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Old 11-10-2007, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy another broken trackball ... any shortcuts?

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I'm an IT manager for a small company and have about 20 devices I'm in charge of ... I am getting really disheartened about the amount of hardware faults coming back. Mainly with the trackball, although I've seen a few other odd things going on, which I won't bore you with here.

Anyway ... tonight my trackball refused to go 'down' ... I really look after my device, in an expensive flip case I bought separately so it's always protected.

Yes, I'm a very heavy user and I have concerns about these trackballs - I'm getting about 8 months use of on them. I've seen about 5 devices come back - not are hitting a year.

Aaaaaaaaaaaanway, until I go through the hassle of sending it to RIM, is there any left, right, up, down shortcuts on the keyboard to get me over the weekend? I think I can just about cope without the down for now ... as I can access the all important email/sms icons using left/right after using the Blackberry menu to access the 'Applications' ... 'return' seems to get me 'down' when in an email.

But, I just would have thought it would have made a lot of sense to have an ALT+(some keys) to move the cursor around, in case of trackball failure. Surely someone at RIM would have thought of this?

Sorry for the ramble, you know how it is without your Crackberry! Scary.

S.S.
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe in the browser the space bar will allow you to go down. I am not sure of any other shortcuts for going down on the home screen though. You could disable the Dial from Home Screen feature and then use the shortcuts to open the different applications; i.e. C for composing a message, L for calendar, etc.

Last edited by jeremyckitching : 11-10-2007 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Happens from time to time on my Curve. Battery pull always works for me.
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks ... deffo not a battery pull thing though ... it's a hardware fault :(
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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...oh, just fixed it. Not sure if I would recommend this, but some kitchen cleaner and some vigorous kitchen towel rubbing sorting it... must be greased up in there. This is good news, better find some decent contact cleaner at some point.
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpencerSteel View Post
...oh, just fixed it. Not sure if I would recommend this, but some kitchen cleaner and some vigorous kitchen towel rubbing sorting it... must be greased up in there. This is good news, better find some decent contact cleaner at some point.
BlackBerry Search Results

try that
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyckitching View Post
I believe in the browser the space bar will allow you to go down...
My wife laughed when she read this!
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hmmm ... must be the day for this. I can't get my trackball to move down either. All the other directions work.

Saw the link about pressing firmly and moving it in the "troubled direction" but this doesn't work.

I think somehow I managed to get some grit down in there. Is there a way to remove the trackball without taking the 8310 apart?

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Might not be a hardware fault at all. Most likely the trackball has some lint or dirt on one of the contacts.

To fix it, turn off the berry. Press and hold down the trackball and roll it in all directions back and forth, up and down and all around several times. That should dislodge whatever it was. Get some "canned" air and while pressing the trackball, blow it all around. Next, did a QA-tip in some alcohol (Vodka also works - don't ask) and clean the ball to get rid any oil or dirt or whatever.

Turn the 'berry back on and the ball should work normally again. If this doesn't fix it, then it is a trackball/hardware issue.
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubdub View Post
Press and hold down the trackball and roll it in all directions back and forth, up and down and all around several times. That should dislodge whatever it was. Get some "canned" air and while pressing the trackball, blow it all around. Next, did a QA-tip in some alcohol (Vodka also works - don't ask) and clean the ball to get rid any oil or dirt or whatever.
The first part apart pressing down and rolling in all directions was the same thing suggested in the Blackberry link. Didn't work for DOWN.

Thought I had a can of air, but damn, I don't, and am thinking I have to run out and get a can, so thought I'd skip that step and come back to it if need be.

Didn't have any vodka, so just dipped it in beer. Was that OK?

Seriously, got a Q-tip with some alcohol. Still wouldn't move down, but then all of a sudden, felt it moving that way. The alcohol must have picked up whatever it was. GONE, and good as new.

THANKS for the tips!

Now, post mortem, I'm thinking, wow, the trackball seems to be VERY sensitive to dust and debris, is that right?

1) Would it make sense to have a spare trackball assembly on hand for a worst case scenario?

2) Does replacing the trackball require taking the case apart, or can the trackball be removed from above?

The help on this forum is awesome!

Last edited by MadDog_ : 11-10-2007 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The trackball is very similar to a ball type mouse. If you've ever sat down to one these mouse units that was dirty you'd notice that the mouse is very erratic. Likewise, the BB trackball rolls against 4 small rollers that have magnets on the ends of them. When you roll the ball one direction it turns that roller and the magnet turns above a small magnetic pickup on the circuit board. There is very little that can go wrong with them except that the rollers get dirty and get small particles trapped between the ball and the roller. You just need to get the particle out of there. Pushing down and rolling in the direction that is stuck will, 99% of the time, dislodge the particle and it's what RIM recommends. Again, there is really very little that can actually go wrong with the trackball.

