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dutchfan
February 6th, 2009, 03:09 PM
Hi there ! I'm a Dutch newcomer here, and found more or less by accident this forums. I recently became a proud owner of an IBM M5-1 1993 keyboard with trackball (which i like) from clickykeyboards.com. Virtually impossible to get in The Netherlands. New one, never-used, but seemingly with a faulty trackball. It merely moves the mouse horizontally and almost (!) not vertically. Almost, not entirely not. It is almost as if the trackball seems ...reluctant to move vertically, as if it doesn't like it ... Something wrong with the mechanicals or opticals. But which ? A quick search on he net (for about 3 hours) learned me that there's virtually nothing to be found on trackballs...

To be sure, Clickykeyboards.com is very helpful and quick to answer, but nothing easy helped yet.

Somebody out there who knows his or hers optomechanics ? The mechanism inside looks quite clean and neat, without any dirt to be seen. Rollers are moving when ball is moving, that also can clearly be seen, maybe something faulty with the opticals ? Because of the slight vertical movements that are present, i don't think it's a software problem or hardware conflict or the likes.

Who has the magic solution ? Or a way to get there ? I'm curious.

In the meantime, i enjoy the vintage parts on your forums ! I hope to hear from somebody.

Best regards !

patscc
February 6th, 2009, 03:12 PM
Take the ball out and move the encoders with your finger. This should tell you if it's the electronics or the mechanicals (i.e. grime)
Can you post a picture of it with the trackball removed ?
patscc

dutchfan
February 6th, 2009, 03:58 PM
Sorry for the crappy photo. I've just got a crappy camera. Rolling the vertical roller enacts movements in horizontal direction, moving the horizontal roller, results in practically no movement, where it should vertical movements.

Everything looks quite in place in there, nothign breached/broken whatsoever...

patscc
February 6th, 2009, 04:29 PM
Okay, I think I can just make it out. Did you twiddle the gray rubbery things, or the actual white encoder wheel that the gray rubbery thingy moves ?
patscc

Trixter
February 6th, 2009, 07:14 PM
Sorry for the crappy photo. I've just got a crappy camera. Rolling the vertical roller enacts movements in horizontal direction, moving the horizontal roller, results in practically no movement, where it should vertical movements.


Then you've got dirt stuck in the wheel "spokes" or in front of the optical sensor. Take the keyboard apart and blow some compressed air in there to clean it out.

dutchfan
February 7th, 2009, 04:10 AM
Okay, I think I can just make it out. Did you twiddle the gray rubbery things, or the actual white encoder wheel that the gray rubbery thingy moves ?
patscc

Hi patscc,

i actually moved the white encoder wheels (i mean, the ones which actually make physical contact with the grey ball). The one resulted in movement (horizontally), the other in barely any motion, but not absent 100%

As far i can see, there are no grey rubbery things present. All parts seem to be of hard plastic black, brown, and white, and three tiny metal gliders for the trackball itself.

I'll also follow the advise of the next responder to use some compressed air to blow the parts clean. Do you agree with him ?

Wim

patscc
February 7th, 2009, 05:49 AM
Can't hurt. Just don't use too high a pressure. And first you have to know where to blow the air. Can you get a close up of where the trackball sits ?
You say the white wheels are the encoders ? If you look at them from the side, they should be slotted, assuming they are optical encoders. Are they slotted ?
patscc

Terry Yager
February 7th, 2009, 12:50 PM
I'll also follow the advise of the next responder to use some compressed air to blow the parts clean. Do you agree with him ?

Wim

I can't speak for pat, but yes, I agree, dust could very well be the problem. I was going to suggest it from the git-go, but since someone else already had...

--T

patscc
February 7th, 2009, 04:33 PM
I'm just fussy. I like to actually see where the dust is before I start squirting stuff at it.
patscc

dutchfan
February 12th, 2009, 09:35 AM
I'm just fussy. I like to actually see where the dust is before I start squirting stuff at it.
patscc

Hi Patscc,

Finally again some time trying to solve this problem. I discovered, that, moving the white rollers inside, under a very bright white-led light, the movements of the "mouse" are suddenly perfect !:D Again, with the ball inserted, and/or the bright light out, the vertical movements fail... :mad: THUS... the electronics and opticals are intact, but the mechanism/sensors very likely are covered in some sort of thin layer of adhered dust, built up during the 15 years in its box, because it only takes LOTS of light to penetrate this assumed layer !:mrgreen:

Am i correct, or am i correct ? It's is like i start to like the problem...:rolleyes:

Problem, though, it is not loose dust. blowing doesn't help, and nothing like flocks of dust can be seen. It HAS to be som e sort of adhesive dirt layer ?

patscc
February 12th, 2009, 10:05 AM
Well, early photo interrupters used a slotted wheel mechanism to interrupt a beam of infrared.
Later they moved to mechanisms using visible light.
It sounds like your wheel is driven by the gray rods, which in turn are driven by the ball.
I would try cleaning the rods & rubber ball with rubbing(isopropanyl) alcohol. Use a Q-tip on the gray rods. If you can lay your hands on some rubber revitalizer, use that on the ball, and on the rods if they have a rubbery feel. If they're metal, don't.
Next, get a can of electronics cleaner or degreaser. Make sure it safe for plastics, and residue -free (you don't want the kind that leaves behind a film of lubrication) and spray the area thoroughly. Wait for it to dry completely, and then see if it's any better.
patscc

Wizard260
February 12th, 2009, 04:09 PM
Try a soft cloth and wipe the sensors, and the ball.

Also another photo might help. Just hold the camera lens closer to trackball area

dutchfan
February 12th, 2009, 11:30 PM
Try a soft cloth and wipe the sensors, and the ball.

Also another photo might help. Just hold the camera lens closer to trackball area
Yeah, i know, it's just my stupid camera, i'm buying a new one (crisis ? what crisis ?...). I'm so fed up with that piece of vintage junk. My mobile phone camera isn't much better. Believe me, i tried, i made detailed pictures with or almost without light (flash), but they turn out to be so blurred, that it wouldn't provide you any information...

I'll try with your suggestions: special liquids or first trying with a soft cloth, the kind that leaves almost no fibers behind. I'll also try cleaning the ball (it's not dirty actually, as far as i can see now, but i guess, you'll never know), in order to make it more grippy.

There's also another thing: i couldn't find any info whatsoever on the opticals or mechanisms of these trackballs. Do you have suggestions, manuals or that kind of thing? I really don't know anything about these techniques (but i'm a quick study, so when you know something... try me)

By the way, thanks for trying to help me out.

cosam
February 13th, 2009, 01:01 AM
I discovered, that, moving the white rollers inside, under a very bright white-led light, the movements of the "mouse" are suddenly perfect !:D Again, with the ball inserted, and/or the bright light out, the vertical movements fail... :mad: THUS... the electronics and opticals are intact, but the mechanism/sensors very likely are covered in some sort of thin layer of adhered dust, built up during the 15 years in its box, because it only takes LOTS of light to penetrate this assumed layer !:mrgreen:
It could also be that the light source on that particular decoder (I take it it's an LED) is dim/dirty. You can clean them with a little alcohol, but they can be tricky to get to. It could even have failed completely, although then I'd expect no vertical movement at all, unless light's getting in from somewhere else.

BTW: where are you located? If you're close by I could take a look at it for you.