The Ever Expanding Collection
(in chronological order of acquisition)
When A Collection Becomes an Obsession
When I bought my first spacemoue, I certainly never thought I would end up owning a majority of the models that were ever produced. Wanting to help the spacenavd project ensure that all of the antiquated serial models were compatible was definitely a factor early on, but at some point I realized that if I had come this far, I might as well finish the journey.
So if the five steps of recognizing addiction are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, I might as well jump directly to the acceptance stage. The pictures below negate any chance of denial, I have nothing left to bargain with, and I dont do anger and depression very well.
Click on the list below to see details and pictures of each of the spacemice in my collection.
3DConnexion SpacemousePlusXT Serial
My personal collection of Spacemice started when I learned that there was a plugin for the 3D modeling program Blender, which allowed the use of 3DConnexion's 6DOF devices. Finding the devices a bit pricey for, what was at the time, experimental tinkering, I went to eBay and found a Serial SpacemousePlus for $10.
When it arrived wrapped only in a bubblewrap envelope, I feared the worst, but amazingly it was intact and fully functional. After only a few hours of use, I began to wonder how I had ever managed to get along without one. It was amazingly intuitive and was a great boost to my modeling projects. I was, however, limited to using it in a linux environment, as the serial spacemice had been unsupported in Windows since Windows95/98.
3DConnexion SpaceNavigator USB
My second spacemouse was a requirement. Since the first one had been so useful, that I decided that I must have one which had drivers for Windows as well. That required a model significantly newer. Back to eBay I went, and found a lightly used Navigator for only $70. Now I could experience 6DOF in both worlds. I also learned that Google Earth has built-in support for them as well, and being able to 'fly' the camera around the world was worth the price all by itself.
HP A4361C Spaceball 3003C Serial
After researching the history of spacemice, and discovering the spacenavd project, I decided to help where I could, by finding older models which 'should work' with their software, and confirm that they actually do.
This was my first eBay find. In excellent condition considering its age. Most pictures of this model do not give an accurate picture of the scale of this device, which is why I used the 1 inch square cutting board behind all of my images. Otherwise, visually it looks very much like some familiar trackball models, but the Spaceball is much larger. The control ball itself, is the size and texture of a Racquetball.
UPDATE :: This Spaceball is no longer in the collection, it was traded for #43.
Spacetec Spaceball 2003C Serial
Next, was the older brother to the 3003 shown above. Similar in scale, it also includes programmable buttons. Early models of this device required an external power supply (wall wart) to provide enough current. This one has such a cable, however I built an adapter so it receives power directly from the serial port itself.
HP A4992A Spaceball 4000 FLX Serial
A smaller ball than the older 2003/3003 models. This one is closer to the size of a Squash ball.
UPDATE :: This Spaceball is no longer in the collection, it was traded for #44.
IBM 6094-031 Spaceball 2003C Serial
Identical to the original Spacetec model above, but done in black and branded for IBM. Its cable is the newer style, pulling power from the serial port.
Spacetec Spaceball 4000 FLX Serial
No company branding on this one. It is an original Spacetec, still new in box.
3DConnexion Spaceball 5000 USB
My cheapest spacemouse yet. This Spaceball 5000 was a dumpster rescue! When found, it appeared to have had Mt.Dew or some other sticky substance spilled over it. Careful disassembling and cleaning brought it back to top form. With it, I was able to verify the compatibility of the code in Blender for this model. The only difference between this model and the older 4000 is the change to USB connector (though there are serial models of the 5000) and the addition of a heavy ballast weight in the wrist rest.
Logitech NuLOOQ USB
I bought this, more as a curiosity than anything else. I knew it was not a true spacemouse, but it was a unique piece of hardware, it was still new-in-box, and the price was right. I feel sorry for the NuLOOQ. It had so much untapped potential… it was truly ahead of its time.
3DConnexion SpaceTraveler USB
Misspellings can sometimes be your best friend. I nabbed this Traveler from eBay for about half the going rate, in an auction which had misspelled 3DConnexion and subsequently was not showing up under typical searches. Still had the original box, and that wonderful hard-side travel case. It is surprising how small the Traveler is. It is 2mm smaller than the current Navigator for Notebooks.
