USB Sensor Bars

Discussion in 'Wii - Hardware, Devices and Utilities' started by drfsupercenter, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. drfsupercenter
    OP

    drfsupercenter Flash Cart Aficionado

    Member
    1,898
    234
    Mar 26, 2008
    United States
    Has anyone found any USB-powered sensor bars that actually works?

    I've bought two separate listings on eBay - the first seller also gave me a free replacement... and all three don't work at all.

    I plug them into a USB port, no IR light comes from the LEDs (if the stupid thing even has LEDs)... I also tried a wall plug, same result. And obviously the Wii remote won't see it if my camera won't. (Tested it...)

    I'm beginning to thing these are all scams, where someone just cuts the normal wires out and puts a USB plug but doesn't hook it up fully.

    I saw a mention of a USB powered sensor bar in another thread, and I'd really love to have one, since now that I have both a Wii and Wii U, it would be easier to have one sensor bar that's always on (since the Wii's USB ports are always on, as far as I know) that I can use with either... the battery powered ones always die quickly.

    Has anyone made a cable where you can plug the normal sensor bar plug in and it has a USB end? Or can someone recommend a USB sensor bar that actually works? Because this is just pathetic. I need to contact both eBay sellers and demand refunds.
     
  2. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

    Global Moderator
    5,715
    4,681
    Jul 15, 2009
    United States
    [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]
    I ended up buying a cheap Wii powered one off of DX a while ago, for the sole purpose of making it USB powered. Upon taking it apart I saw that both the positive and ground wires in the cable had no casing on them at all, so they were two bare copper wires wound around themselves. Up towards the LEDs they did have casing on them.

    Anyway I removed the wire completely since I didn't need it and replaced it with a few feet of my own wire, followed by a USB port on the end. Works like a charm and only cost me about $3 and some time.
     
  3. drfsupercenter
    OP

    drfsupercenter Flash Cart Aficionado

    Member
    1,898
    234
    Mar 26, 2008
    United States
    I absolutely suck at that sort of thing. If I send you a sensor bar, could you mod it for me? :)
     
  4. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

    Global Moderator
    5,715
    4,681
    Jul 15, 2009
    United States
    [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]
    I definitely could, but I think for your sake it would be more monetarily feasible to try to find a different usb one online.

    http://www.tmart.com/Wired-Sensor-Bar-with-USB-Plug-for-Wii-Black-and-Silver-Cable-2.3m_p161764.html

    I've bought a lot of stuff from these guys and I've never had a problem with them or their merchandise, so that might be an option to consider.

    Otherwise, actually, since you have the other ones that aren't working, I could make one of those work too.

    Also, though, the USB ports on the Wii don't seem to be constantly powered. I just plugged my Wii in to double check and I got nothing. Maybe if WC24 is turned on, though I still wouldn't really recommend that. What I had been doing for a while is plugging it in to the USB port on the side of my TV. If you've got a flat screen LCD or LED tv (maybe some plasmas too) it probably has a USB port for loading pictures and/or videos off of a flash drive. You're not gonna be using the Wii and WiiU without your TV being on, so...

    Yeah though, if you wanted me to get one of the others working for you, send me a PM, we can work something out, I'm sure.
     
  5. drfsupercenter
    OP

    drfsupercenter Flash Cart Aficionado

    Member
    1,898
    234
    Mar 26, 2008
    United States
    Yeah, that Tmart one looks exactly like the ones I bought on eBay. Complete with the little plastic stand. I must just have really bad luck as I had 3 in a row that didn't work.
     
  6. pasc

    pasc GBATemps official GBA Freak

    Member
    2,593
    145
    Sep 9, 2006
    Gambia, The
    Germany
    I made one myself.

    You need a step up from 5 to 9 V
     
  7. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    The Real Jdbye is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    12,113
    5,181
    Mar 17, 2010
    Norway
    Alola
    I'm pretty sure the Wii's USB ports are only on when the console itself is on.

    You can actually mod the Wii sensor bar quite easily and replace the plug with a USB one. I THINK (but I'm not 100% sure) it will work on 5V. It should just be a bit dimmer, but you can adjust the sensitivity of the Wiimote.
    I'm not sure why Nintendo didn't make the sensor bar USB in the first place. The USB ports are hardly used for anything, yet the Wii U has 4 of them.

    You could always make your own sensor bar with a few LEDs, a USB plug and suitable resistor. 100 LEDs are like $2 on eBay, and usually come with the needed resistors. Would take some soldering though to get a reliable connection.
    I believe the Wii sensor bar has 6 LEDs in total, 3 on each side, you can use more or less, it doesn't really matter, but for reliability's sake you should use at least that amount, and don't do something ridiculous like 10 LEDs on each side, that could make the Wiimote not register it at all.
    By making your own, you can also adjust the length of the sensor bar to fit the distance at which you will be playing. The further apart the LED groups are, the further away it will work.

