Ergonomic vertical mouse for long fingers? Scroll wheel modification hack


My Evoluent VerticalMouse 2 has been great at relieving wrist and arm stress for the last few years:

[Image courtesy Bing image search]

But a few weeks ago I was at a Microsoft retail store and played with a Razer brand gaming mouse that looked like this:

[Image courtesy Bing image search]

The Razer mouse lacked the vertical ergonomic option and had a bunch of silly glowing lights, but one feature I absolutely loved was the fingertip space just beyond the scroll wheel. This open space allowed quicker and more precise scrolling because my fingertip could glide over the scroll wheel into the open space rather than being forced to curl up above the wheel to avoid hitting the buttons.

So what I really wanted was a mouse that combined these two features. My search was unsuccessful so I decided to modify my aging Evoluent mouse to have that open space. I started by getting my trusty screwdriver set and extracting the 5 bottom screws with a Philips #0 bit. Two screws are hidden under a sticker and one is hidden under a white gliding pad near the USB cable.

 

On the inside of the mouse, there is a reverse threaded screw holding in the plastic button assembly to the case. I unscrewed it by turning clockwise. I have no idea why it was reverse-threaded:

 

Then I took the button assembly and circuit boards out of the case and got to work with a Dremel rotary tool to make the gap between the top two buttons larger. Here is how mine looked after 3 minutes of dremmelizing and re-assembly: (It is a very well-used mouse with the paint peeling off the buttons.)

 

Here is my hand  on the mouse. See how far my middle finger extends beyond the scroll wheel? I guess the mouse is just too small for my hand, but it feels comfortable everywhere except for the fingertips.

This is what it used to look like when I used the scroll wheel. I had to curl my finger in order to scroll without hitting the buttons:

 

And now after the modification I can keep my finger mostly straight and use the scroll-wheel more comfortably:

 

I’ll keep looking for a better mouse that accommodates my “medium” sized hand and my freakishly long fingers. But this hack will have to do for now.

 

Back to main blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/danchar/

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