Have you ever wanted one of those pricy roll up keyboard but didn't want to spend the money? Here is a quick and dirty way to make your own.
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Step 5: Complete:

After the long process of labeling the keys you are now ready to use your roll up flexible keyboard. Using a text editor check to make sure all your keys function. HINT: to save time label only the keys you use most, or learn to touch type :)
schumi233 years ago
Anyone know if this coul dbe done with a laptop keyboard? not USB/PSP (has ribbon cable) OK, my question is more of "are there any adapters that exist?
It is a PS/2 keyboard. But do not try to make a rollerup keyboard out of it. IT WILL FAIL.
pjain73 years ago
can this be done with a ps/2 keyboard???
actually i thought about this some time ago.. searched it on the net but could not find this..
ghmagm pjain72 years ago
YES YOU CAN! I looked it up and found a schematic! However, its quite complicated.... The 6 pins on the ps/2 each have different purposes as you may know. 4 of them are exactly like the usb. So basically, this is the usb ====.
under the first "=" that is connector/line 4. the second = is 3 and so on. on the ps/2, the plastic should be on the top. the whole entire left side is going to be used.the very top one is going to 3 on usb, the middle to 4, and the bottom to 1. on the right side, the middle is going to 2. The final connects(soldering) is gonna be fun XD GOod luck!
dlavie1 pjain73 years ago
Yap it also works.
It's not about the Plug. It's just about the membrane.
PS/2 and USB are the same (most of the time)

