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Best USB Ball Mouse (Yes, you read it right)

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
What's the "best" USB ball mouse? I'm not talking about a thumb trackball, I'm talking about ones like the Dell X7636 (at least I think that's what I'm talking about, I don't own one). Has anyone ever measured the click latency of ball mice? Do any have at least 500hz polling rate? Are any ball mice still being made at all?
post #2 of 81
You know I went through my pile of scrap mice earlier today looking for switches and wondered exactly the same thing when I saw the guts of a ball mouse. I know they're treated like a joke, but, do they still exist?
post #3 of 81
Good question,
Starting as a ball gamer, I didn't really feel the difference with the passing years besides the fact that that a laser/optical doesn't fail tracking as much due to maintenance.
post #4 of 81
Except when the ball fell off lol
post #5 of 81
Well, the ball actuates mechanical encoders, which means there's bounce, which means there's debounce - ...which means the reports rate is extremely limited on most if not all ball mice. Probably 100Hz range.

But there could be models that employ more intelligent debounce, and there are apparently optical encoders used in some too ( Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
). I guess those would be "the best".

Other than that, the properties of the ball itself could make one ball mouse better than another ball mouse. But they all lose tracking at rather slow speeds and handle acceleration very badly simply because the ball doesn't respond (inertia; friction < rotation).
post #6 of 81
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.
post #7 of 81
anyone ever tried one of the boomslang ball mice?
Edited by Bucake - 8/6/16 at 12:11pm
post #8 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HAGGARD View Post

But they all lose tracking at rather slow speeds

So basically you're saying ball mice are traaaaaaaaaaaash.

Cool.

Are/were there any ball mice that could even remotely keep up with the max control speeds of say a... 3310? sonic.gif
What about on a special surface with extra grip or something? Or is the problem with friction present internally, too?

EDIT: What if the ball were rough and made of some sort of heavy metal pressing down against the extra grippy surface?
Edited by Lolcarrots - 8/6/16 at 12:15pm
post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by wareya View Post

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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lolcarrots View Post

So basically you're saying ball mice are traaaaaaaaaaaash.

Cool.

Are/were there any ball mice that could even remotely keep up with the max control speeds of say a... 3310? sonic.gif
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?
post #10 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HAGGARD View Post

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 kind of magnet system are we talking here? We need to go deeper. Ball mice are our future.
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