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Old 02-14-2012, 05:26 AM   #1
Bruce from Canada
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Wink Controlling speed of mice (physical coordination issue)


Intro:

I am a relative newbie to Linux, but have a technology background of close to 50 years. I tend to experiment a lot with hardware, at times even going to the component level.

I do not have the resources to design and build a hardware controlled trackball, as I would really like, however it would at least be some help if there was a way in Fedora (various versions, 32 & 64 bit) to slow down the mouse/trackball motion far more than the default app allows.

I wonder if anybody has had success with this.

If I could get Fedora to work with an RS232 trackball, I have an old Rollermouse here which has the control set by D.I.P. switches in the bottom. The current USB version of that sells for about US$200.00 F.O.B. L.A. - a bit expensive for now.

Alternatively if someone has a schematic for something like this with a U.S.B. interface, I could make that up and use replaceable buttons and have a typ A USB connector mounted in the box, so the cord could be changed at will.

"Now THAT would make a mouse that squeaks loud!"
 
Old 02-15-2012, 01:45 AM   #2
bigrigdriver
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Just point your favorite browser to "RS232 trackball, schematic". There seems to be a wealth of reading material.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 05:27 AM   #3
Bruce from Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigrigdriver View Post
Just point your favorite browser to "RS232 trackball, schematic". There seems to be a wealth of reading material.
I have an RS232 Trackball, however it doesn't seem to want to work with stuff currently.

It did yeoman's duty in the DOS and OS/2 warp days, but not now. I get the impression that when the industry went USB and optical, all changed. Now it's almost all in nan ASIC, which doesn't leave a chance for hardware speed control during"DOS GUI" type of operations nor in Fedora.

Since I do a lot of graphics between Gimp and LibreOffice draw,, it would be nice not to be forced to do so much of it in Windows just because the mouse driver there will allow the mouse to run much slower.

I have a small motor physical coordination problem, and this is a part of why I would like to see a "slow mouse" This is also not an option in the accessibility options. It might well belong there if it could only be software.

Also If I can find a hardware solution, I would want to make it up using buttons I could replace locally. It rankles - the thought of having to replace a whle mouse or trackball because a button or its plastic actuator has broken.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 08:28 AM   #4
catkin
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Have you tried adjusting the behaviour of your current mouse with xset mouse <acceleration> <threshold> ? If your "small motor physical coordination problem" means that your smallest movements are unusually large and subsequent movements not smooth then an acceleration of 3/2 and threshold of 5 might be a good starting point for experimentation.

Another approach could be to experiment with the X11 mouse configuration items described here.
 
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:24 PM   #5
Bruce from Canada
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Wink

Thanks for the references. At the moment I can't take the time for this, but it is not lost. I bookmarked that site, and I see it is a whole project.

The reason I was looking for a hardware solution is that no software could then disrupt its objective.

Also, since I work with a lot of hardware, I wanted a speed control that would do the same even before a real mouse driver had been installed in the process of installing a new OS from scratch.

another thing this might have given me is enough information to be able to create a hardware pointing device from scratch, that is mechanically solid, has buttons that are easily and generically replacable and is hardware modularly customisable to suit all kinds of special needs for many.

also, I wish manufacturers of wired mice would not wire in the cable. Let them provide connection with a mini USB female connector mounted in the body of the mouse or trackball on the side normally away from the user. The user can then obtainas many mouse cables as he wishes in any reasonable length and colour as he/she may ever desire. Of course it also spares the owner from having to replace a mouse or trackball just because something might have damaged the cord.

Also, this avoids the need for a lot of batteries, whose harsh chemicals are an environmental challenge that could be avoided.

On one of my trackballs, I had to cut the cable and shorten it because on a crowded table in a public place, such as a coffee house or more, the mouse cord was long enough to become a nuisance.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #6
Bruce from Canada
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An added consideration: Gui control.

One of the reasons I like Linux is sociological. Like so many who are tired of the endless cost of the Microsoft come paid software world.

Back in the days of DOS, I was one of few uswers of Ashton=-Tate's Framework 2,3 and 4.

At that time any registered user had unlimited telephone support. However, that all ended simply because, as they had said, the cost of the support outweighed the cost of the product.

Interjection:

(I just saw a flash from a Mark, John Tom. Mark, try it again, as it disappeared too fast!) If you have access to my email address, please email and I can then follow up at my own pace.)

Consequently the sense of most paid software is very limited now. As with selling computer hardware (except high end professional equipment) there is no real profit to be made - the market is largely saturated.

In stead, like many local small shops, the business participants need to make their money in paid support and let the actual software be free and open source.

Because of all this, I try and informally promote the open source world at the grass roots level. However, as is well know the biggest issue for the non-linux (non-geek) is the learning curve.

That is why it is important for me, on tacit behalf of all newbies to avoid command line solutions and non-compiled tarballs instead of fully compiled RPMs (or DEBS if one prefers the Debian flavours.)

Best regards, all

Over time I think this will be a good forum for me, but my time and resources are very constrained.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 07:16 PM   #7
Bruce from Canada
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Dear Catkin:

The command line suggestion is better than nothing, however it leaves out a lot of added considerations. This, as I mentioned in 2 previous posts.

As for the pointing device forum, the URL of which I captured and bookmarked from a previous message, this may be a longer term help, but I have not had the time to look at it yet. Unfortunately my time is very thinly spread.

Beswt Regards,

Bruce
 
Old 02-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #8
Bruce from Canada
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Note: As of this posting, I do not see this is truly solved. I think it likely that it is going to take considerable time to solve.

