Re: Grip Modification: Optical Trackball Improvement

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James Limbouris

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Aug 6, 2011, 2:45:32 AM8/6/11
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On Fri, 05 Aug 2011 19:56:31 +0800, windexlight wrote:
> Hello all,
>
> I've been using my Grip for several months now primarily for gaming.
> Initially, I was worried about the trackball being restrictive as a
> replacement for a mouse, particularly in games where pointer control
> is crucial for camera movement. I needn't have worried, as it's
> turned out to be a totally acceptable alternative, and I don't find
> myself missing the mouse when in game. That said, I have been
> noticing for a while that the trackball will on occasion become
> "sticky", with smooth movement being impaired by hitches that
> significantly reduce the overall feel of control. Opening up the
> trackball for cleaning helps, but over time, the problem has become
> more pronounced and more frequent.
>
> A few days ago, I decided to try to do something about it. The
> trackball itself rests on three contact points consisting of 1/8"
> diameter metal balls (much like BBs) that snap-fit into plastic
> bosses. These can be easily popped out, though putting them back in
> without dropping them into the inside depths of the assembly is
> somewhat troublesome (tweezers are helpful), and care must be taken if
> one wishes to avoid removing the 8 screws necessary to open the case.
> Upon close inspection, it was clear that the metal balls had suffered
> significant corrosion over time (likely due to contamination with
> finger oils), and that this had to be the source of the reduction in
> performance. I assume these balls are a steel alloy of some kind, but
> they must be a lower grade to have corroded within only a few months.
> After an attempted cleaning to no avail, I decided to look for some
> replacements.
>
> Both MSC and McMaster-Carr are good sources for such things. I wanted
> something that would hold up better over time, and generally perform
> better. PTFE (Teflon) was the first material that came to mind, due
> to its low coefficient of friction and known use as a contact material
> on many trackballs (and mouse feet). To stick with the original
> design of a metallic contact point, I thought 316 stainless would be a
> good choice due to its high corrosion resistance. McMaster-Carr
> stocks both (MSC has 316 stainless, but I couldn't find PTFE):
>
> http://www.mcmaster.com/#ptfe-balls/=dhcvre
> http://www.mcmaster.com/#type-316-stainless-steel-balls/=dhcxkc
>
> Minimum order quantity is 100, but they're both cheap, so I picked up
> a pack of each (I'll have plenty of extras, at least). After popping
> in some new PTFE balls, I must say the trackball feels better than
> ever. Only time will tell how they'll hold up, but I expect they'll
> last much better (and be easier to clean) than the metal balls that
> shipped with the Grip. I haven't tried the 316 stainless yet. It is
> of course less likely to wear over time, but I almost worry about it
> wearing the trackball, which is harder to replace.
>
> If anyone else has suggestions for alternate materials or sources,
> feel free to share.
>
> Sam
>

Thanks for that, I'm having the same trouble.

James

Mike Willner

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Aug 6, 2011, 8:07:28 AM8/6/11
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If anyone has an AlphaGrip with an optical trackball that is not working
properly after only several months of normal use, please contact us at
sup...@alphagrip.com so we can replace the unit.

Mike

James

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james_L

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Aug 11, 2011, 7:07:14 AM8/11/11
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I didn't notice before that the mod advice was for optical trackballs.
I'm using a 3 year old much loved mechanical grip. If the new ones are
available now, maybe it's time to upgrade...

On Aug 6, 8:07 pm, Mike Willner <m...@alphagrip.com> wrote:
> If anyone has an AlphaGrip with an optical trackball that is not working
> properly after only several months of normal use, please contact us at
> supp...@alphagrip.com so we can replace the unit.

Mike Willner

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Aug 11, 2011, 6:12:33 PM8/11/11
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Maybe... Here's a link to a page on our online store which offers the new
AlphaGrip with optical trackball, a.k.a. the iGrip Ergonomic Keyboard, at a $10
discount ($99 vs. $109; plus shipping):
http://alphagrips.com/store/pre-order_discount.html.
 
Here's a link to an unsolicited review:  http://waynejohnson.net/alphagrip.asp

James

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Aug 11, 2011, 10:24:58 PM8/11/11
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Thanks Mike, that did it, I've taken the plunge and ordered two of them!  :p  So now I have joined the ranks.  Hope it makes programming more comfortable.  :)

James

--- On Thu, 8/11/11, Mike Willner <mi...@alphagrip.com> wrote:

> For more options, visit this group
>athttp://groups.google.com/group/alphagrip?hl=en.

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Mike Willner

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Aug 11, 2011, 10:35:54 PM8/11/11
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Thanks James! I hope two Grips makes programming twice as comfortable. :)


From: James <genera...@yahoo.com>
To: alph...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Thu, August 11, 2011 9:24:58 PM
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Geert Bevin

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Aug 12, 2011, 12:22:35 PM8/12/11
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Wasn't aware of the new AlphaGrip with an improved trackball, immediately ordered one as the trackball on the previous version is what made me stop using it. Really looking forward to the new one!

On 12 Aug 2011, at 04:24, James wrote:

> Thanks Mike, that did it, I've taken the plunge and ordered two of them! :p So now I have joined the ranks. Hope it makes programming more comfortable. :)
>
> James
>
> --- On Thu, 8/11/11, Mike Willner <mi...@alphagrip.com> wrote:
>
> From: Mike Willner <mi...@alphagrip.com>
> Subject: Re: [alphagrip] Re: Grip Modification: Optical Trackball Improvement
> To: alph...@googlegroups.com
> Date: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 4:12 PM
>
> Maybe... Here's a link to a page on our online store which offers the new
> AlphaGrip with optical trackball, a.k.a. the iGrip Ergonomic Keyboard, at a $10
> discount ($99 vs. $109; plus shipping):
> http://alphagrips.com/store/pre-order_discount.html.
>
> Here's a link to an unsolicited review: http://waynejohnson.net/alphagrip.asp

> --
Geert Bevin
My band's debut album 'Speaker Mind' is out!
http://music.flytecase.be

Alternative pop-rock songs with intertwining vocal melodies that are elevated by gut-felt music.
It radiates energy and emotion, even during the softer parts!

James

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Aug 13, 2011, 12:17:36 AM8/13/11
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Hey Guys,

I found a wireless USB hub and adapter from iogear.  It isn't really going to be as nice as a real wireless solution, but for those who would like to have a plug closer at hand than the computer, or don't want to run a cable a cross a walk way or something, this might prove to be just the thing.  More over it's a four port hub, so you can have more than one USB device at a time!

Here are the device details:

http://www.iogear.com/product/GUWH104KIT/

Here is google's shopping page:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&gs_upl=432l432l0l2006l1l1l0l0l0l0l116l116l0.1l1l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1497&bih=832&q=Wireless+USB+Hub+and+Adapter&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=6649331881417880937&sa=X&ei=iflFTuPKMtLCsQLN-ZiSCA&ved=0CDwQ8wIwAA

or tiny url if you prefer:

http://tinyurl.com/3evh2jn

Anyway, hope someone finds this to be helpful!

-James

Mike Willner

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Aug 13, 2011, 8:10:38 AM8/13/11
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Thanks for the order! I apologize for not alerting you (and the rest of the
Group and other AlphaGrippers) that we received a new shipment of AlphaGrips
which have an optical trackball. Given our limited resources we've had our hands
full testing the new Grips (still doing that), contacting, shipping to, and
supporting pre-order customers. We plan to begin contacting existing users once
we've finished testing all the AlphaGrips in this new shipment.

----- Original Message ----
From: Geert Bevin <gbe...@uwyn.com>
To: alph...@googlegroups.com

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