Subscribe

Receive updates via email:

 Updates via RSS

Tag Cloud

Blog Archive

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How to: Blackberry 8800 Trackball Replacement / Cleaning Guide

Oops...that was the first thought as I watched my Blackberry 8800 fall to the concrete from about 3 feet off the ground. It seemed like slow motion as I saw the corner of the Blackberry strike the ground. The battery cover flew off, the battery slid across the garage floor, and the trackball and the assembly was thrown about 3 feet from the Blackberry device.

To anyone who has dropped their Blackberry before -- you know that the battery cover and the battery flying was not a big event. I have probably experienced it about 50 times. The surprise was the trackball came out and went flying. My immediate question was -- was the Blackberry broken? Could it be fixed?

I quickly tried to "snap back" in the both the trackball and the silver cover -- while it stayed in place, the trackball assembly was not sitting flush with the rest of the keyboard. It was nothing other than a short term fix.

See how the outer silver ring holder for the trackball is not sitting flush with the Blackberry?A side view of the Blackberry with my attempted "snap in". See how the outer silver ring holder for the trackball is not sitting flush with the Blackberry?

In order to figure out the real problem, I was going to have to completely tear down the Blackberry 8800 to put it back together correctly again. After taking apart the Blackberry 8800 (Tear down guide here), I was able to fix the trackball assembly successfully and my Blackberry 8800 is working perfectly again.

Based off my learnings, the following are steps that you can use to replace, clean, or simply reassemble the trackball assembly on your Blackberry 8800 series (including the 8820 and 8830). Updating due to feedback.

1. Remove the silver casing surrounding the trackball on your Blackberry. There are 3 tabs that hold it in place. One on each side and then one at the bottom. To remove the outer silver ring, use a tiny screwdriver to lightly lift / pry at one of the sides until the silver ring releases. Then lift at an angle and the entire piece should release. Once the silver casing is off, the trackball should just fall out.

With the silver casing removed, the trackball is removed from the Blackberry.

2. If you need to clean your trackball, an easy way to do that is to use and alcohol / water mix along with a Q-Tip to rotate and remove any dirt or debris from the trackball.

3. In order to snap your silver trackball housing back into your Blackberry, it is important that the side tabs are pretty flat. If they are bent (as was in my case due to the fall) then you will need to straighten them out. You can use your fingers to do that. The picture below shows how the housing should look.

In order to snap your silver trackball housing back into your Blackberry, it is important that the side tabs are pretty flat.  If they are bent (as was in my case due to the fall) then you will need to straighten them out.  You can use your fingers to do that.  The picture below shows how the housing should look.

4. To replace the trackball and silver housing in the Blackberry 8800 series, put the trackball back into the Blackberry first -- it only fits one way, so this should be straight forward. Now looking at the silver housing, hold it up in front of you with the side without a tab facing up. That is 12 O'Clock as you would see it on a wall-clock or watch. You should then have tabs at 3, 6, and 9 O'Clock. You should re-attach the housing by first inserting the bottom at what would be considered 6 O'Clock on and then rotate in to snap the sides (3 and 9 O'Clock). You have to align it perfectly as there are small holes that the tabs go into. It may take a couple of tries but you want to angle it from the bottom (6 O'Clock) up with the sides snapping in as the top part is flush with the Blackberry.

Congratulations, you've not replace, repaired, re-assemabled, or cleaned your trackball. Did this work for you? Please let me know with a comment!

17 comments:

Mike SIlver (mike.silver@snapon.com) said...

The removal instructions were fine. The trackball only fits it one way, so that wasn't difficult. The instructions for installing the ring could use more explanation. There are 3 double tabs at 3 o'clock, 9 and 12. At 6 o'clock is where I think you are referring to the single tab. I'm struggling to get the ring installed.

Anonymous said...

It was very helpful. I was able to replace my ring with your help.

Thanks

Jey

Laurie said...

Thank you SOOO MUCH!!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent. I had problems getting the ring in. Your instructions were perfect. Also as noted if you have bent tab you must straighten before it will reattach.

Andres said...

Your instructions were perfect, especially for a technologically inept person, such as myself. Thank you!

the estate agent diary said...

brilliant, it worked, thank you. I used some nail polish remover with a qtip on the ball and the contacts beneath on the board and hey presto

lonzeau said...

Just cleaned and replaced trackball - it works great, Thanks! The silver ring tab orientation tip was most useful. Another site incorrectedly showed another silver piece under the ring which was not the case with my 8800. Btw, it was not readily apparent there was only one way to reinstall the trackball assembly but after close examination it seemed the tabs on the sides of the trackball unit would couple with slots in sides of the opening so that's what I did.

Mike said...

This saved me, on a Sunday yet. Had to clean my 2-year old 8820 trackball twice, before it started working again, but it is working fine now. THANKS !!!

Cindy said...

Amen...A friend had already found other instructions on cleaing and I finished that quickly. The replacement instructions were not as detailed as yours and I struggled for almost an hour trying. Your directions on placing the bottom first and twisting worked after only a few minutes trying. Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Using your instructions, I installed a replacement trackball into my Blackberry 8320 in about 3 minutes... much thanks.

JKC said...

Dude, you're a rockstar! Thanks so much for posting these step by step instructions, they worked like a charm and it only took a matter of seconds to get the ball and ring reassembled. Thanks again buddy!!!

Charles Lukoba said...

Thank you for saving me $250, research in motion would have charged me. Somebody from Blackberry support t-mobile said I should find the information online. Thank you again.

Amanda said...

If cleaning your trackball does not resolve the issue, or if some of the tabs are missing (there should be 3 pairs), you can buy a new trackball set (3 pieces) on eBay for about $3.99 + shipping. Just google "buy Blackberry 8800 trackball".

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, just sorted my trusty BB 8820 thanks to above, yippee! Many thanks

Anonymous said...

I should thank you for the article, it is useful for me.

Anonymous said...

Yay--I put my new trackball in and got the ring to fit flush. Thank you for the easy instructions!!! :o)

Anonymous said...

"Congratulations, you've not replace, repaired, re-assemabled, or cleaned your trackball."

Think you mean "...you've now...".

Thanks for guide!

Edward