9V Battery Powered Sensor Bar Hack - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 79 Old 12-04-2006, 10:28 PM
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In the absence of pics, I'm hoping my son can help disect this thread for me. He gets his Wii for Christmas & he will need a sensor bar that will be placed in front along with the PJ screen.

He has also shown me a few videos that people have created for sensor bars they made themselves. Between them & this thread, I'm sure we can make something that will work for him.
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post #32 of 79 Old 12-05-2006, 05:08 AM
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Just so I have this straight - LOL

Take a small piece of wood like a toothpick for example and tape the wire leads from a 9 volt battery holder to each side. Then I insert this into the plug of the sensor bar with the appropriate + and - connections. Is that correct?

Thanks
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post #33 of 79 Old 12-05-2006, 01:24 PM
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Since sensor bars are so cheap, I may try ordering one or two and splicing them all together in parallel. Hook them up to a power supply and it shoudl be good to go for a super bright sensor bar.

While you could splice them all together and plug them into the Wii, it would require somebody who wouldn't mind being without a Wii if they exceed the current capacity of the circuit supplying the sensor bar power. After all, 3 sensor bars = 3x the standard current.
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post #34 of 79 Old 12-07-2006, 09:22 AM
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I have the same problem you all have, equipment in the back, screen too far to get the sensor bar up there. I was planning on splicing the wire but now I plan on wiring the bar to a wall wart.

My biggest question is what voltage. I have since lost my voltmeter and can't test this for myself.

I have read anything from 7.2v to 12.5v. That is a fairly large gap. We can configure the sensitivity of the bar, and I was wondering if the Wii puts out different voltages based on the sensitivity setting.

So for low sensitivity settings we get low voltages, and if it's required the Wii can crank up the voltage to extend the range of the sensor bar.

If that's the case what I want is the voltages for each of the settings, so that I can adjust the sensitivity based on the power source.

This makes sense based on reports that doing the sensitivity adjustments does nothing with the 'wireless' sensor bar.

Anyone want to take the 10 minutes to take these readings? I'm going to see if any of my co-workers have a voltmeter I can borrow...
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post #35 of 79 Old 12-07-2006, 10:11 AM
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I have one of those variable transformers (Radioshack, $10ish), and ran it first at 7.5v and the sensor bar got warm on the sides where the LEDs are. I bumped it down to 6v, and it worked without getting hot and worked the same distance as when plugged into the Wii.

So any combination of 4 C, D, AA, or even AAA batteries should work perfectly if you want to use batteries. I personally have a plug at the front by my screen so why mess with battery replacements.

I also just stuck 2 matchsticks with the wires into the connector, so no cutting wires involved.

Thanks for this thread!
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post #36 of 79 Old 12-07-2006, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiahXgaming View Post

I have one of those variable transformers (Radioshack, $10ish), and ran it first at 7.5v and the sensor bar got warm on the sides where the LEDs are. I bumped it down to 6v, and it worked without getting hot and worked the same distance as when plugged into the Wii.

So any combination of 4 C, D, AA, or even AAA batteries should work perfectly if you want to use batteries. I personally have a plug at the front by my screen so why mess with battery replacements.

I also just stuck 2 matchsticks with the wires into the connector, so no cutting wires involved.

Thanks for this thread!

I also have a plug under the screen, so that's the way I want to go. Thanks for the tip about the matches...that sounds like less work than whittling my own

I'll have to check to see if my bar gets warm after usage, of that indicates 'issues'

I mainly want to figure out why there are such differences in the voltage measured.
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post #37 of 79 Old 12-07-2006, 01:23 PM
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Great stuff - thanks - it's exactly the approach I'm going to take when my wii arrives tomorrow (I was going to go at midnight tonight, but my car had trouble this afternoon so thought better of it as there are severe weather warnings)
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post #38 of 79 Old 12-07-2006, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willise View Post

Take a small piece of wood like a toothpick for example and tape the wire leads from a 9 volt battery holder to each side. Then I insert this into the plug of the sensor bar with the appropriate + and - connections. Is that correct?

Can anyone confirm this procedure? Looking at the sensor bar plug, I see no 'holes' to stick toothpicks in or anything else, just an empty space. Are the small metal strips on either wall of the space what I should be looking for? Also, the positive and negative terminals are obviously not marked; are there any diagrams explaining what is what? Thanks for any insight.
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post #39 of 79 Old 12-07-2006, 04:52 PM
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the idea is to make it a tight snug fit. i literally took a piece of a contractors pencil and cut it down to about 1/8" thick (probably less) and then taped the two 9-volt connector leads to it and pushed it in tight. the ends of the wires are just barely touching two metal contacts inside the plug. it's really not that complicated you just have to get the dangle of the angle right on the wires and get a good snug fit. obviously, this is not ideal, but it does work. i'm going to radio shack this week to buy the power adapter listed in jeremy's post and am going to try and solder it so i don't have to mess with batteries. i've heard it's pretty tough to get the solder done right, but it can be done.

"the one who has the most fun wins."
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post #40 of 79 Old 12-08-2006, 12:35 AM
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Let the wireless era begin!

