DIY Spectroscope

As it was the last day of the holiday season I decided to clear away a few things, at the bottom of the pile on my desk was a plan for a spectroscope which I had downloaded from http://www.iucaa.ernet.in/~scipop/Obsetion/spectro/iucaa_mvs_spectroscope.pdf, printed out but not got around to mounting on card and putting together, so it was now or never.

Here are the results, it took me about 30 minutes to construct, a fun little project.  I then proceeded to run around the house looking at all the different light sources I could find like a kid with a new toy on Christmas Day!

The photo of the spectrum doesn’t really do it justice, some energy saver light bulbs had definite strong lines whereas others had a more even distribution across the spectrum.

This is something I could get quite interested in, watch this space in case I can translate that enthusiasm into something tangible.

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DIY Baader solar film binocular filters

While the solar observing specs are on back-order I decided to have a go at making some binocular solar film filters, so ordered an A4 sheet of the Baader solar film and downloaded the Baader instructions.  While the translation may have lost out on one or two small things it was very easy to follow the guide to build my own objective filters using the film and some white card.

The view through them is better than I had imagined, there is some granularity visible (like a gradient around the edges of the sun giving it a spherical appearance) and right now I could see three large areas of sunspot activity.  The colour is white as advertised, with shades of grey and black.  I could just make out the branches of a tree that were close to the sun, probably just their shadow I could see as they blocked some of the sun’s energy.

As per the instructions, I held both filters up to the bright daylight to check for any pin prick holes before using them with the binoculars.  They are a snug fit for sure, no chance of them coming off once they are firmly pushed on.

These fit my 8×42 Bushnells, I’m sure a larger pair of binoculars would show an even better view.  I may attempt to make one for my 102 refractor with the remaining portion of the A4 sheet.

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Celestron 8SE Power Socket Replacement

Note: This is a post I made at stargazerslounge.com in 2012, pasted here for my own blog.

Finally, I think I’ve cracked it. I’d always had some dicky power connection problems with my 8SE mount, and even after replacing the plug on the end of my SkyTron power cable with one that I believed was a better fit, it still showed problems. I ordered matching plug and socket from Maplins, but even then it was all too easy to lose power from just the slightest tug on the cable.

While I had the mount apart (the power socket and switch are on a convenient panel which unscrews – it is not necessary to dismantle the whole mount to remove this panel, it is just a couple of screws) I had a closer look at the socket.. no wonder it is so easily disrupted, the main center pin is fine, it’s the pathetic small outer contact that is the problem; it doesn’t connect to the main metal part of the socket chassis as I expected, but is a small contact right at the bottom of the socket, meaning that the slightest movement could break the contact. This may be fine for most applications of this socket type but where there is a chance that the cable may be snagged it is a terrible choice in my opinion.

I had read somewhere about replacing it with a BNC connection, or saw another scope that used one, something like that, so that is exactly what I have done.

One order of matching BNC socket and plug from Maplin’s later…

Maplin parts:

http://www.maplin.co…sis-socket-1570

http://www.maplin.co…onnector-476116

(despite the picture on the Maplin website, it is silver in colour and not gold)

I needed to make my own hole in the plastic panel but this was easy enough to do with a small drill bit and some needle files to finish it off; I was careful to trim the hole so that it has a flat edge for the BNC socket, otherwise it would be possible to rotate the BNC socket which would make using it more difficult.

One trick I missed but got lucky with was marking which wire goes to the center pin (positive), I had to take a guess at their relative positions as I had removed the old socket. If I were to do it again, I would mark the wire with a red marker pen or such as they are fairly nondescript grey ribbon cable wires that disappear into the mechanism.

I made sure that I applied heat shrink to all of the connections to prevent any dew droplets from causing a short.

A quick test and it all works, the connection is rock solid and I believe should never break under normal conditions. The wire would probably get pulled out of the BNC plug before it broke due to the BNC losing connection! Perhaps that is a slight loss of a ‘safety feature’, but in my experience if the cable is wrapped around it will be pulling sideways and would not pull the plug out of the socket, if I snag my foot on the cable, well that would be my hard cheese.

It should be noted that I am fairly competent with a soldering iron, but if you can solder small wires together neatly then that should be all the skills required.

I’ll probably plug the hole with something. I’m optimistic that this should be the end of the power problem, only time will tell, the real test will be at 12am on a cold January morning.

