Setting up your WiiMote with a PC

Hardware Requirements

In order to get started the minimum system requirements are:

  • At least one WiiMote (£24 from Amazon.co.uk)
  • A working bluetooth adaptor (see below)
  • A PC running XP, Windows 7, or Windows 10

You may also wish to have

  • A sensor bar (a wireless version is available from maplin or you could make your own from some IR LEDs)
  • More WiiMotes
  • A Balance Board (around £70)

Working Bluetooth Adaptors

Not every bluetooth adaptor seems to work with the WiiMote. There are, however, some cheap ones available that do appear to work which are listed below:

I will add more to the list as I experiment more.

Reading around it appears that Bluetooth adaptors that work with the standard windows drivers are the most reliable and will not require a passkey to connect to the WiiMote (although there are reports that pressing Alt-S with some drivers will skip the pairing procedure, click here for more details).

Getting Your WiiMote Connected

To get your WiiMote to connect to your PC follow these steps:

  1. Activate the Bluetooth on your PC
  2. Right click on your Bluetooth icon in the bottom-right of your desktop and select “Add a Bluetooth Device”
  3. Press the 1+2 buttons on your controller to put it in pairing mode
  4. When your PC picks up the device (Nintendo RVL-CNT-01) double-click its icon
  5. When it asks for a Pairing Key select “Pair Without Using a Code”
  6. Windows will add the drivers for a new HID device and should indicate that the process has completed succesfully
  7. That’s it…

Once you have paired your controller it will remain in your bluetooth devices list. However, I have found that you need to go through the whole reconnection procedure if you turn off your computer and try to reconnect.. A solution to this is to download a small utility called WiiMoteConnect, which will automatically connect to a controller that you have previously paired with when you press the 1+2 buttons on the controller.

Using the WiiMote Physics Software

Once you are connected you can gather data from the WiiMote or Balance Board using the WiiMote Physics software which can be downloaded from here. When the program is started each WiiMote/Balance Board appears in a separate window. You can start collecting data by either pressing Ctrl-F5 on the computer’s keyboard or the A-button on the WiiMote. The program can be paused by pressing Ctrl-F5 again or the 1-button on the WiiMote and restarted by hitting Ctrl-F5 or the A-button. Finally data acquisition is stopped by hitting Ctrl-F6 or the 2-button on the WiiMote. Once you have collected the data it can be saved to a *.csv file for further analysis.

There are various predefined modes in the software which I will give a brief description of (more details will emerge as I get down to writing):

    1. Accelerometer – Reads the three accelerometer values
      from a WiiMote
    2. Motion Sensor – Requires a sensor bar with two
      IR LEDs. It will use triangulation to determine the distance between
      the WiiMote and the sensor bar (the field of view of the camera is
      fairly restricted and hence you must be pretty much directly in front
      of the sensor bar for this to work). See the description on the Physics
      Page
      of this site for more details.
    3. Position Sensor – Again this requires a sensor
      bar with two IR LEDs. It monitors the absolute position of the LED
      images on the WiiMote’s camera (ideal for looking at the small amplitude
      motion of a pendulum).
    4. 1D-Motion – Requires a sensor bar with two
      IR LEDs. This mode will plot the acceleration and displacement of a
      WiiMote. This is useful for investigating SHM with the WiiMote connected
      to a spring from the ceiling or collisions of WiiMotes on an airtrack
      (see photograph below). You must have the sensor bar directly in front
      of the WiiMote’s camera. airtrack
    5. Circular Motion – Here the accelerometer is utilised to measure the centripetal acceleration of the WiiMote placed on a rotating turntable. In addition, the WiiMote’s IR camera is set to monitor a light source placed near to the turntable (see photograph below) in order to count the number of revolutions per second.circularmotion
    6. Balance Board – This mode reads data from a Balance Board, the total force and the individual pressure sensors.

I will eventually generate a more thorough guide and help file when I have more time.