Converting a Happ trackball to USB
Using a $0.99 generic USB mouse (model ms009s-blk)
This page shows the process I used to connect a 3" Happ trackball to a PC via USB. This would work with other optical arcade controls such as other trackballs, wheels, spinners, etc.
Please note that this will likely damage your computer and/or trackball optic board(s) if you do this wrong. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR LOSSES IF YOU DECIDE TO FOLLOW THESE STEPS.
- Step 1 - Obtain a suitable USB donor mouse. I used a generic USB mouse (ms009s-blk) that I found on geeks.com. I used it simply because it was cheap.
- Step 2 - Open the mouse. Here are the guts. Only the circuit board is useful to us.
- Step 3 - Desolder the switches and IR receivers. The IR receivers are the 2 3-pin transistors that the encoder wheels spin in front of. Note that I left the IR LEDs intact. You could remove them too for lower power usage.
- Step 4 - Solder on the wires to go to the Happ Optic boards on the trackball. You will need 4 wires for each axis -- Signal 1, +5V, Gnd, Signal2. Signal1, +5V and Signal2 are taken from the IR receivers. The center pin is +5V and the other two pins are the signals. In my case, I used a small perf board to run all the wires to. This is really not necessary and pretty much pointless. I only used it because I will zip-tie the USB cord to it to prevent breaking those delicate wires.
- Step 5 - Connect the 4 wires for each axis to the two Happ optic boards. The pinout is Signal (pin 1), +5V (pin 2), Gnd (pin 3), Signal (pin 4). This is bottom to top with the board mounted on the trackball (ball pointing up).
- Step 6 - Connect the wires for the buttons (if any). I didn't choose to use these inputs, but you could wire the Gnd/NO connections to standard arcade pushbuttons.
- Step 7 - Double-check all connections, then connect to a PC. I'd highly recommend connecting this to a cheap USB hub to start with. You really don't want to smoke the USB inputs on the motherboard if you connected something wrong.
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