Project 5188

I always loved Marconi Trackerballs with my Acorn computers. I’ve tried all sorts of mice and trackerballs with my PC, but none of them compare with the old Marconi Trackerball. The mouse electronics of the Acorn are different from the PC – it’s not just a matter of an adaptor for the connections.

So I’ve found a disused PC mouse to cross-breed with the trackerball – putting the mouse electronics into the trackerball, so I’ll have a Marconi Trackerball on the PC. It’s not a trivial project, because the optical components of the mouse have to be fixed in such a way that the trackerball operates them.

It worked, first time. It wasn’t as smooth as I’d have liked, and I could see why, so I did another one. The second one is smooth as silk, and I was still using it several years later.

It’s called Project 5188 because the camera called it IMG_5188 – the 5,188th picture I took with the Canon S5 IS.

(It’s not in use now, because I no longer have any computers with PS2 or Acorn mouse connectors. The Mac has a lovely trackpad, but the Raspberry Pi has a mouse. I don’t really like the mouse, but I haven’t got round to converting a Trackerball to USB yet.)