Trackball Technology Overview

All products manufactured by Cursor Controls use precision made components to produce the best possible Trackball solution. Precision, robustness and reliability, essential to the professional user, are engineered into each product by careful selection of quality materials.

Many of the Trackball products use components tested far beyond the expectation of the product, and can endure some of the harshest operating demands experienced in industry today.

Special patented techniques are employed in the assembly of larger Trackballs to reduce noise and vibration in the operation of the product, increasing the performance and feel of the Trackball in the majority of installations.

Cursor Controls recognise the breadth of customer requirements and aim to provide an effective solution for all applications. As such, there are several different types of trackball in the Cursor Controls range, each utilising different technology to meet individual customer needs. The following information provides a brief overview of the device options currently available:

Tracking Technology

Other Technology

Mechanical P, K, R and F-Range
P = Panel
K = Keyboard
R = Desktop
F = Specialised
(e.g. P38-560420)
(e.g. K34-104138)
(e.g. R60-163310)
(e.g. F60-55331)
Optical O-Range
O = Optical Technology (e.g. O50-76021D)
Infrared L-Range
L = Infrared Technology (e.g. L50-76021D)
Laser X-Range
X = Laser Technology (e.g. X50-76023D)
Z-Axis (Third Axis Control) Z-Range
Z = Z-axis Technology (e.g. Z60-100290)


Mechanical Tracking (P, K, R and F Ranges)

Mechanical Tracking
  • Conventional tracking engine – technology used since the invention of trackballs
  • Ball supported by 2 x perpendicular encoding shafts and a third support bearing.
Trackball technology 1


Optical and Infrared Tracking (O and L Ranges)

Optical and Infrared Tracking
  • An optical trackball uses a small sensor which has a small red or infrared light-emitting diode (LED) that bounces light off the ball surface onto a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor
  • No moving parts are required other than the ball itself and full sealing to IP68 can therefore be achieved utilising CCL’s patented construction.
Trackball technology 5


Laser Tracking (X Range)

Laser Tracking
  • The sensor contains a laser diode which generates a beam of light that is focused on the ball surface.
  • The ball surface reflects light back into the sensor where it optically mixes with emitted light and movement is calculated.
  • This method of detecting ball movement allows for a much wider range of tracking surfaces, including solid colours.
Trackball technology 6


Z-Axis (Third Axis Control – Z Range)

Z-Axis (Third Axis Control)
Z-Axis (Third Axis Control) is available in conjunction with the Cursor Controls X25, X38 and X50 units. The Z-Range of trackballs provide the conventional X and Y axis cursor outputs via ball movement along with offering all standard features of the X Range and the addition of a Z Axis control wheel surrounding the ball.
Features of the Z Range include:

  • 3rd Axis Control Ring for applications requiring increased functionality
  • Scroll/zoom capabilities for more effective navigation in complex user interfaces/operating systems
  • Removable retention ring enabling the user to remove the ball for servicing and maintenance purposes
  • Offers an ideal range of solutions for Medical, Sound & Lighting, Video Editing and Marine applications
  • Same functionality as a mouse scroll wheel or rotary encoder
  • Complete Customization available.
Trackball technology 7


Backlit Balls

Backlit Balls
  • Provide a welcome solution for low light environments.
  • Recording studios, theatre, medical and marine applications are amongst the growing list of industries where a back-lit Trackerball can produce a greater level of user interface.


Halo Illumination

Halo Illumination
  • Available with X25, X38 and X50
  • Ideal for low level light environments where a backlit ball would be too obtrusive
  • Complete flexibility with colour choice – custom colours available (using RGB mixing)
X25 Halo trackball


USB (Universal Serial Bus)

USB is now integrated into all Universal protocol interfaces, providing the ability for all our Trackerball range to connect to a USB bus and provide a Plug and Play hot connection to systems operating on Windows® or Apple®.