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Not my favorite device on the planet but I have to use it.  And it works ok most of the time (between having to re flash the silly firmware)  But it has a trackball.  

A little trackball to move the mouse pointer. A teeeeeeeeny weeeeeeny little trackball.  And in my last year I’ve had to swap out about a dozen for sticking and jamming on different units.  On the weekend at Christmas mine got stuck REALLY good.  The unit was rendered useless.   It would only move “left and right” unless I beat on it.

Now I could go online and order one or wait for three days until I got back in the office and “harvest” one from a bad unit.

But rumor was they were fixable.   That, just like the older mice, they stuck for the normal reasons.

DIRT! FLUFF! “Gunk”.  Little aliens living underneath.

So it was time to play operation and disassemble this little pest.

On the Blackberry Curve there is a small plastic Circlet protecting the Mouseball.   Gently (OH SO GENTLY) pop that sucker free with a small flat blade screwdriver, a butterknife or your fingernail.  Whatever is handy.

Just be careful since there are some little clips that are needed to hold this down.  Damage these and you will lose you ball.  (You in the back stop laughing!)

You can flip the unit over at this point and the ball should just fall out in the white plastic case.

Now on EACH side there is a very Very VERY tiny little metal clip.  You will need a steak knife or a VERY fine tip to very gently nudge these free.   They are just clips.  They don’t need to be forced to get off the assembly but they DO need to be moved very delicately in order to NOT misshape the frame.  You will need to re-assemble this later.

Once the enclosure is off, you (if it’s like mine was!) will probably see some “Special padding”

It’s not “Special padding”.  Who would you PAY to put that in there?

No it’s lint, or dirt, or “something” that shouldn’t be there.

The only thing you should find inside is a somewhat dirty little ball and fall tiny little plastic rollers with a micro small black magnet on the end of each.

Yes.  They are magnets.  I found out when I put them on the desk and they all just STUCK TOGETHER.   They’re not terribly strong, but like magnets, they like to stick to screwdrivers.  Well because they ARE magnets. (duh!)

At this point you can remove each little roller carefully and look for dirt or cracks.  If it’s dirt, clean it with rubbing alcohol.  If it’s a crack, give up and go by a new ball for $30 online.

Once you’ve removed all the offending material.  Just carefully put it ALL back together the way you found it.  The Metal frame can only line up one way on the bottom so DON’T FORCE IT.

It WILL require a little gentle nudging to get it to all go back together.  Just a little.    And it MUST oh it MUST MUST MUST be PERFECTLY clicked back together. 

If it isn’t then one of the sides isn’t “quite” snapped down You’ll find the suck rolls “this way and that” but not quite the “other ways”.   (In short, it ain’t workin’ right!)

If you do it right, you’ve got a working (or more working) ball.  

And if not, well it was probably pooched to start off with 🙂

 

Good luck and don’t panic!

Sean
The Energized Tech

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