How Wireless mouse works? – TechnikNow!

You just plug it in and even before you know it, your mouse is ready to work upon its magic. Wireless Mouse! May be one of the best things computer engineers ever gave birth( or say that they killed that 1 mtr long black thing). Anyways, haven’t you ever thought how does this thing actually works??

Here we are with the answers for you! So, cut the commercial and get going…

Working of Wireless Mouse

Wireless  mouse uses Radio Frequency (RF) technology to communicate through your computer. Mouse houses a transmitter in itself with which it sends signal. At the other end is a receiver which receives signals.

Yuck! Is it not too tacky! I mean you would get that for sure if you are a geek like me. But not everyone is as smart as me😉. Isn’t it! So, lets break this thing down bit by bit!

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Have a look at this thing…

working wireless mouse


So, mouse works on waves! That thing you surly would have got from the technical jargon above. (If not, boy you need to hype your standards.) Any ways have a look at the right side the image.(Just google another if you find it hazy. Don’t bitch about such things.) You see that the size of wave is increasing as we move rightwards.

As we near towards the end, you find something denoted by radio waves.  Exactly these kind of stuff are continuously  emanating from your mouse. Yea! your mouse is giving out such waves which can be of 1 cm to 1 mtr long. So, your movements reach to your system, even before a single wave is completed.

And these only carry out messages which tell your system to move that arrow right when you do so with your mice.

Now, surely you gotta ask how can some message like ” MOVE RIGHT”  be sent over in air? Isn’t that outrageous??

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To be technical, the movements of mouse are recorded and coded in binary language bits  1 and 0.  

But for layman, Lets assume that a 1 means right and a 0 means left ( Yea! that is exactly two things the planet of computer engineers like us revolves around, we don’t a shit about sun.) Also, lets take an example that you moved you mouse right for 3 seconds and then left for another 2. 

So, our mouse needs to send message saying RIGHT for 3 seconds and next 2 seconds should go shouting out LEFT. Surely it literally won’t do that. It would send out a high signal for 3 seconds ( that is 1 ) and a low (obviously 0 ) for next 2.  It would be something like this….

wireless mouse

This thing is somehow converted into that typical wavy motion and sent over the air. When your system receives a high, it moves the arrow right and whenever a low, it goes left!

And also, don’t think that this thing works just left and right. It was just for the example that we took L and R. In fact, coding of movements and click not as simple as just putting in 00 for left, 01 for right, 10 for up and 11 for down. There are many more complex algorithm involved in converting movements (analog) to 0s and 1s (digital).

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Why RF only in wireless mouses?

Another cheaper way to transmit data in over is using waves smaller than 1 mm, called Infrared waves. So, why isn’t this cheaper thing is used in wireless mouse which could have made them easily available at around 100 rupees.

There are many reasons for not using IR in wireless mouse. For starters, IR rays need a straight line of sight between receiver and transmitter to work well as is the case in TV remotes. That is exactly why we point a TV remote towards the TV, to bring TV and remote in a single line. Its like a wave gun. Waves move in a straight line.

On the other hand, imagine cliché example used by our teachers to explain waves – throwing a stone in the pond! Waves start coming out in all directions. Something similar happens when you click a button or move your mouse around. Waves come out in all directions and in whichever direction your computer is, it catches the signal.

Another advantage of using RF waves is that these don’t fade our fast even when obstacles are encountered! And also, these require very less power to work upon!

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Note:- A receiver can be a hardware plugged into your computer separately through expansion slots or it may be a built-in component.

Many of us will be thinking that many electronic devices uses Radio Frequency signals to communicate. What happens when conflicts between the frequency happens. Disturbance in the signal is introduced due to collision and our data can be lost. To avoid conflicts different devices are allocated different frequency range over which they communicate. For example , Cell phones uses RF signals of 800-900 MHz, Car door openers uses 40 MHz, Wireless mouse operate at 2.4 GHz, etc.

About Ajeet Kumar

This Shraddha Kapoor die-hard fan and software engineer in the making boasts of having an awesome set of coding skills as his forte and likes to be in sync with what seems to be going around when it comes to tech stuff! And yea, this big big big Bollywood buff is all music!

View all posts by Ajeet Kumar →

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