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 Post subject: Silencing a Mouse's Microswitches
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:00 pm 
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Location: Waltham
Well I figure you guys would like this. I remember reading a few threads here a year back asking on how to silence a mouse or a keyboard... Today I was bored and cracked open my MX518 and decided to try silencing the clicks. I managed to make all of the clicks in the mouse that use a spring microswitch (left, right, scroll, back/forward buttons) to be completely silent, and the wheel is also silent (removed the spring that clicks the wheel into the place.

I was wondering if there was any interest for me to write-up a detailed how-to with pictures and such. I don't want to waste my time if there isn't much demand but if a few people post up saying they want to try it out (assuming they don't know how to do it without more details) then I can help out with visuals.

It's a very simple procedure. Crack open the mouse, and find the switches you want to mod. You then pop open the switch, where you will find a very small metal spring/plate that is the switch, and two poles. Above one of the poles is a magnet which is what causes the sound. The switch works by flexing. The small white button on the microswitch casing presses down towards the opposite side of the magnet, and once it flexes enough, the spring disengages from the magnet and contacts the other pole, which signals a click. My simple mod is to place a buffer between the magnet and the spring, which lowers the force necessary to depress the switch. I used a very small portion of a coffee filter (had some laying around..) and folded it up to be somewhere around 0.5mm thick, then slipped it between the spring and the magnet. The mod makes the switches 100% silent.

The downside is that much of the tactile click is lost, and you may start clicking accidentally. In the hour or two that I've had the mod done, I've already gotten used to it. After a little adjustment, you shouldn't have any problems with the mouse.

The mod requires enough confidence and hand stability to work with very small components. Otherwise, it's a very easy mod.

Again, those with lots of experience will easily be competent enough to do this mod without having to bother for pictures or more details, but if anyone here wants me to write up a full guide with pictures and such, please let me know.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:19 am 
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Hello and Welcome to SPCR !

I think you should do a little "how-to" guide with some pics.
That would be great.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:46 am 
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Yeah, especially about cracking the switches open. I just tried, and those little buggers sure seem stubborn...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 2:57 am 
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Here is the "Silencing your scroll mouse." thread from a while back.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:26 am 
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Location: Waltham
AuraAllan wrote:
Here is the "Silencing your scroll mouse." thread from a while back.


Yup, that's exactly what I do for the scroll wheel in every mouse I buy. It feels much smoother.

Alrighty, I'll get some pics taken of my MX518 apart with some pictures and more details.

Keep posted :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:25 am 
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Location: Waltham
Here's a quick guide with pictures.

Materials:
  • Well-lit work area
  • Screwdriver necessary to open your mouse (For me it was a Phllips #1 driver)
  • X-Acto Knife or very small flat-head jewelers screwdriver (#0-#000 should do the trick)
  • Steady Hands


Image
This is a shot of the mouse opened up. I have silenced all of the switches in this mouse, so there were 3 switches at the top (the green PCB to the top-left of the pic) and two on the left side of the mouse (right side of the picture in the top-half of the shell).

Image
This is the main area most will be working in on other mice. See the three switches?

Image
Here's a shot of the side of the switch, showing the mechanism that holds the cover down. You need to use the X-Acto knife to push the clip on the bottom of the cover out past the notch.

Image
This image shows how to open the switches. The blade should be entered between the PCB and the bottom of the switch. From here, you have to push out the bottom of the cover for the switch. Put the blade slightly in between the switch and the PCB (make sure the blunt edge is facing towards the outside of the switch), then while resting it against the switch, push outwards and the clip should disengage.

Image
This shows the side of the switch before disengaging one clip...

Image
And this shows the side of the switch after disengaging one clip. Once you get one side out, disengage the other side. After both sides are disengaged, flip the switch over and then pull the cover off. It is held in place after disengaging both clips by a slight friction, and when you pull it off, you are better off not losing the small white button that sticks out of the top of the switch (hence flipping it over). Place the cover with the outside face down so the white button doesn't fall out of its slot. If it does, just use tweezers to re-insert it before re-applying the cover.

Here comes the fun part. Get your steady hands ready :)

Image
This is what you should see inside of the switch after removing the cover. Note the bent metal part which acts as the spring. If you press the small metal "bridge" between the two holes in the metal plate (on the left side of the plate in this picture), you will see how the switch works. Use the X-Acto knife to push down on the little metal bridge slightly until you hear the click you are trying to eliminate. You will see that the plate flexes, and once it flexes under enough pressure, the opposite side clicks as it leaves the magnet and touches the contact. Now try pressing down on the side of the plate near the magnet (opposite the "bridge) with the X-Acto knife. Notice that when you press down there is no clicking sound at all. My mod places something between the top of the plate and the bottom of the magnet.

Image
This picture shows the standard gap between the disengaged switch and the pole. The magnet holds the spring up, and the gap, as you can see, is relatively large.


I used ripped and folded up pieces of a coffee filter to buffer the plate from the magnet. After folding, the piece of the filter should be somewhere around 0.5mm thick, at most. After you get a small piece of the filter, cut it to size to fit between the magnet and the plate. I find that using tweezers to place the filter on the plate, then using the X-Acto knife to depress the magnet side of the switch while sliding the filter under works very well. After it's under, depress the switch using the "bridge" and if you're lucky, you will not feel a click. Watch the contact point of the switch to see if it contacts when you press the "bridge" and doesn't contact when the "bridge" is not depressed. You need to experiment with this, just try folding twice or three times, and fold more if it's not thick enough or unfold if it is too thick.

