I had done my research but I didn’t realize the complication of installing the Wii in a home theater! I got everything hooked up quickly. I had picked up the component video cables so I just removed my Gamecube and its component cables and swapped in the Wii. I put all my Gamecube controllers and memory into the Wii. However, there was this 7″ black bar in the Wii box…what the heck is this for? Apparently, this is the sensor bar. It emits a set of infrared lights which shoot across the room. This gives the Wii’s remote some of its 3D positioning, of sorts.
Now the issue, the sensor bar needs to be mounted on “your TV”. Well, I don’t have a TV down there…I have a 100″ screen that is about 10′ away from where I sit. And 6′ feet behind that is my component rack in a cabinet. No wires, no cords. This sensor bar has a couple of feet of cable and needs to plugin to the back of the Wii. Crap, I am screwed.
I started googling and found out that every other home theater owner has this problem and has been bitching about it to. Kept reading. The sensor bar cord just provides power. No “data” back to the Wii. And the Wii will work if its not plugged in. Time for a hack.
The connector is totally non-standard on the sensor bar. However, lots of people are sticking 2 wires down in it and securing it with pencil erases or chopsticks. Then connecting to a set of batteries. Oh, batteries…that sounds like something I want to mess with. Not.
Some companies are coming out with wireless sensor bars. That just means they are building the batteries into a homemade sensor bar. Interesting, but not available yet. I can’t sit here for days to weeks without it working.
I remembered that my Cat5 line that powers my IR repeater runs from the screen to my rack. It only uses 4 of the lines in the Cat5. So why not use 2 of the left over ones for power. So I spliced the sensor bar wire and found the 2 smallest wires ever. They are only separated by a piece of thread. Seems odd. So I split them and used some butt connectors to connect to my Cat5 line. Then I went back into my rack and took the other end of those lines and connected them to and old 6V power block from Radio Shack. I plugged in and took my digital camera over and I could see the IR lights on in the camera. Probably sounds like it only took 5 minutes but this all took me a few hours. What a pain.
Thinking back on it, I probably could have skipped the 6V power block and just reattached to the sensor bar plug I cut off. However, I didn’t want to overload the Wii in any way. Don’t mind blowing up a 6V power block. Plus, I cut the cord too short to reattach. Looks like you can now buy additional sensor bars from Nintendo so maybe I will do that eventually.