Sunday, June 19, 2016

Repairing a Cyborg R.A.T.5 with an old Acer Mouse: Frankenstein Project

One does not simply trash things at home, every object that can be repaired should be. Here is the story of a broken Cyborg R.A.T.5: it came home broken, and was 'resuscitated' like a Frankenstein's monster. But is it fully back to life?

The R.A.T.5
Which disease killed it?

  • Main symptom: no left click
  • Secondary symptoms: Some of the secondary button facings are broken, ghost click sometimes happen

==> Looks like the left click button spring is bent or broken, this can be "easily" fixed if bent. Though if it is broken, it needs to be replaced (either the whole button casing, or only the spring if possible).

As a video is better than a written tuto, here is one made by Kuba Orpel:

To open the button casing: pry the little clips on both sides if possible (on the RAT5 left button only left click can be reached)

See how the clips look on this top button casing (black) from an Acer NetScroll mouse (the donor, as explained later)

A little button spring will pop: (see the break-line on the bent part, this one is dead and need to be changed)
Do NOT loose the little green piece (for the RAT5, red for the Acer here), use some tape to stick it in place: it will come handy in the process of re-assembly
The Donor
An old mechanical mouse: the Acer NetScroll

Donor spring in its original place:

The donor Button and the faulty one: they are not the same shape, but the same size... so one can take the other's place

The Repair
Swaping springs

Re-assembly is quite tricky:
  1. The contact part should be placed under the contact pin,
  2. The bent part should be placed towards the indentation of the center pin, and gently forced into it
  3. The triangle part should be pulled gently and its indent placed against the last pin
  4. Pushing the center of the spring should make a click sound : it's correctly placed
Be careful: the process is try 'n fail, and the spring is really easy to break!!!
The Acer button spring in place in the R.A.T.5 button bottom casing:

Re-assembling the top case isn't difficult -as long as the previous part was a success-.

Is it fixed?

Hmmm, yeah the left click is back to life... but it still has a kind of ghost click for which i din't catch the cause yet... maybe one of the side buttons is dead or something (i already scraped two of the side ones without success)
Half a success, but still something to consider,
So the Frankenstein project is still a WIP... I'll update as soon as I find the definitive fix for the ghost click.
Note that i have already saved my own Logitech M505 from death by re-bending the spring of its left button. that spring issue is well known and well documented, but it is always nice to know that it can be possible to swap spring of some switches without having two broken mice.