20 thoughts on “More Keyboard Lighting

  1. I’ve never found myself agreeing with commenters before on whether or not a particular hack met the definition of “hack” implied by the site’s name “hack-a-day”. However, I am disappointed by today’s post for the following reasons:

    1) Not many people have the need for illuminated keyboards. However, if you’re going to illuminate a keyboard, wouldn’t it be much cooler to do it from the bottom? In other words, is there anyone on the planet that would benefit from instructions on how to illuminate a black keyboard from the top using either LED or a cathode?

    2) The construction of the LED-wood assembly looks pretty ghetto-fabulous. If you’re going to make a useless project and least make it look cool.

    3) Given the useless of the project, it’s a uber pain in the rear to have to decifer the build details through an online translator.

    In conclusion, today’s post was a painful to read and of little benefit. Thanks for listening

  2. I like the idea, although the execution is not perfect. I personally prefer as little light as possible.

    poster #1: 1)bottom lighting is cool, but much, much harder. 2)how would you make it better? 3)can you get someone to translate it correctly?

    It is fine you have something negative to say, but try to add something positive!

  3. the best part of the new comments is that we can tell who is the real steve, and who the wanabe steves are. At first I didn’t think it was possible for someone to be such a looser as to want to copy someone as low as steve… But the stars speak for themselves.

    In any case, to everyone who complained that this hack is useless… Think of it this way, most things viewed on a computer screen look better in the dark (movies, games, pr0n, etc) but you usually aren’t touch typing while watching pr0n so you need to be able to see where they keys are… Thus he took $3 worth in LED’s, $0.05 in resistors, a few feet of wire and a piece of wood he pulled out of the trash to hack together a way to see the keys… Genius!

  4. If I was more interested in the project, I would translate it for everyone. The google one and the pictures should give a good enough idea of how to make it. If people have any specific questions on parts of the site that google can’t answer, I can translate parts for you., email me at: wmax351removethis at gmail dot c-o-m.

    The email should be easy enough to decifer. the “removethis” part is self explanitory

  5. I love how everyone has complained about things not being a “Hack”, but nobody has come up with what the definition of a hack is to them. great guys, Real constructive.

    the hack above wasn’t about the “hows”, it was an idea. I’m sure there are a million different ways to create a lighted keyboard. you don’t need a how to for that, so quit complaining. What i really wanna see someone do is adapt this idea and put the leds into the keyboard – a hack of a hack, if you will.

  6. Bottom lighting would be cool, and I would be tempted to do it, if i didnt value my high quality sissor-style (aka laptop) keyboard

    Maybe, if i ever buy a new keyboard, i’ll make a hack of that and upload it here :>

    Steve, please ring your ISP and tell them your too leet for a non-dedicated internet service and install your own


  7. Ok… I’m bored and can’t get to sleep so why not translate, maybe it’ll knock me out.

    “The cold cathode (CCFL) lasted one or two months. One day, when I was typing, the light started to blink and went out never to light again. Yes, it was damaged.

    The problem was probably overheating of one of the transistors in the interter. As a consequence, the transistor couldn’t withstand the current demands and burnt out. The transistor was rated to support 1 A so the encapsulated T092 didn’t allow it to dissipate the heat in an effective manner. Unfortunately I didn’t find any replacement for the 2SD1616 nor an equivalent, since it should needed to be wide enough (for the keyboard I think he means) and support a high current.

    With this outlook it was a few days before I decided to go with the light of the future: white LEDs. With these components I gave up having a linear and ready made source of light, but I gained efficiency and lifespan (10,000 hours = 416 days = 1.5 years of continuous operation).

    So I went to various stores to buy the following components:

    -5 white 5mm LEDs
    -Some low ohm resistors (in case I have to limit the current)
    -a bit of wood 1x1x240 centimeters (they don’t sell shorter)
    -wood screws

    (first picture)

    The rest of the components I already had from the previous build, although I had already eliminated the CCFL and its transformer.

    My idea was to place the LEDs in a uniform distribution along the stick, and connect them in series behind. But first its neccesary to know the polarity of the LEDs, and how to combine them to deal with the 12 incoming volts. After the first questions I concluded that the five LEDs in series would give the light I need and also there would be no need for resistors to limit the current.

    (next picture)

    To be sure I was ready to cut the stick I remeasured the width of the keyboard and found it was 42 cm. Perfect, the stick can be divided in six parts of seven centimeters each and en every division an LED can be placed. Holes were drilled to allow the LED leads to pass through and they allowed for certain movement of the LEDs so they can orient themselves as you see below.


    Once I was sure I added a little superglue so they can’t move and soldered the diodes in series with cables. It looked like this.


    Finally all that remained was to put it in place of the old flourescent and connect it to the interruptor switch. A little “bluetack” can help manage the wires.


    Conclusions: En the picture above you can see that the LEDs provide enough light on the keyboard. The picture is decieving, the LEDs are really oriented so that it creates a very diffuse and satisfactory effect. The advantages over a CCFL tube are that the white LED light is purer, weaker, gives off less heat, the EM interference is practically nonexistant, and the back of my table doesn’t look like a space ship anymore ;)”

    Well what do you know… it really does say something about a spaceship in there. I’ll agree that its a fairly basic concept, and not as ambitious as most of the hacks on here, but everyone has slow news days and give the guy at least a little credit. He did do something, even if it was pretty simple. At least now you’ve got a better idea of what he did.

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