Author Topic: Microsoft Trackball Explorer  (Read 43825 times)

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Offline Chloe

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Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« on: Tue, 23 December 2008, 07:18:46 »
These seem to be really popular on Ebay. Has anyone here used one?

Offline lodc

  • Posts: 35
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 24 December 2008, 03:11:56 »
Quote from: Chloe;15916
These seem to be really popular on Ebay. Has anyone here used one?


yes, i used one in between kensingtons for about a year.  I liked it better than the logitechs I tried but no comparison to a good expert/turbo mouse.
the ball is "medium" size and weight, bigger than most logitech but smaller than the expert mouse.  It did not have enough mass/didn't turn freely enough to spin/inertia for long cursor movements like a heavier ball.  The sensors were very accurate for small movements though.  The buttons were fine and the design fit my hand fairly well.  long sessions without any unusual fatigue (always a problem for me with the logitech devices).  I have fairly large hands so small balls annoy me :)  someone who finds the kensington ball too large for them might want to consider this one though, it isn't too bad.

Offline Chloe

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Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 24 December 2008, 09:00:36 »
Thanks lodc. :)

Offline namelessguy

  • Posts: 51
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 24 December 2008, 12:06:23 »
Quote from: lodc;16037
didn't turn freely enough to spin/inertia for long cursor movements like a heavier ball.

I guess that the main sourse of the problem was not the ball being smaller, but the small steel bearings under the red ball being depleted. Try google with "flat spot trackball".
Replacing those steel balls with ones made of harder materials (ruby, almina ceramic, silicon nitride, etc) would be a good idea here. As far as I can tell, not a few people in Japan have successfully replaced the balls and happily using their modified trackballs.

Overall durability is a big problem when using Trackball Explorer, though, not just the steel balls, when you compare it with Logitec or Kensington.

Offline bytehead

  • Posts: 2
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 07 April 2009, 09:35:14 »
Quote from: Chloe;15916
These seem to be really popular on Ebay. Has anyone here used one?

I'm on my second one.  My wife is on her second or third.  I have two others that need repair - from Ebay.  

I absolutely love them as well as my wife.  I wish I owned a case of them, just for my own use.  

I'm really appalled at how expensive they are nowadays.

Different usage means different wear.  Evidently I have a light touch, as my wife's trackball is either going to have to be replaced soon, or get the steel balls replaced.  And hers is much newer than mine.  As long as it is clean (which is another problem with these things) mine glides right along.  Smoother than the Kensington I've tried.  I also find that a drop of oil (olive oil works just fine) on the fingertip and touching the steel bearings helps on my wife's, you want the oil to stay on the bearing and not on the marble, but it can make it dirty faster and it doesn't last long either.

I just tried a new Logitech trackball with the thumb ball on my laptop, and it's workable, better than a regular mouse, but still not as comfortable/fast as my MS trackball.  But it's available new at far lesser cost than the Microsoft version.  My wife would use it, but she wants the extra buttons.  I just bought (off Ebay of course) the Microsoft version of the Logitech, but it has the extra buttons, which should make my wife happy if I have to send her trackball away for repair.

Offline chimera15

  • Posts: 1441
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 29 April 2009, 15:43:54 »
Trackball explorers are hands down the best trackballs ever made.  I've tried almost all trackballs.

I have 4 of them..they're the only pointing device I ever want to use, and have been using one of them for 10 years or so now.


They have a huge following here:

http://my.galagzee.com/index.php/2007/07/03/microsoft-trackball-explorer/
Alps boards:
white real complicated: 1x modified siiig minitouch kb1903,  hhkb light2 english steampunk hack, wireless siig minitouch hack
white with rubber damper(cream)+clicky springs: 2x modified siig minitouch kb1903 1x modified siig minitouch kb1948
white fake simplified:   1x white smk-85, 1x Steampunk compact board hack
white real simplified: 1x unitek k-258
low profile: 1x mint m1242 in box
black: ultra mini wrist keyboard hack
blue: Japanese hhk2 lite hack, 1x siig minitouch pcb/doubleshot dc-2014 caps. kb1903, 1x modified kb1948 Siig minitouch
rainbow test boards:  mck-84sx


Offline skyaflya

  • Posts: 1
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 03 March 2010, 21:05:22 »
Why is a new one $49 at office depot and used for $275 on ebay?  Are they different versions of the same model name?

Offline ch_123

  • * Exalted Elder
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Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 04 March 2010, 05:07:13 »
Ah, thread necromancy.

