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Controlling stuff with a mini TrackBall

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Here is a project that shows how to use a mini TrackBall to control stuff with a PIC etc.

For the moment it just uses the TrackBall X and Y values to control the colour and brightness of a RGB led, to make a test of a "Mood Light".

The trackballs are very cheap from a surplus reseller and have 2 rotary quadrature encoders one for X and one for Y. Not bad in a little neat package a little over an inch! :)

I'm considering a future project that uses a trackball on a bench PSU to control volts and amps, and would also appreciate any other ideas for projects using a TrackBall as i bought quite a few while they're cheap. ;)

TrackBall RGB led moodlight project;
TrackBall Interfacing - TrackBall to PIC microcontroller



Robot caster wheel ? Probably not enough traction ?

Would be fun to try to control an oscope volts/div & time/div ...

Musical instrument?



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Thanks Michael, yeah it's a very hard ball so I don't think it would work as a castor, it needs your grippy finger to work even though it turns nice and smooth.

The scope idea is pretty innovative but would be hard to implement unless making a scope from scratch.

And the musical instrument? Just pure genius! :)
A trackball Theremin? ;)


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I see you have a trackball as an input device and a GLCD as a display. Maybe create a tiny PIC game console complete with openGLcd driver, etc. ;)
You could also make an arbitrary waveform generator where the user draws the waveform with the trackball.
The X-Y trackball screams drawing to me. X-A-sketch?


Well-Known Member
Hehe. Thanks kchriste I didn't think of drawing or games! That's actually a 4x20 text LCD but I do have some 128x64 and 240x128 GLCDs here. I think a games setup would be way too much work but the waveform idea might be ok... Maybe even generating a waveform direct with the trackball controlling freq and amplitude, or even controlling freq and PWM? That would be handy for designing SMPS supplies.

Centipede? You're showing your age man (and me too since it made me grin) :)
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