Reusing Keyboard after Replacement

With the launch of the Framework Marketplace, and the upcoming clear keyboard, I wanted to ask about the feasibility of reusing the keyboard that my laptop is going to ship with. I’d like to use the clear keyboard for aesthetic reasons, but I don’t want to just landfill the OG black one. Any chance I can get some idea of the matrix/column pin mapping out of the ribbon cable so I could hook it up to a Teensy running QMK in a 3D-printed enclosure?

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I asked Nirav about the interface it uses with no respond. @nrp What interface does the keyboard use?

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I’m not too tech-savvy when it comes to product design, but is what you’re asking for here an enclosure so that you can turn the old keyboard into a new wired or wireless keyboard? Kind of like how you can put old hard drives and SSD’s in enclosures to make them external storage?
If so, that sounds very cool, and I hope we find a way to support that!

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@CSab6482 Yeah! That’s exactly what I’d like to do. It seems like I can always use another keyboard around the house, and I’d hate to waste a good board just because I like the aesthetics of the clear one. I’ve built my own mechanical keyboard from scratch before (machined the enclosure myself, hand-wired the matrix, etc.), so if it’s reasonably similar to that, it should be possible.

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The keyboard is a matrix, with 8 rows and 16 columns.

Pins 1-8 are rows, 9-24 are columns
25 caps led pos
26 caps led neg
You need to current limit the caps LED with a resistor of 1.3K if driving it with 5V, otherwise you will damage the LED.

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@Kieran_Levin Excellent! That’s exactly what I wanted to know!

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Hey @BesselFunct I’d like to try to replicate your reusing of the original keyboard, the clear one is now in my laptop, and the keyboard is so nice I’d like to use the old one for my desktop (I love small keyboards), but I don’t know enough to build it off of the pinout alone. Could you show me how you did it?

Casually paging @Ar-CRImier into this thread! They have been working on an RP2040-powered board that lets you reuse the keyboard more easily:

Admittedly, it is geared more towards reusing the whole top cover than just the keyboard. Sorry if I missed the mark!

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If anyone wants to give it a try, the pinout that is directly on the keyboard membrane is below. The mating connector is Kyocera 046809626210846+. Pin 1 is the one on the right with the contacts facing up.

The backlight mating connector is ACES 51601-0040M-001, though it should be possible to find other brands that would fit. Backlight pinout is pins 1 and 2 negative and pins 3 and 4 positive. Pin 1 is the one on the left with the contacts facing up.

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That is great to hear! I may give this a shot soon! Do you have a diagram for the columns and rows for to make it easier to visualise?

Diagram:

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Thanks so much! I’ll try to figure something out!

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@Luke_Oliver
I only got through the planning stages of this, and then my work got in the way. My next step after the pinouts was going to be CAD of a case that could be 3D-printed, and then a PCB that takes the ribbon cable and interfaces it with a Teensy.

I may try to revisit this later on, and see if I can make any headway.

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@nrp do you think those diagrams would be a good fit for the Mainboard GH repo alongside the input cover pinout, or somewhere closer to other pinout information so its easier to find?

If that repo is only meant for mainboard stuff, i was thinking it could also go in a separate repo or on a wiki somewhere like https://repair.wiki