Opening a Kensington Orbit Trackball


I had reason last week to pour an entire cup of coffee onto my Kensington Orbit Trackball mouse. The Kensington Orbit Trackball mouse is not only the best mouse, with its precise motion and superior ergonomics over touchpads and traditional mouses, its also the only trackball I know of that has a scroll wheel. If you know of another one, you’re too late, I bought this one.

Photo of the mouse with the top shell removed.

I was concerned with the electrical integrity of the aforementioned precision pointing device, so I felt it necessary to open up and clean it. These were the steps:

  1. Unplug the mouse, then take the trackball out, and rotate it onto its back.

  2. Use a smallish torx screwdriver to open the four exposed screws. Then peel back the bottom pad and unscrew the hidden one there.

  3. Rotate the mouse back to its regular position, and lift the top shell off. You’ll have a mouse in a state pictured at the top of this post.

  4. Unscrew the three torx screws from where you removed the trackball, then the two smaller screws from the clear plastic optical housing.

  5. Carefully remove the ribbon cable from the PCB attached to the base of the mouse.

  6. Remove the four screws holding down the PCB to the base plate. You can keep the USB cable attached, and remove it as one piece.

Now you can give your mouse a wash. I used rubbing alcohol, and left it for a few days. Good as new!

NOTE: This would almost certainly void your warranty. Also, be careful. By reading this, you acknowledge that you accept full responsibility for what happens to your mouse.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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