no-battery Magic Trackpad USB Power mod

markbog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2010
2
1
Hi all, thought you might be interested in this... I don't like using batteries in desktop peripherals, they're horrible for the environment compared to wired power, and there's no need for batteries when it's just going to be sitting on a desk all day. So I took out the batteries in the Magic Trackpad, stripped an old USB cord down to the red and black power wires, and attached them to a battery-sized dowel. Works great!

Mark bog
 

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nicroma

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2009
504
30
Midwest, USA
I agree that this device should not have been wireless. I can envision a wireless Apple keyboard with this attached to the side for media purposes, like an all-in-one device. That would be useful. Using this separately and wireless when it sits right next to a keyboard is just a waste of batteries.

Nice mod. I wonder if the extra 2 volts will shorten the lifespan of the device...
:cool:
 

vladzaharia

macrumors regular
Jul 5, 2010
213
29
I agree that this device should not have been wireless. I can envision a wireless Apple keyboard with this attached to the side for media purposes, like an all-in-one device. That would be useful. Using this separately and wireless when it sits right next to a keyboard is just a waste of batteries.

Nice mod. I wonder if the extra 2 volts will shorten the lifespan of the device...
:cool:
I really can't imagine how this keyboard would work. The trackpad's feet clicking in is the reason why it clicks the way it does. If it was attached to a keyboard, it would be a lot harder to click just the trackpad part, and using feet on both sides of the keyboard to click would be equally bad since I can easily see clicks when your keystroke is harder than normal.

Also, I'm pretty sure the extra circuitry of the Trackpad addon would add 1-2 batteries to it.
 

bud67

macrumors newbie
Feb 23, 2010
2
0
Question

What exactly is the black wire connected to? How is the circuit completed?
 

markbog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2010
2
1
Heh, thanks all, weird to see this posted all over the place. To answer your questions, I haven't had any problems with the 5v instead of 3v... I was planning on throwing some resistors in there to step it down, but it looks like the trackpad's circuitry is smart enough to handle it itself. No problems in 3 weeks of use, anyhow. I do wish I'd spent another few minutes making it not fugly before taking pictures though. :) You can't get the screw-in cover back in without drilling holes for the wires, so I'm just leaving it open for now. And the black wire is taped to the inside of the tube between the tube and the dowel, since the entire inside of the tube works as a contact point. The copper nail on that end thus ended up unused.
 

theangryintern

macrumors newbie
Aug 20, 2010
2
0
Doesn't say much about the magic trackpad if you're already sick of changing batteries in a product that's barely been out for a month...
 

AppleCode

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2010
164
0
Good job, looks interesting. I too wonder if it would shorten the battery life?
Does it still need to be connected through bluetooth for it to work as it should ?
 

vladzaharia

macrumors regular
Jul 5, 2010
213
29
Apple will patent this and sell it for $39.
All joke aside, I think that if you made this and sold it at the right price, many people would buy it.
I'd love to see something like that, actually. Some sort of screw-in attachment that converts their keyboard or trackpad into a wired version. It'd be great for their own stores, too, so they wouldn't need those anti-theft devices randomly stuck on to the devices.

@theangryintern - It's probably 2-3 months of charge per battery set.
 

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,705
237
Bay Area, Ca.
It's actually trivial to turn a MBP trackpad into a USB trackpad, and then you wouldn't even have to worry about bluetooth :D
 

macchiato2009

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2009
1,258
1
Apple will patent this and sell it for $39.
All joke aside, I think that if you made this and sold it at the right price, many people would buy it.
great joke but... so true !!!!

Mark you should patent your mod before Apple does

they might not use it now, but in 6 months, 1 year, when they'll update the product, they might use your mod under patent

who knows, steve might give you some money (instead of taking some from your wallet ;) )
 

appleguy123

macrumors 604
Apr 1, 2009
6,559
639
15 minutes in the future
You're big time now dude. Engadget.
For real, take our advise, patent and sell this sucker online! If you could make it where the screw cap fits and open an online store, I don't think that $20 is a bad deal for this.
 

uanuglyfool

macrumors regular
Mar 8, 2009
193
0
The Moon, CA
I'm surprised it works... two AA batteries give out 3 volts, whereas USB gives 5 volts.

I guess there is some power regulating circuitry :)
You can use a voltage regulator to get 3 volts if your worried about damaging it. Maybe add a micro usb input lol

Also, I like that stand for you MBP. Which one is it?
 

ItsJustafnPhone

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2010
659
0
Nice mod !

For those clammering for patent... im not sure there really is a market except for a few tech nerds

Most people ( like myself) that use a lot of wireless products use recycable batteries + multi battery chargers
 

FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,112
28
California
Why not shorten the USB wire and plug it right into the keyboard port on the right side. That way it would cut down on the, as you say "fugly", wiring across your desk. Also, do you really need the MBP screen paired with your 30 incher? Clam shell that boy.;)
 

veloraptor

macrumors newbie
Apr 22, 2010
3
0
Hi there,

to cut the plus 2Volts you could use three 1N4001 in a row to cut off 2.1Volts in summary.

This would ensure not to stress the power regulators with producing too much heat.

/peter.
 

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