Remember this post that I blogged about back in April?
Yeah — cool stuff.
And, after some months, the Hubby and I headed over to Fry’s Electronics (to get IR pen parts and a Bluetooth USB dongle — as well as a webcam for me) and Best Buy (for the Wiimote) this past Friday to put the thing together.
As it turns out, we didn’t need the IR pen stuff we got at Fry’s: the Hubby found an old Navy recruiting penlight (so pen casing and switch already premade) and cannibalized an old TV remote we had lying around for the IR LED. Unfortunately, this was *after* the Hubby had made (including soldering) a pen that had the wrong type of LED; it was red but not IR (hence the need for the TV remote).
I found some good advice via YouTube about checking if the IR pen worked: look at it through a digital camera, since IR is invisible by the naked eye. So we did, and it worked!
Following Lee’s instructions, the Hubby set up his data projector and Wiimote and ran Lee’s Wiimote interactive whiteboard software on his laptop to calibrate the IR pen. It took some finnagling here and there to get the right angle of the pen and positioning of the Wiimote, but the pen finally got calibrated, and — yay! the Hubby got his cheap interactive whiteboard!
When we visited Daniel’s godparents yesterday, he demo’d it for them. That’s when we found out that 1) a highly reflective wall will interfere with the IR reception of the pen in the Wiimote, and 2) a TV’s IR LED can be so weak that, while drawing on the wall surface, what should be smooth lines may look like a bad Etch-n-Sketch. So a quick trip to the local Radio Shack is in the cards.
Four words: This. Is. So. Cool.
For more other cool things you can do with a Wiimote, check out Lee’s site. And, if you don’t have time to cobble together an IR pen, here are a couple of sites where you can buy one, handmade: $20, using a regular AAA battery; and $8, using button watch batteries.
As with anything DIY that goes beep, you have to play with it to fine-tune and get used to it; but if you don’t have at least $1000 for the commercially-made interactive whiteboards, Lee’s Wiimote interactive whiteboard is a good, basic, and *cheap* substitute. 🙂