Does anyone know if a dogy keyboard short circuits whether It will ruin a laptop/computer or not?
I won't save it, keyboards cost like $15 these days, and a used one might be even less...
darkria 453 years ago
what if you put a thin platic or silicone coating on this?
LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
Cool! Now I have to get around to making my metal keyboard...
metal keyboard?? man get it done! thats the kinda thing we wanna see.
apple keyboard with metal keys would be awesome
amen, brotha!
But copper is so damn expensive! (I'll try to do it this summer if I'm not too busy)
copper? what about aluminium? tho if you do use copper u could always use 2p coins. (if in uk that is)
Uhh, the newer 2p coins are copper plated steel... However, the older ones should be almost pure copper. You can test the difference by using a magnet.
Sure! I'll use them if you can make them into sheets for me! I'll just bite the bullet and get some.
What about copper tape?
firelord884 years ago
or you could just go to a computer store pick up a roll out one for $15
thats 15$ more than you need to spend if you happen to have a keyboard laying around... its also cooler if you said you built it yourself and it works! thats my opinion anyhow
hahaha boned.... Just Kidding! ;)
Maxaxle7 years ago
That looks like the kind of thing that I would do on the weekend! But I don't wanna let go of my decent, although basic, keyboard quite yet. Besides, I prefer to use buttons over thin, touch-sensitive pads that leave your fingers sore from bumping the desk so much, lol .
Hey, do you do HTML coding? just the way ou wrote <sarcasm> lol </sarcasm> is the same as you do affects and stuff when writing out a web page. The reason I ask is because if you do, I'd dearly like some tutoring. =P
Use Wikipedia.
Jee, thanks for all that amazing help... has a very good tutorial. thats how i learned.
I started web design this year, and that's the website we use mainly!
You're VERY welcome!
cd416 years ago
howed you print the key labels if you already took the keyboard apart?
peach_fart cd416 years ago
maybe he printed them before he made it?
cd41 peach_fart6 years ago
thats crzy talk you know he had a second keyboard lol:)
Crizzle cd414 years ago
Then whats with your original comment if you know a possibility or mabye even the answer?
Guess till you get em right.
You know, as an alternative, there are loads of letter stickers at scrapbooking and craft stores... and remember, you still have the intact keys from the original itself for reference! ;)
jsvanriet4 years ago
hey just out of curiosity...You know how the sell silicon that people can use like artists and stuff to create molds and what have you not?  What if you placed this INSIDE of the silicon inside a mold as it was curing?  Anyone got any ideas/willing to be the guinea pig?  I have heard about silicone molds but have never tried or even know where to start...just throwing the idea out there for the more accomplished/inventive community members.
One thing, the contacts on the circuit board and the keyboard membrane don't hold tightly together with anything i've tried (superglue the edges of the circuit board and the membrane, electrical tape). Anyone got any ideas?
Umm Maybe Hot Glue? It Does Wonders!!!
wire glue click here but carful it is unforgiving.
melt the three layers together at strategic points using a soldering iron and an old bit.
AwajiMan5 years ago
This is a great idea, but keep in mind that the labels for keys should be the size of the holes in the membrane contacts, not the size of the physical keys on the keyboard. For example, the space bar sits on top of a contact the same size as all the other keys on most membrane keyboards, and you would have to aim for that exact spot instead of the area where the space bar would normally be. Same for shift, tab, any other non-square key. Would require a lot more accuracy, and probably be slower to type on at first.
What kind of feedback should I expect? Do you press as hard as you would with a regular keyboard, not as hard, harder..?
r0b3r75 years ago
I need Help! I went out and got a cheap keyboard to see if this would work, and if it did use it because this idea is frikkin sweet. The keyboard i used is a Dynex multimedia keyboard, and it's frankly, not working too well, but that's because of me. One of the wires connecting the control board to the wire to the usb broke loose, and I'm trying my best to fix it. And, because I'm stupid i tried using superglue to get it back together, before realizing that superglue doesn't conduct electricity. What i need is for anyone to tell me if this project is beyond redemption and if it isn't howto fix it. thanks to anyone who helps
r0b3r7 r0b3r75 years ago
I forgot to mention that i didn't actually connect the wire, i saved it just in time, thought superglue is all over the place where the wire connects to the control board. Please excuse my double posting
A.C.E. r0b3r75 years ago
reassemble it as good as you can and return it. say it is dead.
solder it. wires are pretty easy to solder together.
RicaPower6 years ago
can u use like 3 of the "membranes" to make a thick sturdy skin?
Potentially you could, but all 3 membranes would need to be of the same brand and the circuitry needs to look the same, also your key reaction/your keys ability to actually react will decrease.
tinyelefant5 years ago
Awesome! I did this with a spare ps/2 keyboard, the only thing I had trouble with was the little rubber piece that goes behind the circuit board other than that it went together like a dream.
aaronjehall5 years ago
On the last episode of brink I saw, Kip added lights to a keyboard by desoldering the scroll lock light and running2 brighter leds off the same spot with some extra wire and a couple of holes drilled in the case. I wonder if something similar could be done here. My hopes would be that the membrane would work like fiber optics, or one of those bar lights with the clear plastic etched to reveal an image when the light is turned on... just thinking
filmakerob6 years ago
well, one thing , how well does it work ? i mean cuz i dont know if i want to rip apart my key board just to do this,
You can buy cheap membrane keyboards for a buck or two.
tortoogal6 years ago
I'm not a builder--didn't do so well in scientific instrumentation building projects--but I'm hoping you guys can give me some guidance for instrumentation for an unusual research project. I do animal behavior research and work with turtles, whose beaks are a material like fingernails. They have trouble pushing hard enough to trigger a selection by pushing a key on a regular keyboard. The larger turtles can barely do it on a tipped-up standard model, but it takes a lot of effort. They also need to have a selection board that's vertical or nearly so, but it can have a hard backing. (I'm not sure that the problem mentioned about not being able to use a flexible keyboard vertically or on a lap is inherent in the technology or if it just needs a backing to work in non-flat orientations.) So: Do any membrane keyboards (or rubber-covered ones--letters, drum, piano, whatever) work with all of these needs: minimal pressure; works with nail, not finger (and no body heat); vertical orientation (with backing)? If so, which technology or commercial product takes the least pressure? BTW, for those of you not wanting to go out and buy a keyboard to modify or sacrifice yours, there are a lot of unused and unloved keyboards out there. Have you tried your local Freecycle, Craigslist free section, or electronics recycling service for free keyboards? On the previous two services you can posted "WANTED" messages. For a little money, there's always Goodwill and its look-alikes. Thanks.
Kind of OT in the thread, but I'd try a magnetic switch with the magnet on a sort of a pendulum arrangement. The pendulum allows for ease of movement, while the magnet makes for positive switching.
Thanks! A good idea. "tortoogal"
trollpet5 years ago
very cool! I built it
tony stark6 years ago
Nice, at first I thought that was just rubber with letters on it. Sick, dude. Anyway how do I change the size of the letters on the comments.
don't think u can.. but u can make bold and italic
Yes, you can GorillazMiko does it all the time. YOU ROCK GorillazMiko!

