Author Topic: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection  (Read 937 times)

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Offline Azryael

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Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 20:41:37 »
After searching around for solutions dealing with lifted pads and such, and coming across a few threads here, I figured I'd join up to get some advice on how to restore my M95 back to a serviceable condition.

I have to preface this with the fact that this is the best mouse I've ever used (for my hands, the games I play, etc.) which is why I'm willing to go to great lengths to get it going again. Corsair has not offered anything comparable since (the Nightsword I have is OK, but the thumb buttons are awful for MMOs compared to the M95, and it just feels too clunky for FPS) and they've also been no help whatsoever in assisting in the repair process beyond offering to replace it with something "new".

About two years ago, I began having an issue with my left mouse button not registering any input, and I noticed I'd have to press down more firmly to get any input whatsoever. No big deal, clickys come and go, and I have a bin full of Omron replacements as I've repaired other mice before. Here's where complacency seemed to have set in; despite the fact that I've done this type of repair many, many times before, my overconfidence got the better of me and I ended up with several lifted pads!! Of course, given how long I've had it, a decent amount of hand sweat and grime had made its way inside the mouse and probably didn't help matters. On the bright side, it cleaned up perfectly and all other buttons are still perfectly functional.

I've been scouring ebay for years even before this happened to secure a replacement or even spare parts, but those that love them refuse to part ways with them so I never see a listing until it's already ended. I've gone so far as to ask on Corsair's official forums, and elsewhere for anyone looking to part with theirs with never a single response.

I attempted to bridge to the trace, but only got as far as uncovering some of the copper and tinning it. The photos below will show what I'm dealing with, and I'm looking for advice on how to best repair this. I've get plenty of wiring of gauges and strand thickness available to me, so I don't mind getting creative to have a working mouse once more. Worst case scenario, I'll continue to hold out for parts or even a whole unit coming up for sale on eBay, but I want to explore all possible avenues.

So here's the top, you can see the center where the pad lifted on the top side and I tinned the exposed copper trace in prep for a bridging wire:


Here's a slightly closer perspective:


And here's the bottom, where you can see the worst of it, three lifted pads in total on that side:


My best assessment is that I kept heat on it for too long for the factory adhesive to handle, because it all just pulled right up with the solder wick.

At any rate, I appreciate any help/advice that may be offered!!

Online yui

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 05:45:20 »
the left most one is a ground, solder it to any ground pad around, the middle one is your contact, you need to either trace where that broken trace go and solder a wire to there (seems to be on JP7) or solder on the exposed part of the trace taking very close attention not to short to the other trace next to it or the ground plane, if you can get some nail varnish or solder resist on the exposed copper you do not want to solder to it will help you a bunch there and you should never need to go above 350C on your iron. now if that works you will have a mouse that electrically is fixed but with a wonky button, there i think that glue may be your savior, epoxy if it is the last time you change that button, hot glue otherwise.
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Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 07:22:27 »
follow the traces back to the connector (JP7) and run jumpers to there. use a multimeter or continuity checker to make sure you have the right pin. (expose part of the trace, one lead from meter there, other lead on the pin of the connector, if you followed the trace right it should make a noise and show that there is a connection there)

grounds can be connected to any other ground, they are all "common" (again check with multimeter/continuity to be sure)

be sure to run the wires in a fashion that they do not get in the way of other PCBs, connectors, wheel, shell, etc.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 10:29:46 »
A bigger issue may actually be trying to keep the switch in there stable when it's missing 2 of the 3 posts.

Use some hot glue to secure it, at least that is easier to remove later than CA.
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Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 10:43:42 »
the holes shouldn't be that loose. putting the switch in place and soldering well (filling the hole) and with the replacement tace/wire across the hole should be more than enough to secure it.

if you do use hot glue, just a dab on the side of the switch to the pcb
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Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 13:13:56 »
Appreciate the insight so far!

Yes, the switch shouldn't have any play; that rear hole could always have a bead put on the unused post to help secure it (I had another Corsair mouse where they did just that).

Thank you for also confirming my theory about the ground, I figured grounding it to another ground pad would be sufficient.

I've tested the exposed/tinned trace for continuity at the ribbon connector at JP7 and it's good to go.

One question I have that I hope someone can answer; this appears to be a multi-layer PCB, what is the purpose of having the passthroughs to say pad KL on the rear? As one might expect, Corsair wasn't willing to share any wiring diagrams (here's hoping the Right to Repair movement changes that), so that leaves me speculating what its purpose could be within the circuit.

As for iron temp, my soldering station measures in increments of 5F, so I usually keep my iron between 600-650F, which at the high end is just shy of 350C. I could never get behind the idea of those who say +800F. Maybe for something more durable or wiring, but not on PCB. In most cases, I'll try the hot air station first, but it was not working in this instance and I didn't want to melt the switch.

