Ch MVP Trackball

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jorgenslee

05 Mar 2020, 15:27

Got today another DT225 variant. At first I thought it's a PS2 as the outer shell of the socket has the same cutout, only to realize it has different pins. I searched everywhere and I can't find the same variant of this DT225. Does anyone information on this variant? The only thing I know that the socket is mini din 8-pin but I'm not sure what protocol it handles. Also the socket is connected to the board thru 4wires.
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Findecanor

05 Mar 2020, 15:57

Maybe it is for Sun Keyboard/mouse. Like Apple keyboards, Sun keyboards had a port for a mouse, but unlike Apple's ADB which used an addressable protocol, keyboard and mouse signals used different pins.

If you have a multimeter, you could check continuity to see if Sun's pin assignment for mouse matches the four wires that go to the PCB.
The thickest lines on the PCB are probably Ground, and each switch is probably activated by shorting it to Ground. On a switch's other side there may be a pull-up resistor to +5V. The other two wires should be Mouse In and Mouse Out.

(There is a Interface recognition guide in the Wiki ... but it lacks a link from the front page. :oops: )

User avatar
jorgenslee

05 Mar 2020, 16:25

Findecanor wrote:
05 Mar 2020, 15:57
Maybe it is for Sun Keyboard/mouse. Like Apple keyboards, Sun keyboards had a port for a mouse, but unlike Apple's ADB which used an addressable protocol, keyboard and mouse signals used different pins.

If you have a multimeter, you could check continuity to see if Sun's pin assignment for mouse matches the four wires that go to the PCB.
The thickest lines on the PCB are probably Ground, and each switch is probably activated by shorting it to Ground. On a switch's other side there may be a pull-up resistor to +5V. The other two wires should be Mouse In and Mouse Out.

(There is a Interface recognition guide in the Wiki ... but it lacks a link from the front page. :oops: )
Thanks, I'll check out the wiki. Never knew there was that resource here, been searching for hours for any 8pin mini din interface.

Initial checking on Sun's pin assignment turns negative as the orange wire is connected to #2 on Sun' pin assignment which is ground on their specs.

Findecanor

05 Mar 2020, 16:53

BTW, does the connector have text or a symbol embossed in the flat on the side?

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jorgenslee

05 Mar 2020, 17:08

Findecanor wrote:
05 Mar 2020, 16:53
BTW, does the connector have text or a symbol embossed in the flat on the side?
Yeah, though I'm not familiar with the symbol. Kindly see below.
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Checked the wiki and I think it does not match any of them. I was thinking of NeXT bus mouse but there are many pins for it to be a matched.

Since there are only four wires, do you think it's just ps2 protocol?

Archie

06 Mar 2020, 02:01

jorgenslee wrote:
05 Mar 2020, 17:08
Yeah, though I'm not familiar with the symbol. Kindly see below.
It's just manufacturer's logo: stylized "CH" letters.

Archie

06 Mar 2020, 02:19

jorgenslee wrote:
05 Mar 2020, 17:08
Since there are only four wires, do you think it's just ps2 protocol?
I've never seen PS/2 or ADB devices with non-standard connectors. AFAIK MiniDIN-4 and MiniDIN-6 were integral part of these standards.

As for yours, it looks to me like CD-i pointing device connector (kind of serial):

Image

User avatar
Polecat

06 Mar 2020, 03:08

I'm not familiar with that specific trackball, but if it's from the '80s or early '90s I would guess it uses bus mouse protocol. Logitech, Microsoft, and others used that interface for a while, and it did work through an 8 pin mini-DIN. The associated PC card plugged into an 8 bit ISA slot. Not sure if any recent OS supports it. Microsoft called theirs "Inport" or something like that.

edit: sorry, just dug one out, bus mouse used a 9 pin mini-DIN, not 8.

User avatar
jorgenslee

06 Mar 2020, 14:16

Archie wrote:
06 Mar 2020, 02:01
jorgenslee wrote:
05 Mar 2020, 17:08
Yeah, though I'm not familiar with the symbol. Kindly see below.
It's just manufacturer's logo: stylized "CH" letters.
Thanks for pointing that now. Just realized it now. lol
Archie wrote:
06 Mar 2020, 02:19
I've never seen PS/2 or ADB devices with non-standard connectors. AFAIK MiniDIN-4 and MiniDIN-6 were integral part of these standards.