However I have uncovered a piece of hardware (not a complete device) that liiks likely to be the basis if a custom Hardware solution. The cost of that item alone is just under US$200.00, but there is a lot more to go into that than that alone. If I remember correctly, this came from a chain of links that started here, but went in a very different direction, in that it is looking at custom designing and building a new type of pointing device based on this circuit board.

This I would like to do over time, but time and resources being limited, it will not happen quickly.

Also I envisage the new design as having many interchangeable options that can be switched on the fly to suit a diverse set of applications as well as having benefits for people who may have different types of disabilities.

I was originally trained as an electronic technician, and have roughly about 50 years of technological background. The approach is about 95% out of the box, as is 95% of what I have learned is a diverse gamut of topics.

Possibly, I may be able to use postings here to provide updates from time to time.

Others here may desire to provide feedback as it goes. May the first such person start a companion thread to keep these available, yet sorted from the progress news.

Subsequently, we can post a cross reference in each thread to refer to the other for any newcomers who may not yet be familiar.

Best Regards, all.
 
Old 03-07-2012, 11:46 PM   #9
Bruce from Canada
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A R.A.T.'s workaround.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce from Canada View Post
Thanks for the references. At the moment I can't take the time for this, but it is not lost. I bookmarked that site, and I see it is a whole project.

The reason I was looking for a hardware solution is that no software could then disrupt its objective.

Also, since I work with a lot of hardware, I wanted a speed control that would do the same even before a real mouse driver had been installed in the process of installing a new OS from scratch.

another thing this might have given me is enough information to be able to create a hardware pointing device from scratch, that is mechanically solid, has buttons that are easily and generically replacable and is hardware modularly customisable to suit all kinds of special needs for many.

also, I wish manufacturers of wired mice would not wire in the cable. Let them provide connection with a mini USB female connector mounted in the body of the mouse or trackball on the side normally away from the user. The user can then obtainas many mouse cables as he wishes in any reasonable length and colour as he/she may ever desire. Of course it also spares the owner from having to replace a mouse or trackball just because something might have damaged the cord.

Also, this avoids the need for a lot of batteries, whose harsh chemicals are an environmental challenge that could be avoided.

On one of my trackballs, I had to cut the cable and shorten it because on a crowded table in a public place, such as a coffee house or more, the mouse cord was long enough to become a nuisance.
I also found this item from another website about the Cyborg R.a.T. 7. This is a high end item, and it may be that it is too specialised to command good market penetration and support. since the item below is a workaround, I think I will wait until the Linux world comes up with a real fix, if it ever does.

http://fcns.eu/2011/04/cyborg-rat-7-mouse-under-linux/

In the interim, when I get around to it, I think I am going to have to build my own "super mouse" which will also make something more easily user repairable. I am hard on buttons and don't want to have to replace a mouse for the sake of a broken or worn out button.

When I finally get this issue handled that way, I might offer the plans for the public domain. That might put some market pressure on hardware manufacturers to make their hardware more user repairable for the betterment of all!
 
Old 02-13-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
Bruce from Canada
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Lightbulb anyone with a better idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce from Canada View Post
I also found this item from another website about the Cyborg R.a.T. 7. This is a high end item, and it may be that it is too specialised to command good market penetration and support. since the item below is a workaround, I think I will wait until the Linux world comes up with a real fix, if it ever does.

http://fcns.eu/2011/04/cyborg-rat-7-mouse-under-linux/

In the interim, when I get around to it, I think I am going to have to build my own "super mouse" which will also make something more easily user repairable. I am hard on buttons and don't want to have to replace a mouse for the sake of a broken or worn out button.

When I finally get this issue handled that way, I might offer the plans for the public domain. That might put some market pressure on hardware manufacturers to make their hardware more user repairable for the betterment of all!
DIY is long and arduous, but may be the best true answer in the end. However, does anyone here have a better answer/approach?

Since my last post, I have seen many small computer devices that ends up backloading windows-specific software onto their host machines. any success I have had getting around this usually means interposing another device with processor , firmware and RAM that can isolate and manage the backloaded software. I had this experience with the Sierra Air card 300U, and found a new Canadian O.E.M. with a mobil router that I tested this way with my Rogers stick and my Linux laptop. At about $100.00 plus taxes, the MofiNetworks router did the job very well. However, I bought it from a retailer where I could have returned it in the initial 15 days or so for a restocking charge of only 5%. At $5.00, that's only a tad more than a cup of coffee! I then took it to my favourite local fast food joint and tested it over supper - it came out roses!

For other small devices, that kind of solution may be less available and require a more determined DIY.
 
Old 02-13-2013, 07:58 PM   #11
astrogeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce from Canada View Post
If I could get Fedora to work with an RS232 trackball, I have an old Rollermouse here which has the control set by D.I.P. switches in the bottom. The current USB version of that sells for about US$200.00 F.O.B. L.A. - a bit expensive for now.

Alternatively if someone has a schematic for something like this with a U.S.B. interface, I could make that up and use replaceable buttons and have a typ A USB connector mounted in the box, so the cord could be changed at will.
I have read the thread a couple of times but have not followed the links catkin provided. So the following is a not a fully considered suggestion, but might be helpful.

Perhaps an RS232 to USB adapter such as the one here might get your older trackball working. I have used these for a few other devices that I needed to interface with good success.

I am not really knowledgable about X and not a Fedora user, but I am sure that if it can communicate via serial-to-USB then you should be able to find a way to configure X to use it.

Good luck.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 04:16 AM   #12
brianL
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Tie lead weights to their feet.
EDIT
Sorry, wrong kind of mice.
 
  


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