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The trackball moves erratically, sticks, or does not work...what can I do? Opening & Cleaning the Trackball.
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Last Updated
8th of August, 2013

If your trackball is having connection issues or button issues, open the bottom of your controller and make sure none of the spare trackball cables are touching each other or anything else inside. You can tape them up if needed.

Your X-Arcade™ Trackball may need to be opened and cleaned. See page 14 of the manual for details.

This article covers how to open the X-Arcade Trackball, and cleaning if needed. Our trackball was made to be user serviceable, just like a real arcade. It does not void the Lifetime Warranty to open it.

Input devices using mouse or track ball technology need to be cleaned periodically. Cleaning frequency for your X-Arcade™ Trackball is much less than a normal trackball or mouse due to it's design, but this depends on how you work with it, and can be affected adversely by spilling liquids on the ball or using it with sticky/dirty fingers. When moving the ball of the trackball feels slow or rough, it’s time for a cleaning.

IMPORTANT: For best performance, only tighten the screws and bolts on the trackball housing just enough to hold it firmly. Over-tightening will inhibit performance.

To clean your X-Arcade™ Trackball:
NOTE: Do not open the plastic trackball housing upside-down (ball facing down) as this will cause all of the parts to fall out. It's not a huge deal if you do, but this will save you a 'D'OH!' moment.

  1. Unplug the X-Arcade™ Trackball from the computer
  2. Open The X-Arcade housing, instructions here.
  3. PIC: Remove the 4 bolts holding the plastic trackball housing into the wood casing.
  4. PIC: With a phillips screwdriver, remove the 4 screws holding the trackball plastic casing together. Do not attempt to open the trackball plastic housing in this step.
  5. PIC: Grab the bottom and top part of the plastic housing with both hands, holding them closed/together firmly, and turn it over so that the ball is facing up.
  6. PIC: Remove the top half (ball side) of the plastic housing.
  7. PIC: Remove the ball, and clean it with tap water and, if needed, dishwashing detergent. Dry it with a lint-free cloth. DO NOT get water near the electronics.
  8. PIC: Clean the rollers and idler (the 3 metal cylinders that the ball sits on) using a pre-moistened cleaning swab or cotton swab with rubbing alcohol. Allow surfaces to dry completely before reassembling.
  9. Reassemble following the above steps backwards.

Your X-Arcade™ Trackball is cleaned, and ready for action!

Want To Grease Up Your Bearings?

Please do not use any grease to lube your bearings. There are only two recommended materials to use:

Be VERY careful to not get any oil on the ROLLERS ! There are two things you want in the trackball: the bearings should have as LITTLE friction as possible, but the ROLLERS (which contact the ball) should have as MUCH friction as possible. Any trace of oil will ruin that...Atari suggested 3 1n 1 Oil on their trackball machine and the formula consists of pale spindle oil with a small amount of corrosion inhibitor and citronella oil (which gives the product its distinctive sharp odor).

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