Friday, February 1, 2013

Repair → Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Recently I acquired a Microsoft Wireless Arc Touch mouse for free from work. Unfortunately, it was broken and my friend had no idea why. I thought, why not take it home and see if I can get a free $60 mouse out of the deal? 

Well, I searched around online for some time and found out that the secret and nifty power switch in the Arc often broke (you turn on the mouse by bending the body from flat to curved so you can use it, very cool). I guess that design is not yet well thought out, but the mouse is a very cool idea. 

Check out the design and usage here: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/arc-touch-tutorial/

Anyways, one guy from this thread said he fixed it by cutting the line to the power switch and tying the wires together. The Arc would be constantly on, but its battery life is beautiful and you can just take out the batteries when not in use!

Note: There is another fix mentioned by Joshua in the comments. It did not work for my mouse, but it worth checking. If you don't know how to take the mouse apart, follow my instructions for that at least. The rubber sheath will be held by 2-4 screws. Find them and pull back the rubber sheath to expose the underside.

He never said what to do exactly, so I made this how to:

Time Required: 10-30 minutes
Tools Required: jeweler screwdriver set, wire strippers, side cutters, needle nose pliers, drill, 1/16" drill bit




 1) Our first order of business is to remove the battery cover and the sticker inside it.

2) At the bottom of the battery compartment are two very small hex screws. I did not have a driver or hex wrench small enough, so I used a drill and 1/16 drill bit. The bit's teeth caught one of the stars and drove the screws out with minimal stripping. Save them carefully and mark where they go.


 3) Now we have to remove the button lid. There is a very small seam in between that and the main body. Start at where the button lid meets the rubber body and slowly work your way forward with a flat jeweler screwdriver (the smallest you have). The button cover will pop off as you go.

4)Now we must take out the ribbon and power cable connecting the lid to the PCB. Remove them with care.


 5) notice the very small red and black wires going into the rubber body (highlighted with the green circle), those go to the switch. Cut these far away from where they connect to the PCB. Now, very carefully strip them with wire strippers. Use the smallest setting, and be very gentle.

6) Once they are stripped, twist them together and wrap a bit of electrical tape around them. (shown in the red circle with the arrow pointing to it)

7) Now you need to tuck them in and plug back in the button cover.

8) Before you snap the lid on, put in some AAA batteries and see if it lights up. The pointer laser and green power button on the button lid should light up. Remove the batteries, snap on the lid, insert the hex screws with the drill again, and enjoy!










There you have it! This may not fix your broken Arc Touch mouse but it is a very common fix for a very common problem.


--- Kudos to 'MatthewPauls' on answers.microsoft.com for tuning me in to this fix. ---

27 comments:

  1. I did not have to hotwire mine. If you take the rubber sheath off, the switch is located at the very bottom of the mouse, and the part that trips the switch was no longer hitting it. I just bent the clip that hits the switch... waaa laaa

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    Replies
    1. I will include your fix as a note at the top of my post. It might save people some hassle. Your fix doesn't seem to work for me, unfortunately. Taking out the batteries kind of sucks :-P.

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    2. Josh; I got the sheath off. But how do you get to the switch? How do you get the metal cover off the snaky bit without mangling it or breaking rivets?

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    3. Josh; I got the sheath off. But how do you get to the switch? How do you get the metal cover off the snaky bit without mangling it or breaking rivets?

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    4. Josh & Vlad, thanks for the great tips. Glad to get it working again now. The "gold steel" frame aka "the spine" seems to be dislocated from the clips causing it not hitting the tiny switch.

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  2. Hey Vlad, I'm having some trouble. I've removed the ribbon don't know which is the power cable. Could you help me out? Thanks!

    Joe jjprevite@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Hey thanks for the email, I'll reply there and update the article as necessary.

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  3. Thanks for this; the hot-wiring worked for me (couldn't find the switch after peeling back sheath). The switch is the weak point in what is otherwise a very solidly built piece of kit.

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    1. No kidding! Mine is still running like a charm and it gets jostled around in my briefcase everywhere. To bad about the weak switch...

