Teardown: Thermaltake eSports Saphira gaming mouse

IMG_20150912_130440925I’ve been using the Thermaltake eSports Saphira for almost two years. I’ve been having issues with the wheel for some weeks and decided to open the mouse to take a look at that and, while I was at it, also adjusted the microswitches to make them silent (or at least reduce the click noise).

In this post I’ll share with you how I put everything back together and my observations on how this mouse was designed.

The bare bones

Before putting the mouse together I took some photos of the bigger plastic parts without other pieces mounted.
This is where the electronics (and the other parts) are mounted:

The chasis of the mouse.

The chasis of the mouse.

Over this part goes a plastic structure protecting the electronics and giving the mouse rigidity. This mouse doesn’t squeak when you press your palm against it:

middle-top

Top

middle-back

Bottom

And finally the “cover” of the mouse, coated with rubberized paint. The white section where the tribal logo is placed allows the light to go through (the mouse has a LED inside).

cover-top

Top

cover-back

Bottom

Putting it back together

This mouse has four lights on the left side to indicate the DPI level. The lights go through this specially built light pipe, which is held in place with a little plastic piece (which also helps holding the little board that goes there).

The light pipe for the DPI indicator

The light pipe for the DPI indicator


Holding the light pipes in place
With the board attached

With the board attached

The mouse’s braided cable looks great (and it’s also more durable [citation needed]). Thermaltake solved two problems at once with a rubber piece at the entrance point of the cable: it keeps it in place (in cheap mice you may find a knotted cable here instead!) and it also routes the cable 90 degrees to the right. I think it’s a neat solution.

Cable entrance

Cable entrance

Having the cable in place, it’s a good time to put the board back in.

The board sits on three little rubber pieces like this one.

The board sits on three little rubber pieces like this one.


Board is in place

Board placed!

It’s a good moment to attach the wheel too:
mouse wheel

The Saphira has two side buttons (which I use a lot now). Instead of making yet another tiny board to mount two switches, these buttons were cleverly solved by using two pieces which go mounted on the chasis, where they pivot.

Side buttons in place

Side buttons in place


To make the button feel more sturdy, these pieces have a tiny part going against the side wall so when the button is pressed the material bends, and when the button is released the plastic drives the button back to its place. Great use of the material properties on the design.
The side buttons

The side buttons

At this point the covering case can be bolted down:

The rubberized piece mounts over the cover snapping the two main buttons at the same point where it will transfer the click to the board switches:

Latches (back of the rubberized cover)

Latches (back of the rubberized cover)


And this is where it goes

And this is where they go

After that it just clicks in place, and there are only two bolts left before putting back the skid pads 🙂
last two bolts in place

Micro-tutorial: how I made the microswitches silent

If you open the microswitch (I used a xacto knife to pull the sides, it pops open) you can bend down a little piece of metal to reduce the distance traveled by the metal that creates the “click” sound. I followed this tutorial at Instructables, but this simple schematic I found here sums it up pretty well:
silent switch

Thanks for reading!

  • amazing and very detailed work. it’s good to see a common user seeing that amount of detail in one product.
    I’ll take the links about the switches to try to fix one mouse I have.
    bye

  • Clear

    Everything’s perfect. The thing is that i can not put the side buttons well, they didnt fit on it