Author Topic: According to you, what is the best trackball?  (Read 21952 times)

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Offline popol

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« on: Tue, 08 November 2011, 10:13:29 »
Would like to buy one but a really good one. For every usage.
Everything is in the title.

Offline Warduke

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Offline pitashen

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 08 November 2011, 11:02:45 »
huh?
I use mouse for gaming.
trackball for regular pointing around.
Best? whatever works well...
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Offline wmtx

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 08 November 2011, 13:41:03 »
If I had to decide for just one then I'd personally go for the Logitech Marble Mouse (unfortunate name) because I deem it simple and rather universal from my personal taste.

Offline hcry4

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 08 November 2011, 14:26:01 »
Quote from: Warduke;447970
http://www.logitech.com/mice-pointers/trackballs/devices/7365

Yea. Although, I find it starting to hinder me a bit when I play SC2.

Offline bootstrap

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 08 November 2011, 14:56:40 »
The CH Products DT225 trackball is my choice. I'm using one right now.

The only "problem" for me is having to press one of the buttons so that I can do scrolling - web pages, word processor, spreadsheets, etc. I tried using my (old) mouse to scroll with the other hand but missed the nice feel of the large ball under my fingers. The "solution" presented itself in the last few days - I got myself another DT225 on eBay for about $12 + shipping. It's old but hopefully functional. I'll find out if it works pretty soon.

The DT225 takes up a bit of desk real estate. But I figured I'll still have enough space when I replace the current Model M with an SSK.

I'm on a Linux system. One bonus in getting the old DT225 with the PS/2 connector (the one from eBay) is that I can easily program it to be a 100% vertical and horizontal scroll wheel, while leaving the current settings of my existing USB DT225 as they are to move the cursor. The system will recognize the two trackballs as different devices but both can still do left- and right-clicks.

The RSI in my right wrist improved a lot after I got my first DT225. I expect things to be even more comfortable/luxurious with the second.

The other trackball that some folks here like is the CST trackball. I haven't used it myself, so I can't comment on its functionality. I did consider it but preferred the design of the DT225. You might like to get the CST trackball if you are using it for gaming; I think its resolution is higher.
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Offline popol

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 08 November 2011, 16:02:30 »
thanks for your feedbacks! read that the logitech one was not very good for the thumb though

Offline TheProfosist

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 09 November 2011, 00:08:40 »
I would suggest a CST L-TrackX if you want a high DPI trackball and if you dont mind a low dpi one the CH DT255 is very very solid.

Offline czarek

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 09 November 2011, 14:33:36 »
I'd vote for DT225 as well. It looks old and has crappy DPI but is really nice to use. As ripster says it's Model M of trackballs.
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Offline left_coaster

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 09 November 2011, 17:55:56 »
Yeah, I got tendonitis from using the logitech M570. It's too bad since I really liked it.

Offline iindigo

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 09 November 2011, 17:58:00 »
There needs to be more index/middle finger trackballs like the Logitech Marble Mouse and CSTs. I can't stand thumb trackballs.

Offline Zamorph

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 09 November 2011, 18:02:03 »
IDK about best, but the logitech trackman is a great t ball for the price, highly recommended
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/mice-pointers/trackballs/devices/4680

woody

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 10 November 2011, 05:09:29 »
Quote from: ripster;448179
From the Geekhack All About Trackballs wiki written by yours truly.
Entry about Slimblade with my name is funny. I measured about 1000 DPI, so don't know where that 280 came from (neither I ever had 1900x monitor).
For the record, some time later, looking for something completely unrelated, I found a setting which does 2x software acceleration on the PC. So I believe Slimblade is 500 DPI at slow speed. Still serves me mighty fine on a 2560x monitor.

Offline Shawn Stanford

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 10 November 2011, 06:29:41 »
I have an older Trackman Wheel at work. It's been getting daily use for years with no problems. Having used both, I prefer thumb trackballs to finger trackballs.
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Offline alaricljs

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 10 November 2011, 07:22:35 »
Even when things do wear out on the Trackman it's always been an easy fix imho.  I've replaced several of the microswitches in my collection.  The mousewheel tends to fail due to fuzz blocking the optical sensor.  I've never had the sensor die.
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Offline MarkWilliamson

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 13 November 2011, 17:45:55 »
Looks like my problem is that there are few stockists of CST and CH trackballs (couldn't find any of the latter) in the UK.  I guess I could find an alternate supplier in the EU!

