Converting Internal Keyboard to External Keyboard

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by evilblob, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. evilblob macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2011
    Hi all. I've been a lurker for a while, and I've made a couple of posts around the place before, but this is my first time asking for help, and it's for something that might not even be possible!

    I have recently got my hands on a Top Case with the Keyboard and Trackpad from a MacBook Pro (Mid-2009 or Mid-2010), and I want to use it as an external keyboard if it's possible. So is it at all possible to convert the connectors on the keyboard and/or trackpad to something like USB that will plug into an early 2011 MacBook Pro? If it is possible, how would I go about doing it? I'm aware that I would have to buy individual keys to make the keyboard properly usable.

  2. trikky macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2011
    To what end? To me, it makes sense to just use a corded or cordless keyboard that you can just plug in. Taking into consideration the amount of effort and technical prowess required for your planned solution, even a $60 keyboard you just turn on seems like a pretty good bargain.
  3. evilblob thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2011
    Yeah, I had thought that might be the case. I just thought if it was possible, it would be pretty cool. Thanks anyway. I might have to go and get Apple's Bluetooth Keyboard.
  4. hotgrease macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2010
    Not sure how to do that, but it would be pretty cool. Probably pretty expensive though.
  5. ZZ Bottom macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2010
    I agree that if you can find a way it is a cool accessory. There are some of us that enjoy DIY projects mainly for the process.

    The keyboard is probably going to be the easier of the two, since apple offers wired keyboards. I would say unless you can also get the trackpad to work there isn't a compelling reason. Why not try to track down some apple diagnostic documents to see if there are electric schematics in them.

    EDIT: I actually would love exactly that for my desktop hackintosh. I always recline back in my computer chair, and would love to have the keyboard/trackpad on my knee or something like that. Of course I would definitely have to include the guts to make it wireless (RF not blutooth).
  6. mems3 macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2014
    Apparently its as simple as soldering a usb cable to it. They do it with the trackpad in this video but I think they also mention it works on the keyboard.

    You can see the conversion here:
  7. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Probably - the keyboard and trackpad are run off an internal USB hub...
  8. YanniDepp macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2008
  9. eze1981 macrumors newbie


    Oct 25, 2017
    Hi @evilblob, where you able to do something with that keyboard and trackpad? I got exactly the same top-case for free and I would like to convert it to USB. Could you please share your experience with this. Thank you
  10. rcadit macrumors newbie


    Oct 27, 2018
    Hi @eze1981 and @evilblob, were any of you able to do this? I too have an old MBP lying around and can't figure out how to connect it to a USB. The video above is for an older model of the macbook.

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9 February 29, 2012