do u mean like this


do this, =big letters=
culepet n8man6 years ago

oh yeah??

culepet culepet6 years ago
how bout thiss???,this???hehe
n8man culepet6 years ago
My word are Higher than yours
culepet n8man6 years ago
hehehelol ok fineheehehe
Bartboy culepet6 years ago
Bartboy Bartboy6 years ago
Bartboy Bartboy6 years ago


~let's extend this~

do you mean make it longer??
I think I will
very nice
Niceness is rudeness with out the rude part!
yeah,how long would this go???lolx
yes lets
Amadeos Bartboy6 years ago
how do you do that with the letters?!
Like This? Or This?
Okay, I cheated.
yes you did
Derin awkrin6 years ago
and like this too
fwjs286 years ago
pretty cool....i thought of thid when i was takin apart my other keyboard.....4/5
Big Nasty 6 years ago
I was thinking about glueing some cardboard to the bottom so I can lay it on my lap. I think it might work. Im not really doing this for the roll up part. Im just bored. And this keyboard is for my Wii anyway.
freerunnin16 years ago
1 thing... mine is an old mouse port keyboard and it has to have the metal board... i think so a little help please thanks in advance
freerunnin16 years ago
oh yeh sweet idea by the way
freerunnin16 years ago
if i have a scanner then to save u time sticking on each individual letter u could scan ur keyboard n print it off then stick the whole page onto the membrane :) i always try to find eisier ways to do stuff coz im lazy :)
Great and unique idea! This is the image I'm using, customized it a little to fit my keyboard's needs, hope it can help someone else.