And further posts that I made on the thread…

It should be noted that after some experimentation it turns out that the BNC plug from Maplin is not as good as it could be… I originally tested the BNC socket using a different BNC plug, but the one from Maplin is a slightly different design (not as good, in my opinion). The metal flanges that surround the center pin need to be pushed outwards slightly, as it is these that contact the outer metal of the socket chassis (on the inside of the shaft). Difficult to explain if you don’t have a BNC socket handy for reference. The one I tested with had a white plastic collar inside that kept these flanges out – see pic below:

Whereas the BNC plug from Maplin was like this:

For the sake of a fraction of a penny’s worth of white nylon it is suddenly not as good. Those metal flanges need to be kept pushed slightly outwards to make good contact, otherwise when the plug or cable are moved or pulled it can break the contact and result in the mount / handset resetting. I verified this by trying it with the flanges pushed in and then pushed out, out being very solid. Not sure how long it will keep functioning well, but I should at least know what the problem likely is if it shows any signs of intermittent power.

I’m not sure where one buys BNC plugs with the white collar, this one came from an existing cable that I picked up from a car boot sale (sealed unit, I won’t be taking it apart).

A further update regarding the BNC plug…

I picked up a couple of right-angle BNC plugs from an electronics shop in town, they have the white collar (I asked about the collar, the guy said he’d never heard of a BNC plug without one and gave me a bit of a quizzical look). Here it is on the end of a Skytron cable:

Fits well, works like a charm, and as a bonus doesn’t stick out as much so shouldn’t snag. Requires no soldering too which is handy.

And then finally an idea for a safety release cable:

I realise there is another trick here to help with the snagging cable potential problem.  The BNC connection is fine, but an added safety feature could be an in-line plug and socket that will pull apart should the cable be snagged suddenly.  I have already used such a pairing in a custom power lead configuration for my CG-4 dual axis set up (I wired up a regular 4xAA battery pack instead of the bulky 4xD cell battery pack).  If this was installed a foot along the cable from the BNC socket it would be easy to reach and find, I don’t foresee any intermittent contact problems with this method because the plug and socket pair I purchased are rock solid and fit tightly together, in fact the original SkyTron cable would probably fit this socket.

Here’s a photo showing the 4 x AA battery pack with short fly lead to a connector, and the two connector types, which I use to drive my CG-4 mount.  Also the BNC right-angle connector just because it was to hand (used with the 8SE, not CG-4).  These two connectors are a very firm fit, think I bought them from eBay – bought about ten of each (male and female) in case I wanted some for future projects, they were so cheap it only came to a few quid.

I have since sold my 8SE Goto mount as I was no longer using it for anything and needed the space.

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Astronomy!

This is a hobby I have not really gone into any detail about here yet but one that I have invested quite a bit of time and money in for a few years now.  Time to put that right.

My first telescope was a Celestron 8SE, a decision that I deliberated over for quite a while as I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of binoculars for one reason or another.  The 8SE is an 8″ Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope, or SCT, which is a fairly decent size for a first telescope and a keeper for some time to come; the electronic goto mount was the weakest part and that has now gone (sold it to someone who uses it for solar observing with a much smaller telescope), the problems with the 8SE goto mount were mainly that it was at the weight and size limit for the 8SE Optical Tube Assembly, or OTA, and there was no room to add more parts to the 8SE such as a different focuser or big heavy eyepieces and diagonals, there just wasn’t the room or stability.  Another thing that I found disappointing was the power socket for an external 12v supply – despite several attempts to cure it I just could not prevent it from dropping the power mid-session, this was due to the poor contacts inherent in the design of the chosen socket; maybe not all of them suffered from this but mine did with the socket that was fitted so I replaced it for a BNC, very secure and never faltered again, although by the time I finished that modification I was ready to sell the mount as I had already switched to using a bigger manual mount that could accommodate all of the extras I had fitted to the 8SE OTA, but more on that power socket modification in another post.

The 8SE OTA is a great scope for lunar and planetary observing, and bright objects that you want to get zoomed right up to, it is not so great for dim wide field objects such as faint nebula although it certainly works well on the Orion Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy as they happen to be the brightest of their kind.

The replacement mount I spoke of earlier is a Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro SynTrek, a non-goto guiding mount that can handle a lot of weight and size, although the largest scope I have fitted to it to date is the 8SE it should easily be able to handle a 9.25, 11, or 12 inch SCT should I choose to upgrade to one in the future, so it was an investment really.

