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Old 11-24-2007, 08:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What Color is Your Trackball?

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If you've been using it for a few weeks I'm willing to bet its brown or black with dirt.

I just bought mine (T-Mo's Titanium) and realized after putting it side by side to my co-worker's Curve (At&T) that her trackball was really dirty and brown/black after a mere month of using it. She is a neat freak, very clean and works in an office so I was concerned whether this fate awaited my $300device in a few weeks.

I did an extensive 'Search' and found that people over in the Pearl and 8800 forums have this problem and no one has yet found a solution on cleaning the ball. They've tried everything from Air-In-A-Can, Rubbing Alcohol on a Q-Tip, Hydro-Peroxide, Acetone-Nail Polish Remover, etc and nothing works. The final solution was just buying a new trackball every few weeks or so. The consensus was the Trackball WILL eventually get dirty regardless of trying to keep it clean.

I realized the Curve forum doesnt have a thread like this yet but if you guys have any solutions on this, please posts tips here.
Thanks.

here you can see the dirty trackball on a Curve after a few weeks of use.




Whiles here on the newer Curves you see the trackballs are still pearly white.

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Last edited by delmarco : 11-24-2007 at 09:58 PM. Reason: added pictures
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes. It's well documented that the trackball turns dark over time. I use keyboard shortcuts as much as possible but it is still darker than when it's new.

You can buy them for $12 here:

8100 - Motorola, Alcatel, Panasonic, HTC, Mobiado, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Accessories S
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Clark View Post
Yes. It's well documented that the trackball turns dark over time. I use keyboard shortcuts as much as possible but it is still darker than when it's new.

You can buy them for $12 here:

8100 - Motorola, Alcatel, Panasonic, HTC, Mobiado, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Accessories S
Sweet. $12 is a pretty good price.
Thanks John Clark.
Hopefully this thread will get us Curve users thinking on solutions for reversing the dreaded dirty trackball.

I was also wondering if it is the holsters and cases that folks are using that may have black rubber or leather dyes that rub off on the trackball since it tends to poke out a bit?

I've been using the OEM leather pocket case and I noticed a groove that allows extra space so the trackball does not rub against the inside of the leather.
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Last edited by delmarco : 11-24-2007 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My trackball isn't that dirty and I use it quite a bit. You might need to wash your hands more often.
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i second what avanden says - mine is nowhere near that dirty..."The final solution was just buying a new trackball every few weeks or so." wow, that's a little overboard and i haven't heard of anyone doing that - at least not that often...
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Curse of the Black Pearl a.k.a Dirty Trackball!
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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before:

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Old 11-25-2007, 09:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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And there are many "how do I clean my trackball" threads/posts on the Forum here. Some even work!
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Dude - how often do you wash your hands?

:p
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i use my phone ALL THE TIME and my trackball looks nothing like that...wow...
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have to agree with thaKing and others with clean hands -- I've had my Curve since the 8300 first hit the market, and I use it A LOT -- yet the trackball is just starting to show signs of yellowing a tiny bit if you look closely.

I was thinking about this, though, and I believe that when I decide to brighten the trackball, I may try dipping a cotton swap in liquid bleach and touching it to the trackball. Have to be really careful to not flow liquid into the trackball assembly, so I'm not sure how practical this will be. I may explore removing it first. If it seems practical to bleach the ball in place, I'll start with the top - and let it work for perhaps 10 mins, then blot any remaining liquid; rotate the ball and do it again - avoiding rolling any wet surface into the BB. Again - no idea if this is practical, or if I'll just wind up getting liquid into the BB. Might really be smarter to remove the assembly first. But my guess is that liquid bleach will do the trick if we can find a safe way to apply it.
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Could be a cigarette smoker, smoke gets on your fingers then you use your phone. Wouldn't doubt it.
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Old 11-25-2007, 12:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinmontRD View Post
I have to agree with thaKing and others with clean hands -- I've had my Curve since the 8300 first hit the market, and I use it A LOT -- yet the trackball is just starting to show signs of yellowing a tiny bit if you look closely.

