MBA keyboard on Macbook mod

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by razyorv, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. razyorv macrumors member

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    Aug 14, 2007
    #1
    Here's a wild idea: to replace the Blackbook's keyboard with MBA's backlit keyboard. If they have identical key sizes, perhaps the keyboard will simply slip into the top case.
     
  2. MacGeek Pro macrumors member

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    Apr 24, 2007
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    #2
    And how do you propose activating the backlight? The ambient light sensor is located just to the left of the iSight camera in the Air. And that sensor is what activates the backlight.
     
  3. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    Chicago, IL
    #3
    You can also manually activate the backlight. You can use function keys to adjust or turn on/off the backlight.
     
  4. dtklamf macrumors regular

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    Oct 15, 2007
  5. eLMafUDd macrumors newbie

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    May 17, 2006
    #5
    Ever thought that maybe the macbooks dont have the actual lights there?

    I mean I'm sure it's possible to replace them, but it wont be as simple as pulling off the keys and putting them on the macbook.
     
  6. razyorv thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 14, 2007
    #6
    Of course not, this would require an entire keyboard replacement.
    You would need to replace this part:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. cx1 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 24, 2008
  8. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

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    Oct 28, 2006
    #8
    i'm assuming you've already checked that the keyboard connector is the same?
     
  9. DCSMAC macrumors member

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    Aug 19, 2005
    #9
    this would be amazing. please somebody figure out how to get the hardware and software to make this work. im sure there are many of us who would pay $100 to get this into our balckbooks.
     
  10. Mikebuzzsaw macrumors 6502

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    Los Angeles, CA
  11. Eric Lewis macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

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    Location:
    CANADA? eh?
    #11
    except for one part

    the keyboard on the macbooks is one giant piece
    while the air is 2 pieces

    [​IMG]
     
  12. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #12
    ^if you didnt notice, the OP posted a picture of a macbook's keyboard.

    unless you can extend the ribbon cable on the macbook air's keyboard, it might not be doable. You also need an IPD board specific only to the macbook air, which is also tied to the air's trackpad.

    I've got my sources. ;)
     
  13. Eric Lewis macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Location:
    CANADA? eh?
    #13
    its 1 piece...thats the last gen macbooks keyboard



    i work in service for an apple reseller
     
  14. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #15
    well what do you know, i work at an apple reseller too! as a technician.

    It comes in 1 piece from apple (Top case + keyboard). But you can have the keyboard separate. Simple ebay search will reveal that. :rolleyes:
     
  15. amanda kathryn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #16
    well one piece vs two piece depends on how you're looking at it. obviously the surround of the keyboard on the macbook is one piece, but you'd only be replacing the actually key part, which would fit regardless of how many pieces the surround is.

    it's just the matter of that actually being enough to get the effect you're after.
     
  16. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

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    Oct 28, 2006
    #17
    the bottom line is, you need the input devices (IPD) board from an Air, unless the keyboard connector is a direct fit which i doubt. The power for the backlight has to come from somewhere, and the macbook may not have the extra "pins" to provide that power.

    edit: i'm sure people wondered if it was possible to switch keyboards from a regular sized powerbook (backlit keyboard) to a 12" sized powerbook (which does not have a backlit keyboard). From what i remember from looking at all the spares we have in a box, the keyboard cables were different. hope this helps!

    and then even if you get the IPD board from an Air, you'll probably run into problems connecting that into the macbook's logic board.
     
  17. DCSMAC macrumors member

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    Aug 19, 2005
    #18
    the power to supply the backlight must be there in the macbook also, because something still has to power the LED under the caps lock key.
     
  18. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #19
    doubtful. those lights are already designed in the keyboard and power is supplied regardless of it being a macbook(air/pro). That doesnt automatically mean that they will have a circuit for a backlit keyboard. The logic board in the macbook pro and the macbook are different. the logic board or input controller board was not designed to accept a backlit keyboard.

    the backlight is entirely different from a caps lock key, etc.

    as i said, assuming the keyboard connector even fits. And dont you think people with 12" powerbooks tried the same thing with regular powerbook keyboards? they're different.

    edit: a quick look at both service manuals for air and macbook leads me to believe that this is not just a drop in or a very simple mod of just switching keyboards.
     
  19. Arjy macrumors member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    #21
    Yeah, I thought about this the moment I learned about the MBA keyboard. I love my blackbook, but I have had multiple times when a backlit keyboard would have helped me out. If this is possible (even for a decent price) I'd be willing to do so.
     
  20. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

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    Oct 28, 2006
    #22
    i've already got the service manual for it. Again, not a drop in. Some fabrication and custom wiring job probably necessary.
     
  21. razyorv thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 14, 2007
    #23
    Basically one would need to get power to the keyboard apart from the IPD of the MB, and wire the connectors right in order for the keys to function correctly.
     
  22. megamouse macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #25
    a friend on another forum has done it. check this out,

    [​IMG]


    the website (it's a chinese forum)

    my zebra MacBook
     

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