Questions about Rollermouse

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jou

12 May 2015, 10:46

I'm thinking about getting a Rollermouse and have some questions: Should I get a Pro2 or Free2? I found some used ones at good price, so how do they age and are they easily maintainable?

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

12 May 2015, 11:28

I have been (heavily) using a RollerMouse Pro (not Pro2) for months now,
it works flawlessly and never needed any maintenance.
it wasn't easy to find a used one which wasn't black :lol:

Image

The only problem is not the RollerMouse itself, but the wrist rests.
I use them only when "mousing", but they tend to get dirty quite quickly and are supposed to be replaced, not serviced.
So I just wrapped them in a piece of cloth und put them back in place, next time I'll use a washable cloth :lol:

Other than that no problems at all.

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HzFaq

12 May 2015, 13:12

I've been using a 2nd hand Pro2 since January(ish). I got the Pro2 because it was a super cheap auction I won with a cheeky snipe but given the choice it would probably be the one I would go for anyway as, as far as I can tell, it is the only one that has a hardware option of setting the copy/paste buttons to mouse 4/5.

I've not had to do any maintenance, I'm not sure how much it was used before it got to me but the rollerbar is super smooth still and I've had no problems with the buttons. There's a little dent on the bar (it looks like someone got their fingernail caught in it) which is a bit jarring but other than that it's been faultless.

Mine also came with a missing foot rest which Contour replaced at their expense so I guess their aftercare is pretty good as well.

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jou

12 May 2015, 14:58

Thanks kbdfr and HzFaq! Looks like I will get the Pro2.
HzFaq wrote: I got the Pro2 because it was a super cheap auction I won with a cheeky snipe but given the choice it would probably be the one I would go for anyway as, as far as I can tell, it is the only one that has a hardware option of setting the copy/paste buttons to mouse 4/5.
Oh, that's good to know. That would make reassigning them much easier.

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HzFaq

12 May 2015, 15:06

All versions can reamp any button using Contour's software (again, AFAIK, I'm not a rollermouse expert, I just did a little reading one boring afternoon), I can't install software on my work PC so it's super handy that I don't have to in order to get the keys I need.

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jou

20 May 2015, 00:31

Got my Rollermouse today. The Pro2 I wanted to buy was already gone by the time I decided so I went with the Free2 (but got that one for 75$ shipped though).

I've been playing around with it for around half an hour and I'm liking it so far. What I didn't realize is that it's is rather low profile and my fingers hits the edge of the case or the space bar on my Apple Extended Keyboard at home rather quickly. Plus I kind of miss the gestures I have an my Apple Trackpad. Not having it reminds me of how nice the two finger scrolling on the trackpad is. Scrolling easily on both X and Y axis was awesome and so is kinetic scrolling on OS X.

Let's see tomorrow how nice it plays with my ErgoDox at work… And confusing colleagues with more strange input devices.

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HzFaq

20 May 2015, 09:31

Let me know how you get on with the Ergodox/Rollermouse combo, that's something that I haven't figured out yet...

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vivalarevolución
formerly prdlm2009

08 Aug 2015, 21:33

I know I'm late to the party, but the Rollermouse Red is vastly superior to any other of the previous model. I know the price is off putting for most people, though...

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tentator

18 Jan 2016, 23:42

I'm also getting curious about this rollermouses.. but how do they work? are they some sort of touchpads?
why are they so interesting (I would say just because you can put them pretty close to the keyboard)?
what are the alternatives to this?

thanks in advance

tent

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

19 Jan 2016, 10:40

The way the RollerMouse pointing device works is shown here very clearly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7DcptJzsuQ

I don't understand why anybody should use a normal mouse situated at an arm's length.
Probably it's just a way to justify typing on a small keyboard :lol:

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tentator

19 Jan 2016, 23:02

well sounds convincing... any alternatives close to the spacebar otherwise? because they seem very expensive even used... 8)

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chzel

20 Jan 2016, 00:32

it looks interesting, even if only for scrolling!
I probably missed it, but how do you reposition the "roller" if you reach the end of it's travel (In case you calibrate it wrongly or try for maximum accuracy)?

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ohaimark
Kingpin

20 Jan 2016, 02:51

Normal mouse user here: the only valid answer is gaming. Otherwise my laptop's touchpad is ideal.

I'm guessing that they work like digital vernier calipers -- tiny capacitors on some sort of plate that can be measured as the steel slides back and forth. As to the roller repositioning... No clue. Maybe a button?

http://www.wonkeedonkeetools.co.uk/cali ... iper-work/

davkol

20 Jan 2016, 09:27

Horizontal movement is absolute. If you hit the end of the rollermouse, the cursor should be at the edge of the screen; if it's not, it's possible to push the bar a bit farther to align it with the bar.

The obvious upside is that the stick is a physical object, as opposed to trackpads.
The downside is that it's as imprecise at trackpads, when clicking with the bar itself.

