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500 series trackball


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After 10 years one of our 500 series desks has a failing trackball. Up down movements are OK. Lateral movements for navigating screens and panning movers is not happening.


As a work around we are going to remap pan and tilt to encoders on the ATC page.


Before I attempt replacement I was wondering if anyone has tips or success with cleaning these devices.




John Gibilisco

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I've never had to do it, but I know the trackballs are designed to be cleanable, just like regular trackballs or mice. You just need to clean the gunk off the rollers with a cotton bud and some alcohol or whatever. I have no idea how to get at them in the desk though - presumably from inside?


It's also possible to plug in a standard external trackball device; I've seen a lot of these in use and usually they are miles better than the internal one. You might want to consider that as a solution, either temporary or permanent.

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Hi John,


Sadly, re-mapping pan/tilt to the rotary encoders won't help you navigate around the set-up screens! Though you can still navigate those using 'cursor lock' mode - press shift-0, then the numeric keys (4, 5, 6, 8, I think) effectively become cursor keys. Shift-0 again or change mode (ie. go back to live) to cancel.



Uusually all the trackball needs is a good clean. Sadly, Strand have never made this easy - rather than just lifting off a plastic ring then lifting out the trackball (as per most laptops), you have to open the console and remove the entire trackball assembly from below. Not hard, but just not as quick and easy a job as it should be.


But I bet if you did this, cleaned the surface of the ball itself (to remove finger grease etc), and cleaned out the fluff and cack that is probably stuck all over the encoder wheels that the ball itself actually drives, then put it all back together it would work just fine.


Is it an old 'small ball' or a newer 'big ball' console?


Failing that, you can plug in an external PS2 mouse or trackball and use that (provided you turn on the 'external trackball' setting in setup).



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Problem solved.


Removing 8 small screws got me into the moving parts of the "small" track ball assembly. I carefully removed the rollers and found a very small (dead) spider lodged in one of the contact points. Once removed the problem went away.


I will experiment with the external track ball idea. It could be a handy work-around in the future. This desk has no PS2 connections just a single 5 pin (IBM?) keyboard connection.





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