Mouse encoders (or Optical encoders) allow the use of a trackball or spinner and offer the functionality of a mouse hack in an easy-to-use form. They offer several benefits including ease in connecting controls and time savings.
The Opti-PAC allows for easily connecting optical-type arcade control devices including trackballs and spinners to a PC.
Relevant Link: Ultimarc's Opti-PAC Page
GroovyGameGear's Opti-Wiz Page
Relevant Link: Hagstrom's ME4 Page
It's possible to perform a simple hack on a ball-mouse that allows it to connect to a standard arcade trackball (and perhaps spinners?). This is done by removing the mouse's optical receivers and wiring the trackball's encoders to them.
Relevant Link: How to turn a Mouse into an Arcade Trackball Interface (PDF)
Build Your Own Spinner
For those of us who would prefer to build their own spinner or cannot afford a retail unit, with a few spare parts that most likely are already lying around, can easily build your own.
Relevant Link: DHansen's Arcade Stupidity Spinner
Relevant Link: BYO "Nasty-Spinner" Thread
List of compatible hard drives:
WD Caviar 1200 210 MB Drive
WD Caviar 11200 1.2 GB Drive
- Please feel free to add to the list of compatible drives if you have successfully built your own spinner with a drive that is not listed.