The Marvelous Multiplicity of Microsoft Mice - 2008

A mouse
Let's Grok Microsoft Mice

You can keep all your fancy-schmancy laser driven optical mice with 1200dpi resolution and USB interfaces. Who needs them? The classic PS/2 Microsoft wheel mouse (or "IntelliMouse" to use the correct branding) is a great device to hack as a rotation sensor. Simple, reliable and very forgiving. I used it in the heart of Cyclepong and also Three Blind Mice. Like all classics it has some interesting history.

Having hacked a few of them I started to notice that every mouse seemed slightly different, but I couldn't find any information about different designs on the web. I am guessing if you are making millions then it makes sense to chase  tiny cost savings. I imagine every new intern at Microsoft hardware being given the job of shaving 1 cent of the cost of a Microsoft mouse.

Anyway, to fill the knowledge gap about the different designs - here is my catalog of the classic Microsoft three button mouse designs that I've seen.

I've found four designs for the classic mouse, and a couple of "near neighbours" included below. Perhaps there are more. If you know of any please send me some info using the link at the bottom of the page.

PS: The fastidious probably want to look away now. The insides of old mice get disgusting.

Oh, and before you ask - I know this is a very stooooopid quest, but don't take it too seriously OK.

The Classic Right-Hand Two Button/One Wheel PS/2 Mouse

I've tried to sort these in date order as much as I can so you can see the evolution <gasp>.

IntelliMouse 1.1A
P/N 98950
Product ID 63618-OEM-3576446-00000

My normal day-to-day mouse at home, and I think it's the oldest in this collection. Do you like the tin foil hat for the chip?

The one has some kind of stand-alone encoder on the right hand side of the wheel in a little black box. This has it's own tiny PCB and a little ribbon cable connecting to the main board.

Update 12th August 2008
Also found anouther mouse just like this
IntelliMouse 1.1A
P/N 98950
Product ID 63618-OEM-3800082-00000
Mouse F
IntelliMouse 1.1A
P/N X03-65048
Product ID 63618-OEM-4552381-00000

Major redesign here. The chip is a Zialog mask programmed microcontroller labeled as copyright 1997.

The wheel now has an optical chopper on the left hand side. Overall mechanical design around the wheel is much simpler in this version.
Mouse D
IntelliMouse 1.1A
P/N X03-65048
Product ID 63618-OEM-7125231-00000

This one is copyright 1998 on the chip, but otherwise seems identical to the mouse above (though the microswitches for the buttons have been redesigned or resourced)
Mouse H
IntelliMouse 1.1A
P/N X03-65048
Product ID 63618-OEM-0583642-5 2699

Copyright 1998 again and the same design as above. *Yawn*. They've done something different with the Product ID numbering though!
Mouse I
IntelliMouse 1.2A
P/N X04-72167
Product ID Not recorded

Let's party like it's 1999. Microsoft celebrated the millennium by introducing a new microcontroller which needed fewer external components and incrementing the version number to "1.2A". As I discovered in Cyclepong the 1999 software works rather better than the earlier versions. I suspect it was completely rewritten for different hardware.

Along with a new microcontroller you also get a different type of switch compared to the previous versions.

Apologies for this mouse being butchered already. In fact this is one of the ones in Cyclepong 2.0.
Mouse A
IntelliMouse 1.2A
P/N X04-72167
Product ID 63618-OEM-6414956-2 3900

You think this is the same as the last one don't you? Well look again. Carefully! Yes, this one how has a five way connector to the cord (including the screen) instead of the four way connector in the previous version. A significant change I am sure you'll agree.

A couple of extra capacitors and a wire link have been added. Perhaps the previous design is a cost reduction too far.

Update 12th August 2008
Also found anouther mouse just like this
IntelliMouse 1.2A
P/N X04-72167
Product ID 63618-OEM-6535385-1 3200
Mouse B
IntelliMouse 1.2A
P/N X04-72167
Product ID 63618-OEM-3952351-0 0801

OK this is the same as the previous mouse as far as I can tell. Can you spot anything?
Mouse C
IntelliMouse 1.2A
P/N X04-72167
Product ID 63618-OEM-2151327-7 5099

Another one of this design. I guess by then they had optimized things to their satisfaction. Still, you wouldn't want me to cut corners and leave one out would you?
Mouse J

Other Microsoft Mice

Microsoft did a few designs as well as the classics above.
"Ambidextrous Mouse"

P/N X05-51692
Product ID 83351-576-4694381-00000

Seems Microsoft at some point twigged that the right-handed design wasn't best for everybody. This is the only symmetrical design I have however.

Seems to have a lot in common with the other early examples here, but some diodes have popped up - I am not sure why.
Mouse G
"Oddball Mouse"

IntelliMouse 2.2A
P/N X04-72172
Product ID 52463-OEM-8851274-6 3100

This one is an impostor. It doesn't have a wheel despite being newer than a lot of the wheel mice here. The ball comes with a little cage to stop it rolling out when you open the mouse.
Mouse E

Another Mouse Mystery

There is something about the Microsoft mouse that I can't understand. If you put a scope on the IR choppers you'll find that the mouse pulses the IR transmitter, you'll also see that the speed of pulsing changes if you don't move the mouse for a while.

I've never really been able to work out why this pulsing takes place. It could be a way of protecting against amient light entering the mouse, or possibly a power saving feature. I just don't know. If you have any info please leave a comment.
Do you know anything interesting about the Microsoft wheel mouse? Did you design any of the versions shown here? Leave a comment in the guestbook.
Send Iain a private message.