Project BlackBook: Return Of The Backlight
This project has been hiding on the back-burner for a while, but I finally had some time recently to complete it.
A couple months ago, I found myself with a dilemma. As a favor to a friend, I traded them a perfectly working 2009 MacBook Unibody 13 Logic Board, for one with a broken headphone jack (jack snapped off inside, physical damage to the connector) and problems with the keyboard controller. It also had a busted fan.
Replacing the broken components isn’t fun for me, as it stretches the limits of my soldering ability. Surface mount, fine pitch for the keyboard controller, and deep through hole for the headphone jack, make for irritating replacement. Earlier model MBPs had the keyboard controller and trackpad controller built onto a single board (the trackpad itself), and then connected to the logic board via a dedicated USB connector. There were additional pins for the power button, but that was pretty much it. Newer models (Multi-Touch Trackpad 2008+ Models) have the trackpad completely separate, with the keyboard controller positioned on the logic board itself. The keyboard backlight is driven by a WLED driver similar to the LCD backlight in those models, with maximum brightness measured at 18V. The LEDs are wired in series. This design remained constant between the Pre-Unibody and Unibody designs, with the only difference being the Unibody designs contain more LEDs in the chain. Both systems have a separate connector for the KB backlight. Here is a link that describes using the Pre-Unibody trackpad and keyboard as a USB device, which I used to find the pads on my 17″ top case.
I decided the best solution to the logic board problems was to build a Pre-Unibody keyboard (with the controller board) into the body of the Unibody system, and place a USB sound card inside some free space. Measuring out everything was quite fruitful, as I found that both have a recessed area for the keyboard, with the Pre-Unibody keyboard pan being only slightly thicker. The Unibody system is designed with some pretty tight tolerances, so there isn’t too much room for mistake. With that, I began the conversion.Read More and see Pics...
Converting Macbook keyboard/touch pad into USB keyboard/touch pad
The inspiration for this came about as I scoured the house for any trace of a USB keyboard, which led me to the Macbook featured in my previous post, creating a mini DVI to VGA adapter. A quick Google search led me to Cryozap, who had already done the heavy lifting with this project by finding the pinouts of the connector used by the keyboard, as seen in the post MacBook Core Duo Logic Board Keyboard Connector Pinout. Here is how I managed to attach a USB cable!
MacBook Conversions and Repairs adding Internal USB Sound Card to Replace Bad Factory Chips (Principles could work on other Laptops)
- The trials of repairing a MacBook
- Project BlackBook: Return Of The Backlight | BrainDeadLock Labs
- Attempted maker: Converting Macbook keyboard/touch pad into USB keyboard/touch pad