Since starting out with the 8SE I have purchased several other telescopes, mounts, and binoculars, all with specific purposes and specialities in mind, as well as ancillary pieces of equipment that all aid in the enjoyment of the hobby.

That’s all for now, more when I can be bothered!

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Cycling catch-up

Over the past few years I have progressed quite a bit, going from owning an old Dawes Galaxy touring bike and a hybrid bike that I rarely used to owning a mountain bike and a cyclocross bike and venturing out every weekend, averaging about 35-40 miles each time.  This did not happen overnight by any means though.

The hybrid bike is a Claud Butler with 700x38C tyres, alloy frame and wheels, V-brakes, typical Shimano triple chainring and chain set.  The hybrid tyres allowed me to venture off tarmac but also rolled well enough to enable quite long rides, the furthest I went was 60 miles which is still about the furthest I have been.  After exploring the wilderness around my local area, which includes numerous bridleways, footpaths, and forest tracks, I learned which are bike-friendly and which are overgrown mud alleys, so now I know pretty much exactly where I can go for a decent ride.  The local forests are at the top of a hill in either direction, there is no easy way up to them, this has been to my advantage as it means I am spoilt for choice of small country lanes up the hill which all lead to the forests, and I have been forced to improve my hill climbing ability and general cycling fitness; once up there I can ride along the top or venture down the other side out onto open moorland. The hybrid served me well, I upgraded the handle grips to a pair of ergo ones to help with shooting nerve pain from the grip position, this helped a great deal to keep me going out on the bike.  During this time I also invested in and upgraded my cycling clothing and other bits and pieces, increasing my enjoyment and making life a lot easier in general when out on the bike; I went from tracksuit bottoms and t-shirt / jumper to proper lycra padded trousers / shorts, cycling jersey and long-sleeved top, with windproof cold / wet weather jersey, headband to protect my ears from the cold, winter cycling gloves, fingerless cycling gloves, and numerous other things too.

I take my Garmin Dakota 20 with me to mark waypoints along the way, helping me to pick out landmarks and work out interesting routes, places to avoid, dangers on the mountain bike trails, and to know where I am in the middle of the forests on the maze of forest roads – a map generally isn’t much use here as one crossroads looks much like another.  The GPS also records my route so I can analyse this when I get home and upload it to Strava to share with friends.  I have considered a dedicated cycling GPS but the price just seems prohibitively expensive for something that doesn’t really do anything more useful than my Dakota 20 already does.

I decided that if I was to tackle and enjoy the forest trails properly then I should look at getting a mountain bike, I read a lot of reviews and opinions on the internet and eventually took a gamble on a 29er hard tail that was on sale as an ex-demo bike in a local bike shop, I snapped it up and it turned out to be a perfect match for my style of riding, which by now had become quite fast and unrelenting, zipping up and down the roads and forest tracks.  This bike is not suited to the technical parts of the mountain bike trails, however it is excellent at the uphill and fast sections so those are the parts I tend to ride, the trick for me is finding ways to miss out the technical sections as the forest tracks tend to take me a long way around and sometimes don’t meet up with the other end of that particular section at all, I’m still exploring this part.

During the time I rode the hybrid extensively and moved onto the mountain bike for trail riding, I lost probably two stone in weight and went down a couple of belt holes.

With the hybrid definitely out-grown I decided I wanted a better bike for use predominantly on the road, the eventual decision was a cyclocross bike, mainly for its riding position of slightly more upright and relaxed compared to a road racing bike, and still very capable of some off-road fun.  The bike came equipped with Rocket Ron 700x32C mud tyres which I rode for a total of 330 miles before noticing the rear had started to wear down, time to upgrade to some proper road tyres; I purchased some Panaracer TourGuard Plus tyres, classed as city tyres these are designed to cope with bumpy streets, gutter rubbish, water, muck and bullets, you name it these tyres should survive it.  First ride out on them this weekend was a great success, they roll so much better than the mud tyres and offered me plenty of grip on the tarmac, felt more grippy in the wind too as I couldn’t feel the bike wobbling about as much under me.

So that’s where I am at the moment – averaging about 35-45 miles each weekend, more if I ride on the roads, less if I’m in the forests on the mountain bike trails.  I’ll be detailing some of the kit I’ve purchased over the past few years in later posts.