As for yours, it looks to me like CD-i pointing device connector (kind of serial):

Image
Base on the Mini Din8a diagram you posted. I checked and only pin 2 = orange, 3 = white, and 4 = blue, shell = black has connections. It does not matched any of the one on diagram.
Polecat wrote:
06 Mar 2020, 03:08
I'm not familiar with that specific trackball, but if it's from the '80s or early '90s I would guess it uses bus mouse protocol. Logitech, Microsoft, and others used that interface for a while, and it did work through an 8 pin mini-DIN. The associated PC card plugged into an 8 bit ISA slot. Not sure if any recent OS supports it. Microsoft called theirs "Inport" or something like that.

edit: sorry, just dug one out, bus mouse used a 9 pin mini-DIN, not 8.
Yeah, I was actually hoping it is the busmouse after I realize it's not ps2 since we already have a resource here by courtesy of GuilleAcoustic:viewtopic.php?t=9874

Findecanor

06 Mar 2020, 15:40

Polecat wrote:
06 Mar 2020, 03:08
edit: sorry, just dug one out, bus mouse used a 9 pin mini-DIN, not 8.
Microsoft's "Inport" standard did. "Bus mouse" is not a protocol but when you have everything inside the mouse wired directly in parallel on a "bus" to the host (or other upstream device). Several different connectors were used even on PCs by different manufacturers before Inport became the de-facto standard for PC bus mouse.
There must be at least Vcc, Ground, two wires/pins per axis and then one wire/pin per button, i.e. at least 7 wires for a one-button mouse. Because this trackball only has four wires in the cable, it can't be a bus mouse.

BTW, the NeXT's mouse with 8-pin mini-DIN plug was a bus mouse, with 8 wires in the cable.

Archie

06 Mar 2020, 18:53

jorgenslee wrote:
06 Mar 2020, 14:16
It does not matched any of the one on diagram.
Well, then you'll need to search further. Joystick Technologies / CH Products has made trackballs with almost any interfaces ever existed - including quite rare and proprietary ones. For example, mine arrived with giant DB-37 connector:

Image


But in fact, I see no much need to find its original connection type: whatever it was, it's not usable now anyway - so you'll have to replace its MCU with something modern.

By the way, what does "MVP" mean? On your trackball it seems like abbreviation of company name: do you have any information about it? The reason I'm asking is, I have "Curtis MVP Mouse" trackball - but never was able to find meaning of MVP letters...

https://forum.trackballs.eu/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=15

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jorgenslee

06 Mar 2020, 19:02

Archie wrote:
06 Mar 2020, 18:53
By the way, what does "MVP" mean? On your trackball it seems like abbreviation of company name: do you have any information about it? The reason I'm asking is, I have "Curtis MVP Mouse" trackball - but never was able to find meaning of MVP letters...

https://forum.trackballs.eu/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=15
I also don't know that MVP means as I only bought it without a box on ebay.

Archie wrote:
06 Mar 2020, 18:53
Well, then you'll need to search further. Joystick Technologies / CH Products has made trackballs with almost any interfaces ever existed - including quite rare and proprietary ones. For example, mine arrived with giant DB-37 connector:

Image


But in fact, I see no much need to find its original connection type: whatever it was, it's not usable now anyway - so you'll have to replace its MCU with something modern.
https://forum.trackballs.eu/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=15
Did you convert it from DB-37 connector to USB? Do you have more information how did the process go? Did you use Teensy or Pro Micro to convert it?

Archie

06 Mar 2020, 19:29

Yes, at the end of article I've posted is a link to another one, specifically about conversion:
https://forum.trackballs.eu/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=18

DT225 was converted by very similar technique, but I haven't finished the article about it yet.

Findecanor

18 Mar 2020, 21:20

BTW, both old Macintosh and Silicon Graphics used 8-bit mini-DIN for serial ports, although I find that unlikely...

Archie

20 Mar 2020, 00:31

Very unlikely indeed. Never owned SGI, but on old Apple machines serial pointing devices were not normally supported, at least by MacOS itself. That doesn't mean it can't be done, though: during my Mac-addiction period, it was impossible to find ADB trackball in my country - so being a baller, I've managed to connect PC-style serial trackball to my Performa-400 and Quadra-950. :) It was done by making DIY adapter cable to convert from RS-232 DB-9 to differential RS-422 MiniDIN-8, and installing third-party driver (well, Control Panel, of course)...

