Originally Posted by wareya
Every ball mouse I've ever used uses optical encoders. But I only used ball mice right at the dawn of optical mice, I'm not old enough for the mechanical kind.
Never checked mine, actually. Could be more common than I assume.
Originally Posted by Lolcarrots
So basically you're saying ball mice are traaaaaaaaaaaash.
Are/were there any ball mice that could even remotely keep up with the max control speeds of say a... 3310?
What about on a special surface with extra grip or something? Or is the problem with friction present internally, too?
Well, the tracking mechanism is objectively inferior in terms of malfunction speed and acceleration. If you find one that does tracking at what, 10-20g acceleration and 1m/s you could feasibly be "competitive". Still a disadvantage. Not sure those stats are even reasonable for any ball mouse.
And yeah, the weaknesses exist between the ball and the surface, but also internally between the ball and the rotary encorders it's spinning. I guess if you were to use a strong magnet system or something you could improve on those properties, but I'm not sure what acceleration/tracking speeds you could conceivably end up with before the mouse is too hard to move.
What can be said is that the tracking is effectively not more "imprecise". Well, practically it is because the ball/encoder behave inconsistently I'd reckon, certainly more so than optical systems are affected by noise, but just conceptionally you have X movement of the ball translated into Y counts. Just because the optical system can produce vastly more counts for the same movement, doesn't mean that's more "precise" for the purpose of being able to maneuver your cursor/crosshair in a certain fashion. As long as you can physically control for the counts, it's whatever.
If I still had a ball mouse lying around I would look into some of this, but I'm sure someone like uaokkkkkkkk has one and can share. Didn't he already put one to the test?