For a moment, I was hoping that Chloe had actually suddenly come back from the dead and made a new thread.

Offline Afactor2

  • Posts: 1
Replacing the 3 ball bearings in the Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 03 June 2010, 14:37:31 »
If you are like me and have the fooling Microsoft Trackball Explorer, Logitech track ball or Kensington Turbo Ring pointing devises, you will undoubtedly find that after some time in the Microsoft Trackball Explorer, and Logitech track ball FX the 3 small bearings will get flat spots and the big ball starts to stick, Plashing helps but not for long. The only solution is to replace the balls. One option is to go on e-Bay and send it into one of these places charging from $46 to as much as $80 to supposedly refurbish the device. Well let me tell you, the USB cable is more then likely fine and the addition of shielding is BS as the device needs none, and messing with the inside is a raspy for damaged parts. Infarct I saw one of theses “rebuilt units” the PCB was superglue in place and they did more damage then they actually had to fix as the butanes never worked the same again. So what can you do?  Simple take a X-acto number 11 knife and slightly dull the tip, using the tip pry gently under each ball from the top once the big bal is out. The little buglers will pop out try not to damage the plastic so go slow and be patent. Once the balls our out you will be left with 3 little holes.

Order  3 Ruby Balls #B 2.00 R price is $10 from http://www.swissjewel.com/ Install the balls by carefully dropping them in to the holes and snapping them in with a genteel pres from your finger nail. Don’t crush them in its is not necessary. The result is a fantastically smooth rolling ball for a fraction of what the e-bay rip-off place charges and you never had to open the mouse

Enjoy. Fell free to email questions

Offline mjma

  • Posts: 7
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 07 June 2010, 21:33:03 »
(first post, hello!)

This is easily the best pointing device that I've ever used.  The ergonomics are unmatched by any other product (for a righty anyway).  Everything is exactly where you need it, which is pretty nice for a five-button device.  Just place your hand on it, and you only need to move your phalanges.  I didn't ever experience any wrist pain or fatigue with this product, and I'm the type of guy who has frequently wasted many consecutive hours spaced out in various MMORPGs.  

It distresses me that these things were discontinued, cos my unit recently crapped out and my cheapo Logitech Trackman Wheel is a far cry from a proper replacement.  I've been creeping around here reading about alternatives, and the CST LaserTRAC has caught my attention.  I'm a little turned off by the hefty price tag, though.  Plus, it looks clunky, not so comfortable, and the scroll wheel seems a little far out of range.  And, geez, for such an expensive product, I'd expect more than 3 buttons.  I know you can mod a couple in, but I'm not very talented in that respect.  I guess I'll just wait for the new model to come out, or hell, maybe even break down and get a Kensington...

Offline chimera15

  • Posts: 1441
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 07 June 2010, 22:05:37 »
Quote from: mjma;190763
(first post, hello!)

This is easily the best pointing device that I've ever used.  The ergonomics are unmatched by any other product (for a righty anyway).  Everything is exactly where you need it, which is pretty nice for a five-button device.  Just place your hand on it, and you only need to move your phalanges.  I didn't ever experience any wrist pain or fatigue with this product, and I'm the type of guy who has frequently wasted many consecutive hours spaced out in various MMORPGs.  

It distresses me that these things were discontinued, cos my unit recently crapped out and my cheapo Logitech Trackman Wheel is a far cry from a proper replacement.  I've been creeping around here reading about alternatives, and the CST LaserTRAC has caught my attention.  I'm a little turned off by the hefty price tag, though.  Plus, it looks clunky, not so comfortable, and the scroll wheel seems a little far out of range.  And, geez, for such an expensive product, I'd expect more than 3 buttons.  I know you can mod a couple in, but I'm not very talented in that respect.  I guess I'll just wait for the new model to come out, or hell, maybe even break down and get a Kensington...