I got my Radio Shack parts in the mail today and sat down to attempt the original hack. It took about half an hour (the wires used in the sensor bar cable are TINY) but I finally got it working, after cutting and restripping a couple times; sliding the wires cleanly into the 'butt connectors' was the trickiest part for me. I was psyched when I finally saw the LEDs light up using my digital camera!

To power down I just take one of the two 9V snap connectors off and swing it out of the way. I tested everything briefly and performance seems to be identical thus far. It's very nice to be able to store the Wii in the back with the rest of the A/V equipment now ... no wires strung out across the floor!

Kudos to kktx and the other pioneers on the board.
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post #41 of 79 Old 12-08-2006, 07:42 AM
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right on. congrats. i'm going to go to the shack today and get the power transformer from jeremyp's post and try and do the hardwired hack so i don't have to mess with batteries anymore.

"the one who has the most fun wins."
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post #42 of 79 Old 12-08-2006, 10:42 PM
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having trouble with the match sticks. There's a tiny slit in the sensor plug, is this where you guys are stuffing the 9v wires in? I've tried that and just putting the 9v wires on the bottom of that plug and stuffing the match stick on that, but still no go. Like Joshua mentioned, how do you know which side is positive and negative?
Thanks guys.

Bought a soldering iron and a power supply tonight. Just afraid if I can't get match sticks to work, how the hell am I gonna solder to work!!!
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post #43 of 79 Old 12-09-2006, 12:30 AM
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Still didn't get the match sticks working so I cut the cable. Definately made the 9v easier to hook up using the butt connectors. Might take the pluinge tomorrow and solder, we'll see. Not sure if I wanna stay with the battery or use a power supply.

Although, using the battery, my distance was cut down. Hardlined, I set the sensor on top of the screen and worked well at 10'. Now I'm only getting about 7' on the wii menus. I'll see how the game reacts to 15' (where the couch is).
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post #44 of 79 Old 12-09-2006, 12:54 AM
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I just recieved my spare sensor bar today.

this is how I rigged it up.
it's similar if not exactly the same as the pencil method haha

what you need:

1.) chinese take out chopstick (the flat ones you have to break apart)
2.) 2 wires (I pulled mines from an old S-video cable that was already cut)
3.) a utility knife
4.) 2 test leads with aligator clips on each end
5.) one 9v battery (you could use a universal AC to DC transformer too if you wanted)

you dont need to cut or modify your existing sensor bar and the wires coming out of it

-First i seperated the chop sticks

-Then using utility knife strip/carve (you might want to start on the the fatter side of the chopstick) one of the chopsticks down until it 1) is in the shape of the sensor bar plug and 2) fits snuggly into the sensor bar plug and 3) you can strip down the top and bottom just a little to compensate for the wires that you will be pushing against

-cut down the chopstick length to your liking that way you dont have this huge thing sticking out.

-strip both ends of the 2 wires (those would be the ones I pulled from an old s-video cable)

-on one end of each wire fold the the exposed wiring until you have something like a little ball (this just helps to make contact with the metal inside the sensor bar plug)

-now lay the sensor bar plug on it's side and position each wire so that they are on opposite sides of the sensor bar plug (making sure they are not touching each other)

-assuming you already tested the chopstick to see if it fits snuggly push the chopstick into the plug

-if you have the tool, then check continuity between the two wires they should not be touching each other if they are pull the chopstick out and do it over again otherwise you'll short something out

-if everything checks out use the your test leads and hook up each wire to the correct terminal on the 9v battery

the polarity of the sensor bar plug is exactly the same as the wii's power plug (look under you power supply there's a diagram of he polarity)

if you're lazy here's an ascii version:
______
|*****\\
|******\\
|*******|
|*******|
|*******|
|________|

ignore the astericks they are just there to fill in empty space


i reversed it when i was testing it out and i didnt see any ill effects but then again i disconnected it immediately when it wasnt working.

I used a digital camera to see if the LEDs were on.


a cooler mod would be to use a universal plug instead of test leads so you can hook up battery source or AC to DC power source. I gotta check out radioshack for that.

hope this was helpful.
now if someone could figure out the correct voltage and amperage that the Wii is spitting out in the back....

laters
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post #45 of 79 Old 12-09-2006, 04:45 AM
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For those wanting a photo of the pencil mod - here's mine... Huge thanks to those who pioneered the sensor bar mods
Hopefully it will make it clearer - btw I used a wooden chopstick
I also used the cheapest multi-voltave transformer going - 3.99pounds from Maplins. So far so good.
Now I just need component cables!!!
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post #46 of 79 Old 12-09-2006, 06:25 AM
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All you need are some X-mas lights,small box and some dark tint.Put it all togather.Now you can just plug it in any were you want.
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post #47 of 79 Old 12-09-2006, 11:16 AM
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Here's my hack
LL
LL
LL

- Zilla
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post #48 of 79 Old 12-10-2006, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ascrackoo1 View Post

now if someone could figure out the correct voltage and amperage that the Wii is spitting out in the back....

laters

I tested it several times and I get the same voltage every time, it stays between 12v and 12.5v. I haven't had any problems with a 9v power adapter.
The sensor bar does get warm, but no warmer then it did when hooked up to the Wii.
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post #49 of 79 Old 12-12-2006, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfsbikerhcjcx View Post

I tested it several times and I get the same voltage every time, it stays between 12v and 12.5v. I haven't had any problems with a 9v power adapter.
The sensor bar does get warm, but no warmer then it did when hooked up to the Wii.