I'll try to take a crack at it later this evening, I'm also in the process of doing some work on one of my cars and need to resurface the flywheel, so I'm all over the map with projects.

Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 13:57:15 »
the filled in holes that don't seem to do anything are vias. if the pcb is just both sides, that via makes a connection from one side of the board to the other side of the board.
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Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 14:13:51 »
Right. The copper pad would terminate at KL, which goes nowhere other than that via. So if I'm understanding this correctly, it doesn't really serve any purpose other than making a connection to the other side of the PCB, and given that it just terminates rather than running a trace elsewhere, it doesn't play a critical role in the circuit.

Correct?

Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 14:18:41 »
without having a schematic... my guess would be.... it's probably an extension of the center pin pad (probably for testing during manufacturing)

...see if that makes connection with the exposed trace on the other side

the smaller holes in the ground plane are vias
« Last Edit: Thu, 17 September 2020, 14:22:35 by nevin »
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Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 14:57:43 »
Oh! The small, small holes! Yeah, I wasn't too worried about those.

There is no conitnuity to the tinned trace from pad KL because it's all lifted off.

You can see here on the top that it's down to the substrate:



And on the bottom, you can see that everything, including the trace to pad KL is gone:



But I would say you are probably correct in assuming it's a simple extension of that pole for diagnostic reasons. It's clear it doesn't go anywhere.

I will find a suitable ground, solder a bridge wire from the center pole of the switch to the trace, and find a way to adequately secure the switch. I have a few ideas that just may work; revisiting this after taking some time away has allowed my mind to refresh itself.

Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 15:15:02 »
i know how it is, wanting to keep your favorite in working order.

i picked up one of these cheap desoldering irons. works great for switches now & then. might have trouble desoldering multiple full keyboards, but it's way better than solderwick. doesn't work with tight pin spacing like promicros, etc.
https://www.amazon.com/Tenma-21-8240-Vacuum-Desoldering-Iron/dp/B008DJRYIG
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Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 15:27:01 »
Yup, this has been one of my most favorite peripherals, along with my K95 keyboard, in which I've replaced several switches already. Took several months for those Cherry MX reds to show up after I ordered them over on Mouser.

I'm currently using a knockoff 878D style Rework Station that was around $80. I had an old Weller that I learned on in high school, but I wasn't allowed to keep that. I'd like to get a second station so I don't have to swap tips constantly between chisel and conical depending on what I'm working on. In the interest of time, it's nice to be able to just grab a different iron.

This looks like something promising, the built in DC power supply is great for bench testing: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S4GPM66/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07S4GPM66&pd_rd_w=Xj4E2&pf_rd_p=48d372c1-f7e1-4b8b-9d02-4bd86f5158c5&pd_rd_wg=PDxgt&pf_rd_r=26YFK9XFVHSPHWK83NG2&pd_rd_r=1f351550-e470-439e-9fb7-1aac274a736a&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUE2U0IyMURGREtHQk4mZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA2OTkzNTIyNlhUVE5TSzFGVVpHJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAyNjI2MjYxNDZPRDFSTFAzSTNXJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfZGV0YWlsJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 15:47:58 »
nice. hot air would be nice.

i also have one of those little TS100 irons. it's good, easily swappable elements. definitely only for pcb work though. little weak for larger gauge wire or bigger stuff.
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Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 15:57:02 »
Hot air is fantastic! I use it when swapping out chips between hard drives if the PCB is unreparaible, but I have a spare board. It's also a great way to remove smaller components like resistors, and helps with reinstallation.

I had a Seagate that failed on me, and after doing a series of continuity tests, determined a resistor had failed and was preventing power from getting to the motor. It turns out that resistor fried when the original closure (before the drive was shucked in an attempt to read it directly in a PC) suffered a power failure. I scrounged up a known dead board, that had the same resistors that were in working shape. Used hot air to pull both the old and the new off, set the replacement in place, and used the hot air to secure it back to the pads.

The end result was restored continuity, and the ability to save precious family photos that would have been lost otherwise! That drive still works, but given my distrust for Seagate in general, it's relegated to temporary storage for unimportant data if needed.

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 16:00:43 »
Yup, this has been one of my most favorite peripherals, along with my K95 keyboard, in which I've replaced several switches already. Took several months for those Cherry MX reds to show up after I ordered them over on Mouser.

Ouch. I'd really recommend sourcing Cherry MX switches from Novelkeys or any other community retailer, no one should pay over a dollar a switch when Novelkeys has them 10 for $3.50.

