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Trackball Controller Mod  (Read 11246 times)

Offline LITHE

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Trackball Controller Mod
« on: 05:14 AM - 04/20/12 »
Hello everyone!
I would like to share my trackball mod project with you.

First off I would like to start by saying That I came up with this idea on my own about 3 years ago. I was switching from a regular mouse to a trackball because of my growing hobby in music. Trackballs are the perfered choice in the music industry. After some research I found I was not the first to think of this. I saw some concept art on trackballer.com and even came across a controller that never made it to the stores for PS2. Since there was nothing available to buy (until recently with Jay Garcias mod), I set off to make my own.

the image below is an incomplete prototype. I never decided to finish it because to make room for the trackball I could not fir the analog triggers. Instead I used strigger switches, similar to a mouse click but much bigger. This would be fine for game like COD but would really limit my abilities in games like Battlefield which these days I have much more interest in.
The ABXY buttons were placed on the bottom side of the controller



Below is the trackball I used for my newer version. its called a "handheld trackball" and I was able to get one off amazon.com for less than $10 with shipping.


Since I didnt have the resisters I needed. I wired the analog and placed it where the rumble pack normally goes. To make the circuit board for the trackball fit, I had to cut part of it off, place it on another part of the controller and jump the proper areas together with wires.


Next up I cut off everthing I didnt need with a dremel.


I then glued the trackballs housing to the controller with a plastic epoxy and filled in the gaps with bondo. I rotated the trackball at about 45 counter clockwise to give a more ergonomic feel to my thumbs natural side to side motion.


after sanding everthing and making sure the entire controller was clean I painted it with kylon fusion and then finished the parts off with a clear enamel. Then I had to let it sit and cure for a week  :-\


After playing with it for a short period of time I can say that the trackball is much better than an analog. only issue I have is the trackball I used was very low quality and has very low accuracy. also it rests on little metal beads as apposed to bearings so the ball doesnt continue to roll long after flicking it.
To work around all this I set my XIM3 sensitivity to 50, acceleration to %90+ and smoothness to 7. This really messes with the 1:1 feel and as a result it makes it feel like an analog trackball hybrid.
Without the XIM3 using this cheep trackball would be impossible to pull off!

My next version I will be using a much higher quality industrial grade trackball. I also like the original idea I had with keeping the thumbstick and placing the buttons on the bottom.

I hope you guys enjoyed my project and hopefully with inspire some of you to make similar projects of your own!

Offline Od1n

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Re: Trackball Controller Mod
« Reply #1 on: 07:33 AM - 04/20/12 »
hey nice mod
we have a forum users that also does this sort of modding, you can even buy his projects

maybe check his xim topic out, im sure you two can exchange some usefull infos :)

edit
oh nvm, you already know about the jay garcia mod, hes part of the forum and posted it once
user name was something with jay garcia i think
« Last Edit: 08:30 AM - 04/20/12 by Od1n »
PS4 & X1 | C: MS | XIM4 | FW: the latest ofc! :) | Mon: BenQ XL2420Z | Pad: Zowie G-SR | KB: Ducky DK1008L Cherry Red O-Rings| A: AKG K701 Creative X7 Antlion Modmic | M: Zowie EC1-A | D: 3200 | P: 1000hz | BF4 4 HIP: 35 ADS: 20

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Offline OBsIV

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Re: Trackball Controller Mod
« Reply #2 on: 08:26 AM - 04/20/12 »
Welcome to the community. Nice work!

Have you considered trying some different input methods via XIMBridge to track "throwing" of the ball? I'd be curious what works well for you so you can try to retain 1:1 as much as possible.
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Offline LITHE

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Re: Trackball Controller Mod
« Reply #3 on: 04:27 AM - 04/21/12 »
Have you considered trying some different input methods via XIMBridge to track "throwing" of the ball? I'd be curious what works well for you so you can try to retain 1:1 as much as possible.

What is the XIM Bridge?

I am very new to using the XIM3 so I am sure there is a lot for me to learn. I know one thing that would help me retain 1:1 is being able to take advantage of the secondary and primary mouse settings. The problem is that it seams that all of the switchers cant work directly off the 360 controller. It would be nice to have different sensitivity when I aim.

