Author Topic: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail  (Read 3456 times)

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Online dreamcat4

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Hi there,

The thing that really kills me over these ESD mats is they dont work with the newer optical sensors on modern mice. If you get something like a high performance gaming mouse these days they all use the same exact high resolution sensor in them. And it flat out doesnt work (at all).

I have tried everything i can think of at this point, including tarnishing (dulling) the surface with chemicals, and testing samples of slightly different finish version. Including this 'snakeskin' slightly more textured type. Nothing works!

Please help if you can do anything to help get the manufacturers involved for future products. I have also considered trying to apply some special spray or other coating. However that is itself also highly problematic because you don't want too thick a barrier that will then diminish the anti static capability and performance of the mat  to dissipate charge. And also because any thinner style coating will probably very quickly get removed with the constant cleaning. Which i have to do very often spray down the mat with IPA to remove flux and other soldering crap.

If this problem interests anybody else? Then please say something too! As cannot find anything too helpful online after so many months. At the end of my wit here.

It feels like... so hard to find a solution. For such a deceptively simple problem. Do the manifacturers even care about this issue? Who actually makes these things anyway? And no i dont mean the suppliers / distributors. I mean the manufacturers behind them who actually make these things.

The best i have come to understand is that during manufacturing, the rubber making part of the process where they roll the natural rubber at high pressure and mix it with synthetic plastic(s)... THAT is also the same critical time when they can also include other additives. To change the properties of the material. Once the rubber is made, the material being 'all rubbery' is very resistive to finishing by sanding, or for absorbing chemicals. So its really hard to change that surface layer. At least not without tearing up the rubber.

But ideally what we would need is to embed some speckles or different colored and maybe reflective small particles into the rubber itself. Kindda like a glitter or a marbling effect. That optically the finer higher resolution mouse sensors can 'see'. So there is probably some optimum balance between the individual grain size being large enough to be detected and bounced back into the sensor. And the grains being small and dense enough to match or exceed the finer resolution capability of the mouse sensor. Otherwise you might wind up getting skipping / freezing. Maybe some level of jerkiness as you move the mouse across the table.

I have also wondered if a vinyl sticker could work. Because (unlike a spray) you can clean a vinyl sticker without damaging it. However the problem with those is they are very likely to ruin the ESD capability of the mat. Unless there were to be a very special type of a vinyl sticker. That was also ESD dissipative.

Please help if you can relay my message. And bring it to the attention of the manufacturers. Then it will help to improve these ESD mats and make them better, more useful for all of us!

I suppose you could ask well what might motivate the manufacturer to do this and add an extra step? Well i guess it comes down to 2 things. Either wanting to differentiate your product and sell more than a competitor. Or B) having a broadly much more sellable product, that other types of non-EE customers can also buy them as durable high quality and easy to clean soft matts for computer desks, and gamers etc. Which is a much larger general market than the ESD purpose for electronics / manufacturing.

Nobody talks about this issue. Do other people even care? Or am i really the only guy out there who feels quite so passionately about this topic?

 :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 06:55:44 am by dreamcat4 »
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2021, 07:16:06 am »
Blue ESD mat + 3DConnexion Cadmouse Pro works just fine for me.

Offline salbayeng

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2021, 07:36:46 am »
I just use a sheet of paper under my optical mouse , replace it when it gets real gunky.
Not sure why you have an ESD mat under your mouse in the first place.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2021, 08:31:42 am »
I just use a sheet of paper under my optical mouse
I've done that - but sometimes it might get caught and can crease.  My solution is to use a piece of thin but solid cardboard.  Works brilliantly.

and...
Quote
replace it when it gets real gunky.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 08:37:58 pm »
It feels like... so hard to find a solution. For such a deceptively simple problem.

A decent mousepad can be had for $2.
I would never use an ESD mat for mouse surface as its too tacky anyway.
 

Online floobydust

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2021, 09:33:34 pm »
ESD mats are useless unless they have a path to ground to dissipate charge. The potential is between (USB) grounded mouse and yourself.
Mine crashes every time I sit down, so I first discharge myself touching ground (metal power bar) with my foot. Just part of life in Canada winters.
 

Online james_s

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2021, 09:48:23 pm »
Doesn't anyone use a mouse pad anymore? I never did like the feel of using a mouse directly on the desk.
 
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Offline SilverSolder

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2021, 10:03:04 pm »

It is pretty lame that the mouse doesn't work on that surface -  Ancient Logitech MX310 here has no problem with the antistatic mat.

I do like mouse pads and use them everywhere except on the antistatic surface in the lab...   it seemed to me to carry a risk of defeating the antistatic concept?
 
