Well, I kept seeing super cheap Wii remotes on Ebay. Obviously these things aren’t the real deal, but perhaps they work well enough for some robot projects? I couldn’t resist so I picked up 2 of them for just under $10 a piece. They showed up last week and I finally had a chance to rip them apart. The outside of the remote was amazingly good… From the outside, you’d be hard pressed to see that it wasn’t the real deal.
They even use the tri-wing screws to hold it all together. Once you get inside, the PCB gives it all away though. There is still solder flux in a couple of placed where it was hand-soldered at connectors, the bluetooth section is a module instead of being right on the main PCB and the camera is totally different.
Ah, that camera. Its a shame they don’t use the same one as the real Wii remotes. That was the thing that I really wanted to get out of these things. My hope is to repurpose the IR camera as a flame sensor for a firefighting sensor. 😉 Hard to know if these talk the same protocol as the real Wii remotes though. If they do, it’ll be a cake walk.
After checking it out, I bolted it back together, tossed some batteries in them and handed the two remotes off to the kids to see if they work as well as the real remotes. It seemed as sensitive as the real deal when moving the pointer around the menus and they got a workout in Star Wars Lego just to make sure. They got a big two-thumbs up from the munchkins! That may have been a mistake though handing these things over… the kids don’t want to give them up now.