Adesso iMouse T40

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Archie
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Joined: 31 Jan 2019 15:27

Adesso iMouse T40

Post by Archie » 15 Sep 2019 20:44

https://www.adesso.com/product/imouse-t ... trackball/

Ball size: 137/64" (40.0mm)
Model No: iMouse T40
USB ID: VID_062A&PID_4180

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Electronic components and USB dongle (RCV-122R) are identical to company's iMouse T50 trackball, but the casing is of completely different design, and with smaller ball: 40mm instead of 51mm.

Sensor is 2400 cpi PixArt PAW3212DB-TJDT, main switches are HUANO and secondary YSA. Additional switches (wheel click and DPI change) are tact buttons. Controller is MosArt Semiconductor MA60H383 (no datasheet available). Mechanical encoder, translucent wheel illuminated with color LEDs to indicate selected DPI setting. Red sparkling ball is supported by white ceramic 3.0mm beads. Movement is quite smooth.

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Minor manufacturing flaws are next: ball hole is way too tight (just like in T50 case, I've had to use rotating knife to expand it), the buttons have some unpleasant wobbling as mounting screws are not holding their plastic springs firmly, and sensor mounting frame screws were not tightened at all:

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Software is identical to the T50 model, except for different graphics and background images, reflecting actual case shape and button locations:

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Unfortunately, unlike excellent T50 model, this product is total failure due to the fundamental design flaw. Reaction of pointer to the ball movement is unpredictable: different sensitivity for vertical & horizontal move, non-linear behavior: on side-to-side ball motion, pointer on screen makes arc-curved trajectory, going down and then back up. Explanation is very simple: incorrect placement of sensor, located on the side of ball opposite to operator. In natural hand position, dictated by case shape, it means that on horizontal movement the sensor actually sees ball twisting instead of side motion. In all other optical trackballs of similar design (e.g., Logitech Marble, Kensington Orbit), the sensor is located correctly - but it seems the creators of T40 either have never seen them, or hoped the users are willing to roll the ball with flat palm instead of fingers...

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I wonder if anyone at Adesso ever tried to use their own device before mass production was started, or at least after that. Formerly, identical story has happened to Japanese (actually, Chinese) Sanwa Stream MA-TB32 trackball: initially appreciated as an alternative to the discontinued Microsoft Trackball Explorer, having quite similar design - but as soon as it became available, it turned out it's totally unusable because of misplaced sensor. Seems like basic arrangement of components here was simply copied from T50 (where such position of sensor is totally valid), just like in Sanwa case it was ignorantly copied from previous thumb-operated model.

It's especially sad, as in general this trackball could be very good one: convenient case and buttons, decent sensor and handy software. The only solution to fix this problem is, to relocate the sensor to the other side of ball cup. But it's impossible to do without quite heavy modification of internals, as sensor assembly wouldn't fit there due to the main PCB with components interfere with it. The wheel assembly, fortunately, does not make any obstacle for that; and sensor/cup assembly could be rotated 180° after minor trimming. Technically it's possible to cut the PCB into 3 separate parts, leaving side portions with switches in place (additional fixing would be required, and restoration of broken connections with wires) and moving main part of board to some different location, as well as modify sensor attachment to maintain correct position - but amount of work needed is enormous.

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So, only buy this trackball if you need a source of parts for some DIY project, or for retrofitting of some old trackball with optical sensor & corresponding electronics.

Product datasheet:
https://trackballs.eu/media/Adesso/T40/ ... aSheet.pdf

This model is also offered under Kodak label, as "KODAK IMOUSE Q40":
https://www.kodak.com/us/en/consumer/pr ... efault.htm

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