Wiimote connecting to the Wii. There are 3 ways to do this:
  1. Mod your Wii sensor bar to use an external power supply, like a battery. To do this:
    1. Get some very thin copper wire (hopefully in black and red), soldering iron, wire stripper (lighter can also be used), a tri-wing screwdriver (Amazon Link), SPST switch, 9-volt battery holder, green LED (optional), and a 9-volt battery.
    2. Open up the Wii sensor bar with the tri-wing screwdriver.
    3. You see where the original wire on the Wii sensor bar runs in and splits into 2 wires? Go cut and strip some of your copper wire and solder it onto the 2 contact points. (Make sure the copper wire is long enough to run out of the Wii sensor bar later.) Do not remove the original wire! Just add the 2 new wires. 
    4. Note which wire is the positive and negative. (black = negative red = positive). 
    5. Thread the 2 wires through the hole where you original wire runs out of the Wii sensor bar. Reassemble the Wii sensor bar. 
    6. Wire the SPST switch, 9-volt battery holder, and the optional green LED in series. (Positive to negative, positive to negative.) Make sure you get the polarity (positive and negative) correct! The green LED serves as a power indicator.
    8. Plug in 9-volt battery, turn on the switch, and test out your modified Wii sensor bar. If it works, great!
    9. Wire tie the long Wii sensor bar cord so you don't accidently trip yourself.
    10. If you decide you want to plug your Wii sensor bar back into the Wii, make sure you remove the battery! If you don't, the LEDs in the Wii sensor bar will burn or melt. Yes, it might start a fire, so DO NOT FORGET! 
    11. You have successfully modified your Wii sensor bar!
  2. Un-sync your Wiimote from your Wii. Find the Sync button on your Wii and hold it for 15 seconds. This will clear all the synced Wiimotes from your Wii. Next time you want to just use the Wii sensor bar, turn on the Wii with the power switch on the Wii. 
  3. Get another source of infrared light. This can be done with candles and other infrared LEDs. I found 2 sources of infrared LEDs on Amazon for you.
After you are done with all that and have an infrared light source for your Wiimote, it is time to connect your Wiimote to your computer via Bluetooth. If you don't have Bluetooth, here are a few dongles I would recommend:

To connect your Wiimote to your computer follow these directions:
  1. Go to your system tray. Move your mouse to the bottom right of the screen (on most computers). You should see a bunch of tiny icons. Find the Bluetooth icon and right click it.
  2. Select the option that says Add a Bluetooth Device.
  3. Press the 1 and 2 buttons on your Wiimote. It should show up as "Input Device" or "Nintendo RVL-003". Double click the device to connect.
  4. The Wiimote has no pairing code, select the option that let's you pair without a pairing code.
  5. Now it should say pairing with... and another balloon should popup saying installing device driver.
  6. Wait for those 2 things to say they are finished. 
Final few steps of this guide...
  1. Open GlovePIE. If you don't have GlovePIE, go ahead and download it here.
  2. Copy paste the latest version of WiimoteIR into GlovePIE. You can find the list here.
  3. Follow the instructions on the script on how to set it up.
  4. Enjoy! 
Thanks for reading this Not Very Detailed Quick Start Guide. If some parts didn't make sense to you, please wait for a more detailed version. :)

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