The ClickStick, a public domain technology



It all started in March 2001, when I was looking at ADB mice. I also had a very old ADB Mouse 2 I was trying to fix according to the tips provided in that article above, but failed, because the microswitch fell apart and was broken beyond repair (my fault). I then looked at the switch and realized that it was in fact a switch as simple as a lightswitch. Thus I said to myself: replace that microswitch with some kind of small switch and that mouse will work again.

The ClickStick is born

I dug in my parts box for a minute and produced some old switches from a broken Philips TV set. The switch was ideal to be a replacement part: It had a solid base with 2 pins, yet only 2 poles, it clicked and it was a dynamic switch, i.e. one that always went into the "no-contact" position, if not pressed. Also it could be rocked forwards, backwards and pressed down, and all those movements actually were a "click".

I soldered the part onto where the old microswitch had been and gave it a try.

A revolutionary way of defining the word "mouse button"

I didn't have to fiddle around a lot, it was instantly clear that not only the mouse had been fixed, it had in fact been improved beyond the initial state. The "pull-back" rocking of the stick felt so natural for scrolling and selecting text, I was amazed to not having seen someone else come up with that idea before. Needless to say, all the FPS games played about ten times better with the new stick than with the old button. The new stick felt so much more like a trigger and was far more responsive than a regular mousebutton, I instantly fell in love with it. Sniping in Q3F...piece of cake.
Rocking the stick forward was a comfortable position to keep the button clicked without getting strains in the click-finger, and rocking back and forth quickly produced a double-click.

The prototype was done, the ideas just started coming

Of course I quickly realized that those 3 movements per ClickStick could also result in 3 different actions, if I had a switch that was sophisticated enough to perform another contact for every movement. Using a 3 button mouse this would already result in 9 different functions per mouse, with a theoretical maximum of 15 functions for a 5 button mouse. Although that may not make sense as the pinky finger and the ring finger probably aren't controllable enough to differentiate between 3 different movements.

I thought someone else might be interested in my findings and contacted Logitech.
I sent them a detailed documentation, similar to this article here and they considered it for more than half a year. Eventually they let me know they weren't interested, although I had no patents issued or anything. I hope they're not going to be sorry for their decision, after this article finds its way into the masses.

Now, let's proceed to the next page and look at the guides on how you can make your own ClickStick powered mouse.

>>>The How To