Retrofit Backlit Keyboard on Aluminum Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by freeman727, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. freeman727 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #1
    I found the part for the top case and backlit keyboard. Is it a relatively simple to install the keyboard? Will it work without software mods?
     
  2. SteveMobs macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #2
    Interesting, but I think there is a certain software difference because the 2.4 MB has the f5 and f6 keys that are used to adjust the brightness.

    Otherwise how would you change the brightness? And what about running the power to it?

    Not sure though, keep us updated.

    Oh and how much does it all cost?
     
  3. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    London Ontario
    #3
    For softaware you cam get the files off a 2.4 macbook, there is also a program to manually controll the back lit keyboard (cant remember the name) so that may work too.

    For power, I think it doesnt need any extra power. I assume you just plug the keyboard into the proper connector on the logic board and it supplies power to the LEDs as well.
     
  4. petermcphee macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #4
    This should be an interesting thread to watch. I know that there are a few 2.0 aluminum MB owners out there that are interested in this topic.

    To the OP: if you do decide to pursue this mod, please keep us updated with pictures, costs, etc. Thanks!
     
  5. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
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    Hartford, CT
    #5
    That would be it. Apple isnt going to design a whole different board just to NOT support the keyboard. Its more cost effective to just make one board, and then just not use a backlit keyboard for that model rather than go through all the extra effort.
     
  6. John585 macrumors member

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    Jan 19, 2008
    #6
    would you have to replace just the keyboard or the logic board? Aren't the leds on the logic board?
     
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #7
    The 2.0 and 2.4 have identical logic boards, itd be terrible business sense NOT to have the same ones. The only difference is one ships with a backlit keyboard (the lights are built in I beleive) and on ships with a standard keyboard.

    So its a matter of getting ahold of the backlit keyboard, installing it physically, then making sure software wise everything works.
     
  8. johndatserakis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    #8
    that's awesome that you got the top case, can I ask where you got it?

    Also, like a month ago there was a thread somewhere in a German forum where a guy did this exact procedure. I'm pretty sure you just got to hook it up to the logic board or something. If you could find it you'd be all set. I want to do it myself, so make sure to update with pictures.
     
  9. John585 macrumors member

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    Jan 19, 2008
    #9
  10. crazyxzer0 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 28, 2008
    #10
    there was a german site that actually swapped the backlit onto the 2.0. I don't remember where it is but I remember it was on here somewhere.
     
  11. freeman727 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2009
    #11
    The part number is 661-4944. It can be had for $150 off of Ebay. My biggest question is how hard is it to take the whole computer apart and reassemble the new top case and keyboard.
     
  12. oscillatewildly macrumors 68000

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    Jul 17, 2007
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    23 Railway Cuttings
    #12
    So is it another USD 150 to get a slightly faster cpu, bit more HD space and the keyboard already set up and ready to go? I suppose you get to keep the non-backlit keyboard.
     
  13. johndatserakis macrumors member

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    Dec 9, 2008
    #13
  14. SteveMobs macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #14
    Well keep us posted. I'm sure this changes the debate over the 2.0 and 2.4, now that you could possibly add just the keyboard for $150.
     
  15. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
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    Hartford, CT
    #16
  16. BairdB14 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #18
    Yes it will work. No additional software is required. I've done it myself. I also replaced the top case on my old plastic Macbook with the one on the black model. The function keys act as they are labelled so if your brightness keys were F1 and F2, they become F5 and F6. It takes about 10 minutes to disassemble the computer to do it and does require some technical knowledge.
     
  17. John01021988 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    #19
    So something like "plug and play"?
     
  18. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #20
    It's just a keyboard you plug; no additional stuff needed.

    Anyways, I find this quite pointless; why bother spending $150 and void you warranty at the same time? Plus you have to disassemble the whole computer.

    Just buy the 2.4 model refurbished; it'll only be like $100 more than a new 2.0 model.
     
  19. hockeyplyr591 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #21
    did it

    i just did this mod last night, and it works perfectly. just swapped everything out into the new upper case. the only difference between the backlit and non backlit keyboards (installation wise) is an extra plug for the lights, which plugs into the logic board right next to the actual keyboard slot. i was able to do the whole changeout within a half hour. any questions, feel free to pm me
     
  20. acfusion29 macrumors 68040

    acfusion29

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    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #22
    You should have taken some pictures.
     
  21. hockeyplyr591 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #23
    shoulda coulda woulda

    i know i know :( right after i finished i realzed that... but all i did was found a tutorial on how to disassemble it and then put everything back in the same way in the new upper case. being the noob that i am, it was pretty easy to change out, and i am very happy with it :D
     
  22. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #24
    yeah pics woulda been sweet. so the F5/F6 work? I didn't pay attention did you change out keyboard too? Anyway, saved yourself $300 bucks didn't ya =)
     
  23. Genocyde macrumors member

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #25
    Can you post the link to the tutorial that you used to remove your top case?
     

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