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Wombat Firmware Update: Hardware Mouse Scaling

The BMOW Wombat enables the use of USB mice with ADB computers, such as classic Macintosh and Apple IIgs systems. It’s a great feature, but sometimes the mouse tracking speed appears too fast or too slow for convenient use, even after making adjustments in the host OS’s mouse control panel. Firmware version 0.3.9 introduces a new Wombat feature to help: hardware mouse scaling.

With each long-press of the USB mouse wheel button (longer than half a second), the Wombat increases the mouse tracking hardware scale by a factor of 2. This scale is in addition to any mouse scaling that’s applied in the host OS’s control panel. The available scaling factors are 1/2/4/8/16x. For the Razer Basilisk v2 mouse shown in the video, I found that 8x scaling felt about right, but your tastes may be different.

Firmware 0.3.9 also disables an error-checking feature in the Wombat’s parser for USB HID report descriptors, because some USB devices have a minor error in their report descriptor, including this Basilisk mouse. The descriptor uses a sort of universal grammar for HID devices to describe what they do and what kind of data they can send and receive. The Basilisk has an error in its report descriptor where it specifies a maximum possible value of 572 for a report item that’s only 8 bits in size. The Wombat report parser was seeing this error and rejecting the whole device. Disabling the error check enables the Basilisk to work with no ill effects. This change may also “fix” some other USB mice and keyboards that previously weren’t recognized by the Wombat.

Download the latest Wombat firmware now, and let me know how it works for you.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Miles Raymond - December 6th, 2023 4:51 pm

    Thanks for the update! It took me a while to figure out the firmware update process from basically boils down to:
    1. extract firmware.hex to FAT32 USB
    2. insert USB into Wombat
    3. power up Wombat (via ADB/USB with appropriate jumper)
    4. watch flashy light show
    5. when show is sadly over, unplug and all done!

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