But you've given me a valuable clue by mention of these old workstations! Many years ago, I've used to have Sun SPARCstation machine with MouseSystems optical mouse - and now I've recalled it used MiniDIN-8 as well. Checked the pinout:

Image


Seems to be a perfect match to the pins 2, 3 and 4 reported by jorgenslee for his trackball...

User avatar
jorgenslee

20 Mar 2020, 13:27

Archie wrote:
20 Mar 2020, 00:31
Very unlikely indeed. Never owned SGI, but on old Apple machines serial pointing devices were not normally supported, at least by MacOS itself. That doesn't mean it can't be done, though: during my Mac-addiction period, it was impossible to find ADB trackball in my country - so being a baller, I've managed to connect PC-style serial trackball to my Performa-400 and Quadra-950. :) It was done by making DIY adapter cable to convert from RS-232 DB-9 to differential RS-422 MiniDIN-8, and installing third-party driver (well, Control Panel, of course)...

But you've given me a valuable clue by mention of these old workstations! Many years ago, I've used to have Sun SPARCstation machine with MouseSystems optical mouse - and now I've recalled it used MiniDIN-8 as well. Checked the pinout:

Image


Seems to be a perfect match to the pins 2, 3 and 4 reported by jorgenslee for his trackball...
Looks like a perfect match indeed as I discovered last week that the black wire that is connected to the shell has no circuit trace on the pcb aside from the connector socket. Pin 2 looks like the ground as it is connected most to the components on the pcb. With pin 4 as mouse receive only, is there a adapter that converts this directly without having to remove the controller inside the trackball?

Thanks for the input guys. I'm glad there are still ballers out there. I'm a fan of DT225 as it's form factor suits my use case. Hopefully I can get this working soon. :)

Archie

20 Mar 2020, 13:47

I doubt you'll be able to find a converter: Sun always was a "niche market", and prior to your CH it was only ITAC known to me who made compatible trackballs...

I'm pretty sure your best bet is to replace the controller. Not a big deal BTW, and if you don't want to deal with Arduino and similar things - you can just buy old PS/2 ball mouse and cheap USB converter, to transplant the controller into your DT225.

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jorgenslee

20 Mar 2020, 14:05

Archie wrote:
20 Mar 2020, 13:47
I doubt you'll be able to find a converter: Sun always was a "niche market", and prior to your CH it was only ITAC known to me who made compatible trackballs...

I'm pretty sure your best bet is to replace the controller. Not a big deal BTW, and if you don't want to deal with Arduino and similar things - you can just buy old PS/2 ball mouse and cheap USB converter, ant transplant the controller into your DT225.
Thanks, I'll try your approach of replacing the controller if it's within my reach of capability.
Archie wrote:
20 Mar 2020, 13:47
you can just buy old PS/2 ball mouse and cheap USB converter, ant transplant the controller into your DT225.
Sorry not sure if I get this. Do you mean to say I get a regular ps2 trackball mouse or a regular ball mouse where the bottom is a ball? It's a first I heard of using this approach, do you have a link to an article I can read and review. I'm curious if this is a viable approach in my situation.

Archie

20 Mar 2020, 14:12

Regular plain vanilla ball mouse. Dirt-cheap or free nowadays. It uses the same quadrature detectors and slotted shutter discs as your trackball: you'll just need to re-wire things.

P.S. Avoid Logitech mice, as many of them use proprietary detectors, not discrete quadrature ones.

Archie

02 Apr 2020, 20:18

Meanwhile, out of curiosity I've finally discovered who is that MVP your trackball was OEMed for:

Image

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jorgenslee

09 Apr 2020, 21:26

Archie wrote:
02 Apr 2020, 20:18
Meanwhile, out of curiosity I've finally discovered who is that MVP your trackball was OEMed for:

Image
Good to know. Now I'm curious what machine my trackball has been connected to.

Meanwhile I haven't got the time to make it working, though I currently use the case and the bearing as I have other CH DT225 that has a broken case and a stuck bearing. I'll keep an eye on your forum in case you decided to publish your CH DT225 mod.