Original and large image
King8256 years ago
this is great. In fact, you only really need a keyboard and staples!
chippy156 years ago
what do u do to prevent the lights board from getting damaged?? you could put silicone spray on it but still protection is for this to work properly!!!
Hot-glue-encasing? I reckon if I tried this i'd probably do that.
REA chippy156 years ago
maybe soldering some smaller LEDs to it.
2tonechaos7 years ago
Perhaps it would also be a good idea (assuming you wish to keep the labels on there for any kind of long term) to cover over the whole thing with transparent Contact paper. This way the oils/dirt/god-only-knows-what-else on your fingertips coupled with the frequent battering won't dirty or destroy the label paper. Actually, it's prolly not a bad idea to cover the whole thing in such a fashion, front and back, just to provide a bit of elemental protection without hindering/reducing the nifty roll-upableness factor.
good idea thanks. :]
I think it's a great idea but looks 2 hard 4 me 2 do. Well probably cuz I'm a gurl.
One should never under estimate the power of girls, especially if they place a well aimed kick in the fork of the legs. And hey, it's not hard by the looks of things, it's just unscrewing and re-assembling. =D
hmm.. I'm a girl as well. What are you implying? :( Besides, I really do think I'm going to try this. You never know.. it might be fun. Plus, it looks awesome!
I would try to laminate it, and/or possibly hot glue the circuit board to prevent it from being shorted out from any liquids. That way it would be protected AND submersible! Probably even dishwasher safe!
When adding the letters, mix them up. Then give it as a gift to a friend/victim/Mortal enemy and watch them use it.
nice HTML use. i personally like my: and more... im surprised im not alone in doing that.
Derin REA6 years ago
oh see,i use them too
casey321b Derin6 years ago
maybe ill copy you!! rofl
REA casey321b6 years ago
Amadeos REA6 years ago
well most pople already know how to type and where the keys are but if you give them to a touch typist they would have some fun trying to figure it out
Yeah, but don't mix them all up, only some like alt and option, or shift and caps lock.
bombmaker26 years ago
will a keyboard with a rgular keyboard plug work?
miki316 years ago
thank you this site help me a lot in making my projects hehehehe Tnx
lordbob756 years ago
you could get some small pieces of metal or plastic and put the letters on those, then epoxy, superglue, or something else to hold them on. Just make sure they are small enough for you to roll it up. I havent finished this yet, but i have high hopes...
you could just write the letters on
This is a pretty cool project. I had an old (ancient) keyboard in the attic I gutted for the first attempt of this. It works great. I've gone ahead and labeled all of the buttons, just cuz I'm obsessive like that. I mainly want to use this for WoW'ing on a laptop. I gamed last night with it and it was pretty nice. Not much pressure is needed, it is very sensitive and quiet. The hardest part is knowing where the keys are... lol The keyboard I used was a PS/2, but I'm gonna try and convert it to a USB. Also, the circuit board in mine is vertical (perpendicular) to the membranes so it's a little awkward at the moment. I'm thinking of removing the sockets from the board and running wires between the PCB and sockets so that the membranes can lay completely flat. I'd like to find a little box to stuff the PCB into as well, to protect it. If I can find a spare mail tube I'm gonna use that to hold everything, otherwise I figured a hair tie would do the trick.
How do you intend to convert it to a USB??
Well, after a lot of researching I found there is no easy way other than to buy an active converter. For about the same price, you can buy a 'ready-made' USB roll-up keyboard. I was interested in doing this simply because I didn't have the extra cash to buy a real one, but soon enough I will. It was a fun project none-the-less. I would suggest doing this project with a regular USB keyboard to have USB functionality if you can't afford one of the real ones. Also, on my keyboard, the membranes were easy to remove from the sockets on the PCB board. Removing them from the sockets would allow you to roll up the membranes fairly easily. I thought about finding an enclosure for the circuit board to protect it as well.
DeriemD6 years ago
If you don't like the control board gettinge in the way you can re-wire it to make it lay verticle, OR you can de-solder & re-assemble it to FULLY roll up the keyboard


