I have a 12" powerbook that needs a new keyboard due to a few missing keys, and I really like the backlit keyboards. Is it physically possible to fit a backlit keyboard into the 12" powerbook, and if it is how would I go about doing it?
Well, the keys ought to fit, though there are two (or more) variants of the clips on the back of the keys, so watch out for that. As for the backlight itself, you could simply install an LED or two if you can find somewhere to draw power from. Rigging an ambient light sensor would be a little trickier and require a hole in the case somewhere.
I think more importantly to where you'd put an ambient light sensor, is how you'd hook it up to the logic board. ALS sensors connect to their machines in small plastic sockets and are hardwired into the design of the board in order to provide information and power control to the illuminated setup. In order to make it work, you're going to have to interface with the main logic board in such a way as to allow the system to control the sensor, understand the I/O data, and then shunt the correct response to the backlighting setup.
Honestly, I think its possible to backlight the keyboard by wiring LED's to the right places, but I'm dubious about using ALS sensors. However, if you can make it work, go for it
One last thought. No, there really isnt room in the 12" case for anything else. Its pretty much packed to the gills.
Assuming I can figure out a way to hook it to the logic board my optical drive is already dead, so I was thinking if I removed the dead optical drive would the slot for the cd let in enough light for the ALS to work? Also when I remove the optical drive what would I need to add a second HD?
Be aware that removing the optical drive requires almost a complete tear down of the machine. Likewise, the OD is under the primary keyboard area, so there's no real place to cut through and put in ALS sensors. As for the HD, you'd be looking to find a cable thats going to bridge mini ATA to the connector on the logic board. That may or may not be easy. However, for what its worth, FoxConn (Hon Hai) makes the cables
Be aware that removing the optical drive requires almost a complete tear down of the machine. Likewise, the OD is under the primary keyboard area, so there's no real place to cut through and put in ALS sensors.
I do realise that it requires removing almost everything, but thanks for pointing that out anyway. I think I must have just phrased it wrong, but I was wondering about using the side of the case where the slot for the optical drive currently is to let in light.
The backlit keyboard on the PBG4 15 and 17 use Fiber optics to direct the output light from two small LEDs into the keyboard itself. With the OD out of the way, there would be enough room to fit the LEDs it would just require a lot of finagling with the fiber optic wires.
The keyboard in the 15 and 17 is dropped into the topcase, below it's main level while the PBG4 12 is slightly above that point. You are probably going to need to dremel off the plastic and metal trim around the right side of the keyboard to make room for the FO wires. And there is plenty of room near the hard drive to rig up a tiny toggle for the backlight... No need to go through all the trouble of rigging up an ALS when manual is easier, and manageable.
And finally, if you aren't a heavy user of the FW 400 port, you could easily draw power from there. It's gotta be somewheres around 5-6 volts. I don't have a digital mm so thats an estimation. But it powered two 3.7v 2400mw LEDs with 1.5K resistors no problem. Break out the multimeter. I believe I used pins 1 (+) and 6(-) but don't quote me.
I have a 15" 1GHz G4 aluminium powerbook but no backlit keyboard.
a friend at a service point told me that my portuguese keyboard already has the lights since it was costly for apple to make localized keyboards with and without lights. but he could not confirm that I only need the two light sensors.
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