Spacetec SpaceOrb360 Serial
Another lucky find, I stumbled across this SpaceOrb on eBay as a BuyItNow for only $9.99. While SpaceOrbs are not strangers to eBay, that are typically found at 5 times that price. The SpaceOrb uses a different protocol from the other Spacemice and is not recognized in Spacenavd. However, it can be mounted as a 6DOF analog joystick via inputattach.
HP EF390AA SpacePilot USB
Scratch and Dent… An office-lease liquidator put this Pilot up for auction at 1/3rd the going price because it was missing the plastic cap from end of the puck. In my book, functionality trumps form, so that did not bother me at all. Hoping to put it to use in reverse engineering the LCD display.
LogiCad Cyberpuck Serial
This was a hard device to track down, in fact it held a place on the Mystery Devices page for a while. There is very little information about it to be found on the internet. Amazingly, I found one being surplussed, on craigslist, still new-in-box, from Oakland University in Michigan.
The Cyberpuck identifies itself with the same ID string as the Spacemouse Classic, though obviously it has no buttons. Having both the LogiCad logo on the bottom and Logitech logo on the top, limits its manufacturing date to between 2000 and 2001.
The control puck is HUGE. It is as large as the base of the Space Navigator. Quite a handful.
Logitech Magellan Spacemouse (TIGER) Serial
This fancy looking spacemouse rode in on the coat tails of the Cyberpuck. It was also being surplussed, from Oakland University in the same cragslisting, also new in box. Since I did not have this particular model, and the price was phenomenal, I could not pass it up. The box is labeled 'Tiger-Magellan'. The injection modeled plastic is all swirls of black and yellow. Also, the 'Logitech' stamp on the bottom dates this device to 2001 (post-LogiCad, but pre-3DConnexion)
I have created a Limited Edition page to keep track of these unique specimens as i find them.
Labtec Spaceball 4000
'Almost' New in box, the top panels of the original box are missing.
Otherwise, unused. Includes the original Spaceware v9.3 software, serial cable adapters, users manual and SpaceTec warranty card.
Spacial Freedom Astroid 6000
I had been watching a lease liquidation sale on this for some time. It started at just a few dollars below retail. Then it dipped to below $100. I was going to send in an offer of $50 when they suddenly threw in a 50% off deal. I grabbed it immediately!
3DConnexion Spaceball 5000 Serial
Bought this serial model to help verify compatibility with the spacenav project.
19) Spaceball 3003C NIB (Spacetec)
A tale of two spaceballs...
I found an original Spacetec Spaceball on eBay and placed my bid. Shortly after that, a second auction appeared for another one, but it was still in its original box! I could not pass that up, so I ended up bidding on both of them.
The arrivial of these two spaceballs demonstrates the stark difference in what people consider 'acceptable packaging' for electronics. Since the Spacetec looks almost identical to the HP model shown above, I thought I would instead focus on the 'unboxing' of these two spaceballs, to serve as an example of how-to and how-NOT-to ship devices like this.
The first spaceball arrived, wrapped in a single layer of bubble-wrap, packaged inside not one, but TWO unpadded, flat-rate USPS shipping envelopes. Not a box.. an ENVELOPE. Amazingly, it arrived intact and works fine.
The second spaceball arrived suspended inside its original shipping box, with plenty of crush-zones to protect it. The only way the seller could have done more, would have been to double-box it. But given the sturdiness of the original factory shipping box, that would have been overkill.
Everything is perfect, including the original LabTec warranty card, 25-pin serial adapter, wall-wart power supply w/adapter, and an unopened software CD.
I understand that not everyone can ship stuff in its original packaging, but they should be able to at least find a suitable box.
There is simply no excuse for using an envelope to ship such an item.
Spacetec Spaceball 2003
An original Spacetec IMC Spaceball 2003 (before the C was added).
Requires an external wall wart to supply power.
This one is 'pre-FLX', the ball has a much stiffer feel than the newer FLX model SB2003Cs.
It also has an integrated button in the front face of the ball. Works perfectly and is in fantastic condition, considering its age.
Spacetec Spaceball SpaceController
An original Spacetec IMC Spaceball SpaceController.
Physically the same design as the SB3003C, but black in color, and uses the same communication protocol as the SpaceOrb 360.
It is in remarkably good condition for its age, no doubt due to lack of use.
SpaceTec Spaceball 2003C
Could not pass this one up. New in box!
Serial gender adapters, original power supply, warranty card, and Spaceware v7.4 driver disc.