casey321b6 years ago
dangit I had this idea but im too late!!!!! people always steal my ideas :(
great but on mine the chipboard got in the way so I removed the rubber cut the keyboard and reattached it.It worked except the delete button and the space bar Thanks
those are crucial keys and if they don't work the keyboard fails haha
I got my flexible keyboard that i'm using right now at staples. it was in the hot buy section for 10$. so it wasn't that pricy.
XilStorm6 years ago
A suggestion for those who have keyboards with separate circuit layers: take a soldering iron, turn it down to lowest possible heat, and fuse the layers together. Just make sure to stay far away from the wiring
k3000006 years ago
the wires that connect to the membrane on mine have snapped can any1 send me a schematic of how you rewired it and what can I use to reinforce the wires?
culepet k3000006 years ago
get a new keyboard
I made this with my palm keyboard lol
I own one of those keyboards, but it has its + & - sides, its cool, because its easy to clean, its water-proof , and you can store it just about anywhere. BUT here are the negative things about it; its a little difficult to write on them, because the rubber on the buttons move around, you can only write on flat surfaces eg. you can't use it on your lap or on your bet, also the side effects of the keyboard are; headaches, stress, frustration, + others. but in this Instructable, it seems the most of the keyboard is water-proof if you seal the edges with silly-cone( Silicon)lol, it doesn't has the rubber keys so thats a +, and it looks like it doest makes any sound at all while typing thats a ++, and its even thinner than the brand flexible keyboards thats also a + . everything is improved, except for the lack of surfaces you could use it on. even tho I have an idea for correcting that problem :)
Wouldn't the control board get in the way of rolling up the keyboard??
not really, only a little bit
it was amazing~
smithy8136 years ago
would it work with an old laptop keyboard? (by old I mean 3-4 years)
if you mean a PS/2 keyboard yes its almost exactly the same except you have three layers of material.
yeah I just taped the three layers together. Hope it works.
I think it should. I myself have a old (probably 4 year old) keyboard, and right now, it's laying right by me, awaiting a test.
Tailslvr7_76 years ago
Is there a way to fix a PS2 keyboard so I can make this? One of the prongs (I think it's plastic) is bent and it won't connect to my computer.
Ok NM I cut off the plastic prong and I will test it out somewhere around eight (-8:00 GMT).
eecharlie6 years ago
How about using a sharpie to just write out the labels? Then you won't be typing against a paper-based sticker that will get grungy after a while.
Sedge156 years ago
Man this thing rocks!!! I am trying to make it although i have a PS2 keyboard :( Hey EmDiz what you can do (i think) is get a piece of metal foil and lay it underneath and connect the GND to it and then it should work!! I'm not EXACTLY sure if it work's but i will test it tonight!!! +1 rating, whoot my first rating!! -Sedge
whitish Sedge156 years ago
it works with ps2 bords im on one now
Sedge15 whitish6 years ago
Wicked!! I may have to fish mine out of the junk pile outside and try to get it to work! Would you be able to post an instructable for PS/2 or post some pictures cause that would be a great help!! How did u make the grounding plate? -Sedge15(Soon to be 16)
whitish Sedge156 years ago
well one of my ps2 didn't work, because the actual board attached to the circuit board was just pressed up against the contacts and no matter how much I tried i could not get it to work after i took the board out of its housing. but the second ps2 i disected had an actual plug joining the circuit board and the key board membrane thing. and sorry but i don't know what a grounding plate is.
Sedge15 whitish6 years ago
Ohhhhh Cool! Yeah i have one of the non-plug one's. The grounding plate, its basically what i decided to call the big metal plate in the keyboard housing. What happens is you press on the membrane and it touches the "grounding plate" and connects the circuit because its got the negative attached to it. I think that makes sense?!? I dunno but if you don't understand I'll try and post a picture. Thanks for the help I will see if my other board will work! -Sedge15(soon to be 16)
whitish Sedge156 years ago
heres some pics
Picture 14.jpgPicture 15.jpgPicture 16.jpgPicture 17.jpgPicture 18.jpgPicture 19.jpg
whitish Sedge156 years ago
oh yea that thing. one of my ps2 key boards didnt have it, just ribbon conectors but the other one did. the one that had the grounding plate i didnt get to work.
judging from the pictures, the nuts and bolts EmDiz said we need are pretty much useless. i'm trying to make another one, but this time i have only a PS/2 keyboard. judging from the comment u already tried to build one, how did you do it? i dont imagine there being too great of a difference between the insides of a PS/2 and a USB...
Well i did try but i couldnt get it to work. the LEDS light up but apart from that nothing worked. the main difference between the USB and PS/2 is the HUGE ground plate that the membrane needs to be connected to aswell as the chip. so that is basically the biggest difference, still i cant get it to work but oh well i have a laptop now :). So yeah there are a lot of things you could try but i am not patent enough. -Sedge15(Soon to be 16 :-) )
EmDiz Sedge156 years ago
That 's a great idea Sedge15, let me know how it goes, I'll give a try on my end. Thanks
Sedge15 EmDiz6 years ago
Yeah im not sure if i did something wrong or not but it turns out it didnt work!! and i havent checked if it works normally yet but then again i dont have a computer anymore so ohwell!! good luck with trying to get it to work, you may be a bit more patient than me! -Sedge
A note for those doing this project:you don't need a usb keyboard for this project. Also, it is sometimes hard to use the space key(i am typing on one of these DIY keyboards right now).
hemlocke6 years ago
With respect to the prior comments of this not working, I would like to share that this instructable does work. The really tricky part is aligning the controller board connections and having enough pressure to hold the controller tightly to the closely separated contacts. After some trial and error and several cups of coffee, every key functions properly. I will include some pictures in a few. peace.
You forgot to put in step 6 where you tell us that it doesn't work. I couldn't get the little green lights to come on, on the keyboard. I couldn't type anything. Nothing lined up. Good thing I used a a keyboard that I don't need.