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Tamiya Lunch Box

Purchased this as one of those essential classics, but then got carried away reading about all of the modifications in forums.  I ended up modifying the front suspension, adding the third shock at the back, replacing all four shocks, fitted alloy body pins and a cross-beam at the front of the chassis to prevent bending of the plastic chassis.  I test-drove it after completing it as a stock build to see how it was, pretty much just as described – bounced around all over the shop and made some rather alarming banging sounds from the suspension, that was just casual bashing around the driveway too.  After modifications to the suspension the difference was a marked improvement all-round.

The body was painted using Tamiya TS spray paints, first fine white surface primer which was sanded with very fine wet and dry, then several TS-16 yellow top coats that were sanded with wet and dry between coats to get a very smooth and glossy finish; it’s not car showroom perfect but still pretty good.

Posted in Big Boys Toys, Radio Controlled Vehicles | 2 Comments

General update post

It’s  been a while since I posted anything here, mainly because I’ve been too lazy and always forget.  In this post I’ll just do a little update on some of the things that have been happening that I might start posting more about here.

In the past year or so I’ve been getting out on my bike regularly each weekend, the mild winter has helped with this despite some very windy days.  I purchased a mountain bike and suddenly found myself being re-introduced to cycling, but it was not the old cycling I knew from when I used to go out regularly as a teenager, technology and trends have moved on a lot since then.  I now have new tools, new knowledge, and new bike maintenance equipment, as well as some proper cycling gear (yes, that means lycra and a padded bottom).  I refurbished my old Dawes Galaxy as best I could without a complete strip-down, still needs more work but it’s smoother than it was.  I have mainly been riding my Claud Butler hybrid bike, it is a very easy and comfortable bike to ride (which is why I bought it after having ridden a similar bike while on holiday in California), and fitted a few accessories to make the rides more fun and also to record my journeys.

The other main thing I’ve been doing is building radio controlled vehicles including buggies and rock crawler trucks.  To date I have built the classic Tamiya Lunch Box, Sand Scorcher, and am currently on the Fox (now re-released as NovaFox), as well as an Axial SCX10 rock crawler.  I can definitely see where my attraction to these comes from, as a boy I always loved those motorised toys – tanks, buggies, and hill climbing 4×4 (called Stompers, I seem to recall), when I think about that now it’s obvious why I’ve chosen the 1/10 scale radio controlled models that I have now.  I didn’t realise it at the time but I owned a miniature version of the Fox, the very 1/10 scale model that I am building right now, as I recognised it instantly while perusing the Tamiya range recently.

I have also been interested in photographing and recording wildlife around where I live, this is on a separate blog which is in my links.

That’s it for this update post, more detailed posts to come soon.

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Seaward PrimeTest 350



I have recently acquired Seaward PrimeTest 250 and PrimeTest 350 PAT testers. Ever since my manager sent me to a PAT seminar by Seaward I have longed for the PrimeTest 350, it has Bluetooth data transfer (drool), backlit screen (drool), rechargeable batteries and in-situ charger (drool)… in a moment of madness I purchased one on eBay 2nd-hand, but later realised I could have had a better one with calibration certificate and more extras for less money, oh well! Such is life.

My PT350 is in good working order though, I sent it away for calibration and it passed so that proves that it works correctly.

I was very pleased with my purchase, and tried it out on a few items, but found that I wasn’t able to download via Bluetooth to my Mac, which I had running Windows in VMWare Fusions; the Mac would see the PAT tester as a Bluetooth device, but seemingly would not recognise the Bluetooth data download request, and because Bluetooth is shared between VMs and the host OS, I had the same problem from within Windows – the data transfer just wasn’t recognised. I learned through this experience that, although the Mac does support the COM emulation part of Bluetooth (which is used to emulate a serial RS232 port), there was no Mac OS X facility to do anything with it, seemingly it was the same case in Windows (even Seaward’s own PatGuard Elite software could not see the COM emulation). I had one final stab it this, and eventually stumbled upon someone’s own home-brew Bluetooth COM sniffer / download program, exactly what I had been asking for in the Apple forums!
This is called Serial Tools, and was written by a chap called Kok Chen, I thank that man. Anyway, here it is in case you are looking for it – http://www.w7ay.net/site/Applications/Serial%20Tools/index.html (opens in new window).

This at least allowed me to download the PAT results data directly to the Mac, but then what to do with it? I also managed to get Bluetooth downloads working fine on my works PC laptop, so I knew the Bluetooth in the PAT tester was OK. I used a Belkin Bluetooth adaptor, model F8T017; I could not use this with the Mac as OS X spits its dummy out if it sees two Bluetooth hosts, and as keyboard and mouse are both Bluetooth this is not a good thing. Anyway, back to the plot.. what there was of it.