Archie

10 Apr 2020, 13:43

Will do that later. By the way, you're welcome to register there.

As for stuck bearings - don't discard them! They're of fine quality, and relatively easy to restore with some patience and basic tools:
https://forum.trackballs.eu/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12

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jorgenslee

12 Apr 2020, 11:28

Archie wrote:
10 Apr 2020, 13:43
Will do that later. By the way, you're welcome to register there.

As for stuck bearings - don't discard them! They're of fine quality, and relatively easy to restore with some patience and basic tools:
https://forum.trackballs.eu/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12
Done registering.

Will check that out. Thanks

keyboardist

11 Jun 2020, 23:01

Attaching detailed info on a trackball I found a documentation from producer - it can be switched to few different protocols actually and have few DPI options to choose.

New CH DT 255 costs almost 2 times more than new CST - L-trac trackballs. At least when you don't buy them in bulk.
Here is the only shop I found listing prices.
https://mt.rsdelivers.com/product/ch-pr ... ll/7651150
https://mt.rsdelivers.com/product/ch-pr ... ll/4646082
Attachments
DT225 Trackballs.pdf
About series naming convention
(1.11 MiB) Downloaded 42 times
0900766b811e8dfe.pdf
CH DT255 data sheet
(103.6 KiB) Downloaded 41 times
0900766b8142274f.pdf
CH DT255 manual
(3.98 MiB) Downloaded 42 times
Last edited by keyboardist on 12 Jun 2020, 21:29, edited 1 time in total.

Archie

12 Jun 2020, 13:21

keyboardist wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 23:01
Attaching detailed info on a trackball I found a documentation from producer - it can be switched to few different protocols actually
So, exactly how do you switch the protocols on DT225? :)

keyboardist

12 Jun 2020, 21:28

Some time ago it was adjusted by setting DIP switches.

bebop8

17 Jun 2020, 06:53

keyboardist wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 23:01
Attaching detailed info on a trackball I found a documentation from producer - it can be switched to few different protocols actually and have few DPI options to choose.

New CH DT 255 costs almost 2 times more than new CST - L-trac trackballs. At least when you don't buy them in bulk.
Here is the only shop I found listing prices.
https://mt.rsdelivers.com/product/ch-pr ... ll/7651150
https://mt.rsdelivers.com/product/ch-pr ... ll/4646082
That naming convention sheet is very interesting. It lists 3 different DPI model configurations on the DT225; so does that mean CH Products offered 3 different sensor variants? Also I see that reseller is listing 2 different models, x20 and x30 with (I guess) different resolution levels, priced accordingly, which seems to corroborate that.

Been looking for a DT225 locally. Now of course I want the high DPI variant if at all possible . I wonder how one can tell what sensor a DT225 has without the model number.

Archie

17 Jun 2020, 20:09

My understanding is, these resolution codes just reflect shipped state of DIP switches. Native sensor resolution on my DT225 is 360 PPR with capability to divide or multiply it by 2 with DIP setting, and I have never seen pictures of other variants with shutter discs visually different from mine...

bebop8

17 Jun 2020, 23:19

Archie wrote:
17 Jun 2020, 20:09
My understanding is, these resolution codes just reflect shipped state of DIP switches. Native sensor resolution on my DT225 is 360 PPR with capability to divide or multiply it by 2 with DIP setting, and I have never seen pictures of other variants with shutter discs visually different from mine...
Thank you for clarifying. If I could ask, have you tried it with the dip switches configured for the highest sensor resolution? If so, how was it?

I ask because my Itac throws accuracy out the window in high speed mode. Looking for a trackball that's just as robust and with ball bearings but with higher DPI/PPR than the Itac's ~200 (even with accel at 10 in Linux, I could use more DPI on the desktop).

Archie

18 Jun 2020, 01:34

Having both, I'd say CH is much more usable than ITAC on modern systems. Of course I keep it in doubled resolution mode, but even native one outperforms ITAC's 192 PPR.

Mechanically they're nearly identical: exactly the same type of bearings & shaft diameter, but CH have slightly bigger ball and better arrangement of buttons. No integral wrist rest, though.

If you need high-resolution trackball with ball bearings, maybe it's worth to try semi-DIY derivative of defunct Microsoft Explorer trackball, as all the factory-made units still in production today are AFAIK low-resolution (by modern standards) devices.

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