Is the Wii/Wii U sensor bar a receiver or simply a transmitter? I'm running into the problem where I can't just run the sensor bar cord across the entire room to the screen, and I don't want to buy a 3rd-party wireless sensor bar because my experience with 3rd party stuff has been terrible.

Is there an easy way to supply power to it, if it is just a transmitter?

My theory is that the Wiimote passes information to the Wii/Wii U, not the sensor bar, but I really have no idea.

  • 1
    The sensorbar is just a set of lights and the wiimote sends all the data, however I'm not sure if there's any way to give the sensorbar power without the Wii/U because of the weird port
    – Ben Brocka
    Mar 10, 2014 at 21:27
  • 1
    This answer will tell you what it does, and how it works. It's rather simple.
    – Frank
    Mar 10, 2014 at 21:31
  • @PrinnyBrocka you should only have to figure out the voltage and polarity of the plug. That should be as easy as sticking a multimeter in the Wii while it's on.
    – MBraedley
    Mar 10, 2014 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


The Wii/Wii U sensor bar simply emits a set of infrared lights that the Wii Remote can detect. The cable that connects the sensor bar to your console is solely used to supply power; without power, however, the sensor bar will not function.

There do exist third-party wireless sensor bar products that use batteries, but since you say that you're not interested in third-party products, you may be out of luck on that front.

I'm not aware of the existence any sort of adapter product that will convert the sensor bar's plug connector into other connector formats, but I did happen to find a video where someone demonstrates doing so as a homemade project. However, it involves wire splicing and that sort of dirty work:

  • I heard 2 tea lights can work YMMV Mar 10, 2014 at 22:03
  • So the "sensor bar" actually doesn't have any sensors in it. The sensor (basically a camera for "seeing" the infrared light the "sensor bar" ejects) is in the Wiimote. Apr 13, 2018 at 18:11

Technically, you dont need a sensor bar. The wii U gamepad has a built in sensor for wii motion controls. If you can position the gamepad appropriately, it functions, okay.... The best way is to position the gamepad directly in front as close to underneath as possible, a mounted option works best for me....

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