Here everyone, go to this website:

M-26-76 years ago
Any tips on how to keep the pieces together?
recon506 M-26-76 years ago
what i did is i just CARFEULLY sewed the sides and inbetween the keys with my sister's sewing machine... worked pretty good
kdude3696 years ago
when i scew he small nut and bolt on it doesnt work but when i take them out and pu presure on the membrane i works can sum1 help me!!!!!!
Zlwilly6 years ago
I like this, can't wait to try it out. Thanks!
REESE BOBBY6 years ago
capslock says hi, eh? I'm pretty sure pda's dont have standard usb ports
Do you think it would be possible to incorporate the rubber pads?
oh by the way. this is really cool, and maybe i'd get what your saying if i DID dismantle a keyboard, but i think a little bit more elaboration on step fur would be helpful.
xxeno6 years ago
Yea you can use a ps2 kb. They mostly have plastic membranes though.But the concept is the same.You can implement some of te other suggestions to. you might aso try using some rubber or something in between the membranes if its like mines(cheap a@@ed).
how bout using scrable letters for the keys?
good idea!!!
EmDiz6 years ago
Hello. Would it be possible to do this with a ps2 hp keyboard? I took one apart and there is a grounding cable to a metal plate!! ::double take:: for me. Please let me know, I think this is just genius and I am chuffed to try my hand at it. thanks
lexmlo6 years ago
well,im trying to make it but its not working the lights light when i plug it in but then nothing happend,i think the problem is in step 4 i end up with three things but i dont know in wich order to put them anyone have a clue?please thanx alot
I'm making one right now. Great idea, but i used an older keyboard. Instead of having a membrane, there are only a multitude of small rubber bulbs. its a pain to place them, but i hope it works.
tachyon01187 years ago
Hmm... to those who complain about tactile response (i.e. not feeling where the keys are) perhaps small plastic tiles could be used for letters? So long as the tiles were relatively small, the keyboard should still roll up. I'm envisioning something made out of cheap plastic (cd's?). Make sure to round the edges of the tiles though, so they wouldn't scratch or cut the membrane...
Or what if you were to use the rubber pad that went over the membrane and under the plastic keys? I would imagine that it would be flexible, and if it doesn't roll nicely you could do like you said and cut and glue just the rubber circles over each key. Then it might have a bit of a bounce back as well.
Auger Duval (author)  tachyon01187 years ago
Hot glue and scrabble tiles, nice!
Scrabble that's classic, I have a new vision of this project...
jpui6 years ago
Does this work on any USB keyboard? What about the ones that use PS2 inputs?
you could also make it look better by removing those white stickers and placing letter stickers that you could get at your local arts and craft store for about 50cents.
cool i couldnt get any key text on it but its cool
maxdamage7 years ago
OOOOhhh, thats a DELL keyboard! You can't hide that from me! Ive snapped too many of those in half!
LOL, got 'em @school
Rubbish arent they, mine kept collapsing last electronics lesson- but dont forget bob- they are great for using STICKYKEYS!!!
Heh, As do I.
palmertech7 years ago
Expensive!? Check this site out, it rocks:

