Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Circuit Board Pix

By popular demand, below is a picture of the two extra boards that came with my order.  The third one is happily running just fine inside my trackball module.  I'm very pleased with the results.


  1. Nice one... Its looks cool.. keep it up..

  2. Would you sell these? Also what are you using for the trackball ball? Is the firmware ready to go? Do you have switches for on the fly dpi changing? Can you write that in?

  3. Could you create a page with all the vendors you used and what parts I would have to get from you and from others? Or would you be able to just create a kit?

  4. Unfortunately, I'm not setup to make any of these. I sold the one and only prototype ever created to someone who needed it a few weeks ago. The circuit boards pictured could be ordered from with the Eagle board file posted on my Github (also in this blog) for just a few dollars (less than $10). Using the Eagle schematic, also on Github, the electronics could be ordered through either Mouser or Digikey. The part that is going to be the hardest to get is the ball socket as it was custom milled by me on my own CNC router and no other exists. So, you would need to be fairly resourceful or creative to get a complete set up and running. Perhaps taking a ball and socket from another donor trackball and adapting the circuit board could work, but I've not tried it.

    The firmware is also posted to my Github. As for the DPI, this firmware implements a virtually infinitely adjustable DPI by simply holding the adjustment until the desired DPI has been achieved. It can be adjusted up or down and has a rainbow of colors generated from a tri-color LED illustrating what DPI is selected. The laser gaming chip used has 64 DPI settings and any of them are accessable in this way.

    1. That's so great. I'll work on getting the parts together. I bought another teensy. I built a humble hacker a while ago, so I have a little experience with them, but not a lot.

      I'll look into getting the circuitboard made. Can you log into facebook, or can I send you an email somewhere, so we can talk more?

      I'm trying to make a new version of the trackball explorer using a 3d printer to make the plastics. I'm a sculptor/designer, but really need help with the electronics. It sounds like you like you have everything worked out already, it would be a tremendous help to talk more with you.

      It's cool you have a milling machine and I have a reprap... lol


  5. Oh are there wiring diagrams somewhere? That would help a lot. And did you ever get the scroll wheel working? Where would I get parts for that?

  6. Also do you know about There might be a few people interested in this there as well. Lot of people there always looking for a gaming trackball..and that's where the humble hacker was blogged about too.. Are you a member there?

  7. Feel free to email me at inet2xtreme-at-yahoo-dot-com.

    As for the scroll wheel, I did actually make one using infrared reflective optointerruptors on a quadrature encoded pattern, but it was too bulky. I ended up implementing the scroll function as 2 buttons (up and down) and it was way better than an actual wheel. I could adjust how fast it scrolled in software and, it, being that it had no moving parts, was totally silent. One of my pet peevs is those loud sounds scroll wheels make as they are rolled past those detents. This worked out since I had a total of 11 buttons that can be assigned to any function from scrolling, keyboard strokes and resolution adjustment. Be sure to check out the Kickstarter link, description and movie I made about it.

    I'll dig through my CAD designs and try to find that ball socket in an STL format that you should be able to print. You'll need a few screws to put it together.

  8. I'm going to design my own plastic pieces, so that's ok, this is a design project for me to gain competence in catia, my 3d printer, and to show perspective employers I know what I'm doing. Thanks I'll email you.

  9. Hi, this is interesting, i was hoping to be able to revive an old Logitech Trackman Fx, keeping only the body, the buttons and the ball... do you think its possible?

  10. by the way, i really liked the function on that trackball, when you old the red button down, the ball becomes a scroll ball, and you can scroll up, down, left and right... i really liked that feature, you think you can reproduce this?

    By looking at the size of the sensor, your using, i am pretty sure it wont fit inside my old trackman marble fx.. anyone planning to build something similar? ;)

  11. The sensor + board + lense are indeed pretty tall. I'm not saying it can't be done, but you would need, by my best guess, about 8-10 millimeters space under the ball to get this in there. The sensor needs about 2.5 mm space between the lense and the ball to function properly. The exact mesurements required are in the ADNS-9500 datasheet if you want really see what is possible. Also, I've not seen any of these sensors available on the market lately, so finding one might be a bit tough to do. It looks like Digikey has 4 in stock today. If you think you might be wanting to do this, better snap them up quick. They go out of stock everywhere for months at a time usually.

    As for the functionality of the buttons for scroll control, that is a function of the Teensy controller board. You can program it do just about anything from touch pads to more traditional buttons. Teensy is a fork and enhancement of the Arduino code and can be coded with the Arduino software environment.

    One of these days, I'll probably get back around to it. For now, I don't even have the one prototype I built as I sold that to someone who needed it more than I did. I'm back to using the 'ole Logitech Trackman marble wheel. I've got a couple of other projects keeping me busy at the moment, but I don't mind to give a little advice to get you started as I've done with abut 4 other folks.

  12. ok, little question here, is the lense included with the sensor?

  13. It is actually a seperate part for the lense: ADNS-6190-002

  14. well, using my old marble friend is out of the question, there is no way that would fit in there.. i might go for something like a kensington slimblade, with the wheel at the center.. still not sure how i'm gonna custom build a case though.. ;)

    How about you chimera15, i kinda need a sculptor/designer to help me here as well... ;)

  15. well, i already destroyed a mouse, maybe two... Wanted to see if i could come up with something close to what i had before:

    The problem with this design is that since the opening for the ball is at a 45 degree angle, the sensor need to be at the same angle... So i've been cutting a few pieces of plastic here and there... i did that all day in fact... i inserted a circular block that seemed the right size in there, the thing just did not want to close.. but hey, nothing half a roll of electric tape cant fix.. ;)

    The thing actually look like there is two claws holding the ball, i think it might be a pretty cool concept so i posted a few pictures of what it looks like for now on my web site:

  16. What is easier to play? Piano or keyboard?
    Rugged keyboards