The newer devices have a slight different rollers that are a little bit rougher and tend not to get particles trapped as much. My old pearl has a very smooth rolling ball whereas my 8320 has a rough rolling ball. I wouldn't get too concerned about it. If the pushing and rolling doesn't work, do it some more. I usually push and roll in all directions until it works. You'll actually be able to fell it break free.

If you keep your BB in your pocket you will have this happen often. If you keep it in a holster you will reduce the chance of it getting dirt/lint in it.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Also, I'm finding the occasional hand sanitizer clean up is working wonders. I put a little on my finger and roll the ball around. It still dries well and no need to chance getting qtip crap in the ball

Hope this helps also. Worked wonders for me
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Glad I wasn't alone - some great tips on here and thanks for the replies on this one.

I'm sure it would make sense for there to be an Up, Down, Left, Right shortcut on the keyboard ... it could get people out of all kinds of tight spots !

Thanks again,

S.S.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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you can get new replacement blackberry trackball at blackberry8100parts.com
for $20
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default replacement blackberry trackball

you can get new replacement blackberry trackball at blackberry8100parts.com
for $20
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I had a 'scratchy' trackball in my 8830. I bought a replacement trackball and replaced the old one. Something like $12 and now smooth as silk.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:39 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Excellent posts - thankyou.

Just as I was leaving a club last night, the trackball on my blackberry refused to go left. I turned it off, removed the battery, still no left, just a relentless move right. And I'm not ashamed to say (although I definitely should be), that it spoiled my night out: no more blackberry, massive inconvenience, o2 returns policy (i.e. two weeks use of a dodgy old nokia) etc.

Problem just as bad this morning until, by chance, I googled this thread and following the advice: i.e. gpressure and a q-tip with vodka, everything works.

I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has posted.
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:33 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandler View Post
Just as I was leaving a club last night, the trackball on my blackberry refused to go left. I turned it off, removed the battery, still no left, just a relentless move right. And I'm not ashamed to say (although I definitely should be), that it spoiled my night out: no more blackberry, massive inconvenience, o2 returns policy (i.e. two weeks use of a dodgy old nokia) etc.

Problem just as bad this morning until, by chance, I googled this thread and following the advice: i.e. gpressure and a q-tip with vodka, everything works.

I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has posted.
Just a bit of advice also, don't carry the BB in your pocket. The BB can pick up dirt and lint that way and is one of the main reasons the ball sticks.
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Old 03-15-2008, 05:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I wanted to add my 2c.
My 8820's trackball refused "down" too yesterday, I tried it all (alcohol, compressed-air, push&scroll in every direction and combination) and nothing helped.
Battery-pull etc. was not helpful either and it was pretty clear it was a hardware issue.

So just before I was about to get a new trackball on ebay (there are quite a few and they usually run around $14-17 with shipping) I decided to try and do a more detailed check/cleanup.

I used the "color your trackball" method published somewhere on this forum (meant for the Pearl, but very similar procedure for the 88xx based on my experience) and pulled the trackball out.

I check the 4 tiny wheels that the trackball rotates (based on the direction) and of course one of the wheels did not rotate no matter what I did with the trackball!
It was obvious it is not touching the trackball (either moved too far or there's something between the two), but I could not see any lint/dirt visible and compressed air (even when in the open) did not release anything...

So as last resort I took a tiny pin from my wife's sewing kit and pried (I know, that was a risk...) the tiny metal clip that covers the tiny wheel/cylinder that wasn't moving.
I did not remove the metal clip, I just pushed it up (further from the plastic base) a bit and BOY was I surprised (or not) to find a HUGE piece of lint (looked like a lot of jeans fiber...) stuck and compressed between the metal clip - wheel and trackball.
This entire cavity was filled with lint.
And now I realize why compressed air or alcohol did not do a thing. This thing was huge, probably accumulated in the past 3-4 months.

So after a lot of wiggle and pulling (the lint) with the sharp pin, all the lint was out, few minor blasts of compressed air released the last few fibers and the wheel started moving as designed again!

Placed the trackball back into the 8820 and all is well.

So, lesson learnt if the basic compressed-air/alcohol doesn't fix it for you, and you want to potentially save the $14-17 to buy a new one. try the above method.

If you have questions let me know. Sorry for not taking any photos.

Thanks,
Ix.

BTW, I just found this detailed step-by-step on PinStack (Trackball Cleaning and Disassembly w/ PICTURES - PinStack.com - BlackBerry forums) this is very similar to what I did, a recommended bookmark!

Last edited by ixtab : 03-15-2008 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:04 AM   #20 (permalink)
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that last link just fixed it for me, thanks a lot man. I had giant clumps of lint stuck between the rollers
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