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  4. Hello, thanks Vlad for this tutorial, I have to say that the comment from Joshua helped me too. I investigate a little, and I just fix my Arc Touch with your hel guys.

    I record a vide tutorial about the fixing process, and I took several photos too.
    The problem is too quick to fix. Its just a tiny switch that isn't fitting well with a copper like rail, that engages with the switch, this is because the all time we are using our mouse, we need to bend it to power it on, so the rail has bend too much to upwards and this is de faillure. The rail doesn't touch the switch anymore, You just have to bend it again a little bit, and make sure both of them are touching each other. That's it.

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    1. Hey! Glad you fixed your problem! I'm feeling like I should go back to my mouse and do a proper fix job now... Yeah, that switch (while cool and a bit innovative) can't be that durable. That constant flexing would be hard on anything.

      Feel free to post a link to your video tutorial and pictures!

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    2. Thanks! well Here are the links to the youtube videos. Sorry but the first video is in Spanish! I will put the subtitles in the next days!

      Teardown - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upY7oAvFbhA
      Fix - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDGTPLW4w9E

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    3. Your video is great and it did helped me!
      For those without hexagonal screw driver, the below section would help you after understanding Abrahamm's video.

      I didn't have a hexagonal screw driver and I don't plan on getting one, so I made improvisations. What I did was instead of rolling down the rubber grip, I took slits on the rubber grip at the bottom section of the mouse, rolled the grip up, unscrewed the two metal pieces as shown in Abrahamm's video, stripped off the black and red wires, and connected them by twisting together. Viola! The blue light came out. Finish the "surgery" by securing the black/red wire to the main body, and the broken rubber with black tape.

      Hope the above does help those without hexagonal screw driver.

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    4. That is certainly one way to do it. I would, however, recommend using a flat jeweller's screwdriver that fits across two of the points in the screw. It would avoid the need to cut the rubber. Every homeowner needs a set of jeweller's screwdrivers :). Alternatively, you could do what I did in my post and use a 1/16" drill bit and hand screw it out, but that risks stripping the screw.

      Lots of ways of doing things :).

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    5. I'm glad that my video helped you a little bit! Now I dont have this mouse anymore, but whatever you need guys. I'll be right here.

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  5. This was a really good tutorial. Thank you very much. I've put off using my Arc Mouse for a while but I can finally use it again :D

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    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks a lot! I'm glad it's helped you.

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    2. Hi there,

      I also experience a problem with my arc mouse on my surface pro 3. Mine doesn't want to pair. The blue light works but the light on top that gives a signal to the surface pro doesn't even come on and therefore I can't pair it. All other bluetooth devices work on tablet but not mouse. How to fix this problem? Please help. Rega

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  6. Hi there,

    I also experience a problem with my arc mouse on my surface pro 3. Mine doesn't want to pair. The blue light works but the light on top that gives a signal to the surface pro doesn't even come on and therefore I can't pair it. All other bluetooth devices work on tablet but not mouse. How to fix this problem? Please help. Regars

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  7. Thanks. That worked fine.

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  8. Thank You!! Many may not have the skillset to perform the fix but with fantastic people like you everyone will eventually (if not already) be brave enough to find that "you can find any fix on the Internet" Thanks again for sharing!

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  9. Worked perfectly, thank you! Unfortunately my negative wire was broken at the switch at the bottom, so I had to hard wire mine in absence of a proper soldering iron.

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  10. I had the same problem where the plastic clips along the spine of the mouse mechanism broke and now when you arc the mouse the copper connector does not engage the switch.

    Instead of cutting the wires I wrapped a very strong elastic band around the mouse just above the position where the switch is located. Now when I arc the mouse the elastic band acts like the clips and ensures that the switch engages.

    The mouse can still be flattened and works perfectly and there is a slight bump on the mouse which is not noticed when using as this part falls under my palm.

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  11. hi i have a arc mouse and lost the receiver, is there anyway i could make the mouse working?
    jerry

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  12. hi i have an arc mous but i lost the receiver, is ther anyway i could make the mouse work for use?

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