I do plan on adding 4 extra buttons on the bottom of the controller. I still need a button for the right thumbstick click, and I have 3 mouse buttons that I can use for extra programmable buttons. Though I still unsure of how I could change the aiming sensitivity from using the left trigger.

Offline Od1n

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Re: Trackball Controller Mod
« Reply #4 on: 08:33 AM - 04/21/12 »
xim bridge is a programm that lets you connect the xim3 with the pc while gaming
that way you benefit from the huge compability of the pc, any device that works with the pc will then work with the xim3
PS4 & X1 | C: MS | XIM4 | FW: the latest ofc! :) | Mon: BenQ XL2420Z | Pad: Zowie G-SR | KB: Ducky DK1008L Cherry Red O-Rings| A: AKG K701 Creative X7 Antlion Modmic | M: Zowie EC1-A | D: 3200 | P: 1000hz | BF4 4 HIP: 35 ADS: 20

Check out my Youtube Channel: XIMGameplay
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Offline LITHE

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Re: Trackball Controller Mod
« Reply #5 on: 02:11 AM - 04/23/12 »
That sounds actually really interesting, although I doubt this would help. I tried plugging it into my PC and under high sensitivity it pretty much does the same thing. This trackball is extremely cheep and clearly does not do the XIM3 justice.

Though I still have to ask, is there a way to use switchers directly from the xbox 360 controller? I would love to be able to have a different sensitivity when I aim down the sights. The aiming senitivity usually feels too slow for me in most games.

Offline Od1n

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Re: Trackball Controller Mod
« Reply #6 on: 11:37 AM - 04/23/12 »
no i dont thing this is possible with just the xim3, but with ximbridge or xemulate it should be possible to set different controller sensitivities
however you wont be able to exceed the ingame maximum of 10

also, the problem from the other trackball controller topic was that trackballs usually only have 400-800 dpi
the one from the topic had a laser tracking therefore running on 1000 dpi, but still this is far too less for the xim3 to work properly fine and smooth
PS4 & X1 | C: MS | XIM4 | FW: the latest ofc! :) | Mon: BenQ XL2420Z | Pad: Zowie G-SR | KB: Ducky DK1008L Cherry Red O-Rings| A: AKG K701 Creative X7 Antlion Modmic | M: Zowie EC1-A | D: 3200 | P: 1000hz | BF4 4 HIP: 35 ADS: 20

Check out my Youtube Channel: XIMGameplay
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Offline stetab

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Re: Trackball Controller Mod
« Reply #7 on: 12:58 PM - 04/23/12 »
I think people mod them with mouse sensors though so maybe that is an option

Offline LITHE

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Re: Trackball Controller Mod
« Reply #8 on: 12:57 AM - 04/25/12 »
So I ended up turning down the sensitivity to 40 and turning up the acceleration to 95%. This helped drastically! I'm actually in shock with how well it works now. Still fells like an analog/trackball hybrid but it feels so much smoother and those precise per pixel sniping movements are much nicer.
I'm still really looking forward to making the next version with a high dpi laser trackball, but this will get me by for now.

Offline Sebasto13

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Re: Trackball Controller Mod
« Reply #9 on: 03:27 AM - 10/04/12 »
  I have a Jay and personnal trackball controller's and i would use trigger LT of Xbox360 controller for ADS (secondary mouse settings). The ADS is normaly automatically assigned on LT controller trigger no ? But the ADS does not work with me Xbox360 controller's left trigger, why ?
With original Xbox controller This does not work also. I am lost :(
Sry for me bad english.
« Last Edit: 07:27 AM - 10/04/12 by Sebasto13 »

Offline skorch

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Re: Trackball Controller Mod
« Reply #10 on: 10:09 PM - 01/17/13 »
I used to play with a Panther XL before switching to the Sony NAV and G700. The Panther always made me wonder why a company never developed a controller with a built-in trackball which would be so much more accurate than a stick.

Awesome work!