Sensor Bar FAQ by sknmak

Version: 0.9a | Updated: 01/15/11 | Printable Version

Wii Sensor Bar FAQ

            Original starting date: 12/26/06
                    Date: 1/20/07
                   UPDATE: 2/07/07
                    Version: 0.9a
                  Written by: SKNMAK
        Wii Sensor Bar FAQ posted on:

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              (c) Copyright 2007 sknmak

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           Wii sensor bar is copyrighted to Nintendo.
______________________TABLE OF CONTENTS:_______________________

**************************[U.] Updates*************************
---------------------[A.] Introduction-------------------------
---------------------[B.] What is the Sensor Bar?--------------
---------------------[C.] Setting up your Sensor Bar correctly-
---------------------[D.] FAQ's (Q's and A's)------------------
---------------------[E.] TEST---------------------------------
---------------------[F.] Ending notes-------------------------


First of all, I've added a new section, called TEST, where I have just 
did some random test to see if the Wii could pick up the signal.

= The Sensor Bar DOES recognize when you are pointing forward.
  *(Example: When you are zooming in and out in Red Steel)*

= I did some light test in other rooms, and the Wii can pick up where 
  you are pointing even if you are not in the same room with the  
  sensor bar/T.V. There's more on this below in the TEST section.

= I also did some Mirror test also. More on this in the TEST section.
  *(Mirros that reflected light or lights of course)*

= Windows in your area of playing, can affect your gameplay alot!
  When there's sun trying to beam though, of course. TEST section.

= UV light seems to be the best source of light to use, other than 
  the Sensor Bar. Test Section

= 2 sources of light isn't always needed!  Test section.


- I'm trying to make this FAQ more "reading" friendly.

= Info added to the Sensor Bar section. The Wii-mote has a built in 
  camera. And I added info to the FAQ section about the troubleshooting 
  the Sensor Bar with a camera or cell phone camera. Also the Sensor 
  Bar doesn't necessarily have to be above or below the T.V, actually it
  doesn't have to be on the T.V or around the T.V at all for good 
  gameplay (check the test section).
  (thanks alot thunderbolt83)

= Prices listed for Wii Sensor Bars in the FAQ section. 
  (thanks thunderbolt83 and jinx)

The Nintendo Wii is a completely new gaming console that 
revolutionizes the video game genre, The new Wii-mote is pixel 
perfect and is very easy for even a 4 year old to use, which brings 
most families and friends together for some fun and interactive 
gameplay. However, this FAQ will help you if you are having problems 
with your Wii-mote's accuracy during gameplay, and other gaming 
situations. I've noticed a lot of complaints about the Sensor bar
and the Wii-motes accuracy. So if you are having basic problems such 
as your Aiming cursor's jumping around the screen, hopefully this 
faq will help you and answer questions you might have about the 
Sensor Bar.

B.)-------------------What is the Sensor Bar?--
The sensor bar is basically and IR emitter. It plugs into the 
back of the Wii. The Wii powers the Sensor Bar so it can give off 
just enough light for the Wii-mote to know where you are pointing. 
The Sensor bar can be placed above or below the center of the T.V 
screen. The best range to place the Sensor bar would be about 3 
inches above or below the screen for the best accuracy. The sensor 
bar is about 20cm in length and has 10 sensor infared lights; 5 on 
each end of the sensor bar. This gives you the freedom you need 
while playing Wii games on all T.V sizes. The sensor bar lets
you know and the Wii know, where you are pointing. The Wii-mote has 
a 1024 x 768 monochrome camera on the front of it, with a IR pass filter. 
*NOTE: If that IR filter is removed, the Wii-mote can track any 
bright object* The built in camera on the Wii-mote includes a 
built in processor capable of tracking up to 4 moving objects. 
The sensor bar tracks by the Wii mote and provides accurate pointing 
information. In some games, the sensor bar lets the Wii console 
know when you are moving your arm forward or backwards. The tilt 
features and accelerometer are inside the Wii console and the Wii-motes, 
which has nothing to do with the Sensor bars infared LEDs. It has 
a pointing range of about 11-16 ft away from the sensor bar 
(depending on your sensitivity settings)  The sensor bar is not 
required for all games though, only for games that utilize the 
"pointing" feature.

C.)-------------------Setting up your Sensor Bar correctly-

You will need to set up your Sensor bar correctly for the best 
gameplay possible.

1.) Make sure your Sensor Bar is plugged into the back of the Wii. 

