I used to be a regular mouse user like everyone else, but between repetitive stress injury, frequently working on my laptop while watching TV on the couch, and absolutely hating trackpads; a trackball was the way to go. But, if I’m honest, I’ve gained a bit of an obsession with them. Currently I rock out with the Logitech M570 and MX Ergo.
So, a few months ago, when my wife and I were watching Ocean’s 8, my jaw dropped a bit when I saw this:
what you see there is the trackball mouse used by the character “9-Ball”, the con-woman team’s quirky hacker, played by Rihanna. There’s only a couple brief shots of the actual mouse in the film and it at least appears to work (more on this in a second). Ridiculous as it is, I had to have one.
So starts a build to make a pool ball based trackball!
Finding an arcade trackball, I was down the hole of an Arcade / Billiard themed mouse, so I decided it was best to just go all in and use 24mm arcade buttons as well. I found these great buttons over on Adafruit so I picked up a few of each color.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.