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Seattle, WA, USA

Laser Upgrade Kit for Amiga Tank Mouse Review

by intric8 Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:45 am

This week I finally received my laser mouse upgrade kit from, which I had ordered back in January, 2017. In the box was a nice hand-written note apologizing for the long delay.

The upgrade kit comes in a small anti-static bag, and a nice and very easy to understand installation manual.

Below are pictures I captured during the assembly process. After using the mouse for a short time, I shot a video with my personal observations of the kit - my first video for AmigaLove. I also provide my own hack for making the laser mouse upgrade a much better overall experience. Apologies for the crap audio; I’ve since ordered a clip-on mic to rectify that problem in the future.

Check out the complete post-installation video review, and minor hack I made to make the mouse perfect.

The first thing you need to do is take apart the mouse and set your screws, mouse ball, mouse ball locking plate and tank’s top shell to the side. You’ll not be needing that mouse ball and/or locking plate anymore.

Next gently remove the wire cluster’s cable connector from the original mouse board, then use some wire cutters to snip the single black ground wire connected to the top of the board. This wire isn’t used in the new kit, so fear not - no soldering is involved in this simple upgrade.

Next remove the two little black screws that hold the board to the bottom shell and take out the old board.

You then pop the clear plastic laser protector into the bottom board.

After that, you put the new, gray plastic cap into the bottom of the tank mouse. The bottom of the cap is like a key with 3 notches, and there is only one way for it to go in.

The fit is very tight. In my case, it was so tight that I couldn’t turn it into its locking position with my fingers, so I used the rubber-coated arms of my pliers, which fit into the square hole just right. This gave me the leverage I needed to get the final few degrees of the twist that I needed to lock it into place.
I used my wire cutter handles to give me the torque I needed to rotate the cap the final few degrees. This worked perfectly, and the padding was key.

You then put the new laser board into the bottom shell. In my case, I needed to press it down a bit before I heard a “snap!” thus making sure the bottom board was fully seated and flat - not wobbly.

Then you just put everything back together again. Connect the cable connector, the two black screws (using 2 new gray spacers, which are provided in the kit), and the top shell.

That’s it!

In my video review, I demonstrate how this new mouse - due to it’s lacking the large and heavy mouse ball - is extremely light. Really, it feels too light. Also, the new button micro-switches are extremely loud for multiple reasons. I show the way I dealt with this issue. Some might not sense the lightness and sound to be a problem but I personally did and my solution fixed the issue.

I absolutely love this new mouse now.

The installed laser upgrade in the tank mouse.
In my video review, I show one solution for making the mouse heavier again (which really does make it feel better) as well as how to heavily reduce the sound coming from the new mouse button micro-switches. Here's a sneak peak.
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New Jersey, USA

Re: Laser Upgrade Kit for Amiga Tank Mouse Review

by LambdaCalculus Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:12 am

This looks like something I should get for my A500's mouse. I don't like the looks of the rollers on it and I think the buttons on the board may be bad.
Own: Amiga 500 (NTSC), Amiga 4000, Amiga 600 (PAL), Mac Mini G4 & iBook G4 (MorphOS), ThinkPad T40 (AROS), R.Pi3 (Amibian)
After: Amiga 1200
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Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Laser Upgrade Kit for Amiga Tank Mouse Review

by intric8 Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:23 am

You'll have to be patient. It took over 6 months for mine to arrive.

Shops also sell a sort of flimsy looking (at least mine is) but very workable USB converter. It sticks pretty far out of the machine's mouse port, but they are far cheaper and very versatile. I got one as a backup which I keep in my desk for emergencies. You'd probably want to get that from Amigakit, though, if they have them. At least then you'd have something in 2-3 weeks realistically while you wait for the other.

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