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Workshop: upgrade an Amiga 'Tank' mouse with microswitches
Commodore mice - especially the famous 'Tank' model - are decades old and their switches aren't getting any better with age. Even if the mouse buttons still work, it often takes a constantly increasing amount of force to activate them or you never know if the mouse will react to your click this time. Amiga user 'Redskull' has fixed this problem by replacing the switches in his mouse with new microswitches, the following is a step by step guide showing what he had to do to upgrade is input device:

Remove the two phillips head screws near the cable end. Turn the mouse over, lift the end near the cable slightly. The top half will then slide backwards. Warning: Take care not to snap the clips at the rear of the top half.

Remove the two phillips head screws securing the PCB to the bottom half. You may find it easier to work by removing the cable - to do that, desolder the ground strap (see big red circle in next picture) and unplug the 8 pin connector.

Desolder the offending switch(es). The following pictures only show the left mouse button being replaced, but the principle is identical for the right mouse button of course.

These are the suitable PCB mount microswitches. The metal levers are not required.

If your switches have the metal lever attached, remove it by squeezing the end with a pair of needle-noze pliers.

Clip the leg furthest from the switch actuator with a pair of clippers or a side cutter.

The switch is ready to install now.

Drill two 0.7-1.0mm holes as shown. With the type of switch used here, the hole furthest from the edge of the board should be roughly inline with two existing holes, the other hole should be slightly offset. This may vary depending on the brand of switch you buy. Measure the hole distance up to match your switch.

Make two trace cuts as shown, isolating the land around the hole that you just made furthest from the board edge.

Scrape away some of the insulation around both holes.

That's what the new holes look from the top side of the board.

Insert the new microswitch into the new holes as shown.

Make sure the sitch is quite flush against the board before you solder it in. Make a link as shown by the red oval, a simple solder blob should suffice.

The actuator of the microswitch is roughly about 3mm higher than the original when installed, so the plastic stem behind the mouse button will need to be shortened to match.

Remove only so much that you can close the mouse (with screws) without activating the switch. It's better to trim in small increments and test a few times, than take too much off in one go and ruin your mouse. (cg) (Translation: cg)

[News message: 21. Jun. 2016, 17:48] [Comments: 0]
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