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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:31 pm 
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You know the white Apple corded mouse with the scroll ball thing that Apple finally discontinued recently? I do. I've gone through at least one a year for the last six years because the stupid scroll ball stops scrolling. What are these things called? Maybe they're the "Mighty Mouse?" I dunno. Anyway, I wanted to know why the scroll ball stops scrolling after the third one in an as many months stopped scrolling up. So I took two apart for the first time in ten or so years. They are not designed to be taken apart, but I had better luck this time than last.

I had suspected the scroll mechanism just got hopelessly gummed up, but it appears that's not how the last two died.

The scrolling mechanism isn't as horribly designed as I feared. There are no optical sensors to get blocked by debris. Instead, the little rubber ball uses friction to rotate a wheel containing a magnet. When this wheel rotates past a wire it (presumably) generates a small pulse of electrical current that gets picked up by a chip inside the mouse and converted to movement. There are four rollers, one for each direction.

In my case I could see the ball and rollers were both clean and making good contact, and that when I rotated the ball it rotated each of the wheels, but the mouse never registered an "up" scroll. Since I swapped the rollers and could clearly tell they all still had their magnets, and because there were no clear signs of problems with the cable, this suggested that the problem had to be chip that detected these tiny impulses. Specifically, the part of the chip that detected rotation of the "up" scrolling roller had to have died in two of these.

In recent weeks the "up" scroll had also taken on a bit of a mind of its own, randomly not scrolling or scrolling infinitely up all on its own.

Since these mice were bought in bulk its likely they came down the assembly line one right after the other, so maybe my problem with them was just due to a bad day at the factory. I may save the scroll mechanisms from them for the next time one of them gets hopelessly gunked up and no amount of vigorously scrolling it over the surface of a piece of paper will free it up.

- Anonymous


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:43 pm 
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Pretty sure those are the mighty mouse. Funny how Apple had to get a license for the name and they got eclipsed almost overnight by the magic mouse. Which, now that I think about it, is probably why they reverted to calling it the "Apple Wired Mouse." No more licensing fees.

The biggest issue I've had with them is the scroll wheel but it's always because it gets gunked up. It literally stops scrolling its so clogged. I found dropping alcohol on a paper towel that's placed flat on a table and rubbing the upside down mouse ball all over slowly works the worst of the gunk out, at least enough for it to start working again. Then I keep going until it stops leaving random bits of gunk on the towel, which typically means 2 or 3 towels later and enough alcohol later for everyone in the area to start complaining about the smell, or how they have to go home because of allergies or whatever other psychosomatic disorder they're afflicted with this week.

And they certainly aren't designed to be taken apart. The magic mouse was easier to get apart and that thing's glued/melted together.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:51 pm 
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UPDATE:

I just decided, screw it, I'm ripping this thing apart, and discovered the problem!

Underneath the scrolly bits, the cable sits on a little metal plate which holds the actual sensors for the little tiny magnetic scroll wheels. One of these, the one that scrolls up, was pretty corroded. In the mouse this part of the mechanism is pointed slightly down, so any moisture that gets in there will accumulate on that sensor, eventually corroding it.

I've been biking to work, very vigorously this summer, arriving kind of sweaty. When I get to the office I spend about 10 minutes opening up the computer and make sure nothing horrible is happening on the system while I cool down from my ride, then go wash up and change clothes. I'd bet a little bit of sweat was getting in each morning, accumulating on the sensor, until finally killing it. That or I just poured tea in it one too many times.

I do not like these mice. Or, I mean, I think they're great when they actually work...but they have a half life of less than a year. Ugh.

- Anonymous


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:19 pm 
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3 months is the longest I had one of those Apple Screwball Mice live. :(


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:43 am 
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Oh, so that's what that tiny grey button is for! Who knew? Have two of them, one for the Mini -- they both work in all directions (maybe because they never get used). Have it set to open spotlight. Really thought that's what its only function was.

Have main scrolling direction set as "natural," but the tiny grey button scrolls reverse. Not seeing any way to set that one also as natural.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:41 am 
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I think the checkbox for unnatural scrolling is in System Preferences --> Mouse --> "Scroll direction: Natural" at the top of the window.

I don't like the scrolly thing as a button. Fortunately, it looks like the button is the second thing that corrodes all to hell, neatly resolving that issue.

- Anonymous


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:01 pm 
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Yeah, have it set to natural there, but seems to only affect the scrolling at the scroll bar. The tiny scroll ball stays in reverse direction. Nothing in accessibility for scrolling direction in mouse&trackpad, or separately in regular sys prefs.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:24 pm 
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Appletalk, natural = unnatural

Apple thinks that when reading a book it would be natural to move the page of the book UP to be able to read DOWN. :bonk:


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:01 pm 
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Maybe you've got a corrupt/locked preference somewhere? It definitely changes the scroll direction for me.

- Anonymous


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:38 am 
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WTF, both my Macs are "unnatural." Unchecking "natural" makes the scroll direction "natural" for the Mighty Mouse track ball, but retains "natural" for the scroll bar scrolling.

EDIT: checked this with Magic Mouse on iMac. Had "natural" unchecked there. Looks like Apple (makes no sense) has decided that "natural" is just the opposite of what I would consider "natural." To me, "natural" is page up if the mouse/scroll ball is moving up, and page down is the mouse or scroll ball moving down (or finger on mouse moving downwards, in the case of the Magic Mouse.)


Last edited by WZZZ on Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:48 am 
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Yeah, my Rocketfish mouse gave up about 6 months ago (I think I posted about it here). Old mice you could take apart and clean off the cat hair + peanut butter wad around the scroll wheel, new ones you have to disassemble with a hammer. I went down to Best Buy and ended up buying a $8 Insignia mouse (I am kind of attached to wired mice). Sure, it's an "$8 mouse" but then it's only $8 so I can afford a new one every year. However, this one actually has a screw on the bottom so I have high hopes for it when it comes to skipping time.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:48 am 
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I spent my Christmas gift card money on vertical mice this year. Ended up getting a selection because I didn't feel like going out of my way to Best Buy (they're a bit of a hike).

Ended up buying this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GN0WL30/
But this was in my initial purchases, which is the same basic mouse only about 10% smaller:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FPAVUHC/

My Kensington and Gigabyte mice are both fine, I just wanted less CTS in my life.

I will never understand why Apple thinks scrolling that works the opposite of the rest of the world is "Natural" and why they insist on enabling that by default. Not Invented Here is alive and well in Cupertino.


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