Introduction: Illuminated Keyboard Hack
Step 1: What You Need...
1. A Keyboard. Any keyboard will work.
2. 2 LED's. I used 5mm High-Brightness White LED (2-Pack) $1.99
Radio Shack # 276-017
3. Telephone wire. This needs to be solid core wire.
4. Heatshrink tubing. I had some in my parts bin.
5. Soldering iron and solder.
6. Wire strippers and snips.
7. Drill and small drill bit.
Step 2: Disassemble the Keyboard
Remove all the screws on the bottom of the case and remove the top. You will be looking for a small circuit board that comes from the connector.
Step 3: Modify the Circuit Board
I decided to use the Scroll Lock key since that is pretty much a useless key on most PC keyboards. Locate the LED that identifies it as the Scroll Lock LED. If your keyboard does not hace a Scroll Lock key you can just as easily use the Num Lock key. De-solder the existing LED and remove it. Save it because you can never have enough LED's.
Step 4: Wire the Circuit Board
Using your telephone wire, remove two strands from the outside shielding. I chose Red and Black for Positive and Negative. Solder two red wires to the + LED position on the circuit board. It should be marked which one is +. Solder two black wires to the negative contact.
Step 5: Finish the Wiring
After drilling two small holes in the top of the keyboard, run a black and red wire through each hole and after attaching the circuit board, close up the case and screw it shut. Now twist the wires together to give them added strength.
Step 6: Final Steps
Take a length of heat shrink tubing and just slide it over each of your wired pairs. You can heat it up if you want to but I didn't because it looks better. The heatshrink tubing is strictly to make a cleaner final product. Now strip the two ends of your wiring and solder on your LED's paying attention to polarity. Plug in the keyboard and illuminate it by pressing the Scroll Lock key on or off! You can easily adjust the wires because they bend in any shape or position you need. Let there be light!
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