There are no really good replacements for the tbe unfortunately. I think I've tried them all at this point.
You can always make one of my mods from a normal or gaming mouse.  My second one from a lachesis I did a year or so ago is still working wicked awesome. ;)
http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?t=7536&do=comments&highlight=lachesis


What's wrong with your unit? I've done a lot of repairs on my 10 year old one over the years.  
If it's well and good dead, be sure to sell the ball, cause there are a lot of tbe's out there that can use them. They get about $50 on ebay.  I still need one for one of my old tbe's too.
« Last Edit: Mon, 07 June 2010, 22:14:10 by chimera15 »
Alps boards:
white real complicated: 1x modified siiig minitouch kb1903,  hhkb light2 english steampunk hack, wireless siig minitouch hack
white with rubber damper(cream)+clicky springs: 2x modified siig minitouch kb1903 1x modified siig minitouch kb1948
white fake simplified:   1x white smk-85, 1x Steampunk compact board hack
white real simplified: 1x unitek k-258
low profile: 1x mint m1242 in box
black: ultra mini wrist keyboard hack
blue: Japanese hhk2 lite hack, 1x siig minitouch pcb/doubleshot dc-2014 caps. kb1903, 1x modified kb1948 Siig minitouch
rainbow test boards:  mck-84sx


Offline didjamatic

  • Posts: 1341
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 07 June 2010, 22:35:38 »
Dang Chimera, that's an inspiring mod, never saw that!
IBM F :: IBM M :: Northgate :: Cherry G80 :: Realforce :: DAS 4

Offline chimera15

  • Posts: 1441
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 07 June 2010, 22:41:36 »
Quote from: didjamatic;190780
Dang Chimera, that's an inspiring mod, never saw that!

Yeah I think it's one of the best mods I've ever done.  Probably the only gaming trackball in existence other than my original sidewinder hack. I kick but with it in warrock and fps's.  Its also pretty nice to use just normally.  It's like a super amped tbe.
« Last Edit: Mon, 07 June 2010, 22:44:18 by chimera15 »
Alps boards:
white real complicated: 1x modified siiig minitouch kb1903,  hhkb light2 english steampunk hack, wireless siig minitouch hack
white with rubber damper(cream)+clicky springs: 2x modified siig minitouch kb1903 1x modified siig minitouch kb1948
white fake simplified:   1x white smk-85, 1x Steampunk compact board hack
white real simplified: 1x unitek k-258
low profile: 1x mint m1242 in box
black: ultra mini wrist keyboard hack
blue: Japanese hhk2 lite hack, 1x siig minitouch pcb/doubleshot dc-2014 caps. kb1903, 1x modified kb1948 Siig minitouch
rainbow test boards:  mck-84sx


Offline mjma

  • Posts: 7
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 07 June 2010, 22:48:03 »
True, Ripster, definitely cheaper than the TBE is going for these days.  

Chimera, nice mod, looks like a fun project!  My problem is that the cursor just freezes for I guess 1-5 seconds.  At first it was manageable, but now it's just too frequent to put up with.  I've cleaned it quite thoroughly, so I assumed that it's a problem with the chipset.  The unit has certainly seen its fair share of abuse over the years, so this seems like a natural conclusion.  But I'm not entirely certain, so if you have a better idea, please speak up.  :)

Offline chimera15

  • Posts: 1441
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 07 June 2010, 22:58:58 »
Quote from: mjma;190786
True, Ripster, definitely cheaper than the TBE is going for these days.  

Chimera, nice mod, looks like a fun project!  My problem is that the cursor just freezes for I guess 1-5 seconds.  At first it was manageable, but now it's just too frequent to put up with.  I've cleaned it quite thoroughly, so I assumed that it's a problem with the chipset.  The unit has certainly seen its fair share of abuse over the years, so this seems like a natural conclusion.  But I'm not entirely certain, so if you have a better idea, please speak up.  :)

More than likely not, it's the cord near where it goes into the body.  This happens when the ground wire that surrounds the other wires gets cut, which happens every few years with mine.   If you feel up to it, you can cut open the cord, and check to see if it's frayed or not around that area.  If it is, you just need one of those little yellow radioshack connectors, then electrical tape it, and reel it back up into the body.

You have to open the unit of course.

As they get used and age, the cords become hard as well, and this happens more often.  If you can find a new cord from some of those guys on ebay, it might be good investment.
« Last Edit: Mon, 07 June 2010, 23:05:41 by chimera15 »
Alps boards:
white real complicated: 1x modified siiig minitouch kb1903,  hhkb light2 english steampunk hack, wireless siig minitouch hack
white with rubber damper(cream)+clicky springs: 2x modified siig minitouch kb1903 1x modified siig minitouch kb1948
white fake simplified:   1x white smk-85, 1x Steampunk compact board hack
white real simplified: 1x unitek k-258
low profile: 1x mint m1242 in box
black: ultra mini wrist keyboard hack
blue: Japanese hhk2 lite hack, 1x siig minitouch pcb/doubleshot dc-2014 caps. kb1903, 1x modified kb1948 Siig minitouch
rainbow test boards:  mck-84sx


Offline mjma

  • Posts: 7
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 08 June 2010, 01:47:15 »
Thanks for the input, it's worth a shot!  Living in Japan makes things like eBay a pain in the butt, but I'm sure I can find what I need as long as I know what I'm looking for.  Speaking of which.. It probably seems obvious to you, but keeping in mind that I don't do much tampering with my electronics... could you be a little more specific on the type of connector that you're talking about?  I'd like to have a pretty reliable gameplan before I start chopping things up.  Thanks again!

