Mouse Paracording Guide
Paracording your own mouse might seem intimidating, but as long as you take your time with each step, you'll easily be able to do it.
Unfortunately, the paracording process is different for every mouse. We can't make a guide to cover every single device out there, but the general idea is the same with each mouse. We encourage you to look for external resources for your specific device if you need to.
NOTE: Paracording your mouse and following this guide are done at your own risk. We are not responsible for any damage you do to your devices. But as long as you take your time, you should be good. You got this!
This entire process will take approximately 1 hour, especially if it's your first time paracording. Make sure you take your time during each step.
- Gaming mouse paracord
- Screwdriver set (typically Phillips #00 or #000)
- Replacement mouse feet
Removing the Mouse Feet
First, unplug your device and work in a neat area. There will be some tiny screws, and if you lose them, your mouse might not feel the same without them.
Before you do anything, test all of the buttons on your mouse and make sure everything is as expected. Try to memorize the feel of the buttons and the scroll wheel, to make sure you get the same feeling again after assembly.
To open the mouse up, you need to locate the screws on the bottom of the mouse, which are typically located under the mouse feet. Some manufacturers place screws under the sticker on the bottom of the mouse, so you need to figure out where all of the screws are, and make sure you get them all.
These screws are usually Phillips head #00 screws, but you need to figure out which screws your device uses on your own.
Opening the Device
After unscrewing all screws, take your sweet, sweet time opening up the mouse. There will be ribbon cables running from the top shell to the bottom shell, and if you tear one of these, your mouse will be completely broken. It is also very possible to break the mouse shell entirely on the more fragile mice.
Some mice have a locking clip/mechanism which locks the two shells together. If the shells don't easily come apart, try lightly wiggling the shells side-to-side parallel to each other instead of apart from each other. For example, both Razer and Zowie mice use locking clips like this:
The first thing you want to do after separating the shells is unhook all of the ribbon cables to get them out of the way. Do NOT pull on these cables hard. Remember which direction the cables are placed into the connectors. Lift the tabs on the connectors, and gently wiggle the ribbon cables out. They should easily come out. If they aren't, try holding the tabs open with one hand and wiggling with the other hand, as the tab might be closing itself.
Removing the Existing Cable
Now that you've got everything taken apart, you can swap the cables. We highly recommend taking a picture of the assembly inside the mouse to refer to later on. If your cable isn't routed under the PCB, congrats! Your job is much easier.
Unfortunately, on some devices, the cable is routed underneath some components or circuit boards and you may need to further disassemble your mouse to remove the cable from underneath. If your device requires this, you definitely want to take pictures, and refer to them later when putting everything back together. Be extremely careful taking apart scroll wheel assemblies. On some devices the scroll wheel assembly is extremely frustrating to put back together, its best to take them apart slowly and keep them together as much as possible.
From here, you need to unplug the JST connector from the mouse itself. With some mice they come out very easily and with some mice they can be a big pain. Whatever you do - do NOT try to pull the cable up and off the PCB with brute force. You will rip the JST connectors straight off the board. There are many different methods to doing this - so you should try whatever method you've seen that would work best for you.
We recommend lightly wiggling the connector back and forth with your fingernails until a tiny gap is formed, and sliding a small flathead screwdriver into the gap and rotating it to "pry" out the female connector. Once the JST connector is out, you can remove the original cable and move on to the next step!
Securing the Cable
Before putting the new paracord in, make sure your JST connector is the correct size/type, and that the pin configuration is the same as the original cable. You can just compare the two connectors side by side. If they happen to be different, check out our JST pin layout guide to figure out how to fix it and what pin layout you need for your device.
Once you confirm everything is good, place the connector into the male connector on the board. Take extra care to line up each pin and ensure that you don't bend any of them. It only goes in one way, so don't try and force anything.
Once the cable is in, route the cable the same way that the original cable was routed. Make sure that the cable does not run over/under any switches or buttons, and that it does not impact the closing of the shell. This part is extremely important - if you route the cable incorrectly in the device, it may affect the feeling of your mouse once you re-assemble it.
Once you have an idea of how you want to route the cable, you need to secure the heatshrink. Most paracord cables come with two pieces of colored heat shrink, and some come with a third piece that is clear and much smaller than the others.
Before you secure the heat shrink, make sure your paracord sleeving is flexible and straightened, not too tight and not too loose. Let the paracord flow freely and have room to go both ways, you will be able to tell when the cable is not right.
To secure the heat shrink, you need to use a source of high heat, such as a heat gun. If you choose to use an open flame or lighter, do NOT place the entire cable inside of the flame. Work the heatshrink around the edge of the flame until it shrinks.
One piece of the heatshrink will secure the paracord near the JST connector. The second heat shrink needs to go on the "cable exit" of the mouse.
The last piece of heat shrink, if you have one, is a much smaller clear piece. It's used to prevent the cable from exiting the mouse during future use in case the cable ever gets pulled on with a lot of force. You would need to place it on top of the heat shrink that exits the mouse (not the one near the JST connector. It goes on the inside of the mouse, not on the outside.
Once you have all 3 pieces of heatshrink secured, your cable is ready to go, and you can start to re-assemble your device.
Putting the Device Back Together
Before re-assembly, its highly suggested that you test your cable before putting everything back together. Just plug the USB in and test the sensor movement for a few seconds and then unplug it. If your cable is not working for whatever reason, make sure its fully seated in the JST connector and try again. If you need further help, please see our troubleshooting guide.
This is where the picture(s) you took earlier would come in handy. Make sure to take your time here and put everything back exactly the way you found it. Make sure you use the correct screws in each screwhole, and that you don't force anything back into place.
For the ribbon cables, open the tabs and gently slide the cables into the connectors, then close the tabs. You shouldn't need to force anything here, and again, be extremely careful, because these cables are not replaceable.
When you're ready to put the two shells back together, take your time. Some mice shells WILL crack and break if you try to force them back into place. If your device has any shell locking mechanisms, make sure you place the two shells back onto each other correctly instead of trying to snap them back into place.
At this stage, ensure that the shell is sitting flush together, and screw it back together. On some mice, the amount of tension on the screws will affect how the mouse buttons feel after paracording. After adding back the screws and before putting on replacement skates, plug the cable in and test all of the buttons and the wheel to make sure everything is good. If your main buttons feel off
Once you have everything put back together, tested, and feeling good - add your replacement skates and you're done! The entire process isn't difficult, but its important to take your time at each step of the way. As you paracord more devices, you'll get better and quicker at it.
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