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Online dreamcat4

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2021, 10:22:08 pm »
i see a lot of people claiming their life is just fine here. but not very much actual practical help. there are many many mice in this world. if the product was designed to work universally with all mouse. then it would work universally work regardless of which mouse you own. but this simply isnt the case.

now theres a bunch of you saying just use a regular mousemat....

it doesn't work once you have your breadboards out. And lab equipment out PSU, scope, soldering iron with soldering stand. hot air station, microscope etc. and wires strewn all over the whole table. including across the desk to plus the rs232 or programmer into the PC. its a rats nest. the whole desk.

There is really no room left to have a seperate dedicated area for the mouse that isn't miles away from your actual electronics project. And i have a massive desk here. It simply doesnt work out that way. When you are constantly having to go back and forth between the circuit, all those electronics stuff, to open a bunch of open PDF datasheets on the PC. It requires very frequent reaching over for the mouse. And that becomes a significant productivity drain on productivity. Not fun.

The way the desk clutter ends up is always with 'whatever dead space inbetween the mess of wires' is where the mouse gets crammed in and relegated to. Which is usually a tiny space nearby. So i use a high sensitivity hi resolution gaming mouse, that you can flick about without too much travel. Because upsetting wires or reaching over wires is no fun either. At least not when you have to do it constantly all the time. Get it? Understand what i regularly am facing and you would.

now the suggestion of using a different mouse isnt entirely a bad one. except as i already stated, all these modern gaming mice that i want to use. they all use the same exact sensor. and its not like those office mice. and not, i dont want to give up my sensitive hi res gaming mouse for an inferior mouse. that would be taking a step backwards. for someone who has long  term rsi you learn that less movement means getting tired less quickly. which again means fewer breaks and a higher level of productivity.

if i was some patient slow old timer i wouldn't care. but i am not one of those people. and downright requiring a better product that works more reliably only means more ways to be more productive all the time. which is fundamentally good for everybody else.

i can take apart this mouse. and double check that it uses the same common high performance sensor as all the other gaming mice. but failing that it's not user error in my opinion if so many other mice modern and popular on the market in fact use the same sensor.
 

Online helius

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2021, 10:58:11 pm »
 
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Online dreamcat4

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2021, 11:05:50 pm »
ok so looking at my mouse, it's a benq zowie fk2. And according to this list:

https://on-winning.com/flawless-sensor-mouse-list-perfect/

it has the following sensor in it:

Avago ADNS-3310

Looking at this same table there are a few more different sensor types. But from 2 main families. And no more than about 6 most common ones total.

So if i were to get a different mouse in future, i should try to choose a mouse with a different sensor than the onw i currently own.

However having said all that i'm still pretty doubtful it's gonna solve anything. The main reason being is that all those sensors are in fact pretty similar to each other. The technology has not seemed to change very much at all during these last few years.

if you know you are using a mouse with any of these common sensor. then that would perhaps be helpful IDK. (But most likely you are not)
 

Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2021, 11:09:28 pm »
I don't get it.

I have some cheap-o-shit Logitech wireless mouse. I can move the cursor complete around my screen by move the mouse by no more than an inch or so in any direction. i.e., my hand stays put.

I think this is more poor mouse technique than vendors making crappy ESD mats.
 

Online dreamcat4

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2021, 11:14:44 pm »
gaming mice have:

* a different sensor
* are lighter weight
* respond more quickly

than some cheap-o mouse. i'm not going to use a heavier mouse with RSI, it tires more quickly

* ESD mats aren't crappy
* they fail the mouse test. because they are not designed specifically to work properly with mice. they have no grain in them for the sensor to reflect back
* there are different types of ESD mat - none of them universally work well with all mice

here is another article about these gaming mouse sensors. it turns out the 2 main vendors is just 1 vendor. just a different brand naming scheme

https://www.gaming-mice.com/flawless-mouse-sensors-guide/

for those most common sensor types, there's even fewer than it would at first seem
 

Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2021, 11:21:36 pm »
gaming mice have:

* a different sensor
* are lighter weight
* respond more quickly

than some cheap-o mouse. i'm not going to use a heavier mouse with RSI, it tires more quickly

The weight claim is, frankly, bollocks.

According to the specs, your mouse weights 81g.

I just weighed mine (I have a lab scale) - 80.79g including battery.
 

Online james_s

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2021, 11:22:15 pm »

It is pretty lame that the mouse doesn't work on that surface -  Ancient Logitech MX310 here has no problem with the antistatic mat.

I do like mouse pads and use them everywhere except on the antistatic surface in the lab...   it seemed to me to carry a risk of defeating the antistatic concept?

