Review of GroovyGameGear's Trackball Booster Kit

I finally got around to making a needed change to my personal control panel.  My Imperial trackball was an older model and never quite fit perfectly in the mounting plate.  The ball did not extend as high as it should have and it became more obvious to me the more trackball panels I built, which did sit correctly.  I was too lazy to just swap it out with a new one from stock; too many other distractions.  However, this time I had a real reason.  The reason: A few months ago I purchased an almost new Imperial trackball from a fellow BYOAC member.  Before selling it to me, he had updated the trackball's encoder wheels with GroovyGameGear's Trackball Booster kit, and now was my opportunity to try the product out.

What they are
According to Groovy's site, the kit includes two "High-Precision, Laser-Cut, Stainless Steel replacement encoder wheels, designed specifically for the 3" Imperial Arcade Trackball."  GGG claims "No more multiple spins just to get the cursor across the screen!  No more "choppy" or inaccurate motion from software "resolution upscaling"!"  Replacing the wheels are said to be easy, just open up the trackball case, unscrew the stock, plastic encoder wheels and replace with the new ones. 

I have read users extolling the kit's  virtues but many of these individuals were buying the kit at the same time as the trackball.  I didn't feel there was a fair comparison if they had never used the trackball without the kit.  It was one of those items I was determined to test out myself in the future.

My experience with the stock Imperial Trackballs
I've had an Imperial in my personal control panel for more than two years and have never had reason to complain.  My Ultra-Trackball units all include the Imperial and, to date, none have failed in any way.  They are, in my experience, an excellent product and exceedingly reliable.  These balls are used in the arcades so they had better be.  Both with Tiger Woods and trackball games such as Missile Command and Centipede, the Imperial consistently does a great job.

Fast forward: The Booster Kit experience
I did not expect the difference that I found.  As soon as I rebooted and went to Windows, I noticed the ball was faster but less jerky.  Now I've never found the stock Imperial deficient in any way; I've been satisfied with it for more than two years.  The control is just better now with the improved encoder wheels.  It was definitely "smoother". 

Tiger Woods Golf
After playing several rounds, I could tell there was an improvement in smoothness but as to how much exactly, I can't say.  Perhaps some of it was in my mind and some might of been due to the raising of the trackball the 1/4", but everything just felt in more control. 

Missile Command
I'll use the word again: smoother.  The cross-hairs tracked across the sky noticeably smoother than without the kit.  If I spun the ball hard, it went across the sky with ease, with no jumping as had occasionally occurred in the past.  I must add, though, that despite this improvement, my game was no better than before.:-(

I found the booster kit to be a nice improvement over the stock Imperial.  However, unless you have experience with the stock Betsen Imperial, you may not fully appreciate the differences.  I recommend.  They are listed as $9.95 plus S/H on the GroovyGameGear site