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Brought the grand total to $30 with yet another new M100. Big surprise, the new one was nowhere close to the old one with all its modifications & wear. The new buttons & wheel weren't as loud & didn't travel as far. The replacement tact buttons in the old one were a big improvement. Lions just seem to have adapted to longer travel, more resistance, louder clicks. They might also be making new mice quieter for video conferencing.
MHPS buttons aren't a sure thing anymore. They might require too much travel for double clicking since they have to fully extend. The winner might be mechanical keyboard keys or more assertive tact buttons. Low profile tact buttons just don't last long enough. The standard mouse button is based on a limit switch, designed for high wear but doesn't travel very far. All the resistance comes from the tiny limit switch button.
The limit switches would travel more if they still had their levers. The standard wheel has a lot of resistance from being a mechanically disadvantaged lever. Ended up stuffing the old electronicals in the new enclosure with the new wheel.
Stiffened the new springs to give the wheel clickiness & resistance. Added silicone grease to keep it from shedding plastic. It became clear that the wheel uses a different limit switch with more travel than the buttons.
In the search for assertive button clicks, the basic amazon isn't it. It's smaller than the bottom line M100 & the buttons hardly move despite being discrete plastic. The wheel doesn't have any resistance at all. The button clicks are still better than a worn out M100 though. There's no reason to believe any more expensive mouse would do any better, since they all have the button design of the M100.
In a custom mouse, it might be good enough to replace the case & the side buttons while keeping a stock wheel assembly. How to port the wheel assembly is the tricky part. Sadly, the wheel dies intermittently.
How to cheaply print test cases is another problem.
Enhanced the basic.
Somewhat surprised by how expensive decent mice have become. $24 remanes the lion kingdom's limit, but anything below $99 now seems to be the same cheap design & there's no way to try anything in a store. The lion kingdom's last good mouse was discovered in a day job in 1997.
Helas, after a few days, the basic amazon was abandoned. It scroll wheel was very unreliable & often went backwards. It was too small. The button travel ended up worse than the worn out M100.
1 crazy idea was to make the scroll wheel out of a capacitive touch slider with an MHPS button under it for button presses. The one pictured is really 3 buttons, but real capacitive sliders were a thing, 20 years ago. What surprised lions is the animals who demoed them always used mechanical indicators instead of software. There wasn't a way for someone to be interested in electronicals & software simultaneously.
Capacitive touch sliders are just discrete copper pads. A haptic thing could simulate a button click.
Another broken USB cable & another repositioning. It's just a hair aside from the very bottom. Also found plastic filings from tightening the wheel. There's a limit to how clicky the wheel can be. It might benefit from silicone grease. Settled on ordering a bunch of amazon basics mice & letting them wear out. 6 months might be the most any animal can expect.
These have the discrete buttons of mice which historically lasted longer, but they're pretty basic.
A 4 button mouse came to mind with 1 button being a common wheel.
Another problem is PTFE pads required for sliding. Raw PTFE is more expensive than a mouse.
Dreams of trackballs still remane.
The general plan is a microsoft mouse clone with 3 physical buttons & a wheel. The wheel goes above a small button & has no button of its own. To be sure, this must have been tried 30 years ago.
Sizing would be done with playdough models. Prototypes would be 2 part enclosures with no support. The top would glue on the sides & all the panels would be curved. A final enclosure would be a single piece with support. All the electronicals would come from other mice.
TechLead liked the $100 logitech & hence caused it to become the internet's favorite mouse. It's the same shape as the $9 Logitech M100 from hell. It has a button below the wheel which can be mapped to the middle button. The most a lion ever paid for a mouse was $30 for the Logitech M-CQ38.
Suspect all mice now have the buttons down low & are the same shape because it uses less material.
Who wants a quiet click if they spend so much on clicky keyboards?
Ferris Bueller frame #22210 showed a grey eyed Mcrosoft mouse. Not as boxy as remembered.
The discrete buttons felt better but the hourglass case was a pain. The crosstalk between wheel & button was terrible. This one doesn't have enough scrolling resistance. There's definitely a difference between having discrete buttons & buttons formed from part of the case. Lions just want a simple box with buttons.
The lion kingdom has gotten by with the cheapest mice for the last 20 years. They last about 6 months & then become difficult. Tests have shown the mane difficulties being cable management for the corded ones, battery management for the cordless ones, the tact buttons wearing out, the case getting crunchy, the teflon sliders wearing down, the optical sensor getting dusty.
High points in the history of mice were the Logitech M-CQ38.
It was kind of an art piece more than ergonomic, but it was durable & popular enough for Compact to license it.
The best of the best was the grey eyed Microsoft mouse.
Note, the scroll wheel has never been a very satisfying interface for lions. The tendency of middle mouse button presses to cross talk with scrolling has always annoyed. The lack of tactile feedback when scrolling has annoyed.
Note, the best buttons are separate from the enclosure. The modern single piece case buttons are annoying. The case eventually starts crunching with every button press & the action is slower than discrete buttons.
The tact buttons on modern mice get soft & stop clicking after a while. It's impossible to feel when you're pressing a button without the tactile click. Combined with the crunchy case, every button press ends up being like crumpling paper & slow.
Cordless mice are a non starter by this time. The battery management is too much.
Experiments have shown the best cable position to be coming out of the right rear. The form factor should be a grey eyed microsoft mouse, but lions have no artifact to measure.
Tests have shown the teflon sliders to be essential for keeping the optical sensor clean, in addition to achieving the right friction. They kick up dust farther away from the sensor than the case would if it slid directly on the case.
A mouse prototype would reuse the teflon sliders, the scroll wheel, & the electronicals from a commercial mouse. The switches & case would be replaced. Lions aren't convinced mechanical buttons would be an improvement because the large deflection might be too slow.
The biggest problem is improving the scroll wheel. Maybe the answer is a middle mouse button & scroll wheel side by side. Maybe it should be a bigger wheel. Generally, the more clicky & rigid the wheel is, the better it does at resisting crosstalk & the more assertive the scrolling is. Lions have improved this by manually bending the springs.
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