Image
This picture shows the gap after inserting the buffer, and the following picture shows the top of the switch after inserting the buffer. As you can see, the gap between the switch contact and the pole has drastically decreased, meaning you need to press down on each button MUCH less before registering a click. This means you will need to adjust to using your mouse with a lighter touch.
Image


Image
This final picture shows the location of all of the switches in my MX518 (Similar for all of the other Logitech mice with this body design I assume, the MX510, G5, G7, etc). Either way, the switch locations are easy to find, just use common sense. Look at where the switches are in relation to the button on the outside of the mouse.

There you have it. That should be a fairly thorough guide.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:49 pm 
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Great stuff Snake. Thanks

Coffee filter? Sure why not :lol:

I might try this soon. Have a spare MX500 somewhere.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:34 am 
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thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:44 pm 
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Location: NY
i know this is an old thread, but i have a problem silencing my microsoft wheel mouse optical. it has round switches instead of rectangular ones. anyone know how to open them?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:55 am
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Location: bugmenot
By round switches do you mean small square ones with a round button

like this http://roleepolee.com/products/roleepol ... h6167a.jpg

These switches are nearly impossible to silence. I have found no reliable way of doing so. The cover cannot be replaced once removed as it is melted on. The switch itself contains a belleville spring. which pops in and out. After taking one of these switches apart I discovered that if you modify whatever presses it to hold it halfway down you can eliminate the clicking sound. however doing so is very difficult as the switch becomes very very sensitive. I have an LED lamp that uses this type of switch. after modifying it, walking in the same room switched it on and off. I was trying to modify one switch and it took hours of effort to get it in a half pressed position. the screws had to be tightened to exactly deform the casing. modifying three such switches to work reliably would be nearly impossible.

Anyways I've found a slightly different way to modify the microswitches shown in the article so they make much less noise. The work somewhat like a lightswitch. They work on the tipping point principle"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipping_point_(physics)" The curved metal spring creates two equilibrium points with a tippin point between them. By modifying this spring to push the copper strip upwards rather than creating the tipping point you can maintain reasonable sensitivity while reducing noise.[/list]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:09 am 
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Location: NEW YORK WORD AND STUFF YEAH OK
lol this is a cool thread.

I duno what to d about my G5 Logitech though that costed $80 dollars. I would hate to screw it up. It is so superior to anything I have found before or since.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:27 am
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Location: Belgium
Hi,

It's a very easy mod, now I don't ear the left click of my IntelliMouse and I'm an happy man :lol:

The best way to do it is to bend the part in blue and shorten the gab beetween the switch

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:45 am 
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So was how well did this mod worked for you all on this forum? I did the mod and reduced the loudness to about 25% of what it was beforehand. Not quite silence but a big improvement. Also my left click is louder than my right click. I don't want a feather light touch where any finger pressure at all trips the switch. I could tinker around more with it, but the experimentation is time consuming for me and moderately stressful for the mouse.

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 Post subject: Re: Silencing a Mouse's Microswitches
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:56 am 
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Posts: 21
wow. came across this one after buying a kana and was severely disappointed with the noise level. must say this the instructions here hold up well today. the only other equipment i would suggest in doing this mod is blutack. stick a moderately generous amount to cover the top of the switch. that way the white plastic bit stays in place as you release the cover and you don't have to worry about losing it. also means you don't have to work upside-down when putting the cover back on. if it does manage to slip out, you can press the blutack on the top a little (not too much) when you add it back with tweezers and it makes it easier to get in place.

for me i've tuned from the "straight" it started on to about 15 degrees. it was by accident and was a bit worried it may be too close to the contact. after assembling though and the reduction in noise was immense and the mouse worked fine. although the scroll button is a little too sensitive now so i think i may accidentally middle click every now and then when scrolling.

either way the instructions provided were invaluable and turned a regret into a blessing (as it's closest to the next intellimouse optical i'm probably ever going to get).

my only issue now is for the side switches. they have a different configuration where the 'notch' is on the side. unfortunately only one side is visible (on top). anyone have any ideas or intel on how to deal with this one?


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 Post subject: Re: Silencing a Mouse's Microswitches
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:26 pm
Posts: 1
MOUSE SILENT CLICK / SILENT MICRO SWITCH

A superior silencing buffer I just discovered this week is petroleum jelly / Vaseline.

Put a little bit on using a toothpick or whatever in the area of the contact and you will get a completely silenced switch. :D

It really does work.

Maybe have to avoid using the mouse in excessive heat because the petroleum jelly may melt.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Silencing a Mouse's Microswitches
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:06 pm
Posts: 1
Hi,Guys
I have found no reliable way of doing so. The cover cannot be replaced once removed as it is melted on. The switch itself contains a belleville spring. which pops in and out. After taking one of these switches apart I discovered that if you modify whatever presses it to hold it halfway down you can eliminate the clicking sound. however doing so is very difficult as the switch becomes very very sensitive. I have an LED lamp that uses this type of switch. after modifying it, walking in the same room switched it on and off. I was trying to modify one switch and it took hours of effort to get it in a half pressed position. the screws had to be tightened to exactly deform the casing. modifying three such switches to work reliably would be nearly impossible.


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