Free shipping too! Check out their laser section. :)
Yea... this is the best website EVER!!!! I think I'm gonna order a hundred bucks worth of AMAZINGLY CHEAP $2 gadgets.
(most of their lasers are illegal in many US states)
wombom7 years ago
Hey! I tried to make the keyboard but when I plugged it into my comp, the windows loading screen went all weird and didn't work after. Does anyone know what happened?
wombom wombom7 years ago
nvm! Turns out I jus bumped my traffic card loose.
XilStorm7 years ago
heh, tried with 2 keyboards, didnt work... besides, there is only one contact point with the space bar and shift key....I like my space bar nice and big... I guess it would work if i put enough time/effort into it, so good job!
this is fantastic. for people who ask about covering, how about using an old keyboard protector [aka "condom"]? i have a spare macbook kb cover lying around which would be great to use for this! i suppose i would glue cut-out card stock to fit the key groves, just to fill the empty spaces.
er...*key grooves*
joshuajon7 years ago
Two words on the subject of lamination: liquid latex.
yboris7 years ago
I've seen this sort of thing before - you can mount it on a Plexiglas and light up from below - very cool effect - and VERY minimalist :)
nice man, did this myself like a month ago. i put down paper to write on and put it on my desk
Yeah, I'm going to try making one and having it laminated. We'll see if it works...
HICKFARM7 years ago
Ya that was the first thing i thought of was Live Free Die hard. Also congrats for getting on engadget.

