Instructables

The cheapest way to Convert Optical Mouse into a TrackBall

Picture of The cheapest way to Convert Optical Mouse into a TrackBall
This is the beginning about a project to convert a optical mouse into a Trackball for a cheap multimedia kiosk peripheral. We can´t use the mouse as the original way, because it can be damaged or stolen. So we propose this PROTOTYPE to make some experiments and see if it works. Ok so what we need is:

1 Empty Roll-on deodorant
1 Cutter
1 Cutting pliers
1 Glue or sillicon pistol
1 Optical Mouse
 
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Step 1: Getting the ball

Picture of Getting the ball
Ok so we need the ball of the roll-on deodorant so we take our cutter and simple cut the upper part of the dedorant case where ball is. Not to be necessary perfect in the cut

 Important: you need to leave some material where the ball can support itself without touching the superfice where it will be rested.

Step 2: Nivelate the surface

Picture of Nivelate the surface
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Once we have our trackball, we need to cut off the excedent material in order to make the rollon ball closer to the surface. This is because the optical mouse sensor only detects movement in a range less than 1 cm. So we take our Cutting pliers and we start making little cuts in order to reduce the material. Be carefull to not let the ball touch the surface if you rest on a flat horizontal surface, because it this happens the friction will not let the ball moves freely.

Step 3: Attach to the mouse

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When you have your trackball ready it's time to glue it to the mouse. Take your optical mouse downwards where the optical sensor is. Most of the optical mouse have a red LED near to the sensor, a few other use invisible infrared LED. This do not affect the functionallity. Center your trackball with the sensor aperture and glue it. Remember to dont let the ball touch the mouse surface, it have a distance between about of 3 mm.
ShamielJ2 months ago

This is absolutely brilliant, i love the idea! :)

I built a mini arcade cabinet with an android tablet, this will be a perfect trackball for arkanoid and the likes.

I only need left and right, so I'll install the mouse upside down beneath the control panel to invert the axis correctly.

patbeck86 (author)  ShamielJ2 months ago

Great! If you can post a Video of your finished work It will be awesome!

almost complete.....
cabinet 04 - Copy.jpgcabinet 04c - Copy.jpg
its_mishra8 months ago
how to click?
patbeck86 (author)  its_mishra8 months ago
Is not finished, the future work you need to do, is solding push Buttons switches form the internal circuit.
Pode-se usar este "Sakasa": http://www.trudelmer.com.br/blog/2011/08/23/mouse-ou-tochpad-invertido/
redsunmtm1 year ago
the only problem, is that left and right are inverted, but really clever !
webfp462 years ago
I don't now what operating system you are using, but with almost any linux distro (the ones using X11) you could use xinput to invert your mouse. Take a look at the manpage: man 'xinput'.
patbeck86 (author)  webfp462 years ago
We´re using Edubuntu 11.10 and yes we found a solution to the inverted x axis in the next forum: http://askubuntu.com/questions/16480/inverted-mouse-axis-on-a-ubuntu-live-usb

It works perfectly

Thank you in advance!
nice to hear it is working.

For other people that come across this issue:
Find your mouse with 'xinput -list'
Left-right inversion with: 'xinput set-int-prop "YOUR_MOUSE_NAME" "Evdev Axis Inversion" 8 1 0'
top-bottom inversion with: 'xinput set-int-prop "YOUR_MOUSE_NAME" "Evdev Axis Inversion" 8 0 1'
rimar20002 years ago
Clever! You are a master!
patbeck86 (author)  rimar20002 years ago
thank you! hope you like it!
knife1412 years ago
This is an excellent idea! I would have never thought of using a roll-on deodorant applicator. Thanks for posting this.
patbeck86 (author)  knife1412 years ago
Thank you, the idea comes because we need something cheap and easy to do and implement to use in public places, so if suffer damage we can easily replace!