Where to buy a optical mouse sensor

I am trying to buy a optical mouse sensor,, but can't find anyone that not are marked 'obsolete'

I've found circuits on Aliexpress but are searching for something closer. I am living in EU.

Any ideas?

Obsolete means not in current production. What is wrong with obsolete? Most of the Arduino processors are obsolete.

Are you looking for just the chip or a complete optical assembly?

Do you mean a slot sensor ?


Slot Sensor

Just the chip.

What's the intended application?

I ask this because it can be challenging to get hold of a (possibly proprietary) part, whereas a standard/easily obtainable part may also work for you.

It's very easy to get a decent photodiode or digital photosensor. Would that work? Put differently: why does it have to be an optical mouse sensor specifically (which, in the end, is just a photodiode with some signal conditioning circuitry attached to it)?

My question was not so well expressed, sorry for that.
I would like to track movement and direction.

Ah, that's already a more promising direction. Movement and direction of what? Theoretically this is always one object vs. another, so the question is: what kind of objects, how far are they apart, what are their characteristics and how fast do they move with respect to each other?

In that case you will need a quadrature encoder. The quadrature part allows sensing direction.

I say,, my question maybe not well expressed,, but still is where I could find a mouse optical sensor :smile:

Obvious answer: inside a mouse. Shouldn't be hard to find; optical mice have been around for 20 years or so, I'm sure there's quite a few lounging in your local recycling station that still work just fine.

Unless of course you need a steady/reliable supply of many of them. But that would be more of a commercial situation; I assume we're talking about one or two here.

No, if it goes well, I need about 20.

Well....20 mice?
I've looked around and indeed, small-area, low-pixel count image sensors are difficult/impossible to get.

Maybe back to my question - can you make the application a bit more specific so we can see if other approaches would be more feasible? If not, then I would suggest contacting one of the larger distributors (DigiKey, Mouser, Farnell etc) with your question as it would be more of a sourcing issue than a technical question.

I think OP is probably looking for old IC like the PAN3101 and ADNS-2610 at available now.
It used to be used in old optical mouse, but it is no longer in production...

I think it's quicker to buy from a Chinese seller on Aliexpress or ebay.

You are correct.
Is there no longer simular circuits in production???

Undoubtedly, but since they're very application-specific and by definition high-volume products, I don't think you're going to find them in the catalogs of the common distributors. Hence my suggestion to talk to them - or alternatively to one of the OEMs (but they won't have time for this I wager), since you'll have to tap into a market that's exclusively business-to-business and probably revolves around OEMS, EMS' and semicon fabs.

Such sensors used to be standard products and could be freely purchased by ordinary hobby users.
It was also handled by digikey etc.


I haven't looked for it well, but there may be models still in production.

After a quick examination, it seems that sensors in optical mice nowadays are mainly manufactured by PixArt.


However, it seems that retail sales are rare.

Thats true....

I am trying to design a "dimmer". Mechanical constraints makes it imposible to use a rotary encoder. My idea was to use a optical mouse sensor to detect rotation of the knob. This solution should give me a very low height of the knob.

If a optical mouse sensor is out of question,, is there any other ideas how to do achice a "low profile dimmer knob"

You can fashion an optical rotary encoder out of an optical gate (led & phototransistor) and a suitable little wheel. You could even use the parts from a dozen or so old-fashioned non-optical mice, but optical gates are plentiful to get and I'm sure it'll be possible to get hold of a couple of slotted wheels as well.

Btw, this seems quite suitable as well: https://nl.rs-online.com/web/p/mechanical-rotary-encoders/7295808
Total height is 12mm which includes the through-hole pins. How thin does it need to be exactly?

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