Also I just checked mouser, new production G80-11900s cost ~$175, but there are G80-3000s for $90.

Unfortunately as for actually reviving the mouse I don't have anything to add. Have you ruled out cord damage as a cause for failure? It's probably just a matter of finding the broken trace to bridge though.

Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 16:12:07 »
Yup, this has been one of my most favorite peripherals, along with my K95 keyboard, in which I've replaced several switches already. Took several months for those Cherry MX reds to show up after I ordered them over on Mouser.

Ouch. I'd really recommend sourcing Cherry MX switches from Novelkeys or any other community retailer, no one should pay over a dollar a switch when Novelkeys has them 10 for $3.50.

Also I just checked mouser, new production G80-11900s cost ~$175, but there are G80-3000s for $90.

Unfortunately as for actually reviving the mouse I don't have anything to add. Have you ruled out cord damage as a cause for failure? It's probably just a matter of finding the broken trace to bridge though.

They were super cheap when I ordered them back then, but this was a few years back. I think around $0.45 per switch, cause I remember it being less than $5. Checking now and they're up to $1.25 a piece if you order 10! But I will definitely check out novelkeys as I want to stock up one some switches for my other boards.

There's nothing wrong with the cord, the switch itself was toast; all other buttons still work just fine, and the onboard profiles I've saved for macros still exist. The damage was my own doing becoming complacent in the process of removing the old switch :(

I'm clearing up some space on my welding bench to attempt this repair. I also have to repair the ground strap that goes to the bottom plate, cord gave way during my last disassembly. I unfortunately dont have any of these small crimp fittings on hand, so I will need to attempt to repurpose this. I've a crazy idea that may work.

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 16:20:59 »
Is the ground strap actually necessary? Some keyboards ground (to?) the metal plate, but I'm not sure it serves any practical purpose.

Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 17:07:58 »
Is the ground strap actually necessary? Some keyboards ground (to?) the metal plate, but I'm not sure it serves any practical purpose.

I'm sure it is, as there's no where else for it to ground to. I've already fixed the strap.

What I can't seem to find now is my bin of Omron clickys. I have no idea where it could have wandered off to. I cannot wait to get into a new house and have a purpose-built lab to do this kinda stuff in.

Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 18:35:07 »
I think I've got it! I'm test driving it right now as we speak. I used a single strand of copper wire from a 12 gauge wire to make my bridges. Bridged one to the trace, then soldered it to the pole of the switch and I get continuity all the way back to JP7.

For the ground, I simply grounded to the same ground as the scroll wheel switch, so nothing crosses over anything or can short anything. It's working fine so far!

I did forget how much stiffer the scroll wheel is compared to the nightsword, but I'll get used to it again in no time at all. I will finish putting it back together completely and then continue my testing.

Definitely glad it seems to be working!!

Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 18:55:46 »
just be gentile putting it back together. there is usually very little clearance around these pcbs. just make sure your not pinching the jumpers or that there's room for the jumpers under the board and it won't sit uneven. (just speaking generally about mice, not your particular mouse as i'm not familiar with that one)
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Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 18:59:04 »
One jumper is sitting flush under the switch itself, and the other sits in a cavity, since the front mouse button PCB sits slightly raised up compared the mainboard. No clearance issues, thankfully.

I'm honestly thrilled to have even come this far. I will need to install the software to tweak the DPI to match what I got used to on the Nightsword, but that's easy.

Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 19:22:52 »
Here it is, in all it's well-worn glory. I am missing a thumb button on the bottom, but I have it somewhere.



I'm not sure how I held out this long without this thing. I may do a more robust fix in the future, but I'm going to leave well enough alone for now until I experience another issue with the LMB; if I never do, fantastic!

This does get me thinking, after installing the software the configure it, I'm reminded of how clunky the software actually is. Now I'm wondering about the possibility of upgrading the mainboard and sensor to that of a later mouse to use with current version of iCue (still clunky, but setting macros is less so).

I wouldn't sacrifice this now-restored M95, however. I'd keep my eyes out for another M95 or even an M90 (same chassis, just older internals).

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 22:59:25 »
Is the ground strap actually necessary? Some keyboards ground (to?) the metal plate, but I'm not sure it serves any practical purpose.
It acts as a route for static electricity or any stray current to go to ground rather than the pcb or you.

I've had 1/2in sparks jump from me to my Filco, one of them damaged the controller (which sits above the plate).
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Offline Rayndalf

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 23:34:11 »
Is the ground strap actually necessary? Some keyboards ground (to?) the metal plate, but I'm not sure it serves any practical purpose.
It acts as a route for static electricity or any stray current to go to ground rather than the pcb or you.

