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Needed --- Recommendation on Trackball !

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by pg, Apr 22, 2008.

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  1. pg

    pg Guest

    Hi, all !

    I am setting up a computer lab for the disabled. We are looking for
    equipments that might aid the disabled (mainly those who are not that
    good in movement), and one of the things we are planning to get them
    is trackball.

    There are many types of trackballs available, unfortunately most are
    made for the able-body people. I am looking for something that can be
    used by the disabled with ease.

    Our objective is that the trackball must be big enough, and easy
    enough to be used.

    One of the things we have found is the BIGTRACK trackball made by
    infogrip ( )

    I want to know if there are other types of trackball similar or better
    than the BIGTRACK that I list above?

    If you have any experience on which type of trackball that will be
    easy for the disabled, please share with us.

    Thank you all in advance !!

  2. I purchased one of the BIGtrack trackballs for a 70 year old relative who
    has limited dexterity in his hands due to an industrial accident.

    He tends to loose his temper while playing computer card games and gets a
    little ruff with things, not that anyone could ever get him to quit playing
    the games. He never used a computer until he was 65 and has become quite
    addicted to the games available to him.

    Prior to purchasing the BIGtrack trackball he had either worn out or broken
    three other trackballs. The Kensington trackball lasted the longest before
    suffering a fatal break in one of the roller guide supports. He was always
    complaining that even when the other trackballs worked he had a hard time
    keeping the pointer where he wanted it.

    It has been 6 months with the BIGtrack unit and he has not complained once
    about controlling the pointer. He has commented that he liked the larger
    sized trackball that the unit provided. It has withstood his somewhat
    physical temper tantrums with no breakdowns, so far.

    There is one thing about the BIGtrack trackball that takes a little getting
    used to. The mouse buttons are on the top of the trackball, away from the
    person rolling the ball. I thought the button placement to be a little odd
    at first but it does help in reducing most accidental button triggering by a
    random hand or arm movement.

    For those who have even more severe limitations I suggest getting the
    BIGtrack unit that supports external buttons. That way you can place the
    buttons anywhere convenient for the user independent of the trackball. Be
    they foot activated or strapped to the arm of a wheel chair.
  3. Lila Godel

    Lila Godel Guest

    Check out the links for Kid-TRAC, PC-TRAC, Max-TRAC, Max-TRAC - Beige
    and Max-TRAC - Black at

    With any model you get

    1. two equally sized left and right buttons for ease
    of use by left handed people and right handed people
    2. a middle mouse button which works as toggle button
    to turn scroll lock on and off
    (With this feature text can be blocked by just
    rolling the ball.)
    3. a curved base that may confirm to your hand better
    than the base of other devices
    4. a large ball for easy control
  4. pg

    pg Guest

    Many of the disabled have hands that keep shaking uncontrollably. The
    limited "experiments" that I've done with them --- with all kinds and
    sizes of mice/trackball/tablets --- I found out that the new crops of
    "cute" mice, the one they call "ergonomic", are NOT suitable for them
    at all.

    That is why I searched and searched the Net for something with a
    bigger ball, something that is more stable, that they can use.

    That 'BIGTRACK" is the one I've found.

    I post this question because I need to find out if there are any other
    types of trackballs out there.

    Thank you for replying.
  5. pg

    pg Guest

    Thanks for replying !!

    I searched the net for days, and the only one so far that I've found
    is BigTrack. The ball is big enough for those who have frail hands,
    and for those whose hands keep shaking uncontrollably.

    I'm glad that BigTrack works for your uncle.

    Again, thanks for replying !!!
  6. pg

    pg Guest

    I used to use a Kensington trackball for many years, the one with big
    ball. I agree with you, it's a good trackball.

    Unfortunately, Kensington doesn't make trackballs with big ball

    What they are making now are those "cute-cute" stylish trackballs.
    While those might be okay for the able-body people, disabled people
    with hands shaking uncontrollably just can't use those "cute"

    Thanks for replying !!
  7. pg,
    If the disabled people who will be using this computer lab have clear
    speech, consider adding speech recognition software to some or all of your
    computers. This is particularly easy to do if you are using Windows Vista,
    as the operating system has a fairly comprehensive Microsoft compatible
    speech recognition program built right in to it. Look in the ease of access
    section of the control panel. It provides multiple ways to position the
    mouse including both "Show Numbers", which assigns a number to each icon on
    the desktop or web page, and also a traditional Mouse grid option.
  8. pg

    pg Guest

    We already have the speech recognition thing installed. It's the hands-
    on input device that we need to take special care of.

    One of the aim for the computer lab is to encourage the disabled to
    use their hands, however frail their hands may be.

    Encouragement is the key, not frustration. The current crop of "cute"
    mice just frustrated the disable too much.
  9. pg

    pg Guest

    Thank you for the link. I'll check it out !

    Thanks again !!
  10. pg

    pg Guest

    Can you share with us the links to those "niche" products, please?

    Thank you !!
  11. Al

    Al Guest

    I have a Kensington TurboMouse, Model 64100. It's ADB for a Mac. The ball
    itself is 2.25 in. in diameter. There is one for sale on eBay: http://

    If you think you can adapt this for your use, I'll send you mine for the
    cost of shipping.

  12. Oh, computers to sugar coat physical therapy.
  13. At RS Componets they sell trackball mechanisms for industrial use.
    They should be easy to mount into a custom enclosure with buttons
    added as required.

    Anton Erasmus
  14. Micro-speed trackballs were one of the _worst_ rolling larger
    trackballs I ever used. At work and home I have 2 Kensingtons Expert
    Mouse - nice because its very easy to clean the ball after little
    kids, and 3 Mouse-Traks by Itac. WAY expensive but very well built but
    super when I got 3 on eBay for $15 each. Micro Speed is frustration
    (lots of it) in waiting.

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