2.) Make sure that there are no other sources of light around your Wii.
***(such as burning candles beams of sunlight, christmas trees, bright 
    lights etc.)***

3.) Go to the "Wii Settings", then Select "Sensor Bar" and go to 
    where you set the "Sensitivity"
***(make sure you have your Sensor bar correctly set for above or 
    below the screen in the "Sensor bar Position" )***

***(This also the range that will affect how far sit away from the 
    T.V / Sensor Bar. 1-5,  1 being very close, and 5 being very far)**

4.) Select the middle setting (which is 3) and move your 
    controller/those 2 blinking dots \around the screen. If you see 
    MORE than 2 blinking lights, then there's another source of 
    light somewhere around your T.V.
***(find the un-needed source and move it or turn off the un-needed 
    source of light off)**

***(such as burning candles beams of sunlight, christmas trees, bright 
    lights etc.)***

5.) If you have more than 2 blinking dots, use the (-) or (+) 
    to either decrease or increase the Sensitivity, until you ONLY 
    HAVE 2 blinking dots. 

    If you did what I told you to do above then you shouldn't have 
    any problems with the Wii-mote's accuracy during gameplay. 

D.)--------------------FAQ's (Q's snd A's)--------------

If the above steps didn't work for you, then maybe this section 
will help you enjoy your Wii experience better. 
Q. My Wii-mote aiming cursor keeps jumping during gameplay or 
   loadings sections during gameplay!!!

A.-This happens most often in Red Steel, and most likely in other 
   FPS and future games to come. Follow my "Setting up your Sensor Bar 
   correctly" section. If that doesn't work you can either check and 
   make sure that your batteries are NOT low in the Wii-mote. MAKE 
   SURE that there are no extra sources of light around your T.V or 
   sensor bar. Make sure that there isn't a reflective object, that is 
   emitting light around your sensor bar. You can also try turning off 
   the Wii completely, then turning it back on; so hopefully it would
   work fine now. 
Q. Does turning down the Volume in my Wii-mote's help the accuracy 
   during gameplay.

A.-Well, this could be an alternative to some FPS (most noticeable 
   in Red Steel). This also takes away some of the realistic/extra 
   experiences while playing Wii games. Some have said that turning 
   down the volume completely will help, but I always keep my Volume 
   turned all the up, so it could possibly work for some gamers around 
   the globe. Try it, if it works, then enjoy your games; If it doesn't 
   work then read my "Setting up your Sensor Bar correctly" section.
Q. Am I screwed if my Sensor Bar ever gets broken!

A.-New Sensor Bars are available for the Wii console. 

   Check out this link for the Official Nintendo $10.00 Sensor Bar:

***(note make sure that there are no spaces in the link above after
   you copy and paste the link)*

  -New Sensor Bars will also be available very soon at
   As of 02/15/07 they will be available for $19.99. Link below:

   If you don't wanna go that route, then all you basically need 
   is 2 strong sources of lights similar to the sensor bars' IR LEDs. 
   There are 4 alternatives that I know of:

  -Use another IR emitter, similar to the Sensor Bar

  -You can buy some IR LEDs and build one yourself, its really 
   not that hard to build and there are plenty of online guides already! 
   (just use a search etc.)

  -Use 2 Candles, SERIOUSLY. Although this works perfectly, it's 
   also a fire hazard!!!; so don't fall asleep, anything can happen.
   Just buy some cheap candles and place them either on the top or 
   the bottom of the T.V screen, configure your Wii's Sensor bar 
   settings correctly. Then you should be able to use the Wii Menu 
   and enjoy your games correctly. Depending on the size of the 
   candles will determine the range/feet you will be able to sit 
   away from the Sensor bar. Basically, 2 small candles will allow 
   you to sit about 6-8 feet away from your T.V, whereas 2 larger 
   candles (with more light will allow you to sit about 10-12 feet 
   away (or more) from your T.V. 

  -I've also heard of using 2 Flashlights. I haven't tried this 
   yet, but people have said that it works as well as the candles do.
   UV light works as well.
Q. Is it common for the Wii-mote to jump in certain games and 
   not others?

A.-Yes, it is common. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight 
   Princess and Trauma Center: Second Opinion uses the sensor bar 
   flawlessly with no problems at all. Whereas, games like Red Steel
   and Call of Duty 3 will have a few "aiming problems".  Just follow 
   the steps in this FAQ and hopefully you will know what to do for 
   future references.
Q. I've done everything you've said in this FAQ, but my Wii-mote 
   accuracy on screen is still messed up.

A.-Check your batteries to make sure that they aren't low. 
   Turn the volume down, then restart the console. BE SURE to double 
   check for other light sources around the sensor bar. Make sure the 
   Sensitivity settings are set up correctly. Make sure nothing is 
   blocking the Sensor Bar and also make sure nothing is blocking 
   the Wii-mote sensor. Otherwise try using candles, who knows, it might 
   work out for ya. 
Q. How would I know if my Sensor Bar is damaged?

