Thursday, January 9, 2014

Logitech, please bring back the wired Trackman Wheel

About 2 years ago I was suffering from some wrist pain, due to countless hours of computer work with an ordinary mouse. I started searching for some device to relieve the pain, and after test several gadgets, I came across the Logitech Trackman Wheel. It’s a trackball which sphere is moved with the thumb, leaving the whole hand resting on the desk. And it’s absolutely great, precise, comfortable, I could use that thing for hours without any signs of tiring.

This week, however, the left click just started acting numb, unresponsive, and I found a video teaching a way that could possibly fix it. After three days, the problem seemed to be unfixable, so I decided to buy another unit of this wonderful thing. But to my surprise, I found out the Logitech discontinued the Trackman Wheel, in favor of a wireless version called M570, which like any laggy wireless device, relies on batteries, which require you to figure out when they start dying, so you can buy more batteries to replace the old ones, if you don’t have them dying in the middle of an online game, for example, case when you’d be screwed. Oh, and also it has an annoying switch to turn on and off, so that’s another thing you have to remember to do. The Trackman is supposed to stay fixed on the desk, so why the hell do you need a wireless version of it?

I’m not the only one who wants the wired Trackman Wheel back, there’s even a group on Facebook with people discussing this. Unfortunately, Logitech didn’t reply the user complains, and so far there’s no hope to have a wired version of our beloved Trackman Wheel.

I could not find any unit to buy, not even on eBay. By now, I’m desperately trying to find a way to fix my old and good Trackman Wheel, to use it for as long as I can. And to Logitech, for blindly joining this wireless bandwagon, I just want to leave a sincere fuck you, Logitech.

Update, Jan 11:
This morning I found a skillful electrician who managed to swap the bad left click component with the middle click one, which was working fine. Now I don’t have a middle click anymore, but at least my beloved Trackman Wheel is usable again.

2 comments:

Funtwo said...

I have one...

Anonymous said...

You can get replacement microswitches. You'll have to google for part numbers (I don't have them offhand), but they're sold by major electronic component vendors. A bit of soldering and they'll be good as new.

As far as replacements go, the previous generation (the Trackman Marble+, not to be confused with the current ambidextrous finger-operated Trackman Marble) is cheap and relatively easy to find on Ebay.