DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

davkol

15 Oct 2019, 17:29

There's a new DIY trackball project called Ploopy.
  • right-handed shape; 3d-printed chassis, very similar to Microsoft Trackball Explorer
  • hardware: Arduino, PMW3360 sensor, 1.75" ball on roller bearings, 4 buttons + wheel; more in the wiki
  • source files under CERN Open Hardware Licence v1.2 (hardware) and GNU General Public License v3 (firmware)
  • kits available for pre-order (200 CAD)
more info on Reddit

Image

Lbibass

15 Oct 2019, 20:12

Oh man. This looks nice. Gonna try and build one. oh MAN this looks nice.

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ZedTheMan

15 Oct 2019, 20:28

They actually designed an open source trackball, and it's called Ploopy. The name really gets me, that's a bad word.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

16 Oct 2019, 09:49

wondering how the top surface is so smooth being 3d printed... non-planar extrusion or just very very thin layers?

andrewjoy

16 Oct 2019, 15:14

matt3o wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 09:49
wondering how the top surface is so smooth being 3d printed... non-planar extrusion or just very very thin layers?
prob acetone vapour smoothing. OR just simple sanding and painting.

Findecanor

16 Oct 2019, 16:40

I think the layers are quite visible in the pictures.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

16 Oct 2019, 16:42

Findecanor wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 16:40
I think the layers are quite visible in the pictures.
yeah I didn't zoom the picture. it's standard 3d printing, they are quite thin layers anyway

Archie

16 Oct 2019, 18:58

Tremendous project with excellent documentation! IMHO it's not pure MTE clone, but merely a hybrid of MTE and MacAlly Qball, as it uses ball bearings (not roller bearings, as stated on project pages).

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obfuscated

19 Oct 2019, 13:02

Do you have any idea where I could find balls for this thing? I tried searching for 1.75 balls, but it wasn't successful. :(

davkol

19 Oct 2019, 15:45

The author recommends starting with these snooker balls. I don't know about compatibility with Elecom DEFT Pro or LCOT balls (44mm).

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obfuscated

27 Oct 2019, 20:44

OK, I've printed it to test the ergonomics, because I'm planning to make my own trackball design.
And I don't like it. If my hand/palm is parallel to the shell my hand/palm slips of from it. There is no ledge or anything else to stop it from falling. I have to put my hand on an angle, but then the buttons on the left side are too close and are a bit hard to press.

Is this the expected behaviour? Is the original having the same problem?

Archie

30 Oct 2019, 14:25

Hmm, I've never had any discomfort using original MTE. Don't have Ploopy currently, but it seems to be an exact copy according to photos...

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obfuscated

31 Oct 2019, 20:34

Archie: How do you position your hand relative to the trackball? Is it parallel? Do you rest it on the trackball also?

Archie

01 Nov 2019, 09:21

Yes. In fact, I'm just positioning my palm without any thinking about it: it's "auto-adjusted" to the ball & buttons in such a way that they're conveniently accessible. Maybe it depends from the hand size, though.

davkol

26 Nov 2019, 23:04

Now there's a left-handed version too.

Archie

20 Jan 2020, 23:45


Findecanor

21 Jan 2020, 03:01

Called Project Ruby, but ... it is not a mod for using ruby bearings.

That's like naming a fission reactor The Fusion Installation. :roll:

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

21 Jan 2020, 08:31

more like calling it the Pedant Installation ;)

Findecanor

08 Oct 2020, 16:29

Ploopy has a mouse now too.

cheater

24 Dec 2020, 17:07

is there a way to use the ploopy with other sensors, like eg the logitech hero? i would like to make some of my older logitech mice smarter and give them nicer sensors. my current favourite mouse is the g600, but it's wired and the sensor isn't as great as the newest ones. i'd also like to use another macro mouse, the Redragon M990 Legend 24000 DPI, but that's just some sort of oddball device with no good support. its selling point is the cluster of 16 macro buttons compared to logitech g600's 12.

how is the OS side of ploopy? can i do things in a windows app like easily design macros, do per-app assignments / dpi / accel / curves and other stuff that i can do with logitech software?

can i use this wirelessly? by this i don't mean bluetooth, but a high performance low latency dedicated 5 ghz connection like logitech uses.

Rayndalf

26 Dec 2020, 00:28

cheater wrote:
24 Dec 2020, 17:07
is there a way to use the ploopy with other sensors, like eg the logitech hero?
The tracking improvements from the 3310 to the 3360 were huge, the 3360 to the Hero... not so much. The 3360 (originally the Logitich exclusive 3366 in the original G502 and G303) has the benefit of better surface tuning (to control lift off distance), Qsxcv's open source firmware and it can be bought as a break out board on Tindie (the sensor is not exclusive to one mouse maker).

The Hero sensor is just as good tracking wise, and a firmware update upped the max DPI even further (25k vs. 16k :?). That increase is totally irrelevant when anything above 3000 DPI is literally unusable :lol:. It is also more power efficient (dynamic framrate?). That is part of what made Logi's new wireless gaming mice so competitive).

For wired DIY stuff the 3360 is ideal (Logi created the Hero sensor in house for power efficiency and to avoid licensing fees, not because of tracking issues in the 3360/3366 sensor). Hell for a trackball a "laser" sensor like the ADNS 9800 might work well. No reason to reverse engineer another sensor which is harder to source, and whose only benefits are wireless applications.

If you have an older mouse you want to make better you should do something like this https://youtu.be/nyb6M89QrWI and stick with the 3360 module on Tindie, a teensy, and Qsxcv derived firmware.

cheater

26 Dec 2020, 02:15

Rayndalf wrote:
26 Dec 2020, 00:28
cheater wrote:
24 Dec 2020, 17:07
is there a way to use the ploopy with other sensors, like eg the logitech hero?
The tracking improvements from the 3310 to the 3360 were huge, the 3360 to the Hero... not so much. The 3360 (originally the Logitich exclusive 3366 in the original G502 and G303) has the benefit of better surface tuning (to control lift off distance), Qsxcv's open source firmware and it can be bought as a break out board on Tindie (the sensor is not exclusive to one mouse maker).

The Hero sensor is just as good tracking wise, and a firmware update upped the max DPI even further (25k vs. 16k :?). That increase is totally irrelevant when anything above 3000 DPI is literally unusable :lol:. It is also more power efficient (dynamic framrate?). That is part of what made Logi's new wireless gaming mice so competitive).

For wired DIY stuff the 3360 is ideal (Logi created the Hero sensor in house for power efficiency and to avoid licensing fees, not because of tracking issues in the 3360/3366 sensor). Hell for a trackball a "laser" sensor like the ADNS 9800 might work well. No reason to reverse engineer another sensor which is harder to source, and whose only benefits are wireless applications.

If you have an older mouse you want to make better you should do something like this https://youtu.be/nyb6M89QrWI and stick with the 3360 module on Tindie, a teensy, and Qsxcv derived firmware.
hmm i do be wanting that wireless though

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