Easily available, however, is the Logitech Marble Mouse (confusingly named!  Another commenter linked to basically the same device under a Trackman brand, I think), which I bought years ago and has been trouble free and easy to use ever since.  I find it comfortable to use and much prefer the idea of a finger trackball to a thumb ball, although I've never given the latter a try.

Offline TheProfosist

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 13 November 2011, 17:48:19 »
If you need a CH I have 2 here that are not being use msince I switched to my CST I would be interested in selling. I also have a CST 1550 their optomechanical one that I would be willing to sell.

Offline popol

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Offline TheProfosist

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 14 November 2011, 16:03:45 »
no that is the optomechanical one which I consider to be horrible due to the no middle click and hardware acceleration

woody

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 15 November 2011, 03:46:43 »
Quote from: ripster;452057
Can you retest?  6/11 default Windows setting (or whatever Linux is if you're using that).

Just like cubicle - no Windows.

This time I switched off software acc/decc and threshold in X11:
Code: [Select]
xset m 1/1 0
Hoping that this eliminates one layer, but not knowing whether there are other buried somewhere. Default is acc=2 and threshold=4.

Very hard to produce repeating results since trackball's internal acceleration kicks in quite early. Trying veeeery slowly to make half rotation it made about 940 pixels right now (with quite the error in precision due to wild variance on each try). That's about 6.8 inches circumference travel of the 55mm ball. Which leads to 140 DPI (circumference) at this ant-crawling speed. Kinda matches the 280 DPI (circumference) before since it had software 2x acceleration in effect.

Now, the real deal - how do you really measure trackballs? I find DPI (circumference) inadequate, since sensor resolution is directly coupled to the ball size. I think I proposed something like dots-per-revolution (DPR), the thing I find more relevant. My experiments show about 2000 DPR in the slowest speed, and it gets bigger afterwards. How about sorting trackballs by DPR?

Last, but not least and inbefore jumping to conclusions: absolutely no idea what the sensor's physical resolution could be. The only thing observable is that Slimblade falls to about 2000 DPR at slowest speed. Whether capped by sensor or decimated by MCU on purpose. Makes aiming at pixels easy.

Offline Oqsy

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 15 November 2011, 17:49:16 »
I just wanted to take a second to compliment CST on their first class customer service.  I  just got a CST 1350, and like it pretty well with one exception, the middle button is set as a "drag lock" or, if you hold it for 3 seconds, it changes modes to a "scroll lock".  This means that there is no middle click option, and default function of the middle button is to click and hold for easy dragging without holding the mouse button, or scrolling (if you're patient enough to wait 3 seconds for the mode to change each time you need to scroll).  I have very little use for either function, so I tried using software tricks, but nothing worked because no mouse button remapping software expects either of those functions as a default button command to intercept and replace with your remapped instruction.  I then opened the case to look for a dip switch or jumper with no luck.  

I finally decided to email them from their online support form, and quickly received a response that there WAS a fix, but it required soldering, and if I was interested the employee would email it to me.  I was curious about how in depth the fix would be, and willing to give it a shot if it was straightforward.  He emailed me back a pdf with a nice shot of a single jumper on the PCB and instructions of where to solder in the jumper to convert the device to a |true 3 button" trackball.  He also included in the email a reminder not to overtighten the case screws when closing the case back because it can easily strip the plastic.

Wow, what company does that?  I've never contacted a single consumer-level company that will send you a schematic for a modification along with tips for best results.  Any other company would give you some brush off line like "that option is currently not shipping for the model you purchased" and leave it at that.  CST just won my support for life.  Once modified, the trackball will likely replace my long-thought-irreplaceable CH DT225 (no knocks against it, it's still a damn good trackball, but a bit more cumbersome, and well suited for my kids on their game computer).

This kind of experience makes me want to spread the word about CST, and make sure that others looking for a high quality trackball with great manufacturer backing consider CST before any other options.  Their products are slightly more expensive at full retail than say a Kensington, Logitech, or MS trackball, but the quality of products and service makes it worth every penny.  

For the record,  I have no affiliation with CST or any other peripherals manufacturer or retailer.  I'm just a very impressed consumer that wants to return the favor to a company that treated me well! :D
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Offline NimbleRabit

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 28 November 2011, 11:03:49 »
I absolutely love my CST L-Trac X personally, and would easily recommend it to anyone looking for a good trackball.  My only single gripe about this thing is that the sensitivity light isn't easily visible, but besides that it's a great product (how many trackballs can change sensitivity on the fly anyways).