Are you testing it under a load though?

All I know is that even 7.5v makes the sensor bar hot, and LEDs are not meant to get hot. At 6v the bar does not get hot and I am able to point at the same distance, which in my living room with projector is about 15 feet away.

Why overwork them if no benefit?
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post #50 of 79 Old 12-12-2006, 09:12 AM
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I agree with 6v - although my transformer is unregulated, so that could be a reason for the heat at higher voltages. Mine definitely gets hot at 7.5v

I too can see no difference in performance as I raise the voltages.
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post #51 of 79 Old 12-12-2006, 05:38 PM
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Didn't take long...

http://www.wirelesssensorbar.com/

- Zilla
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post #52 of 79 Old 12-13-2006, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll note that my sensor bar didn't get appreciably hot the one day I forgot to unhook the battery (and it was connected for ~14 hours). I think this whole debate will be academic shortly. Who knows how reliable this first wireless sensor bar is (I'm more comfortable with my hacked OEM sensor bar) but there is no doubt that reputable accessory companies will soon follow!

Good fun in the meantime, however.
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post #53 of 79 Old 12-17-2006, 10:54 AM
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That was so easy that even I, a complete ignoramus/clutz, can do it in 30 minutes. Thanks!!

I did something slightly different: While at Radio Shack buying the "9V Battery Snap Connectors" and switch, the knowledgable guy in the back pointed out the "Igor Switch" (a dual sided/dual bladed Knife switch). It cost the same as the toggle switch, but seemed to have a bit more panache for the noobie like me. ($5 total, excluding tax.)

Not having chopsticks handy, I pulled the eraser out of one of my daughter's pencils and painstakingly formed it with a utility knife. Also, instead of stripping a S-Video cable, I was able to pull out the wires from one of the spare 9V battery snap connectors (you have to buy 5, and only need 1).

I get about 18 feet from the 9V battery. Works great!
LL
LL
LL
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post #54 of 79 Old 12-19-2006, 11:31 AM
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My Wii should be here today, and I would like to rig it up in my theater room, which will require a wireless sensor bar. I have gone through this thread, and would like to make sure I have this straight...

If I get th 9v battery snap connectors, and then fashion a pencil (or something) to stick into the sensor bar connector, with the leads from the battey connector contacting the sides of the snesor bar plug, I should be good to go, correct? we will be 10-12' back from the bar when playing, will the 9v battery solution work for this distance?

I like this solution, as it doesn't involve cutting up the sensor bar, and it's cheap and easy. I figure I'll buy a wireless sensor bar once they are available from a reputable company, but this might work in the meantime.

Do I have this right? Will it work for what I need?

Thanks all,
Andy
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post #55 of 79 Old 12-19-2006, 11:36 AM
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yep - just connect the battery the right way around (Negative to the chamfered end of the connector).
Enjoy!
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post #56 of 79 Old 12-19-2006, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantseetheclock1 View Post

That was so easy that even I, a complete ignoramus/clutz, can do it in 30 minutes. Thanks!!

I did something slightly different: While at Radio Shack buying the "9V Battery Snap Connectors" and switch, the knowledgable guy in the back pointed out the "Igor Switch" (a dual sided/dual bladed Knife switch). It cost the same as the toggle switch, but seemed to have a bit more panache for the noobie like me. ($5 total, excluding tax.)

I get about 18 feet from the 9V battery. Works great!

Thanks for the info about the cheap RS switch. I've been considering this since the beginning, but figure that I will be just as likely to forget to hit the switch as I would be to forget to disconnect the battery (which has happened to me twice).

KK
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post #57 of 79 Old 12-19-2006, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingtimes View Post

yep - just connect the battery the right way around (Negative to the chamfered end of the connector).
Enjoy!

Excellent. Thank you all for the posts, great stuff.

Andy
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post #58 of 79 Old 12-19-2006, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kktx View Post

Thanks for the info about the cheap RS switch. I've been considering this since the beginning, but figure that I will be just as likely to forget to hit the switch as I would be to forget to disconnect the battery (which has happened to me twice).

KK


It's easier to flip the switch (even while saying "yeesss maaaster") than it is to pull those flipping battery covers off!

BTW, the switch is only $3.

=owner of not enough rechargeable batteries
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post #59 of 79 Old 12-26-2006, 09:08 AM
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Played with the Wii all day yesterday. The 9v battery was out after 10 hrs, e.g., the pointers were starting to blink. That's a lot of batteries to be used!

- Zilla
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post #60 of 79 Old 12-26-2006, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zilla View Post

Played with the Wii all day yesterday. The 9v battery was out after 10 hrs, e.g., the pointers were starting to blink. That's a lot of batteries to be used!

That's why I went with the A/C plug instead.
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