    I guess this isn't directly related to your question but it's an option if you can't find a USB sensor bar that works.
     
  8. drfsupercenter
    OP

    drfsupercenter Flash Cart Aficionado

    Member
    1,898
    234
    Mar 26, 2008
    United States
    Hmm, that 5V vs 9V thing is interesting, but the ones I have literally output nothing. I tried using a camera to see the light and there was no output from the LEDs at all.

    Yeah, I've been told a couple times about the Wii's USB ports now, that's OK though - I can just plug it into my cable box, which has a dummy USB port that *is* always powered... I've charged my 3DS from that as well.

    So... is it possible to make one that's as bright at 5V as the standard one is at 9? I'd be interested in paying someone here to make me one if that's an option, since I'm tired of buying these stupid premade ones that don't work.
     
  9. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

    Global Moderator
    5,715
    4,681
    Jul 15, 2009
    United States
    [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]

    The one that I modified that I told you about, while I have no way of checking whether it's as bright as 9v (I haven't even been able to find anything confirming 9v as an official voltage output for it) but I've never noticed a difference between it and a normal sensor bar.

    Oddly I can't find either of my sensor bars - the wii pwoered one nor the usb powered one.
     
  10. drfsupercenter
    OP

    drfsupercenter Flash Cart Aficionado

    Member
    1,898
    234
    Mar 26, 2008
    United States
    Well, I could still send you the two remaining broken USB ones if you want to look at them. But I almost wonder if making one from scratch is better.
     
  11. pasc

    pasc GBATemps official GBA Freak

    Member
    2,593
    145
    Sep 9, 2006
    Gambia, The
    Germany
    Protip:

    Use the 3DS's Camera to check for these.

    It's cameras work perfect for showing you IR light sources.

    My iPhone for example won't show them either.

    They won't even work at 5V at all as they require at least 9V (or something around 8,xxV)

    You only have to use a standart USB Bar, dismantle it.
    Wire the wires to this step-up converter.
    then wire this to the male usb you removed from your USB Bar.
    (you have to turn the poti of the step up to max to reach 9V.)

    (dismantle it (2Wires, red and black iirc), wire those to any USB Cable you might have (preferably a USB without data line so you won't have to measure).
    Afterwards use on of these.
    Wire one end to a Femal USB and the other one to a male one)

    Result:
    [​IMG]
    (used a sensorbar -> USB USB<>Step-Up <>USB Variant
     
  12. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

    Global Moderator
    5,715
    4,681
    Jul 15, 2009
    United States
    [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]
    That's not true. I have one that I wired straight to a USB cable, no step up converter. It's a 6 led (2x3) third party bar. It works fine. You'd probably need the step up converter for an official bar which has ten leds (2x5)
     
  13. pasc

    pasc GBATemps official GBA Freak

    Member
    2,593
    145
    Sep 9, 2006
    Gambia, The
    Germany
    Maybe the housing contains a step-up ?

    or it just that the nintendo one draws this much power.
     
  14. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

    Global Moderator
    5,715
    4,681
    Jul 15, 2009
    United States
    [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]
    It's a shit China bar, it's just a straight line from V+ to 6 leds, possibly with a resistor (it's been a while). Being that the Nintendo one has 4 more leds, that needing a step up is definitely a possibility. For a cheap 6 led China one though a straight rewire will work fine.
     
  15. tbgtbg

    tbgtbg Shaking the ring ropes up in the sky

    Member
    1,951
    448
    Nov 27, 2006
    United States
    Sounds like it would be easier to just get a battery powered bar. Or use a pair of lit candles.
     
  16. drfsupercenter
    OP

    drfsupercenter Flash Cart Aficionado

    Member
    1,898
    234
    Mar 26, 2008
    United States
    The USB ones have 3 on each side, not 5.

    I have a battery powered one, and it drains batteries very quickly. It would be nice if I could just take the two AAAs (that only uses 3V, even!) and somehow hardwire it to USB :P

    So... anyone here willing to make (or mod) me a USB sensor bar? I'm willing to pay, provided it's not outrageous.
     
  17. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

    Global Moderator
    5,715
    4,681
    Jul 15, 2009
    United States
    [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]
    I can make them for you. I'm at work right now but once I get home I'll PM you again.
     
  18. Fishaman P

    Fishaman P Speedrunner

    Member
    3,241
    507
    Jan 2, 2010
    United States
    Wisconsin
    Really? Nintendo better stop advertising that then. :ha: