Rohit is an engineer who found himself turning through pages and pages of PDFs. The solution he created, from his site:

Now the simple solution would be to buy myself a jog wheel / spinner. Give the jog wheel a slight twist and its momentum would keep it gliding over pages and pages of the boring PDF. But I’m an engineer. So I decided to build myself one (obviously the phrase “Why buy a cow when milk is so cheap” does not apply to engineers).

Rohit reverse-engineered the pinout for the chip on a USB mouse to find the right pins to attach the VCR head to. Once finished, his device works like a charm, and looks pretty sharp too.

[via Dangerous Prototypes]

Michael Colombo

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens’ educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

  • Dino Segovis (@MakerDino)

    This is the kind of hack that’s like your favorite sandwhich! Well done!

    • Rohit de Sa


  • Poet

    How did you get the wheel to sit at a right relative angle? Most VCR heads are at like 30 or more drgees tip.

    • KMakato

      The bracket holding the head in the VCR is the only thing making the head tilted. The head itself is just two “wheels” with a shaft through the middle (bearings and what-not of course too).

      • Rohit de Sa

        ^^Exactly. I didn’t really have to do anything to adjust the angle.

  • jason

    For the first 12 hours I had no idea what you were attempting to do…. so you turned an old VCR part into a mouse?

    • Rohit de Sa

      Hehe, yeah. Not a complete mouse, just the scroll wheel part of it.

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