PowerBook G4 Keyboard via USB? Can it be done?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Goftrey, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Goftrey macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #1
    My aluminium keyboard is on it's last legs, so I'm looking at various keyboards ranging anywhere from £50 to £150 to replace it, and I just keep on thinking to myself, "will it be as good to type on as a PowerBook G4?".

    That got me thinking, is there any way that I can get a PowerBook keyboard working via USB? I've used a couple of Arduino/Teensy based boards that covert Apple II keyboard in to USB keyboards, but I've never seen it done for the PowerBook.
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    I thought the final generations of PowerBooks with two-finger scrolling were USB based...

    Perhaps there can be a custom made adapter for that.
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #3
    They had USB based trackpads, but I think the keyboard is still ADB. You'd have to develop your own controller for them.
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #4

    That is unfortunate.

    OP, check out the ThinkPad USB keyboard.
     
  5. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #5
    what about the keyboard from a Pre Unibody MBP? I hear there the same as PowerBook Keyboards to type on... and on a MBP the keyboard and trackpad are both USB based... (and hot swappable so I found out :p )
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    FWIW, here's a screenshot from my A1139.

    I have a few A1138 top cases(only) that I'd need to dig out(and probably can't get to this evening) but I'm pretty sure that the ribbon cable that connects them to the logic board is only 4 wires.
     

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  7. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #7
    FYI my DLSD/HR 15" keyboard is USB based. I think only with the late 2005 models Apple shifted to USB based keyboards & trackpads.

    Regardless though, after a little bit of research it's clear that using a MacBook Pro's top-case will be a LOT easier. All I'd need to do it solder 4 wires to the trackpad (http://bounav.free.fr/wp/?p=176), hide the trackpad under the keyboard and then get some sort of laser cut enclosure made for me.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #8
    Option B is to get a beater parts MacBook Pro, remove all of the guts including the Logic Board and all and just leave the keyboard and trackpad on top with a cable running out the back. You can use an old Dell keyboard's USB cable as they are plenty long to splice off.
     

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