I was thinking about this, though, and I believe that when I decide to brighten the trackball, I may try dipping a cotton swap in liquid bleach and touching it to the trackball. Have to be really careful to not flow liquid into the trackball assembly, so I'm not sure how practical this will be. I may explore removing it first. If it seems practical to bleach the ball in place, I'll start with the top - and let it work for perhaps 10 mins, then blot any remaining liquid; rotate the ball and do it again - avoiding rolling any wet surface into the BB. Again - no idea if this is practical, or if I'll just wind up getting liquid into the BB. Might really be smarter to remove the assembly first. But my guess is that liquid bleach will do the trick if we can find a safe way to apply it.
A lot of people over in the Pearl and 8800 claimed to have tried this. I believe it is MUCH SAFER to remove the trackball before bleaching. Even then many people said this didnt work to reverse the damage "after" the ball was black brown dirty. It only works when you do it daily or weekly to "prevent" the ball from getting dirty. Remember its also plastic and not fabric so bleach is only so effective.

At the end of the day, regardless of if the blame falls on customer's dirty hands or "smokers fingers" its still up to RIM to own up to it and regard this issue as a quality control issue when making these rather expensive devices in the future.


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Old 11-25-2007, 01:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinmontRD View Post
I have to agree with thaKing and others with clean hands -- I've had my Curve since the 8300 first hit the market, and I use it A LOT -- yet the trackball is just starting to show signs of yellowing a tiny bit if you look closely.

I was thinking about this, though, and I believe that when I decide to brighten the trackball, I may try dipping a cotton swap in liquid bleach and touching it to the trackball. Have to be really careful to not flow liquid into the trackball assembly, so I'm not sure how practical this will be. I may explore removing it first. If it seems practical to bleach the ball in place, I'll start with the top - and let it work for perhaps 10 mins, then blot any remaining liquid; rotate the ball and do it again - avoiding rolling any wet surface into the BB. Again - no idea if this is practical, or if I'll just wind up getting liquid into the BB. Might really be smarter to remove the assembly first. But my guess is that liquid bleach will do the trick if we can find a safe way to apply it.
Maybe a bleach pen.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I haven't had this problem, (yet!), but if I did I believe I would think very carefully before using anything as strong as bleach on my Blackberry. I don't think bleach would truly clean it anyway would it, wouldn't it just whiten the 'muck'?
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Haha this is funny...I've seen some PITCH BLACK ones...it's nasty looking but it seems like those have smoother rolling.
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It is pretty nasty looking when they get that dirty. I refuse to touch people's phones when they are like that. I make a reasonable effort to keep it clean and if that doesn't work I will just replace it.

RIM really needs to come up with a solution. The directional pads on all of my other phones attract little to no dirt but these seem to have a real problem.
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wow, I'll have to keep an eye on mine and do my best to keep it clean. Glad I'm not a smoker!

As nice as the trackball is, I think a stick pointer (like is used on laptop keyboards) would have made better sense.
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:50 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinhead View Post
It is pretty nasty looking when they get that dirty. I refuse to touch people's phones when they are like that. I make a reasonable effort to keep it clean and if that doesn't work I will just replace it.

RIM really needs to come up with a solution. The directional pads on all of my other phones attract little to no dirt but these seem to have a real problem.
Whats even more wierd is that the blackest/dirtiest trackball still lights up to about 90% whiteness!!??


My co-workers ball is pitch black yet still her ball lights up as almost as bright as my brand new 8320's trackball. And its only noticable when you look at the balls side by side. But the minute the light goes off her ball is black again and mine stays white.

I think this is why most people would never see the gradual change unless they know about it.

"Alas ye maties, It be a filthy thing this curse of the black pearl!"
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Last edited by delmarco : 11-25-2007 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 11-25-2007, 05:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I've had my Curve for over a month or so and the trackball is no where that dirty. Overtime, it's expectant that the trackball will not remain in it's pearl white color. Being a neat freak, I clean mine with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol and just rub it around while I use the other end of the q-tip to dry it.
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