Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod!

Posted by: Seaniccus

Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/14/05 06:45 AM

(Reposting because I posted it in the Desktop forum by mistake.)

Howdy! I'm new to not only Mac, but Mac modding - And I'd like some vetran help with a prospective project before I start pouring money into it.

My plan is to make a typewriter case mod for a 12" Powerbook. This project is a collaboration of two major modifications:

1.A keyboard mod in which all of the standard keys are replaced with old (1940's black, round with silver edges style) typewriter keys.

And

2.Replacing the "Apple Light" on the back with a "Typewriter light," in the shape of an old-style typewriter.

Not knowing much about the hardware or modding community, I wouldent know where to start. THe main information I'd like to know is as follows:

Where woud I buy a replacement "back" for the screen, wherre the apple light is? (So I can build the new one.)

Where can I find a replacement keyboard, so I can keep the origional parts if I want to convert it back?

Is it difficult to replace the keybaord, and do you think it's possible to replace the key's without putting the monitor at risk?

Thankms for your help guys. I just haven't been able to find these answers on my own.
Posted by: whitlock

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/14/05 06:58 AM

*duplicate taken care of*


Where woud I buy a replacement \\"back\\" for the screen, wherre the apple light is?

Either an Apple Authorized Repair Location or on a site like eBay.


Where can I find a replacement keyboard, so I can keep the origional parts if I want to convert it back?

Either an Apple Authorized Repair Location or on a site like eBay.


Is it difficult to replace the keybaord, and do you think it's possible to replace the key's without putting the monitor at risk?

The keyboard is fairly easy to remove. That is not a concern. What is a concern is the keys being to tall. If you don't shave down the keys fine enough, you'll end up having the keys dig into the display. That would not be good. Now, with typewriter keys, some may be usable. Start hunting for old typewriters with keys you can file down.
Posted by: krusher117

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/14/05 07:00 AM

Are these the kind of keys you are talking about?



Also, can you be more specific about what the "typewriter light" is?
Posted by: krusher117

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/14/05 07:02 AM

Quote:
The keyboard is fairly easy to remove. That is not a concern. What is a concern is the keys being
to tall. If you don't shave down the keys fine enough, you'll end up having the keys dig into the
display. That would not be good. Now, with typewriter keys, some may be usable. Start hunting for
old typewriters with keys you can file down.


I was going to say the same thing whitlock. Seaniccus i think this is doable with very thin keys. It will be difficult, but possible, to glue the "scissor hinge" to the back of them too. This mod will be amazing if you can pull it off. There's nothing impossible about it tho.
Posted by: Seaniccus

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/14/05 07:36 AM

krusher117 wrote:
Quote:
Are these the kind of keys you are talking about?



Also, can you be more specific about what the "typewriter light" is?

Yes, those are the kind of kyes i'm talking about.


OKay, so you know how on the back o fthe monitor (The top of the powerbook, when it is closed) is the "Apple Logo?" YAnd you know how it lights up when the powerbook is on, right? I want it to replace it with a "Typewriter logo" that would look something like this, but much more customized, and more of a "Lighted Outline"



This whol project was sort of inspired by the comic book TRANSMETROPOLITAN, the stroy about a rouge journalist in the future, who's "Typewriter" is a high-tech laptop with typewriter keys.



Thanks guys, any more suggestions?

(Yeah, and it looks like affiixing the keys is going to be a pain in the ass. it also looks lik ei'll have to make a fair share of custom keys. This is going to be a bitch.
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/14/05 08:57 AM

I don't think this is going to be as hard as you think. You could pull of the keys, shave the backs of them down flat, then glue on the bracket to the back and it should work fine. Making sure you shave them down ehough would obviously be the main issue. Yes, you would have to make custom keys or you would have to just live with the stock ones for all the rest.

As for the logo. You may be able to get a new cover and then cut out a larger typewriter icon over the apple one just so the outer shape of the typewriter is the shape you cut out. Then, take a black and white image of the typewriter the same size and paste it underneath that so it shows all the details. Keep in mind that you will need some cloudy arcrylic to replace the apple one. Not too sure how you are gonna find that one. Prob have to make it custom. I dont' know much about custom arcrylic work and/or making it cloudy. Maybe someone else can help there.
Posted by: whitlock

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/14/05 09:48 AM

At some hobby stores, you can pick up an acrylic molding kit for ~$30 or so. You can mold the Apple in there and pour a new one with the logo inside, or cut a circle into the back of the display housing and then mold a circular with the logo in there as well.

