Left-Handed Ergonomic Mouse Modifications
I’m left-handed, and I grabbed a “vertical” ergonomic mouse on Amazon, almost two months ago now. I couldn’t use it initially, but now I’m loving it. Here’s what I didn’t like, and how I fixed it.
August 11, 2019
I’m a technical writer (over at Linux Academy) and I’m at my mouse and keyboard all day. I have developed a wicked case of tennis elbow. Around May, I started hunting for some sort of left-handed ergonomic mouse. There are slim pickings (shame on you, Logitech) but I was able to find one on Amazon finally (Fly Way’s Left-Handed Ergonomic Mouse) and so far, so good.
The Winning Mouse
I could be a weirdo (wouldn’t be the first time) but as a lefty, I have never swapped the buttons. I want to be able to sit down at a right-handed person’s computer, move the mouse to the other side of the keyboard, and go. This means that a right-handed person’s left click is also my own left-click. But instead of doing it with my index finger like they do, I’m using my middle finger.
This left-handed ergonomic mouse though, it’s been reversed physically. I can reverse the buttons in Linux, so they’re what I’m used to, but then if I end up having to use another mouse (or the trackpad if I’m mobile) then I’ve got to switch it back.
No, this was no easy fix. It was going to require (people I know get scared when they hear me say this) a screwdriver and a soldering iron! Right click on any of these next three images to view larger ones.
A Look at the Circuit Board
I wish I’d have thought of taking before and after pictures, but I really wasn’t thinking about a blog post until I got done. If you follow where the two buttons’ wires actually attach to the circuit board though, you can follow their path from one on-board connector to the other.
A View of the Wires
Once I figured that out, then it was just a question of swapping the two pairs of wires. One set went to the brown board, and the other went to the green one.
A Second Look at the Wires
Here’s another shot. Yes, I know, the soldering was a bit of a gob job, but I didn’t know if it was going to work so I wasn’t real precise about nice clean solder joints. Plus, since I covered it all with electrical tape, it’s really only ugly for a few minutes.
So the mouse is done now, and all working. It’s different than a regular mouse in a couple of ways. For one, my elbow does feel better, but there are some other adjustments I’ve got to make. Clicking moves the pointer. With a regular mouse, your pressure is applied down, toward the work surface. With this mouse, it’s aimed to the right. Working with text all day, having to highlight it and getting my cursor in the right spot, can be difficult sometimes. I liken it to firing a pistol. The act of squeezing the trigger, if it’s done wrong, will make the gun jink to one side, or up. The mouse is kind of the same deal. I’ll have to figure out how to squeeze so that the mouse doesn’t move.
The buttons are a wee bit on the stiff side. I almost snagged the guts from a Logitec mouse I had kicking around, but I figured I’d just see what happened after the button switch. It might be fine. I’m noticing that as long as my hand is snug against it, my fingers are more toward the “ends” of the buttons. It’s easier to click out there at the end, and I’m wondering if I can involve and coordinate my thumb enough to stop the right and left wobbling.
Any other lefties out there? If you end up trying this, let me know if it works for you.