Laptop keyboard conversion

keyboard

[Leechar] liked the compactness of notebook keyboards and wanted one for his desktop. A friend provided a 486 notebook keyboard and Leechar found an old AT keyboard controller in a junk box. Instead of taking the time to decode the key matrix and make sure that every key was generating the proper scancode he just wired it so that each key generated a unique code. Then using KeyTweak he was able to build a registry key for the correct mapping. Still having fun abusing input devices he decided to marry his Toshiba laptop track ball with the guts of a Microsoft mouse by soldering directly to the photosensor connections.

UPDATE: It looks like we “H-bombed” the 5gigs server within 4 minutes of this being posted. Grynx has a mirror.

UPDATE: Leechar has gotten better hosting, links should be fine now.

Comments

  1. The link is dead, Eliot. Please fix it for us.

    I’d like to see the opposite of this hack; somebody modding a real keyboard (akin to the IBM Model M) to be used in a laptop. I detest the shallow keypresses that laptop keyboards offer.

  2. liam says:

    Nice. A notebook keyboard plus a trackball would be ideal for a HTPC-setup.

    I’m waiting for an old notebook with a trackpad to come my way. The lounge HTPC needs a decent control system; I plan to use the lower half in a fashion similar to that outlined here, placing the guts of a wireless KB/M combo inside the laptop shell.

  3. mc says:

    the happy hacking keyboard is designed around the same idea, though obviously it’s not quite as cheap, even counting labor.

    hey liam, please be aware that virtually all wireless keyboards and mice are designed for less than 4 feet distance. you can get ones that have 30 or 40 foot ability, but those are already small and portable. and, expensive. if you can figure out how to amp up the typical wireless keyboard, i will write poetry about you.

  4. captsnuffy says:

    Why would you actually want to use a notebook keyboard? They’re absolutely awful for typing.

  5. error404 says:

    I quite like typing on notebook keyboards…they’re still not as nice as a good buckling spring model, but far better than most standard keyboards these days IMO.

  6. grayskies says:

    This is totally awesome! I’ve been looking for something like this forever. This will work perfect for my CarPC, all I have to do is make it.
    ————————————————-
    And to those who are reading: yehoshua your borgs are dead! Stop by the forums and tell us what happened.

    http://www.teamhackaday.com

  7. angragamea says:

    JoO GuYz 4Re Fr34K1Ng c00L!!! 1 W4Nn4 B3 H4x0R JuZt L1K3 j00!!!

  8. Whesley says:

    Looks like a Contura Aero keyb. (u know them lil sub notebooks)

  9. sentinel says:

    very cool. I wonder if this could be done for a folding pda kayboard using a similar method…

  10. JMT says:

    Neat, but maybe not necessary for everybody who likes notepad keyboards. Logitech UltraX is a desktop kb with “notebook” keys, and at least I’m content with it. Sorry for advertising, even though the information might prove to be useful for somebody.

  11. Mike says:

    Why not just buy one of the hundred of small usb notebook sized keyboards?

  12. grayskies says:

    you’ve been make blog’d.

    no via link either….tsk tsk phillip torrone…

  13. tom61 says:

    #1 the Model M wieghs almost as much a gaming laptop by itself, and the keys, including base, are nearly an 1 inch tall! Intergrating one would result in a huge and heavy laptop. I suppose you could find a happy medium by taking an old 286 laptop with nearly full travel keys and modding a modern laptop guts into the case (as you wouldn’t be able to close the lid if you put the old keybaord in a new laptop).

    #7 you could do simular with a PDA keyboard, but you can get a Fellows SB folding keyboard for less than $15 on ebay.

  14. the dentist says:

    very interesting but i have an old tandy 1000ex keyboard is there any way to do something similar to it? i like the way the keys feel and sound when i press them

  15. Tired2 says:

    Why re-invent the damn wheel???

    http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?cgiurl=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2Fws%2F&fkr=1&from=R8&satitle=airboard&category0=

    airboard, I have one, very nice kb. Good tactile respononse and quick speed like a notebook kb. mouse kinda sucks, but its as good as a trackball. I dont think they make them anymore, but theyre all over ebay. IR must have line of sight to work, but would still work great for htpc. Also battery life is excellent (a year plus)

  16. Tired2 says:

    respononse, lol. should have proof read.

  17. grayskies says:

    tired2, you know why we do it…because we can. On that airbord thing, its irda, how good is your connection on it? How far away can you be and / or can you be at a different angle. I’m seriously looking for a good one for my car pc.

  18. TX297 says:

    mc: I’ve had a logitech cordless duo for a little over 2 years now and the range on it is great. I hooked up the media keys to work with winamp as I stream audio to my living room and it works for a good 40-50 feet (estimation)… there’s absolutely no way that it’s attached to a 4-foot bubble in any case.

  19. tiuk says:

    To all those who asked why he wanted to use a notebook keyboard.. the man is clearly a masochist.

  20. Nezuji says:

    I agree with mike at #10. I picked up a miniature 88-key PS/2 keyboard with (as far as I can tell from his pictures) the same dimensions as his “finished” unit, including a nice matt black plastic shell and green status LEDs, and it only cost me AU$20 (Currently US$15.10). To paraphrase Zaphod, 10 out of 10 for ingenuity, but minus several million for re-inventing the wheel.

  21. DR.NO. says:

    anone got the pinouts for the correct keys?
    why do keymapping if you dont have to?

  22. kd says:

    Hey guys,
    This site is great. I’m in need of some guidance. I study political science and IS at Ohio State… so you can probably guess that I’m not that proficient in the world of electrical engineering. Here’s my problem… I’m taking a lot of Persian classes and have to type in Farsi quite a bit. On my home pc I am able to use Arabic text when typing, but when I use a computer in a lab or am at someone’s home I am unable to change their system. Consequently, I usually end up copying and pasting from a website like http://www.lexilogos.com/clavier/farsi.htm. I want to modify a USB keyboard that I can take with me and type in Farsi with out having to change the system. Would anyone be able to point me in the direction of resources where I can do something like this? I’m looking forward to this project but I just need a starting point. Feel free to write me here or drop me an email… dyer101@gmail.com

    Thanks

  23. angragamea says:

    U Nu3z D1dNt S4y H4X0rzz 4 l1Fe B1TcHzzz H4x0rz 4 L1f3z NuBz H4x0Rz PuNkZZZ

    Actually, it took about five minutes to write this. Leet speak sucks ass.

  24. Love that google, very neat site.

    Will browse around and hopefully have something I can add.

    Thanks.
    StiltsChickSheryl

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 94,560 other followers