Offline chimera15

  • Posts: 1441
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 08 June 2010, 13:53:44 »
Quote from: mjma;190828
Thanks for the input, it's worth a shot!  Living in Japan makes things like eBay a pain in the butt, but I'm sure I can find what I need as long as I know what I'm looking for.  Speaking of which.. It probably seems obvious to you, but keeping in mind that I don't do much tampering with my electronics... could you be a little more specific on the type of connector that you're talking about?  I'd like to have a pretty reliable gameplan before I start chopping things up.  Thanks again!

Ah cool you're in Japan.  Do they have Radioshack's in Japan, or mostly mom and pop electronic stores, or another chain?  What do you do and where do you live? It's always been my dream to live in Japan.

This is the radioshack connector I use.  They're tiny 26-22 gauge crimps, they fit in the case well.

Alps boards:
white real complicated: 1x modified siiig minitouch kb1903,  hhkb light2 english steampunk hack, wireless siig minitouch hack
white with rubber damper(cream)+clicky springs: 2x modified siig minitouch kb1903 1x modified siig minitouch kb1948
white fake simplified:   1x white smk-85, 1x Steampunk compact board hack
white real simplified: 1x unitek k-258
low profile: 1x mint m1242 in box
black: ultra mini wrist keyboard hack
blue: Japanese hhk2 lite hack, 1x siig minitouch pcb/doubleshot dc-2014 caps. kb1903, 1x modified kb1948 Siig minitouch
rainbow test boards:  mck-84sx


Offline mjma

  • Posts: 7
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 08 June 2010, 22:28:01 »
Perfect, ありがとう。 

Yeah, no Radioshacks in Japan.  I live in the countryside, so the nearest chain is about a 30 minute drive away, but it shouldn't be a problem.  

I teach English here, which isn't the most exciting job, but it's certainly been an experience living here.  If you're really interested, there are some programs for teaching here that are relatively convenient for the average non-Japanese Joe to apply for.  The biggest two, I believe, are the JET Programme and Interac.  From what I can tell, JET is easily the best option in terms of pay, benefits, getting set up, etc.  Neither one requires proficiency in Japanese, or any training or experience in education... To apply, I believe all you need is a college degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Sorry to get off topic.  :)  Back to the TBE, I'll try to find the time and muster the courage in the next couple weeks to start the procedure.  I'll probably be back with more questions!  

(I'll be a happy man if I can get this thing fixed!!!!)

Offline chimera15

  • Posts: 1441
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 08 June 2010, 22:57:58 »
Quote from: mjma;191153
Perfect, ありがとう。 

Yeah, no Radioshacks in Japan.  I live in the countryside, so the nearest chain is about a 30 minute drive away, but it shouldn't be a problem.  

I teach English here, which isn't the most exciting job, but it's certainly been an experience living here.  If you're really interested, there are some programs for teaching here that are relatively convenient for the average non-Japanese Joe to apply for.  The biggest two, I believe, are the JET Programme and Interac.  From what I can tell, JET is easily the best option in terms of pay, benefits, getting set up, etc.  Neither one requires proficiency in Japanese, or any training or experience in education... To apply, I believe all you need is a college degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Sorry to get off topic.  :)  Back to the TBE, I'll try to find the time and muster the courage in the next couple weeks to start the procedure.  I'll probably be back with more questions!  

(I'll be a happy man if I can get this thing fixed!!!!)


