Kensington Expert Mouse Trackball: Scroll Ring Aperture Alignment

That comment suggested scroll ring failures on a Kensington Expert Mouse (it’s a trackball) might occur when the apertures become misaligned from the IR emitter-detector pair, although later results were equivocal. I tore apart a failed unit to see what the alignment looked like for a known-bad scroll ring.

The right side view shows the receiver roughly centered in an aperture:

Kensington Expert Mouse - Scroll Ring aperture - right
Kensington Expert Mouse – Scroll Ring aperture – right

The left side view shows that the ring is almost flush against the circuit board, with the isolating cutout just in front, and it’s not obvious how to lower it any further:

Kensington Expert Mouse - Scroll Ring aperture - left
Kensington Expert Mouse – Scroll Ring aperture – left

So I think there’s no way to realign this one, other than to raise the aperture ring a bit, but that doesn’t seem like it would make any difference: the detector already has a good view of the emitter.

If your trackball has a failed scroll ring, tweaking the aperture ring’s alignment certainly can’t hurt: try it and report back.

If you don’t expect a miracle, you probably won’t be disappointed, alas.

The pix come from the Canon pocket camera mounted on the macro lens / illuminator, handheld with manual focus. The dust speck on the detector is just slightly out of focus, but you get the general idea.

Update: 2015-07-29 – A success story from Tom:

Hi, I wanted to leave a comment for your page here: [this url]

I’ve got an expert mouse trackball that was having intermittent scroll ring problems, then finally quit working altogether. Dismantled it easily using the instructions on this site.

Cleaned it and it still wasn’t working. Tried changing the alignment of the IR emitter/detectors and it still wasn’t working. Then we kept on fiddling with the alignment and voilà.

Like others have said, the alignment seems to be SUPER sensitive. So if any others are reading this with the same problem, keep persevering.

Thanks to everyone who has posted to help find solutions!

Another update: Seven years in the future, a real fix appears!