While this did come with an external power supply, it is no longer required with this model. It can get all the power it needs directly from the serial port itself.
Note the small zeroing button on the right side, and the lack of 'pick' button on the front face of the controller ball.
3DConnexion CadMan (Blue)
My first international mouse. All the way from Britain. New in box!
I had been looking for one of these for some time, and could not find any. Then a random google search turned one up on eBay in the UK.
A 'Classic' model, without the name 'Spacemouse' on it anywhere. Only refered to as 'Magellan'.
Logitech branding on both sides, unlike my LogiCAD model above.
Near pristine condition.
HP A4360A Spaceball 2003
A Hewlett Packard branded Spaceball 2003. Fantastic condition.
Note that this in an older model which requires an external power supply.
The lack of zeroing button on the right side, and the 'pick' button located on the ball itself.
IBM Magellan XT
Yet another Magellan without the word 'Spacemouse' to be found anywhere.
This also had the surprise of having yet another Firmware ID string to be added to the spacenavd project.
This model is also a true 'XT' model. Documentation states is the difference between Plus and PlusXT models is backlit buttons. Most of the SpacemousePlusXTs which I have seen do not have backlit buttons but this one does! The two side buttons on this spacemouse have yellow LEDs when active.
CiS Dimension 6
I had seen one of these on eBay, long before I began collecting spacemice. I knew very little about them then, and now that I have one, I do not know much more...What I know...
- It was produced in 1988 by CiS and was named 'Product of the Year'
- They have a built-in power supply, so you actually plug it into the wall.
- They can operate in different modes depending on the settings of the dip-switches on the bottom.
- The pin-out of that 15-pin d-sub connector.
- What the dip-switch settings are.
- Whether or not I will ever get it to work with a PC via a serial port.
- If it even works at all.
I also know that this particular ball was used in a robotics application, based on the stickers located near the programmable buttons.
Spacetec Spaceball SpaceController
Not new in box, but it did come with the users manuals, original registration card, a note card to let the buyer know that Spacetec had moved to a new location, and a nice shiny fold-out showing how to properly use the device.
Hewlett Packard Spaceball 5000 FLX-A
A sheepish spaceball in wolves clothing...
Everything printed on the outside of this device screams "I am a modern Spaceball 5000! Rawr!"
While in reality, the internal firmware betrays it as a Spaceball 4000.
3DConnexion Spaceball 5000 Serial
Sure, I have several of these, but this one was still in its factory packaging.
SiliconGraphics Spaceball 1003 Serial
Strike one from my bucket list...
As government surplus, 'gently used' is an understatement.
At some time in its life, someone wrote on the base with a permanent marker. Then much later someone tried to remove said marker with some kind of solvent. The solvent sort-of dissolved the ink, and it also tried to take the plastic surface with it, leaving the hand rest a very dull grey with hints of written text.
I did my best to clean it up....
The rubberized surface of the ball looks almost like leather, dry and cracked with age, but is still intact.
Will need to make a custom cable to test it out as its serial port is the opposite gender of all of my other spacemice.
IBM Spaceball 2003C DEMO
I saw one of these pop up last year on eBay, but it was in Finland, and the shipping cost more than the mouse itself.
This one appeared a little closer to home so I grabbed it.
Other than the screen printing, the DEMO serial number, and being in spanking-new condition, there is nothing unusual about this spaceball. Its firmware is the same as all of the other 2003C models that I own.
Beautiful, limited production, airbrushed Magellan Spacemouse from Germany (eBay).
I am not sure how unique the airbrushing is on these, but I have seen several different examples, and each depicts a different space scene. Bill Buxton has one on his Buxton Collection site at Microsoft, and others have appeared on eBay in Germany.
I have created a Limited Edition page to keep track of these unique specimens as i find them.
This and the next spaceball came as a pair. The seller had offered them both to me for free before listing them on eBay, but I declined the offer since I already had several 2003s. But when I saw pictures of them in the auction, I realized that these were very old models, so he ended up getting paid for them. :)
This is the oldest Spaceball 2003 in my collection. Its Firmware (v2.13) places its age somewhere between April and July 1993.
The last serial spacemouse produced, and one of the most comfortable. As soon as I can get the buttons to work with spacenav-plus, this will probably become my daily drive under linux.
I am not sure where to begin with these next two mice.
