Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Bit of Wiimote Magic on Fedora


A followup to the prior post about using the Wiimote away from a Wii. As I just wrote it appears to work with the Asus Transformer Android tablet. Now I wanted to work with it on the old Dell Latitude D630 running with Fedora 14. I won't go into full detail about what to install on Fedora, except to say in general terms to pick up the Bluetooth driver and utility packages, as well as wmgui to be able to check out operational features in some detail.

I was a bit surprised to note that the nunchuk didn't show up on wmgui. I have no idea what that means. The application did show the motion sensors (three-axis accelerometer) and the tuning fork gyroscope (MotionPlus). I have the source and some USB debugging tools, so I can look a bit to find out if the data from the nunchuk is actually coming across. Since I'm fairly new to this it will probably take me longer to figure this out than someone who is "skilled in the art." There's a lot of DIY information about using the Wiimote, and it appears for the Sony Motion controller as well.


The Dell notebook doesn't come with built-in Bluetooth, so I had to go to a local Best Buy and pick up the only one they stocked for $30. I could have mail-ordered an equivalent for half that price, but I could have added in shipping and waited for however long it would take to get to me. I also wanted to be able to take it back right away if it didn't work. Geeks are too often penny wise and pound foolish.

Once I got the tiny dongle out of the package and plugged in, the USB and Bluetooth drivers under Fedora sensed it and allowed for wmgui to begin to work with the Wiimote. This is basically an end-to-end checkout of all the hardware. Just like with the Transformer, I now know that all the bits I'm currently working with seem to work correctly, quirks notwithstanding. Now it's on to more interesting work.

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