A cool. :) Yeah I'm working on a bachelors degree so I can get a job over there possibly, which I understand is a requirement as a foreigner to hold any job there unless you're a student.  Good luck.  My email/msn/yahoo/aim is lrdcemb@aol.com if you have any more questions, since the mailbox here doesn't notify me I have mail.
Alps boards:
white real complicated: 1x modified siiig minitouch kb1903,  hhkb light2 english steampunk hack, wireless siig minitouch hack
white with rubber damper(cream)+clicky springs: 2x modified siig minitouch kb1903 1x modified siig minitouch kb1948
white fake simplified:   1x white smk-85, 1x Steampunk compact board hack
white real simplified: 1x unitek k-258
low profile: 1x mint m1242 in box
black: ultra mini wrist keyboard hack
blue: Japanese hhk2 lite hack, 1x siig minitouch pcb/doubleshot dc-2014 caps. kb1903, 1x modified kb1948 Siig minitouch
rainbow test boards:  mck-84sx


Offline mattbrown

  • Posts: 1
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 13 June 2010, 07:40:41 »
just found this thread, i love my MS trackball Explorer, got a few spare ones of ebay, and a boved one, still using my current one i bought from new, had to replace the bearings but other than that, pretty good as new, i bought some ceramic bearings of ebay, but alas their website http://www.abec35.com doesnt seem to work.

Offline aegrotatio

  • Posts: 334
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 19 June 2010, 17:06:52 »
I didn't like the Trackball Explorer because of the location of the left side buttons.  I gave it to my brother and he used it until the little balls wouldn't stay in place anymore.  I'm glad you found ceramic versions of the bearings--our original bearings were horrid.

I kind of think our problems were that the ball had a tendency to rock up and down during use and the hammering effect over the years caused the flat spots.

There's a cottage industry of people selling lube and polish for this and other old trackballs.  The little balls also get flat spots on them which I think is what happened to my brother's device.

I believe that this item did not sell very well and due to repairs and the lack of selling Microsoft discontinued it.

One thing I did observe is that the decorative LEDs will not turn on unless you are using Microsoft Intellipoint software.  In addition, the mouse driver installed by Intellipoint is unique in that it has a totally different polling, acceleration, and speed profile than the Microsoft Windows one did.  This is similar to the old Kensington MouseWorks driver except it completely replaces the Windows driver while Kensington's would sort of work alongside the Microsoft driver.

The prices on eBay for these is frightening.  The flat spots and problems are really getting common due to their age, too.  They're becoming "for display only" collectibles.
« Last Edit: Sat, 19 June 2010, 17:14:00 by aegrotatio »
Daily Drivers: Ducky DK1087XM || DSI ASK-6600 || Rosewill RK-9000 BL, BR, BL, and RE || ABS M1 || Das Keyboard Silent || HHKB Lite and Lite 2 || DSI Big Font (kids love it)
Yearning for: Any ALPS keyboard || Any tenkeyless mechanical keyboard
Permanent collection: Poker Blue and Brown || Adesso MKB-125B || SIIG MiniTouch Geek Hack Space Saver || Chicony 5181 Monterey Blue || Chicony 5191 Clone Cherry Blues || Key Tronic 3600 || Unicomp Endurapro & SmarTrex || A crate of IBM Model M and Model M Space Saving boards || NeXTstation Slab || Amiga 3000 || BTC-5100C black and beige || SIIG MiniTouch Plus black and beige
Retired collection: SIIG MiniTouch Monterey Blue || Razer BlackWidow

Offline aegrotatio

  • Posts: 334
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 19 June 2010, 17:15:17 »
Speaking of price, I don't remember it ever being less than $50.  I got mine with some insane rebates and discounts from the Microsoft Store online for $50.
Daily Drivers: Ducky DK1087XM || DSI ASK-6600 || Rosewill RK-9000 BL, BR, BL, and RE || ABS M1 || Das Keyboard Silent || HHKB Lite and Lite 2 || DSI Big Font (kids love it)
Yearning for: Any ALPS keyboard || Any tenkeyless mechanical keyboard
Permanent collection: Poker Blue and Brown || Adesso MKB-125B || SIIG MiniTouch Geek Hack Space Saver || Chicony 5181 Monterey Blue || Chicony 5191 Clone Cherry Blues || Key Tronic 3600 || Unicomp Endurapro & SmarTrex || A crate of IBM Model M and Model M Space Saving boards || NeXTstation Slab || Amiga 3000 || BTC-5100C black and beige || SIIG MiniTouch Plus black and beige
Retired collection: SIIG MiniTouch Monterey Blue || Razer BlackWidow