The major part that was missing from the PT350 bundle that I bought was the RS232 serial download cable. Not a problem, you might say, they are ten a penny. Not so! This is a DB9 to 3.5mm stereo jack plug serial cable, so pretty rare to find these days. One thing was certain, I was not about to pay Seaward a ridiculous amount of money for one, nor was I going to pay a similarly silly amount of money for the one officially supported RS232 to USB adaptor they recommended (and said was the only one officially supported and tested by them).

I set about making my own serial cable – I purchased parts for the DB9 plug and a smart looking metal 3.5mm stereo jack plug, used a length of Cat5 network cable which was a perfect size for the plugs and feels nice and solid; I only needed three of the wires, so basically chose three colours that I liked and cut the rest short so that they couldn’t touch anything.

The basic wiring was simple – just Signal GND, Rx, and Tx was used, I found a serial wiring diagram online for an old digital camera download cable which used RS232, I opened up my PT350 and had a look at how they had wired the pins for the stereo jack in case they were doing anything clever, it was just three wires. The wiring of the DB9 uses the standard RS232 pin assignments for Signal GND, Rx, and Tx; no other connections are used.

DB9 pin 2 to tip
DB9 pin 3 to base
DB9 pin 5 to middle

Base is nearest the plug body, tip is at the end of the plug, middle is, well, in the middle. I used a multimeter to make sure I was connecting to the correct solder bucket, wired it up, and hey presto it worked first time!

I should backtrack a little here as I did download drivers for the RS232 to USB adaptor that I picked up for 50 pence from a car boot sale, which works with PC and Mac. It uses a controller chip which the computer recognises as FT232R UART, drivers for just about every operating system are available from the official website for this product here – http://www.ftdichip.com/FTDrivers.htm (opens in new window).
I used the VCP (Virtual COM Port) driver as I assumed that is what my PAT tester and the OS would recognise. Sure enough, it works a treat on the Mac and on PC (Windows XP, Windows 7), it even works in VMWare Fusions on the Mac running Windows.

So now I can download via Bluetooth or via RS232 serial cable, on Mac or PC. Here’s my cable wiring diagram:

jackplug RS232 DB9

The PrimeTest 250 is nowhere near as fancy, it uses simple pre-set sequences which are selected using buttons on the front of the unit, it is not particularly clever and doesn’t hold any test results, so these need to be recorded manually in a book.  It is good for what it does, but the PT350 is in a different class.  For the kind of tests I am most likely going to be performing, IT equipment, the PT350 should be all that I ever need.  The much larger mains-only Europa Plus PAT tester that work own is capable of more powerful stress or load tests, but that is probably only really useful where mains leads receive heavy use or abuse, such as for power tools; IT mains leads sit under a desk most of their life and never move.

 

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Clio Problems Again! Engine light / won’t start / Home Safe Mode

This has been getting worse recently.  I didn’t have any problems for months, then recently I’ve been experiencing very brief periods (one or two seconds) of the Home Safe Mode where the car will slow to 30mph / 2,000 revs, this appears to happen at any time, any weather, any speed, which could be quite dangerous especially at high speed, in slippery conditions, or critical moments in heavy traffic.

I have been intending to check the repair job that the garage did on the crank shaft sensor (I think this is also known as the TDC – Top Dead Centre – sensor, generally described as the main cause of starting problems); yesterday the car performed horribly!  It would keep going in and out of Home Safe Mode, and at one point eventually just stopped, gave me no power at all as it just died on a hill, then wouldn’t start.  A wiggle of the TDC wiring and it worked fine all the way home.

Today I took the insulating tape off the wiring join that the garage had done to connect the new connector (for the TDC sensor) to the wiring loom, upon removing the tape one of the wire joins just fell apart, the other came apart with a gentle tug.  Absolutely pathetic!  Not only the poor job done by the mechanic, but also the cheap join hardware provided with the sensor which was little more than a metal ring covered in cheap clear heat shrink.

A broken join resulting from a poor job by a mechanic

A broken join resulting from a poor job by a mechanic

I removed the offending heat shrink and metal ring, cut back the wire to get a fresh bit to join, then soldered the wires together and covered in proper electrical heat shrink.  Car started straight away, revved up nicely, remained running on tick-over for several minutes, and restarted fine several times after that.

