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LED Keyboard Answered

Ok guys and girls, I have a pretty neat idea I want to try. I was playing my favorite PC game at like 3 am and I wanted to play in the dark but I couldn't because my keyboard is black and I couldn't see it, so a great idea hit me... I want to pull apart my keyboard and but some LEDs in it so when I plug it in LEDs light up the board behind the keys. my only real problem though is knowing where to attach the wires from the LEDs to the board so I don't need and external power source... So if anyone is out there and have the same idea or maybe even have done this please let me know!!!

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miqt (author)2008-05-31

ok well i have an idea...but it'd be pretty complex. what you could do is take apart the keyboard and take out ALL of the keys....then either replace the keys with a more transparent ones...or....you could cut letters in them all with a steady hand, Xacto knife, and heating source for the exacto knife...once you do that, it's just a matter of following this instructable (https://www.instructables.com/id/Illuminated-Keyboard-Hack)to connect just 2 bright LED's inside the keyboard so that when you press scroll lock, you can have light! hope that guides you in the right direction.

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Aar000n3y (author)2008-01-21

Wait, why can't you just feel for the raised parts on the 'f' and 'j' keys? That's how I locate all of my keys.

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animal0307 (author)2008-01-18

Ok Patrik thanks alot I am sure that will work so much better.. but now Ihave a light system but.... that still leaves the issue of giveing the lights power... now I know I could buy a converter and run them from the wall.... but that would kind be drag... here is a second thought what if I use some srink tube, and an olb usb cable and hard wire the lights through a usb port and to hide the wire run it along the keyboard wire and shrink tube them together... I think that would be freaking sweet... but now I have to find a way to use the usb...

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animal0307 (author)2008-01-18

ok this hit me today as i was at a freined's house... have you guys seen those cool lite frame sunglasses called "go glows"..... well they do something simalair to what i want to do but they do use LEDs... they use a micro rope light... this would do because i could just snake it along the coners and between the keys... i plan on searching th net for this cool product... can you guys help me if you get bored....

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Patrik (author)animal03072008-01-18

Do you mean electroluminescent wire? Yeah, I thought of that too, but I think that might actually make it worse, rather than better, because if you snake the EL wire between the keys, it would shine in your eyes, but the *top* of the keys would still be in shadow.

Here's the Guitar Hero mod Dr. What referred to - far too much effort to do a whole keyboard though...

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animal0307 (author)2008-01-18

well patrik to answer your post first. that would defeat the perpose of it being cool duh....... and tech-king i have like 3-4 keyboard.... the one i wanna make light up is black with white letters.... but the rest are white and black letters.... what do you need it for?....... cuz i might wanna try too.... and doctor do you have a link to that cuz that sounds kinda cool... and it might just make it look that much cooler.....

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LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-01-17

get a mac keyboard (the one with the usb ports on the side) and plug a light in to it. I really like the feel of ma keyboards, especially compared to those crappy IBM ones,

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Goodhart (author)2008-01-17

my only real problem though is knowing where to attach the wires from the LEDs to the board so I don't need and external power source.

I think you will find a whole set of problems that are greater then this to overcome. Most keys are opaque, so little light will "shine through". Even if translucent, there is the problem of space: under a key, there isn't much, and if an LED is in there to, you may not be able to punch the key down.

But, this does not make it a bad idea....just in need of a bit of refining. There are transparent dust covers that allow one to type through them and this might eliminate the need for so many LED's depending on how you set it up.

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animal0307 (author)Goodhart2008-01-17

accually I have thought about those problems and really they are an easy fix. All I need to do is get about 7-8 LEDs and and a drill. then drill a hole in the case of the keyboard that in under the keys but not right under the keys (on the side not the middle) and then superglue the things in and that will fix my problem quick and easy and I'll do that about 7-8 time around the whole length of the keyboard in a circle...

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Doctor What (author)animal03072008-01-17

Or... You could try the instructable on how to make translucent guitar hero keys so that you can see the leds through it. Just use the Keyboard key instead of the guitar buttons.

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Goodhart (author)animal03072008-01-17

Have you tested the keys to see if such a setup would actually help ? I don't mean to be disparaging, just wondering.

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Patrik (author)2008-01-17

A better approach may be to have a LED which shines on the keyboard from above. In fact there's a number of USB powered keyboard lights on the market. Should be fairly easy to modify one to work on a desktop keyboard without USB plug, or to make one yourself using a piece of coat hanger wire. Here's a small selection:

LapWorks USB Keyboard Light
iLite Ultra mini USB light
Sleekest LED Keyboard Light for Late Night Fun
USB Keyboard Light

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tech-king (author)2008-01-17

heres a better idea, but i need one piece of information first: what color is the keyboard and its letters?? fine, two: do you have a dead keyboard on hand? i have a really cool idea, but i need that information to make it work.

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