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Author Topic: Small Arcade Trackball for Pi  (Read 6385 times)

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Small Arcade Trackball for Pi
« on: August 23, 2015, 11:08:12 am »
FYI: Some of you may already know this. I wanted to document this, so that others can benefit from this information. As, I could find nothing on the web about how to get this working right.

Here is a small arcade style trackball for your Raspberry Pi projects. It's a 2-1/4 inch ball with a very small mounting package. I'm not sure of the manufacturer, but it has an "H" on the faceplate. The trackball connects with a PS2 mouse connector. It took me three tries to find a USB adapter which works (I read somewhere that older PS2 protocol needs active electronics to adapt to USB). The USB adapter below (and probably similar ones) with the dual mouse/keyboard connector and little in-line electronics works on the Raspberry Pi great - and without any drivers. You can get these trackballs about anywhere. Mine has the red/green leds.  You can control the color the leds with the included switch contact wires (on the second wire harness exiting the trackball package). I was able to merely connect one wire on the trackball to the Normally Open switch on my arcade fire button. Each time I press the fire button, the trackball changes from green to red. I connected another wire to the player 2 fire button. They are isolated from each other within the trackball. Now, pressing either fire button causes the led color change. I mounted the trackball to my metal control panel with the help of a 2-1/4 inch metal knockout punch and 2 inch long #10-40 bolts. Don't tighten the bolts too much or you will warp the trackball package and bind up the ball.

Funny. I also wanted to keep the cost down. The trackball was about $30, but the knockout punch was $100.


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Re: Small Arcade Trackball for Pi
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2015, 03:47:13 pm »
I am going to use almost the exact same setup for my RPI cabinet.
I bought a pre-made control panel off ebay so I guess I cheated on that part.


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Re: Small Arcade Trackball for Pi
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2015, 03:57:47 pm »
Oh, cool.  I've got one of those sitting around and was wondering what to do with it.  I've got a spare Pi, too.  Guess I've got a trackball cab in my future.

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Re: Small Arcade Trackball for Pi
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2015, 04:40:47 pm »
I used one of those TBs in my "A Little Rage" build. (link below).
I plugged it into PS2 mouse port on the PC.
I didnt like the LEDs and how they worked. The wires to change the colors are also the mouse left, middle, and right clicks.
So I un-soldered the leds so none worked, and used another led shining through the hole in the bottom. This allowed me to light TB if selected game uses TB,  through LED Wiz.
Not sure how this can be done with Pi, but it would be neat if it could be.


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Re: Small Arcade Trackball for Pi
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 02:36:38 pm »
The ipac2 includes a trackball interface, fyi. If you go that route...

I am using the Ultimarc 2 1/4 inch and Optipac for my full-size that I'm building.
I'm with stupid.