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

20 Jan 2016, 11:16

davkol wrote: Horizontal movement is absolute. If you hit the end of the rollermouse, the cursor should be at the edge of the screen; if it's not, it's possible to push the bar a bit farther to align it with the bar.
This is correct. Practically, it almost never happens (like it almost never happens that you cannot move your mouse further left because it already collides with your keyboard).
The obvious upside is that the stick is a physical object, as opposed to trackpads.
The downside is that it's as imprecise at trackpads, when clicking with the bar itself.
I would contest that.
Clicking with the bar of a RollerMouse is in principle as precise as clicking with the scrolling wheel of a mouse,
and once used to it, you don't in the least move the cursor when clicking with the bar
(which you don't have to anyway, because of course you also have buttons for left, right and double click).

As for cursor movement in general, it is far, far more precise than with a trackpad or a trackpoint.
For precision work, I move my RollerMouse bar with the middle and ring finger of my right hand.
I see no precision difference compared to my previous mouse, where I had to push the complete device with my whole hand.

User avatar
Laser
emacs -nw

20 Jan 2016, 13:39

Any way to cheaply emulate a RollerMouse?
Using an upside-down optical mouse mechanism and a tube fixed above the light hole?

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

20 Jan 2016, 14:18

Laser wrote: Any way to cheaply emulate a RollerMouse?
Using an upside-down optical mouse mechanism and a tube fixed above the light hole?
And then making buttons and a scroll wheel accessible… :D

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Laser
emacs -nw

20 Jan 2016, 14:55

A 2nd mouse mechanism? :) Both mounted in a wood wristpad.

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

20 Jan 2016, 15:19

Or take one of those (it's a Tipro, of course) and integrate your DIY RollerMouse in the lower 3 rows:
C-40.jpg
C-40.jpg (101.14 KiB) Viewed 2724 times

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Laser
emacs -nw

20 Jan 2016, 15:38

Could be, could be :) Those 3 rows, perfect wristpad cushion with proper switches.

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scottc

20 Jan 2016, 15:53

Finally, a use for Tipros with those awkward keys under the main typing section. ;) That's a very interesting idea, though.

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tentator

20 Jan 2016, 15:53

why? do they have interesting switches those tipros?
seem also some cheap shop keyboard (http://www.ebay.de/itm/Tipro-Kassen-Apo ... Swqu9U~d6f)
similar to the other one I was looking and that has kind of a stickpoint integrated.. but seems rather not kechanical switch.. some strange rubberdome I think:
Image

tent:wq

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

20 Jan 2016, 16:25

Tipros are mechanical. They have Cherry MX black switches and are fully programmable (i.e. each single key, even the space bar, can be programmed with any sign or combo or whatever macro) on 4 layers.

Note that the one in my pic is not a simple matrix keyboard like the one you link to, but has a staggered layout in the upper part with three matrix rows underneath. The one I use as a daily driver has the staggered layout in the lower part and the three matrix rows are on top.

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tentator

20 Jan 2016, 17:27

Well yes I'd definitely prefer staggered below wit regular keys and can be matrix programmable above.. but being fully programmable indeed is of great interest to me also pointing stick is and possibly cherry mx clear.. the linear blacks I do not like much.. do tipro also have clears? Maybe I could upgrade it.. they are cheap used so.. not sure

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

20 Jan 2016, 18:05

kbdfr wrote: Tipros […] have Cherry MX black switches […]
They are plate-mounted, i.e. if you want to mod them you have to desolder them.

davkol

22 Jan 2016, 19:46

kbdfr wrote:
davkol wrote: Horizontal movement is absolute. If you hit the end of the rollermouse, the cursor should be at the edge of the screen; if it's not, it's possible to push the bar a bit farther to align it with the bar.
This is correct. Practically, it almost never happens (like it almost never happens that you cannot move your mouse further left because it already collides with your keyboard).
Unless you hit sensor's malfunction speed. I'd slide fast to hit a corner of the screen (because of GUIs based on Fitt's law), and end up with misaligned cursor/stick position. No big deal though.
kbdfr wrote:
davkol wrote: The obvious upside is that the stick is a physical object, as opposed to trackpads.
The downside is that it's as imprecise at trackpads, when clicking with the bar itself.
I would contest that.
Clicking with the bar of a RollerMouse is in principle as precise as clicking with the scrolling wheel of a mouse,
and once used to it, you don't in the least move the cursor when clicking with the bar
(which you don't have to anyway, because of course you also have buttons for left, right and double click).
That's simply incorrect in general, because many better wheels have notches to provide rather strong tactile feedback between wheel steps, which also helps prevent accidental scrolling on clicks.

Meanwhile, the rollermouse's bar has no notches, and mine rattles upon micro movements/clicks.

I had a hard time finding a comfortable posture to control the rollermouse, because if I positioned the keyboard at forearm distance, the rollermouse buttons were too close and I couldn't take full control of them without significant ulnar deviation. I'd probably prefer controlling the bar with my thumb(s) and emulating mouse buttons on keyboard's home row.
kbdfr wrote: For precision work, I move my RollerMouse bar with the middle and ring finger of my right hand.
That's a good point, actually.

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

23 Jan 2016, 07:38

Listed in eBay in the UK, a used Barmouse (not from Contour as the listing says, but kind of a clone) for £69 BIN.

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