Msft optical trackball (5 key) has high resistance to movement of ball. Seems that the 3 metal balls supporting trackball all have flattened tops where they contact the trackball! Anyone know of a source of replacement support balls.
I forgot to mention one other possibility. It's a bit messy, but it sometimes helps...at least in the short term. A friend of mine found that if you eat some fried (basically 'greasy') chicken with your hands and them rub the grease on the ball it works better for awhile. Unfortunately it also tends to gather more dirt into the sunken areas around the metal nubs quicker and the ball movement becomes sticky again rather soon.
Are you sure the metal support nubs have flattened? My experience has been that either they slowly sink into the plastic or that the upper and lower plastic nub supports wear down (which tends to make the ball loose in the carrier assembly). Either way, when the ball gets sticky for me I ensure the metal nubs and the sunken areas around them are clean, then clean the ball with water and find a soft cloth to buff the ball until it is not sticky.
If the metal nubs have indeed flattened you may wish to try removing them and putting them in with the flat side toward the plastic (so you have the round side facing out) - this is assuming they are completely round.
I wish I had a better answer for you. I've have several of the MS TB Optical and only one lasted for a more than a year or so (before the problems mentioned above cropped up). Sadly they are nearly impossible to find and usually very expensive if you can find a new one.
Now if I could only find a way to fix the sudden rapid up/down scrolling mine does occasionally. I've taken it apart and cleaned everything but it still does it :(
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You don't need to disassemble it - Under the mouse is a hole, through which you can see the trackball. Insert your pinky (little finger), or the top (eraser) of a pencil, and gently push. The ball will pop right out, and you can clean it, and the three ball-bearings on which it rolls. I do this almost every day. (yes, my hands are clean, but normal oils gum up the ball-bearings.)
You might have a dirty ball-holder. Reverse the trackman and hit with it your cupped hand, so that the ball gets out. You'll see a cavity with three round metal prongs and a square dark window. Clean the window with a cotton earbud and the prongs with a toothpick, then push gently the ball in place.
If this does not work, verify the area is free of radio interference and the trackman batteries are fully charged. Also try placing the transmitter at different distances and positions; sometimes the handshake between the units is quirky.
Lastly, verify your PC isn't overloaded and that's the cause of the sluggish mouse movements. Of course, if you "feel" a sticky mouse with your fingers, the cause will be mechanical - the first one. But just in case...
If you could remove the track ball you would see that under it the base is packed in grime and crud. Since it doesn't easily come out, just soak a swab in alcohol, then alternate off rotating the trackball and wiping it down with the swab. Press down as you rotate to try and dislodge dirt and grime. Continue until the ball becomes more responsive.
if you can get the part -- its a trackball assembly btw not just the ball itself
you press down on the silver ring around the ball and turn, the cover will fall out. use a small probe and lift the assembly out.
many times there's fuzz in there -- check it out before you buy a new assembly
Background: I have a total of six Logitech trackballs; four of the newer Trackman Wheel model, and two of the older Trackman Marble+ model (as pictured). All but one of them suffer from the problem described by dave48. The fifth, for some mysterious reason, never has this problem.
Solution: The solution I came up with is to light a candle and let melted wax drip onto the red thumb ball. A single drip falling on three random places on the ball usually does the trick. (The wax should dry as soon as it contacts the ball.) I then start moving the ball around to work the wax onto the teflon points. The movement will be VERY rough initially, but will gradually smooth out the more you use it. Sometimes the initial three drips aren't enough and the ball starts getting rough again, so I will melt three more drips of wax onto the ball and work them in as well.
Conclusion: This really seems to do the trick and for some reason the points don't seem to need cleaning as often either. You do have to be careful not to remove the wax when performing a cleaning, however. But if you do happen to remove some wax all you need to do is melt some additional wax onto the ball and work it in like before.
Depending on how comfortable you are with removing the trackball it's not hard to fix... you may have some dirt or grit interfering with the trackball and/or sensors. Take a small screwdriver or blade and gently pop the silver ring around the trackball off. This will free the actual trackball housing. Use an old toothbrush to clean everything. I also soaked the trackball in a little rubbing alcohol. Just make sure it is completely dry before reassembling. If that doesn't work you can purchase replacement trackballs from places like crackberry.com.
A lot of trackball controlls made by Microsoft and Logitech use a optical system. Once the control on the screen doesn't move anymore, you simply remove the ball and clean the optics out of it.
If there is a way that you can remove the ball out of the control, all you have to do is clean the rollers underneath the wheel. After some time they do build up just like a friction mouse does. All it takes is some Qtips and a water alchohol solution.
I would hope for a kid trackball they made that a feature.