Intro: DIY Amazon Kindle Keyboard (K3) Illuminated Cover
I thought I'd share my efforts to create a lit cover for my Kindle Keyboard. I tried a few different ways using brass tubing etc. with the light hinged but ended up with a much simpler removable light. A trip to 'The Source' (Radio Shack in the US) produced a USB powered LED lamp on a flexible neck. They have 2 versions. One with 5 LED's and one with 2. The 2 LED version is even too bright at times so I opted for that one. What inspired me to use these lamps was the sale price of $2.95! and the ability to adjust the angle.
The flexible neck was originally 12 inches long so after peeling off the plastic coating on the usb connector, I was able to de-solder the connector and cut back the flexible neck. A bit of heat shrink sealed it up beautifully after re-soldering. I had an old broken USB hub from which I pillaged a female USB jack. If you need the pin configuration a quick Google search will tell you. The cover I used is the stock Amazon leather cover which use 2 clips (one spring loaded) to attach the Kindle. On the left side of the Kindle are 2 slots which provide the power to the Amazon Lighted cover so we are using the same method. I had to cut it open carefully on t he inside in order to mount the USB jack and run the wires to the metal clips.I sanded the metal clips until the black coating was removed down to the bare metal. Both sides were sanded as I don't rightly know where the actual contact is made within the Kindle. Soldering to the base of the cover's clips was not as difficult as I had anticipated and made for a great connection. Lastly I had a thin plastic sheet that I covered with cheap black fabric to cover up my surgery. It was a glued down with cheap Elmer's spray adhesive. The attached images show a 'hot' spot on the Kindle when lit up. In reality it's hardly apparent when there is a bit of ambient light and it's still pretty good in complete darkness.
My apologies for the lack of detailed images. I can take a few close-ups if they are needed. To be honest, initially I had no thoughts of publishing this project as a 'Instructable'. After seeing the prices of the covers once again this afternoon, I had to share this.
It's getting to the point where an actual Kindle itself will be less expensive than the illuminated cover!