Offline cbf123

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #22 on: Mon, 28 November 2011, 14:57:36 »
Quote from: Oqsy;452911
Wow, what company does that?  I've never contacted a single consumer-level company that will send you a schematic for a modification along with tips for best results.  

Haven't dealt with them recently, but I bought a floor-model Thrustmaster F-16 FLCS joystick quite a while back.  It had a busted hat and one of the potentiometers was bad.  They courier'd me spare parts and instructions for cracking open the stick and installing them.  Really good service.
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Offline Henry Allen Venture

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 17 January 2012, 02:28:57 »
I figured I'd revive this thread seeing as how what I've got to ask is relevant, rather than starting a new one:

I'm looking at getting a trackball to use with a small PC I'll be building out of an old recycled workstation from my friend's office. Its going to be jammed in a computer with my stereo and only really used to organise and archive my music, and as a jukebox. Because of its position, a mouse is going to be a pain in the arse, which is what convinced me I should go with a trackball in the end.

I can get a hold of either one of the following trackballs easily:
The Logitech M570 and the Kensington SlimBlade.

I prefer the look of the SlimBlade over the M570, but the decision really hinges on whether or not you can map the top-left and top-right buttons on the SlimBlade to back and forward. I've read that they only enable media-mode and document-mode (or whatever they're called), and can't be changed to anything else. Can anyone confirm this for me? The only reviews I've read were very vague and didn't seem like they'd spent more than two hours with the product. If I can't use them for back/forward I'll probably end up going with the M570.

They're both reasonable and comparable in price, and pretty easy to get my hands on, which is why I'd like to keep the decision between these two.
Also, any other info to help me compare the two would be awesome.
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Offline lootbag

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 17 January 2012, 05:23:10 »
I have no experience with the M570 but I recently bought the Slimblade; I love it.
And yes, I have the top buttons mapped to back and forward.

The downloadable software allows you to map many more functions to the 4 buttons.
You can even map a function to occur when you press two top or two bottom buttons at the same time.

And the scrolling is rad!

Offline Henry Allen Venture

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 17 January 2012, 07:42:33 »
Quote from: lootbag;492308
And yes, I have the top buttons mapped to back and forward.

The downloadable software allows you to map many more functions to the 4 buttons.
You can even map a function to occur when you press two top or two bottom buttons at the same time.

Perfect, thats exactly what I wanted to hear. It seemed very strange to me that reviews were saying you could not do this, particularly for such a simple and useful feature. Honestly, the document viewing and media modes sound like they might be more of a pain than they're worth.
Current collection:
Filco Majestouch 104-Key, w/ MX Browns
IBM Model M 52G9700
Leopold FC200R, "white" w/ MX Clears
Ducky DK9008S \'Shining\', white backlit w/ MX Blues
Cherry G80-3494(LCYUS-2), w/ MX Reds for Portal Mod

Not mine, but I\'ve got access to:
Filco Majestouch Linear R Limited Edition, w/ MX Reds
Filco Majestouch 2 \'Ninja\' Tenkeyless, w/ MX Blues
Leopold FC500R, w/ MX Browns

Offline Disposable Hero

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 20 January 2012, 15:21:53 »
Quote from: Shawn Stanford;449179
I have an older Trackman Wheel at work. It's been getting daily use for years with no problems. Having used both, I prefer thumb trackballs to finger trackballs.
Show Image

yeah I've been using the same one for last few years for general/and gaming and still works like a champ. However I've noticed ever since I got BF3 that the trackball mice(or at least mine) is really hard to make those small fractional movements like when your trying to adjust your aim a smidge when sniping. I just purchased a cyborg R.A.T.5 and although it's taking a bit of getting use to after years on a thumb wheel I have to say for gaming I think a traditional style mouse with a high DPI(the rat has adjustable DPI "on-the-fly" which is awesome) is the way to go...

Offline TheProfosist

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 21 January 2012, 01:03:09 »
Just got a hold of a dt225 usb somewhat cheap off ebay it will probably be my favorite

Offline TheProfosist

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 21 January 2012, 21:18:50 »
Quote from: ripster;495915
Ouch.  

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230733099189&fromMakeTrack=true&ssPageName=VIP:watchlink:top:en

Same seller but I got black, and the price is better tha MSRP which is all i can fin it for else where.

Offline TheProfosist

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According to you, what is the best trackball?
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 23 January 2012, 16:54:04 »
Here it is the software is even updated with the scrolling built in now