Well I wouldn't lay out the ESD sensitive parts on top of the mouse pad, but I wouldn't think a mouse pad sitting on the antistatic mat would be a problem. You could spray some static dissipating stuff on it if you're worried.
 
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Online james_s

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2021, 11:24:48 pm »


The weight claim is, frankly, bollocks.

According to the specs, your mouse weights 81g.

I just weighed mine (I have a lab scale) - 80.79g including battery.

I've never looked at gaming mice, but I suspect it's one of those marketing labels that in itself doesn't really mean anything. Some "gaming mice" likely really are special in some way while others are not. It's also possible that originally they were noticeably better but now every cheap commodity mouse has the same features.

I still remember when any kind of optical mouse that didn't require a special pad was considered a premium product while most still used mechanical rollers. Then at some point optical became cheaper and everyone started using it.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 06:59:24 am by james_s »
 

Offline Ian.M

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2021, 11:52:48 pm »
Consider using a trackball.  Even my ancient Logitech TrackMan Wheel has pixel-perfect control with minimal effort when doing CAD/EDA, but can move fullscreen corner to corner with a single thumb flick.  A decent gaming trackball should be even better with plenty of buttons for macros, the one thing mine lacks.  Absolutely no arm, wrist or lateral hand movement is required so its great if you have physical limitations other than arthritis, tendonitis or other condition that directly involves your thumb.  You also get back 3/4 the desk area required to be kept clear for a mouse!
 
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Online dreamcat4

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2021, 12:22:57 am »
i'm not here to argue minuatae against people who fundamentally dont get it. if you dont get it then you dont get it and theres no real reason to be here making arguments like that because it achieves nothing worthwhile.

* just because your specific mouse in front of you weighs 80g doesnt mean that is the average weight of most other non gaming mice is also only 80g
* my mice weights '80g as heavy as it is' because its an older model
* newer gaming mice weigh more like 60g. that is not 'dressing it up'. quite a few different models weigh about that now
* none of that has helped anybody in this conversation
* your bickering about weight etc. does in no way invalidate any of my other points

to make it easier to understand, i cannot. other that repeat myself yet again. which i dont want to do because that isn't actually a helpful way of achieving anything worthwhile. if you didnt bother to read you didnt bother to read. then thats all on you.

theres basically been only ever 3 common types of opinion here

1) use a mouse mat --> it doesnt work for me. when the desk has wires all across it. then moving the mouse mat inbetween the wires etc. whe you have to relocate the mouse. it just does not work. i already explained all that

2) use a regular mouse --> it does not work for me. i have rsi. i need to use a specific device. if you want to make arguments telling somebody else to use a different ergonomic device because you dont listen. then that isn't actually going to help anybody here either. however if you want to do something helpful like report your model and brand of mouse. then that *might be helpful*. if enough other people also want to participate in the same activity

3) the third response is to suggest a trackpad, or rollerball etc. well those are not as fast / accurate / productive. its a well meaning suggestion. but its also a decrease in productivity that i dont feel like accepting when my current 88g mouse can run circles around them. speaking as someone who has used both a good trackball and good touchpad before. i also have a logitech mx570 trackball this whole time on my desk here. but with no real bias against it i just end ip going for the mouse every time these days

so there you have it. basically everybody skirted around the mat side of things. because they must be perfect right? well no they arent and that's entirely my point of even being here in the first place. i have tried solving the problem on my own. and made a decent enough overview of the other things that were already tried.

there was eventually 'a little progress' when maybe the cat scratched it with its claw. now a small place on my mat where the mouse can even moves at all. well it jerks 3-4 times. when it goes over a claw mark. point proven. but the rubber surface itself was ruined by that. all ripped up. you couldn't treat really the whole mat that way. not without it becoming a totally uncleanable grime magnet
 

Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2021, 12:28:53 am »
NOTE: This message has been deleted by the forum moderator Halcyon for being against the forum rules and/or at the discretion of the moderator as being in the best interests of the forum community and the nature of the thread.
If you believe this to be in error, please contact the moderator involved.
An optional additional explanation is: Pointless post
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 12:42:55 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline Ian.M

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2021, 12:43:28 am »
So get a square of spare ESD mat,  trim the corners nicely,  lightly sand the surface in two different directions and wipe off the surface with thinners so the paint will stick, then lightly mist it with black spray paint from a significant height to get sufficient speckle for the mouse sensor to see, then use it as a mouse mat.  As it separate from the bench mat, the speckle doesn't have to survive regular cleaning.
 
