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Blastfrog

How do I make my trackball roll smoothly?

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So, I recently picked up an Elecom Deft trackball to replace my Kensington Expert Mouse (the build quality is surprisingly shit on that one, and it seemed to have tracking issues when rolling the ball too fast). So far, I'm quite liking this new one, from the layout, build quality, and the tracking is very responsive and accurate even when I spin the ball like a madman.

 

Here's the issue, and I've had it on every trackball I've owned (all modern, I don't have any trackballs from the "golden era" of a decade+ ago); it kind of "chugs" along when I move the ball slowly. I've tried sewing machine oil and a tiny bit of WD40, but I still get the same damn chunky movement (though lessened). It rolls very nicely otherwise, when going at faster speeds.

 

I've heard that the balls from older Logitech and Microsoft trackballs are made out of smoother material. Is there some trick I'm missing in getting this thing to roll nicely with stock parts, or should I go buy an old Microsoft trackball to swap the ball out with my Elecom?

 

I've searched all over Google and haven't found much of any useful info aside from the things I've mentioned above (oil and ball swap).

 

Please don't make testicle puns in response... :P

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perkited on reddit said: The best option I've found is to clean the ball with a soft cloth, wipe the plastic contact points with your finger, and then rub the clean ball around on your forehead for a while. Doing that should make the ball roll about as smoothly as it's going to. If you've used non-skin oil/chapstick/etc. then you may need to really clean those of the ball and contacts.

Are you having any usage problems (cursor not moving correctly, etc.) or is it just a "feel" issue?

This may or may not work.

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Okay, so it turns out that teflon bearings are irredeemably terrible and one can only hope to minimize (not eliminate) jerky rolling. Steel is the way to go, hands down, and the only modern one I know of that uses it is the CST trackball. In the two weeks I've had this one, haven't needed to clean it once and it still rolls like a charm, whereas any teflon based one gets gummed up in a matter of hours even when my hands are pristine.

 

I dunno if anyone else here cares about trackballs like I do, but I figure I might as well share my experience if it helps others select a satisfactory one.

 

That being said, canola oil is the most effective lube I've found so far for teflon bearings. Still total shit compared to steel, but hey, better than having it jerk around in the wrong directions so frequently.

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You'll get there, Blastfrog, you'll get there...

 

 

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