Offline chimera15

  • Posts: 1441
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 19 June 2010, 21:23:09 »
You can rotate the balls after they get flat spots.  There are a number of methods to do this, that people have posted here and other places.  It greatly extends the life.  I didn't need a full bearing replacement for my main one for 10 years, at which point I used ball bearings.  Then finally I got some exact replacements from one of those guys on ebay that does tbe repairs.
Alps boards:
white real complicated: 1x modified siiig minitouch kb1903,  hhkb light2 english steampunk hack, wireless siig minitouch hack
white with rubber damper(cream)+clicky springs: 2x modified siig minitouch kb1903 1x modified siig minitouch kb1948
white fake simplified:   1x white smk-85, 1x Steampunk compact board hack
white real simplified: 1x unitek k-258
low profile: 1x mint m1242 in box
black: ultra mini wrist keyboard hack
blue: Japanese hhk2 lite hack, 1x siig minitouch pcb/doubleshot dc-2014 caps. kb1903, 1x modified kb1948 Siig minitouch
rainbow test boards:  mck-84sx


Offline aegrotatio

  • Posts: 334
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 21 June 2010, 10:07:00 »
I'd be afraid of using steel ball bearings.  It would probably scratch the heck out of the ball and leave shaving marks behind.  I learned a while ago that the thing you don't want to be scratched should be made of harder stuff (that is, the little balls should be softer than the trackball itself).
Daily Drivers: Ducky DK1087XM || DSI ASK-6600 || Rosewill RK-9000 BL, BR, BL, and RE || ABS M1 || Das Keyboard Silent || HHKB Lite and Lite 2 || DSI Big Font (kids love it)
Yearning for: Any ALPS keyboard || Any tenkeyless mechanical keyboard
Permanent collection: Poker Blue and Brown || Adesso MKB-125B || SIIG MiniTouch Geek Hack Space Saver || Chicony 5181 Monterey Blue || Chicony 5191 Clone Cherry Blues || Key Tronic 3600 || Unicomp Endurapro & SmarTrex || A crate of IBM Model M and Model M Space Saving boards || NeXTstation Slab || Amiga 3000 || BTC-5100C black and beige || SIIG MiniTouch Plus black and beige
Retired collection: SIIG MiniTouch Monterey Blue || Razer BlackWidow

Offline chimera15

  • Posts: 1441
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #24 on: Mon, 21 June 2010, 10:25:30 »
Quote from: aegrotatio;195189
I'd be afraid of using steel ball bearings.  It would probably scratch the heck out of the ball and leave shaving marks behind.  I learned a while ago that the thing you don't want to be scratched should be made of harder stuff (that is, the little balls should be softer than the trackball itself).

The ones I used wore the same as the normal ones.  I got them out of model rc car bearings.  They were almost exactly the same.
Alps boards:
white real complicated: 1x modified siiig minitouch kb1903,  hhkb light2 english steampunk hack, wireless siig minitouch hack
white with rubber damper(cream)+clicky springs: 2x modified siig minitouch kb1903 1x modified siig minitouch kb1948
white fake simplified:   1x white smk-85, 1x Steampunk compact board hack
white real simplified: 1x unitek k-258
low profile: 1x mint m1242 in box
black: ultra mini wrist keyboard hack
blue: Japanese hhk2 lite hack, 1x siig minitouch pcb/doubleshot dc-2014 caps. kb1903, 1x modified kb1948 Siig minitouch
rainbow test boards:  mck-84sx


Offline aegrotatio

  • Posts: 334
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #25 on: Mon, 21 June 2010, 11:14:03 »
Wow, I never knew they were such a common and easy-to-find product.
Thanks!!
Daily Drivers: Ducky DK1087XM || DSI ASK-6600 || Rosewill RK-9000 BL, BR, BL, and RE || ABS M1 || Das Keyboard Silent || HHKB Lite and Lite 2 || DSI Big Font (kids love it)
Yearning for: Any ALPS keyboard || Any tenkeyless mechanical keyboard
Permanent collection: Poker Blue and Brown || Adesso MKB-125B || SIIG MiniTouch Geek Hack Space Saver || Chicony 5181 Monterey Blue || Chicony 5191 Clone Cherry Blues || Key Tronic 3600 || Unicomp Endurapro & SmarTrex || A crate of IBM Model M and Model M Space Saving boards || NeXTstation Slab || Amiga 3000 || BTC-5100C black and beige || SIIG MiniTouch Plus black and beige
Retired collection: SIIG MiniTouch Monterey Blue || Razer BlackWidow

Offline mjma

  • Posts: 7
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 27 June 2010, 18:37:22 »
Quote from: aegrotatio;194774
One thing I did observe is that the decorative LEDs will not turn on unless you are using Microsoft Intellipoint software.