I was contacted by 3DConnexion's TechSupport Forum admin, thanking me for help I had provided on the forum with various things, and offered to help me reduce the number of mice in my bucket list. (see at bottom of page)
Needless to say, I was quite stunned. It took me quite a while to decide on a model.
I finally decided that the SpaceMousePro would get the most use from me.
....continued in next entry.
... continued from previous entry.
After making my decision and giving them my shipping information, I received another email which said that it seemed silly that I would have the SpaceMousePro without also having the SpacePilotPro as well, and was this ok with me?
O_O What do you think?
It will not gather dust on a shelf though. It will soon have a position of importance on my brother's desk, making all of his SpaceNavigator using co-workers jealous. :)
Many thanks go out to the crew at 3DConnexion Forums for this wonderful early Christmas gift!
This was listed as a USB model on eBay, but since it still had all of its original paperwork, box and CD, I let that slide.
Found a Spaceball SpaceController still sealed in its box on eBay.
Since I have a couple of these already, I think I shall leave it in the box a bit longer.
44) ADB Prototype (Spacetec)
I was contacted by a person who had bought a 'lot' of Spaceballs on eBay and in the pile were a pair of strange devices.
They were Spaceball SpaceControllers, but they had extra buttons hacked into their bodies, and cables and stickers indicating they were ADB devices.
He was only interested it using the ball mechanisms in an Arduino project, and wondered if I was interested in these oddballs.
Of course I was interested! So I traded him a SB3003 and a SB4000 for them.
There was a time that I thought that these did not exist. I could only scattered low resolution pictures, mostly from long defunct internet storefronts. So imagine my surprise when I received an email from an owner willing to part with his antique. Thanks D.C. !!
It is literally a Logitech Elite multi-media keyboard, with a SpaceNavigator puck grafted onto the left side. There are no buttons specifically dedicated to the spacemouse functionality.
It would be interesting to know the history of this device, especially with the 'Not for Retail -- Demo/Marketing Unit' sticker.
Out of the blue, I received an email from someone in the UK, letting me know that he had found a Spaceball Avenger during an office cleanup, and wondered if I was interested in it.
Of course I was interested. :) The Avenger is one of the harder to find models, and has held a place on my bucket list (see below) since I started it.
This Avenger is in such fantastic condition, that I am surprised it was not still in its original packaging.
It is slightly larger than the SpaceOrb360 which later replaced it, and the ball is very stiff with very little movment. Like pre-FLX spaceballs, the user doesnt really move the ball, as much as apply pressure in the desired direction.
Thanks again Andy!!
The 3dConnexion support team has done it again....
I received another email from 3dConnexion's Support Dept.
Apparently their boss had tasked them with helping me find some of the older spacemouse models which had been stuck on my bucket list for a long time.
Shortly after, I received a box from Germany, containing THREE spacemice!
First was a Spacemouse Classic USB. I found these to be fairly common on eBay Germany, but rarely ever appeared in the US.
I had contacted many sellers in Germany, but they either did not wish to ship to the US, or wanted more than double cost of device in shipping to get it to me.
Second device from the box was a CadMan Serial.
The USB models are far easier to find.
This device was the last remaining serial device on my list.
The last device in the box, was in another box. A SpaceExplorer USB still new in box.
These are not particularly hard to find, they are just generally out of my price range for what is essentially an eccentirc hobby. :)
Thanks again, to Uta and the rest of the 3dConnexion Support team.
Finally, an original 3003 before the FLX hardware update.
eBay scores again. Logitech Cyberman2 gaming stick/pad, still in box. Wow this thing is big.
Wife: "How many more mice do you need?"
Me: "How many are left?"
Uta: "Yeah, about that..."
The bucket list has shrunk drasticly. Only one obsolete 3dConnexion device remains, and I have only ever seen it mentioned in a press release.
I didnt want to upload all my pictures again, so I simply attached a link to my collection here.
This was their response....
Thanks guys! I am honored. :)
The search for spaceballs continues...
Spaceball 1003 Serial Spaceball Avenger Cadman Serial SpaceMouse Classic USB SpaceExplorer USB SpaceExplorer Serial Space Pilot Pro SpaceMouse Pro Spaceball 3003 (not 3003C) Serial
- SpaceTraveler v.1 USB
- SpaceNavigator for Notebooks
- SpaceControl GmbH SpaceController
- Cyberpuck USB
- SpaceControl GmbH GEN