Help me fix my ailing BlackBerry Pearl trackball.
May 4, 2008 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Blackberry Pearl trackball acting funky. Help.

My BlackBerry Pearl is about 2 months out of warranty, and the trackball seems to be breaking down. The vertical up-down function works (mostly) fine, with only occasional hick-ups. However, the horizontal scrolling abruptly stopped working a few days ago. It definitely seems like a mechanical rather than a software problem, because when I try to scroll horizontally, it doesn't feel like the trackball is getting any traction.

Is there anything I can attempt to fix this? Or do I need to break down and get a new phone?
posted by Pontius Pilate to Technology (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I had this happen a few times on a fairly new pearl, kept in a case. Resetting it fixed it for me.
posted by senseigmg at 8:14 PM on May 4, 2008

Best answer: Yeah, I've had that problem with mine. If you roll it in the "broken" direction while putting a little bit of pressure downward (like you're clicking the trackbutton) I've found that after a while it starts to dislodge whatever's causing it not to work.

Oh, and here's a thread with lots of suggested fixes for this issue.

posted by deadmessenger at 8:17 PM on May 4, 2008

I don't know about this trackball, but on an old Blackberry, very old, the trackwheel went foggy and I was able to revive it with a shot of tuner cleaner, specifically DeoxIT D5, which now is available at Radio Shack. Those early Blackberries were simple, but their batteries lasted a couple of weeks on a charge and I wanted to preserve that. The DeoxIT fixed if for another year or so until I was forced to upgrade to a two day battery life. A spray can of the stuff is cheap and frankly will last you a lifetime. It is specifically designed for stuff like this, well tuners in old TVs, but it removes oxidation and crud and it is nonconductive so no worry spraying it into electronics. It will fix the scratchy volume knob on your old stereo or radio too.
posted by caddis at 8:25 PM on May 4, 2008

HOW TO: Clean the Trackball on your Pearl 8100
If its just a hair or a bit of grime, its pretty easy to do - no tools required.
posted by jeffmik at 10:14 PM on May 4, 2008

Best answer: You'll see it at the top of the page but that link should go to
posted by jeffmik at 10:37 PM on May 4, 2008

I fixed a friend's errant Blackberry ball with some acetone and a cotton bud. Put a little acetone on the bud and hold it against the ball lightly. Spin the ball in all directions and you should soon feel the traction return.
posted by quiet at 4:53 AM on May 5, 2008

If you use liquid to clean a part thats still on the phone make sure to remove the battery first and allow everything to fully evaporate before turning it back on.
posted by jeffmik at 8:17 AM on May 5, 2008

Response by poster: Worked like a charm. Thanks, all!
posted by Pontius Pilate at 9:22 AM on May 5, 2008

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