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Offline SilverSolder

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2021, 12:47:55 am »
Well, there are really only two options - get a different mouse (maybe an older one, from the days when our ancestors knew how to make optical mouses that worked on most surfaces), or do something clever with the surface itself - like a toner transfer of a grid pattern onto a portion of the mat, to give it a built in target for the useless-sounding optical sensor in the one you have?

I would probably throw an annoying mouse like that in the bin and get one made by adults.

 
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Offline gnif

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2021, 12:59:42 am »
Quote
i have rsi. i need to use a specific device. if you want to make arguments telling somebody else to use a different ergonomic device because you dont listen. then that isn't actually going to help anybody here either. however if you want to do something helpful like report your model and brand of mouse. then that *might be helpful*. if enough other people also want to participate in the same activity

I also suffer from RSI and have to select a mouse that is both comfortable but also will last... "gaming mice" are laughable, they are marginally better than the standard office mouse but they are still built to an extremely cheap standard and the industry is making a killing out of them because for some reason people are selecting "gaming" mice over "professional" mice these days thinking they are the same/better.

After years of looking for a standard mouse that is of a high build quality, has a mouse wheel AND a separate middle button (I use this a ton), is not too heavy and fits my larger hand well, I found this:

https://3dconnexion.com/au/cadmouse/

They are NOT cheap but when you want something made well, it never is. They are designed for graphic artists that need a reliable professionally made high-quality mouse that will spend 80+ hours a week using it. I have owned mine now for 3 years and not only has it lasted, it's hands down the best mouse I have ever used both for my RSI and for it's feel & build quality.
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Offline thm_w

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2021, 01:07:33 am »
1) use a mouse mat --> it doesnt work for me. when the desk has wires all across it. then moving the mouse mat inbetween the wires etc. whe you have to relocate the mouse. it just does not work. i already explained all that

2) use a regular mouse --> it does not work for me. i have rsi. i need to use a specific device. if you want to make arguments telling somebody else to use a different ergonomic device because you dont listen.

First doesn't really make sense, if there is not room for a mousepad then there isn't really enough room to properly move a mouse around either. If you are concerned about RSI the mouse should be in a specific location, not shifted around, preventing your arm from being at odd angles or having to reach.

Second point, basically any optical mouse will aggravate RSI. If you want low strain go with a ball mouse. The ball solves both issues as it does not need to track the surface of the mat, can be easily relocated around, and needs no clearances when operating it.
 

Online dreamcat4

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2021, 01:14:50 am »
ok now we are actually getting somewhere! thanks so much for these suggestions both of you.

i have here 2-3 small samples about 150mm square. sent to me by a distributor. so there is some limited number of attempts to try out different things out them. before they get too damaged by the previous attempts.

maybe i can try what you suggest of toner transfer. and make some clear transfer sticker / ink transfer a grid pattern. except i have an inkjet not a laser printer. not sure if that matters i guess you would use a clothes iron or something to transfer the ink over. and peel off the sheet. something like that

however an early sign is i already have tried to make an visually optically different color (blue) marks. with a regular permanent marker pen. and that did work in the sense the marks cannot be cleaned off. great. however it did not work to actually register the mouse at all. not even a little bit. so maybe its like the mouse sensor only distinguishes surface textures, IDK. then it would not see any different inks or colors or anything on the smooth surface. what was not raised up by the depositing of the ink.


so the idea of speckled painting from a height could be more promising in terms of surface texture. however then necessary to then apply a sealant layer over the entire surface. to protect the regular paint speckles from being rubbed off. and a sealant layer must feel through the texture. otherwise its gonna be smooth again, then sensor cannot 'see' it under the sealant layer. plus the other issues around cleaning the sealant layer off, or not being ESD dissipative surface anymore.

but i shall try applying some wider variety of inks. and then just wiping them off. to see if the remaining residue of ink pattern can be 'seen'. instead of a grid i shall just try finding a fine grid mesh to use as a stencil. because it hadnt occured to me before to try doing it that way. and then i can try multiple different mesh sizes. see if that makes any difference

otherwise in terms of physically ripping up the rubber surface to create a texture. well it doesnt really work. because rubber resists ripping so well. but maybe if there was some finer type cutting tool with a roller. it might just be possible. however although i can picture such a tool in my head. i dont really know what to call it. or even think it really exists. something a bit like a razor i guess. that you pull along the surface. maybe like some type of a craft pattern making tool? would be the nearest thing i guess

thanks again for these suggestions. it is deceptively harder than expected though! this rubbery surface. perfaps hard to believe. but those are also the unique qualities of rubber. that also makes it such a useful and durable / hard wearing material
 

Online BrokenYugo

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2021, 01:16:37 am »
Sounds like what you really need is a track point keyboard.
 


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