In my experience, this is not true.  I have used the TBE with WinXP, Vista, and Win7 - without the software installed at some point on each OS - and the LEDs  illuminated regardless.

Offline Rajagra

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Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 28 June 2010, 01:29:38 »
Quote from: aegrotatio;195189
I'd be afraid of using steel ball bearings.  It would probably scratch the heck out of the ball and leave shaving marks behind.  I learned a while ago that the thing you don't want to be scratched should be made of harder stuff (that is, the little balls should be softer than the trackball itself).


I read a detailed explanation of why that is not as important as you'd think. Summary: the surface area of the ball is large, the surface area of the bearing's contact point is tiny. So the bearings wear out faster than the ball.

All the bearings are harder than the ball anyway. Having said that, if you can get replacement bearings - and you can - it makes sense to get lots of the right ones and treat them as the consumable items. Replacement balls are harder to find.

Offline washuai

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Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 15 July 2010, 00:49:28 »
When I thought my Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman was dead (false alarm), work offered up one very dirty TBE.  I haven't gotten to really try it out yet.  So far the ball turns very roughly and slowly in comparison to the Logitech.  If no one wants it, I'm gonna hope to keep it around as back up, or more specifically take it home and clean it up, so I can stop having to switch all my peripherals to the notebook, when I work from home.
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Offline chimera15

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Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 15 July 2010, 07:13:39 »
tbe balls will be a lot easier to turn than any Logitech with good bearings and a non worn ball.  Just turn the bearings, it should fix it.
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Offline BIGICP1

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Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 18 August 2010, 18:32:11 »
My $0.02 and first post...
I love mine.  I Have 3 of them, and I don't know what I'll do if they ever die on me.  I haven't had the bearing problems that you guys speak of, and I use my "main" one every day @ the office.
I believe that part of the reason they didn't sell as well as M$ would have hoped, was the price tag.  I know I paid in the neighborhood of $75 for mine when I bought them new.  I've tried others, but none have been as comfortable or intuitive as these.  I haven't looked on e-bay recently, but A few years ago, they were going for about $250.  I guess I'll have to check again soon.
LANCE

Offline aegrotatio

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Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 19 August 2010, 00:01:05 »
I really liked my MS Trackball Explorers I got for a MSN.COM deal for $50.  I couldn't get past the awkward thumb buttons so I gave one to my brother, but the bearing fell out, and that was that.

I really, honestly suggest that you might want to take another look at the Kensington Expert Mouse.  All the effort of buying bearnigs and fitting them into your ten-year-old awkward Microsoft trackball I think would be better spent buying and using your new Kensington.
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Offline In Stereo!

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Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 16 September 2010, 03:58:33 »
I've been using a MS Trackball Optical ftor a few days now, and it is awful. The ergonomics is nice, but the ball is a real PITA to control. Even a fairly old and heavly used Logitech Marble FX with the bearings all grinded up, runs way smoothly compared to the MS Optical. Is this normal or is there something wrong with it? The bearings on the Optical don't show any signs of wear or anything like that.

Offline ricercar

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Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 16 September 2010, 18:30:00 »
Quote from: In Stereo!;223848
I've been using a MS Trackball Optical ftor a few days now, and it is awful.


You can't post that!! Chimera says the MTO is the best trackball for all humans in the universe bar none. You're in trouble now.
I trolled Geekhack and all I got was an eponymous SPOS.

Offline In Stereo!

  • Posts: 173
Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 18 September 2010, 01:42:17 »
It is almost new. The original user said it was used for a few months then it waited for me to purchase it for another three years. :)

Used some lubricant on the bearings and it is smoother, but still nowhere near the Marble FX from before.

As for the claim about new trackballs, I use a new Logitech Marble and it has been even smoother then the old Marble FX right from the unboxing.

Offline SirReallySam

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Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 23 May 2013, 07:33:58 »
I have one of these  :) never realized how in demand they were, blimey! When did these come out, I can't remember when I got it?!
I like the keyboards... I feel we all do.

Offline tayot

  • Posts: 13
Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #36 on: Sat, 25 May 2013, 14:47:16 »
Wow I've two of these. Never realized there was small community for them.  I've been an avid trackball user since before Logitech Vista. Currently using Kensington Expert and Ltrac.  I'm probably the only one who did not like the TBE . Couldn't get used to the ergonomic feel so it was used mainly by my sister regularly. I'd much prefer my Expert trackball and the Ltrac for high DPI.
I'm glad I still have them - 1 is still brand new and the other used but works great. I keep them for my trackball collection. Speaking of collection I should bring out all the trackballs I have and do picture session. Too bad I don't have the one cheapo trackball that got me into this hobby long time ago. 

