[PLUG] Trackball ball movement not smooth

Dale Snell ddsnell at frontier.com
Fri Sep 20 11:35:46 PDT 2013

On Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:45:48 -0700
Dick Steffens <dick at dicksteffens.com> wrote:

> I decided to try out a trackball a friend gave me. It was pretty dirty, 
> so I cleaned the ball and the socket with isopropyl alcohol. Before 
> cleaning the cursor response to the movement of the ball was jerky. Now 
> the cursor response is smooth, but the ball movement in the socket is 
> sticky. It's like I had cleaned some kind of lubricant off of it -- I'm 
> guessing that the ball is not lubricated, since that would likely get on 
> one's fingers -- but that's what it feels like.
> Any recommendations on how to get the ball to rotate smoothly in the socket?
I've never had a trackball, but I'm assuming (oh that word) that it's
rather like an old-fashioned ball-type mouse, only upside down.  If
so, there should be two orthagonal rollers.  Since you've cleaned the
socket out, there shouldn't be any lint or hair or whatever to foul
things up.  At a guess, you cleaned off some sort of lube from the
roller pins.  A touch of lube at each end of the pins should do the
trick.  I think it should, anyway.  Be sure that you don't get any
lube on the interrupters, or your cursor will skip around most

BTW, alcohol isn't the best thing to use on those hard rubber rollers.
Some rubber conditioner, like that for magnetic tape capstan rollers,
would be much better.

Anyway, I hope this helps.


"A thoughtful, educated populace is the enemy of governments
everywhere."  -- Unknown (From memory -- source please?)

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