Wires joined and finished properly

Wires joined and finished properly

We will see how it runs now.  I suspect that the Lambda sensor still needs looking at so I will take the car to a garage as soon as possible (there is a local Wilco Motosave, they were very good when they replaced the battery and front coil springs).

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Apple Mouse / Mighty Mouse Roller Ball Cleaning

I’ve read all about how crap the Mighty Mouse is when it comes to the little scroll ball, how it’s generally impossible to really clean it, yadda yadda yadda.  Well I discovered today that not only is it possible, it’s actually quite easy and repeatable.

It all started when I lifted the mouse momentarily and noticed that the skirt had come away slightly at the front.  I thought this was worth investigating further, and with some very gentle persuasion the whole skirt practically fell off in my hands.  Looks like the glue had failed, as it appears to have little glue dabs all around it’s circumference, but these dabs look so small that it shouldn’t be too difficult to gently prise the skirt off with a butter knife or small screwdriver without causing any damage.

Mighty Mouse / Apple Mouse grey skirt

This revealed two key points of interest, one – two stop tabs at the front, and two – two hinge tabs at the back.

Stop tabs at the front of the mouse.

Hinge tab at the rear of the mouse

With some very gentle application of force with a small screwdriver I was able to release the two front stop tabs, this allowed the mouse to open up like a clam.

Top of the mouse opens like a clam

Applying the same principle, the rear hinge tabs can also be released allowing the top to come away from the bottom completely, but before this can happen there are two ribbon cables which must be released from the main circuit board; the black clips on each connector must be lifted before the ribbons can be pulled out, at which point there will be no resistance (unlike other ‘push in, pull out’ ribbon cable connector types).

Note the two ribbon cable connector clips (black)

Note the two ribbon cable connector clips (black)

Now that we have the two halves of the mouse separated it’s worth while doing a spot of general cleaning, including the area around the roller ball of the top half (once the roller ball unit has been removed, which is held in place by three small Phillips screws).

Mighty Mouse / Apple Mouse top half

Clean around the hole where the roller ball sits

Clean around the hole where the roller ball sits

The roller ball is in a self-contained unit attached to the top side of the mouse.  Once the three small screws are removed it can be seen in more detail.

Roller reassembled

The unit appears to work in much the same way as an old ball mouse or track ball, except this has four rollers instead of the usual two.  Closer inspection (of a working unit) reveals that only the roller that sits in the direction of ball-rolling turns, evidently there is a small gap such that the ball moves away from the other rollers enough so that it doesn’t touch them when rolling.  The small black wheels are actually magnetic, it’s this magnetism that is used to sense movement (instead of optics, as in old ball mice).  Quite ingenious but ultimately doomed as it has the same failings as the old ball mice, as in the rollers get dirty and eventually stop operating.  If you’ve ever cleaned a ball mouse then you’ll know what’s coming next – cleaning those rollers!  This is where a steady hand is, well, handy, as the parts are very small.

To get into the roller ball unit it’s quite simple – very gently lever up the sides of the unit, between the white and black plastic, so that the white top part lifts up, revealing the ball and rollers beneath.  There are no other parts to this, so don’t worry about losing any tiny springs.

Take care not to lose any of the tiny rollers or the ball.

Take care not to lose any of the tiny rollers or the ball.

One of the rollers came away with the top cover when I removed mine, this is OK as it can be placed back in the bottom half with ease.  Take each roller one at a time and clean off any gunk using some toilet paper or similarly fine cloth material; you will notice that the roller has a rough surface where the ball contacts it, it’s this rough surface that fills with finger grease and dead skin etc and must be cleared so that it is the same colour as the rest of the roller (white or very pale yellow).  Clean the ball too.  A slightly damp cloth can help remove the dirt, I would advise against using any chemicals as they are not necessary.

Re-assembe the roller unit before replacing the white cover

Re-assembe the roller unit before replacing the white cover

Once it’s all nice and clean put it all back together again, gently push the white top down so that it clips back into place (the rollers should fall into place as you push down).  Be gentle, you don’t need much force, if it won’t go down easily then make sure everything is in place and try again.

Reassemble the mouse in reverse order and hey presto!  You should have a clean and fully working Might Mouse / Apple Mouse, well done!

Mighty Mouse / Apple Mouse cleaned

The grey skirt is probably optional, it just keeps the wire grommet in place and dust out.  You can reattach it with a tiny amount of glue if you wish, super glue should make it easy to break apart for the next time you want to clean the roller ball.

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