Cool but i don't have a crappy keyboard to take apart.
noremakk7 years ago
It would be really cool if you didn't label it and your fingers were just flying over this piece of soft plastic and letters were popping up. :P
jakkeychain7 years ago
then only thing that would make this better if it had that awsome foam feeling then laminated paper ;p good isntructable thx
guyfrom7up7 years ago
nice, but when are you ever going to need to roll up your keyboard? isn't that hard to type?
Hacking on the go. Haven't you ever seen Live Free or Die Hard? They have a couple of those.
haha thats the first thing I thought of when I saw this
AHAHAHAAH! same here, I loved that movie
WOW, thats what I thought of TOO! I love that movie... BTW, VERY nice instructable....I'm doing this.
Nice avatar, I see that my work is propagating lol.
same thought, I saw one @ winnders, and it was ~$25!
oops i meant winners, the store
Auger Duval (author)  guyfrom7up7 years ago
roll it up, keep it in your bag. You never know when you'll need a keyboard.
ewang7187 years ago
I'm not sure if this is a redundant question, but could you just write the letters on the plastic or would that damage it?
Sharpie's will work just fine, but the ink will wear off periodically from finger abrasion. Best to mark them and laminate the pad afterwards.
Squeedle7 years ago
Can you say a little bit about how you know where to put the stickers?
Auger Duval (author)  Squeedle7 years ago
The button on the membrane are in the same configuration as the keys on the keyboard. If you get lost on the pad, you can always open a text editor and hunt and peck it out.
Or just take a pic of your keyboard before you start. The configuration is universal, just look for the "QWERTY" format, which is what the "standard" keyboard format is called.
Intelligent idea! This is super cool, I am going to have to get a USB Keyboard, and then I will do this, then I'll have such a cool keyboard, awesome Instructable! +1 rating. (added to favorites)
Yeah, but maybe you can make it cooler, or make like an Instructables backround or something and paste the Keys over it. that would be great! -Alex
Printable decal paper does exist, and useable for any printer capable of printing on photo-paper (basically photo-paper with adhesive backing). Try checking through printer paper suppliers.
I'm with you!
yeah, you could custom design a graphic that fits onto the membrane then get it printed onto sticker paper!
Johnny380197 years ago
Does anyone know if there is a way to make this wireless?
Perhaps to start with a wireless keyboard might help, although I fail to see a need for a wireless keyboard other than to invite trouble with interference. Just me though.
well i got everything done according to instructions. The LEDs work fine, but the keys dont respond when clicked to. I checked the keyboard before removing all the parts and it worked fine. I used a PS/2 keyboard but it had a membrane switch pad. Any help anyone?
Auger Duval (author)  dragonskin297 years ago
It is possible that you are not applying enough pressure to the contact pads. Firmly press the contact pad and you should get a response. If that doesn't work check the connection between the membrane and the controller. Also it is possible that the controller got zapped by ESD. You may also have to reboot your machine afterall it is a PS/2 keyboard which is detected upon startup.
ok thanks its either got to be ESD or the contacts since i did restart the computer. thanks for the help.
I might do this and then add a couple LEDs to it to light it up!
fluxorz7 years ago
very nice instructable, i actually typed this comment with it!
mutant7 years ago
Couldn't you just laminate the sucker?
Zorink7 years ago
pmac937 years ago
How does this involve LED's?
Auger Duval (author)  pmac937 years ago
I got the LED out. Out of the case that is. Loose interpritation of the concept.
PKM pmac937 years ago
There are two of them in the top right of the intro picture! If you wanted you could desolder them and add your own, or even add small SMD leds around the edge of the membrane to light it up by internal reflection a la LED backlight conversion. Mmmm, DIY eluminX :)
adamvan20007 years ago
I don't know how well this would work, but you could always try it... Laminate the edges of the two sheets together so they are sealed, and then enclose the controller in some sort or waterproofing. Just a thought.... ~adamvan2000
silood7 years ago
what brand is that keyboard ?
dasarp silood7 years ago
The keyboard is the same keyboard I'm typing on right now. It's a DELL RT7D50.
Awesome Instructable!
NaTeB17 years ago
I bought one of those "indestructable keyboards" Bull@#@!!! it didnt last a month It was freaking awesome tho and so easy to clean Cool instructable Oh yeah some of the buttons had to be pushed pretty hard that kinda sucked but over all the best keyboard I ever owned
VERY VERY COOL, thanks for posting to anyone who didn't quite make it. Search eBay for "flexible keyboard" they can be had in different colors for around $13 delivered
Uru Wolf7 years ago
Does this work with Ps/2 keyboards? I guess the insides would be the same, just a diffrent transfer protocall.
Frozen_W7 years ago
Hiihi nice, I've got a spare (old) keyboard wich is dieing somewhere upstairs let's make it usefull! CHeerz
zorro33557 years ago
dude! one of those only cost S$15 (about USD $10)one real keyboard cost aroungd 19 bucks.
golfball7 years ago
Cool idea if I get some time I'll try this myself maybe you could add some square LED's to give it a bit light.
AlvinMaker7 years ago
I'm going to go get a keyboard for like three bucks at the d.i. and make one of those. thanks for the great Instructable
wow, I'm making this. thanks a bunch
rimar20007 years ago
Shifrin7 years ago
Wow! This is an awesome Mod! Oh man, I gotta favorite this! And nice job getting featured! -Alex
they sell these at princess auto in the surplus section for like ~15 bux. I was tempted to buy one but meh...
ranex7 years ago
i like the idea if a rolling keyboard but i think this wouldnt be waterproof and wouldnt have very good tactile feedback
Auger Duval (author)  ranex7 years ago
The membrane itself is pretty durable. However anything acidic; coke, coffee, juice, will eat away at the traces. Water usually doesn't cause a problem unless it has a higher salinity. I would never get the controller wet while power was applied.
Zava7 years ago
Would the same concept work with a PS/2 type keyboard?
Auger Duval (author)  Zava7 years ago
Yes, depending on the model. Any keyboard with a membrane switch pad will work.
leevonk Zava7 years ago
budsiskos7 years ago
i have too try this
sugg227 years ago
i have the same keyboard, so i will do this tonite.
We will see if you will be able to comment back. (If you do break your keyboard there is always the on screen key board in windows)
i've got a laptop, so its just an extra
Yeah, it'll be cool to the coolest of all cool thing that could ever be cool in the cool museum of coolness, to the most coolness of insanity, but to be insane, it must be the most insane thing to the max of insanity, divided by pi, but multiply pi by 652, then get your answer of cool insanity, then round it up to the nearest hundredth, then you got your answer7.

Hahahaha just kidding. :P
cool but i no on some ...plastic bord things?? need to be pressed firmly without the plastic keys of rubber pads hitting the button spots. ....i dont know how to say it much better :-\...