I've had 1/2in sparks jump from me to my Filco, one of them damaged the controller (which sits above the plate).
I was talking about physically grounding the switch plate (or in same cases all 3 plates). I question if this serves any purpose because I haven't seen a custom board that does so.

Edit: and all 3 plates are connected to each other and in turn attached to the rear panel of the board which is then attached to the PCB / grounded to the cable. I think it's silly, but modern customs aren't certified so...
« Last Edit: Thu, 17 September 2020, 23:40:18 by Rayndalf »

Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 23:46:49 »
So far so good over these last few hours.

Feels like a brand new mouse again! I just wish I could do something about the deteriorated coating on the mouse itself. But the repair is already a huge win; the wife can have the Nightsword.

I have to thank y'all again for spurring me to tackle this once more.

With regard to the ground strap, I still think it's more or less a redundancy in mitigating the chance for a static discharge cause problems. Perhaps it's something that can be safely omitted, which is why it's perhaps something that's seen in custom boards; I can't speak to that beyond the fact that I've always been told to ensure there's always a proper ground no matter what I'm working on.

Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 03:43:30 »
grounding... yes, good practice. better safe than sorry. some recent custom pcbs actually have an ESD (Electro Static Discharge) protection circuit. It's more of an issue in some places in the world than others, due to normal weather conditions in that area. around here, it only shows up in the winter then it's cold & dry.

@Azryael, your profile pic... is that a car you are working on?
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Online yui

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 03:51:55 »
I just wish I could do something about the deteriorated coating on the mouse itself.
plasti-dip was originally a tool handle coating, maybe worth trying, remove the old one with acetone/sanding and try to add a coat of it, i must tell you that i never tried though
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 04:50:22 »
I was talking about physically grounding the switch plate (or in same cases all 3 plates). I question if this serves any purpose because I haven't seen a custom board that does so.
Customs are not built to electrical certifications (CE, UL etc), most are hobbyist designed with no training or experience in any of this stuff.
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Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #28 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 05:05:43 »
I just wish I could do something about the deteriorated coating on the mouse itself.
plasti-dip was originally a tool handle coating, maybe worth trying, remove the old one with acetone/sanding and try to add a coat of it, i must tell you that i never tried though

I've worked with it before, and it can be messy, but it might be worth a shot. I've also thought of hitting it with something textured, to give a texture feel instead. The original finish held up nicely up until about two years ago when it just began to rapidly deteriorate, becoming tacky in some areas.

@Azryael, your profile pic... is that a car you are working on?

It is, but in the 8 years I've had it, I've made no progress on it due to the fact that I've no space at home to work on it, and I lack the time/energy to do anything after working all day. That should change when I purchase a new house with a shop building. It's a 1951 Mercedes-Benz 170S. The drivetrain is completely missing, as is the rear suspension. It's propped up on a trailer axle in the rear that I've temporarily secured to the frame just to allow it to be rolled around.

I have a lot of ongoing projects at the moment...

Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #29 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 08:59:47 »
Quote
1951 Mercedes-Benz 170S
wow. just by looking at the small profile pic i was going to guess something from the 30's

careful with acetone on plastic. it will totally melt the plastic. i'd sand the softgrip stuff off instead. i a mouse do the same thing. was great for years. then went on the shelf for a while, went to get it back out and it was all tacky, eww.
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Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #30 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 12:58:47 »
It's a 1930s design, actually, that was carried over due to events in the '40s crippling the factories for Mercedes and other automakers; when they started production up again, they used pre-war designs. They finally moved to the "Ponton" body style in 1954.

The coating isn't bothering me at the moment; a good scrub in the past removed any tacky spots. So I'm in no rush for a more permanent solution.

After an entire night of gaming, it held up just fine to the LMB spam of Diablo 2.

Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 13:08:25 »
nice.
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Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #32 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 14:45:00 »
If I could get my hands on a 3D printer, I'd happily toy with the idea of designing my own replacement cover that has a textured finish to it.

Offline nevin

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 15:11:13 »
there was a 3d printed shell that was floating around in 2013, but that was for a different mouse. was called the Statial Mouse. was kinda neat at the time.

i'm sure there's many more designs out now for other models by various makers
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Offline Azryael

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Re: Corsair M95: Hopeful Resurrection
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 15:54:56 »
I used some google-fu to look across the web to see if someone had already made a template for this particular mouse, but my quest failed.

I'd be looking at doing this from scratch, which is okay. I need to work out the DPI buttons, as they've never really been "tactile" and often times the buttons themselves have poor engagement on the switches underneath. The switches themselves work just fine without the cover on, so it has something to do with the plastic buttons. Never been a huge deal breaker as I never really deviate from my preferred DPI setting, but sometimes I'll drop or increase the DPI if doing some photoshop or other editing.