A.-If you are constantly experiencing problems while using your 
   Wii-mote, then your sensor bar could possibly be damaged. If 
   you know you have done all of the things above, then is away 
   to troubleshoot your sensor bar:

   Troubleshooting your Sensor Bar can be easy if you have all of 
   the needed items. 

  -Turn on your Wii console and use a Camera or a cell phone 
   camera to look at the sensor bar. If you see all 10 lights; 5 on each 
   end of the Sensor bar (they will be white blue'ish color), then sensor 
   bar is in good condition. Here's a link to help you better understand 
   what the sensor bar should look like.
   (send me a e-mail if the picture doesn't show up in the link above)
   (picture credit goes to Jeremy Mikesell)
  -Otherwise, contact Nintendo for more help and support.
Q. Do you think there will be other "newer" version of the Sensor 
   Bar from Nintendo and Third Party companies?

A.-Well, I haven't heard of any "NEWER" version of the Sensor bar at 
   this time, but it is very possible. Now if something happens to your
   original Sensor bar, there are 2 links above on where to find and buy 
   them. There could be 3rd party battery powered wireless sensor bars in 
   the future. Nintendo or 3rd party companies could make a new sensor bar 
   for projector screens or 50 inch + T.V screens or just to improve the
   regular sensor bar. 


*02/07/2007* (thanks thunderbolt83)
I did a test after receiveing a e-mail from thunderbolt83. He stated
that "the sensor bar does not need to remain on your TV, it can be 
moved closer for a better signal. Also, it can be turned to face the 
player", for better gameplay. He said, "When I played Zelda, I sat on 
a couch to the right of my TV, and after turning the bar to face 
slightly to the right, the cursor moved more smoothly." I tried it and 
everything he told me was true; But I've played Zelda: TP while sitting
in a chair on the side of the T.V (not directly facing the T.V) and I 
had perfect aiming, but I turning your sensor bar wouldn't hurt anything.
So I've decided to expand a little bit on what he did. I played 
Red Steel about 35 feet away from the T.V. Of course I couldn't get
a good signal. So I placed the sensor bar on a small tabel about 3 feet 
tall, set up my Sensor bar settings, and played Red Steel. The game
played fine. So this should be great if you plan on playing multiplayer 
games with 3 or more people in an open space. You don't have to be stuck 
right in front of the T.V any longer.

Windows with sunlight trying to beam through in your area of playing 
can affect your gameplay alot! When there's sun trying to beam
though your blinds?!?! I was setting up my Senor Bar Sensitivity, 
and when I pointed at my Window I noticed atleast 18 dots blinking 
on the screen! Which mad my gameplay in Red Steel HELL! Now to correct 
this problem, if you can't find away to play your Wii away from a 
bright window, is to DECREASE the Sensitivity, until you can't see 
all of the blinking dots anymore. When you only see 2 blinking dots, 
then everthing is okay. NOTE: Since you are decreasing your settings you 
will have to sit a little closer to the T.V if you encounter "flickering"

2 sources of light isn't always needed! I pointed my Wii-mote 
at a mirror (away from the T.V of course) with the reflection of a 
light. The light with the ceiling fan connected in my room. The 
light bulb was covered and worked well in Red Steel. The mirror 
was on the other side of the room. BUT, there was one big problem, 
I couldn't zoom in and out in Red Steel,  therefore the Sensor Bar DOES
recognize when you are pointing forward or moving your Wii-mote 
backwards. LOL, I don't recommend anyone playing the game while 
pointing at a wall with a mirror on it.

UV light seems to be the best source of light to use, other than 
the Sensor Bar and candles. Sadly you'll have to wear sunglasses though, 
or suffer some real eye damage. I went into a completely different
room, about 26 feet away form the Wii console and pointed my
Wii-mote at a UV lamp, and amazingly my brother told me that I was 
pointing at the screen. I told him no I wasn't and he said I was. 
Take note that I was on a different room and I was NOT pointing at 
the T.V at all. The UV lightworked perfectly, but was just too bright!. 

I you have any test you would like for me to try out, send me a e-mail.

F.)--------------------Ending notes------------------
I've done tons of tests on trying to get the Wii-motes accuracy to 
100% on most, if not all, of the Wii games. Most people blame it on 
development, but I won't complain about it, I'm just trying to find 
ways to play my Wii games to the highest level of comfort. Please 
check back at gamefaqs for this FAQ updates, regarding the Sensor 
bar and new questions people have asked me. 

{I THANK YOU "THE READERS" for using my FAQ.}

E-mail me for more help or improvements for this FAQ at:

(c) Copyright 2007 SKNMAK
(c) Copyright 2006-2007 All Rights Reserved for Nintendo
This document is copyrighted to SKNMAK
===End of Document===