Logitech Trackball: Tilting Thereof

Trackball platform
Trackball platform

The right-hand trackball by my keyboard is a Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman, which I fixed a while ago with a laying-on-of-hands repair. If you do a lot of typing and want to save your wrists, a trackball might be just what you need.

This trackball’s shape is strongly right-handed and I found that my wrist was happier when I tilted the trackball about 30 degrees to the right, making the ball almost vertical and the thumb buttons to the upper left. Evidently my wrist wants to work at a more clockwise angle, not at whatever Logitech found suitable.

I made the platform from thin oak-veneer plywood left over from a bookshelf project, with oak wedges holding it up. Polyurethane glue, my favorite wood adhesive, holds everything together. I presented the bottom to the belt sander to get a nice flat surface and bevel the down-side edge of the platform, then applied non-skid rubber stair tread tape to the wedges.

Conveniently, Logitech held the trackball’s case together with four plastic-tapping screws. I removed a screws at each end, drilled two matching holes in the platform, and used similar-size machine screws. The threads don’t quite match, but it’s close enough.

Rotated trackball in use
Rotated trackball in use

Here’s what it looks like in use…

The platform makes battery replacement a bit more tedious. Much to my surprise, the two AA cells run for half a year at a time, so that’s not a big issue.

However, the trackball occasionally (every few weeks) loses sync with its base receiver, requiring a poke of buttons on both units. I think that’s partly due to the Logitech wireless mouse on my esteemed wife’s desk ten feet away.

On the whole, I like it a lot. If Logitech made one for southpaws, too, I’d get a bookend set, but they don’t.

Oh, yeah, if only evdev allowed button reconfiguration, without using a bunch of batshit kludges, I’d be ecstatic. As of the last time I fiddled with it, the standard mouse xorg driver couldn’t handle the number of buttons and evdev didn’t allow button mapping. Mostly, it works, but I’d like to reassign a few of the buttons.

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