Offline agodinhost

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Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #37 on: Fri, 07 June 2013, 11:52:32 »
These seem to be really popular on Ebay. Has anyone here used one?
Microsoft does not produces it anymore and there is no support at all for it (if you do need drivers you are dead).
I had two in the past - they are really good, sturdy and strong. Good response too.

The major problem is that you are going to spent a good money to get one and, most probably, it will be used. It's no so easy to find one by a decent price, sometime ago (yes, I'm always trying to find one) I saw one guy trying to sell his by 200 bucks.

edit:
damm, 2008? I'm a bummer ...
« Last Edit: Fri, 07 June 2013, 16:44:52 by agodinhost »
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Offline agodinhost

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Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 07 June 2013, 11:54:55 »
Quote from: In Stereo!;223848
I've been using a MS Trackball Optical ftor a few days now, and it is awful.

You can't post that!! Chimera says the MTO is the best trackball for all humans in the universe bar none. You're in trouble now.
I do agree with ya!!
Burn him!
Burn!!
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Offline SirReallySam

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Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #39 on: Sat, 01 March 2014, 06:02:27 »
Anyone want to  buy one of these?! o.O
I like the keyboards... I feel we all do.


Offline SirReallySam

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    • SirReallySam-LinusTech
I like the keyboards... I feel we all do.

Offline adrien239

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Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 12 May 2014, 19:07:16 »
Never a better mouse has been produced...

I'm using mine for 15 years and it work very fine

And I've 2 other ones and I'm... rich...  :D
 

Offline kaotikb

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Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #43 on: Fri, 16 May 2014, 17:44:22 »


I have two of the mircosoft trackballs. Running ceramic bearings now.
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Pointing Devices:  Microsoft Trackball Optical (Ceramic bearings Installed)  | Sanwa MA-TB39BK (Larger Ceramic Bearings Installed) | Elecom M-XT2URBK | Kensington Slimblade | Logitech Trackman Wheel | Logitech Trackman Marble Plus

Offline microsoft windows

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Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #44 on: Fri, 23 May 2014, 08:42:40 »
Those are good trackballs. I used to have one.
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Offline Kamen Rider Blade

  • Posts: 119
Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #45 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 17:55:41 »
Sadly, the majority of people haven't tried trackball.

It is quite a unique experience

Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #46 on: Sun, 25 May 2014, 11:34:35 »
Sadly, the majority of people haven't tried trackball.

It is quite a unique experience

I was always a fan of trackballs myself. My old laptop had one. Can't beat 'em, that's for sure.

Offline agodinhost

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Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #47 on: Mon, 26 May 2014, 08:40:24 »
Show Image


I have two of the mircosoft trackballs. Running ceramic bearings now.
More thread necromancy.
Are you selling?
How much???
Building one square I2C keyboard with those 1200 switches (thanks JDCarpe)
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Offline kaotikb

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Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #48 on: Mon, 26 May 2014, 16:31:34 »
Show Image


I have two of the mircosoft trackballs. Running ceramic bearings now.
More thread necromancy.
Are you selling?
How much???

Nah, I like them too much to sell.
Ducky 1087 (Green ALPS) |  CM QFR Stealth (MX Brown) | Unicomp Ultra Classic |Poker II (MX Brown)  | IBM 1391401 1991 | IBM 1391401 1989 | Ducky Shine 3 White Edition (MX Brown) | G80-3700(MX Black) | Corsair K70 (MX Brown) | Varmillo VA87MR (Gateron Red)

Pointing Devices:  Microsoft Trackball Optical (Ceramic bearings Installed)  | Sanwa MA-TB39BK (Larger Ceramic Bearings Installed) | Elecom M-XT2URBK | Kensington Slimblade | Logitech Trackman Wheel | Logitech Trackman Marble Plus

Offline noway

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Re: Microsoft Trackball Explorer
« Reply #49 on: Fri, 25 July 2014, 16:45:09 »
How do you like the ceramic bearings and did you install them yourself?  I saw a real junky video linked to the ebay ad showing installation. 

The Trackball Optical is my input device of choice and I have one needing new bearings + 2 new in box ones (not selling)