Trackball stopped working

Earlier today while using my MNT Reform, the trackball suddenly stopped working. The system was fully assembled, bottom cover on etc. I rebooted, thinking that the system simply locked up.

After the reboot however, and startup of Sway, I observed that the trackball was not causing the mouse pointer to move. Both the right and left main buttons on the trackball seem to function.

Trying to fix the problem, I did the following:

  1. I’ve removed the trackball and observed and cleaned out the trackball cup, which had minimal dirt inside. Note that I broke the pegs on the right button which I’m really disappointed about, but I digress.

  2. Re-connected the ribbon cable which runs to the sensor.

But nothing has helped. What kind of information can I provide to help debug this? Not sure if it’s a hardware fault?

dmesg and lsusb output is below:

root@reform:~# dmesg |grep -i mnt
[    0.000000] Machine model: MNT Reform 2
[    8.608502] usb 1-1.3: Manufacturer: MNT
[    8.870207] usb 1-1.4: Manufacturer: MNT
[    8.933297] input: MNT Reform Keyboard as /devices/platform/soc@0/38100000.usb/
[    8.993753] hid-generic 0003:03EB:2042.0001: input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.11 Keyboard [MNT Reform Keyboard] on
[    8.994158] input: MNT Reform Keyboard as /devices/platform/soc@0/38100000.usb/
[    9.053270] hid-generic 0003:03EB:2042.0002: input,hidraw1: USB HID v1.11 Device [MNT Reform Keyboard] on
[    9.053887] input: MNT Reform Trackball as /devices/platform/soc@0/38100000.usb/
[    9.054565] hid-generic 0003:03EB:2041.0003: input,hidraw2: USB HID v1.11 Mouse [MNT Reform Trackball] on
root@reform:~# lsusb
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 0451:8140 Texas Instruments, Inc. TUSB8041 4-Port Hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 03eb:2041 Atmel Corp. LUFA Mouse Demo Application
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 03eb:2042 Atmel Corp. LUFA Keyboard Demo Application
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 046d:c092 Logitech, Inc. G102/G203 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Mouse
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0451:8142 Texas Instruments, Inc. TUSB8041 4-Port Hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

Took another look at it today. Unscrewed the sensor, cleaned it with an appropriate solution, reconnected it all and now it seems to work again. So no troubleshooting help needed.

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Great to hear it works again!

Hello! I may have spoken too soon.

The trackball is now working, but the movement is very inconsistent and slow compared to before. For example if I move manipulate the trackball quickly, the mouse pointer moves very slowly across the screen (previously the pointer would move very rapidly). I checked and the sensor is flush on the button of the trackball cup. I am reluctant to remove the sensor again because the screws don’t seem to “bite” very well into the trackball cup material. The trackball itself it totally clean and the cup on the inside is also clean.

As a stopgap, I may switch to the trackpad, which I bought with the system originally - but I’ll miss the trackpad. Would a flash of the trackball firmware help here or does this sounds like something more “mechanical”?

Not sure if it’s the same issue, but it seems like my trackball is quite sensitive to even small amounts of dust. After a couple months of usage, the trackball becomes significantly less responsive. So I take out the ball and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth (sometimes i use a little bit of screen cleaning solution, even though I know it’s not really an appropriate cleaning agent) and dust oof the sensor with a couple puffs of compressed air.

Thanks. I may try to give it another cleaning and see where it ends up.

Seems like there was some debris in there. After another good cleaning it seems to be working smoothly again.

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