It's a lot easier than cutting, though a saw and file will do as well. You can pick up a piece of acrylic, maybe even already in the size you want, and just cut it out. After it's in shape, you may need to sand the edges and buff them so they don't have an unfinished look.

Oh, the options!
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/14/05 09:49 AM

Are you going to make the keys click like a typewriter? Maybe a software hack when you finish modding the keyboard....?
Posted by: Seaniccus

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/14/05 05:03 PM

Waragainstsleep wrote:
Quote:
Are you going to make the keys click like a typewriter? Maybe a software hack when you finish modding the keyboard....?

Yeah, that's a seperate project - skins and custom sounds for the OS.

My biggest issue right now I think is buliding custom keys for things like alt, the apple bototn, backspace, arrows, etc. I'd like the whole thing to look generally uniform. I havne't thought of much of an approch for the light up logo yet, because I havent seen what I have to work with - My biggest concern is the size of the light i'm working with - how far spread out it can be.

I'm bid on a keyboard on ebay to get started on the keyboard with. I might have most of the parts ready before I actually buy the Powerbook. I'll post pictures as I go along.
Posted by: whitlock

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/15/05 06:20 AM

Glad to hear that you are going through with the project. Keep us updated, and don't forget to make a mod guide once everything is complete.
Posted by: Antonio

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/24/05 11:15 AM

oojacoboo wrote:
Quote:
I don't think this is going to be as hard as you think. You could pull of the keys, shave the backs of them down flat, then glue on the bracket to the back and it should work fine. Making sure you shave them down ehough would obviously be the main issue. Yes, you would have to make custom keys or you would have to just live with the stock ones for all the rest.

As for the logo. You may be able to get a new cover and then cut out a larger typewriter icon over the apple one just so the outer shape of the typewriter is the shape you cut out. Then, take a black and white image of the typewriter the same size and paste it underneath that so it shows all the details. Keep in mind that you will need some cloudy arcrylic to replace the apple one. Not too sure how you are gonna find that one. Prob have to make it custom. I dont' know much about custom arcrylic work and/or making it cloudy. Maybe someone else can help there.


What would be easiest, I believe, is to print a copy of the typewriter logo at the same size as the cutout, onto a transparency sheet.

Essentially, what I'm about to describe is creating a translucent logo to place under the cutout logo, along the underside of the PowerBook's lid, using a square piece of translucent ( cloudy ) acrylic, spray adhesive, and hot glue.

Foremost, of course, decide what size you want your logo, and cut it from the PowerBook's lid, as a silloheute ( like a cookie cutter ).

Print your typwriter image/logo, backwards, on a sheet of transparency plastic ( the type used for overhead projectors ), so you can place it with the printed side down, so nothing can touch or ruin the ink. Print it at the same size as the cutout in your lid.

*If you find the ink isn't opaque enough, you can touch it up with some black acrylic paint. It's dirt cheap and quite opaque.

The acrylic piece should be, of course, larger than the cutout, and I'd recommend trimming the transparency sheet with the logo to slightly smaller dimensions than the acrylic, to center it properly and leave room for a bead of hot glue. Both can be square or rectangular in shape, as only the finished logo itself will show through the lid.

Before gluing the print to the acrylic, sand the side of the acrylic being glued to the inside of the PowerBook's lid ( which will be the same side with the logo ), to create some tooth for better adhesion with the hot glue.

Then, use a permanent spray adhesive to place the print onto the acrylic ( remember, you've trimmed the transparency sheet to a slightly smaller size than the acrylic to leave room for the next step )
*Considering the printed side of the logo is down, it's this side that would be spray-glued to the acrylic, and sealed and protected once in place. Just be careful not to slide it around as you put it on, or the ink might smear. I recommend applying the spray glue to the acrylic, rather than the logo, for the same reason.

Then, sand the area on the inside of the PowerBook's lid where the new logo will be glued ( again, for better adhesion ), then use hot glue to place it.
A bit of tape along the edges may be a good idea, too. Once in place, and the PowerBook is back together, it should be solid and remain in place with normal use.

Well, anyhow, that's how I would do it B)

Post edited by: Antonio, at: 2005/07/24 18:33
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/24/05 02:20 PM

antonio, that is exactly what I had in mind.
Posted by: Antonio

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/24/05 06:20 PM

oojacoboo wrote:
Quote:
antonio, that is exactly what I had in mind.


Yeah... something you said triggered the entire process in my head.

Call me crazy :blink:
Posted by: whitlock

Re: Help! Kyboard/Apple Light Typewriter Mod! - 07/24/05 06:32 PM

You are beyond crazy; you are a Mac Modder.