What is it about Trackballs?

By fw2004
Mar 11, 2007
  1. I had a Microsoft trackball for a while. It was a big thing, very clumsy.
    The ball would stick a lot, and felt rough when I rolled it.

    I replaced the Microsoft with a Logitec wireless. For the first month or so it performed flawlessly, and I loved it. But recently, the ball has begun to stick occasionally, and feels rough at times. I can fix the problem by rolling it vigorously this way and that. But it seems that eventually when I want to make slight movements the ball will stick.

    All I can say is that these things are not designed for precise movement.
    I will probably return to the mouse, which I am trying to avoid due to stress I get in my shoulder when using it.

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Maybe you should wash your hands more? :p

    You need to clean trackball rollers just like you had to clean the balls of traditional mice.
  3. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    Hi fw,

    all "roller-type" trackballs (regardless of brand name) require periodic cleaning to work properly. oils from your skin, dust from the air, etc. build up over time and need to be removed.

    to clean the ball and rollers:
    1. remove the ball and clean it in warm/hot water
    2. use a [foam or cotton] swab moistened with isopropyl alcohol to remove the lint/dirt build-up from the rollers
    3. make sure all parts are completely dry, then reassemble

    *note - if you have a [newer / more expensive] "optical-type" trackball, then the build-up shouldn't effect it like it effects a "roller-type' trackball. if it's still under warranty then consider calling logitech's tech-support, they may help you fix ot over the phone or authorize an RMA for you.

    good luck :wave:
  4. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    My trackball is the optical type. It seems fine now, but only after I 'exercised' it.
    I am pretty good about washing my hands and not eating anything at my computer, but still I know that oils from the skin will wreak havoc with some devices.

  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    use naptha (lighter fluid) to remove oil and grease buildup from your hands. Obviously, unplugg it first and do it in a well ventilated area. Once done, do the same with alcohol. Alcohol is ok, but not very effective at removing oils.
  6. bigbrat41

    bigbrat41 TS Rookie Posts: 54

    LOVE my Trackball!!!!

    I love my trackball. As the others have mentioned a little maintainence now and theh solve most of the "drag" problems. I keep an old tooth brush in a pencil holder on the stand and pop the "ball" out and brush the bejeebers out of the 3 rollers and go back to work.
    I acknowledge that it took some time to get used to and proficient with BUT...
    Yesterday I was putting together the ol' lady's comp' and had to use the "old" move it around, lift it and move it again type mouse and had trouble with the accuracy of that and thought it was terribly uncomfortable.
  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    like I said- naptha and an old rag work wonders for cleaning.
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