Restoring an Apple A1048 Keyboard




Introduction: Restoring an Apple A1048 Keyboard

I'm just a guy who loves electronics!

In this instructable I will show you how to restore an Apple A1048 keyboard.

I will show you how to disassemble the keyboard, remove the keys and how to clean it.

But why would you want to restore this keyboard?

  • These keyboards are cheap, yet good to type on.
  • Maybe you're an collector.
  • Or you simply own one of these keyboards and want it to look clean.

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Step 1: Required Tools

The tools you will need to restore the keyboard are:

  • Cloth (Used to clean the keyboard)
  • Turpentine (Used to remove the difficult to remove dirt from keys)
  • Window cleaner (Used to clean the translucent plastic and keys)
  • .05 Inch Hex key (Used to remove the bottom)
  • Knife
  • A tiny Phillips screwdriver

Optionally you can use acetone and cloth to clean the cable if it's dirty.

The .05 hex key i used was part of a screwdriver set i bought in Euroland (European Poundland) for an Euro.

Step 2: Removing the Keys

Make sure you have unplugged the keyboard!

To remove the keys you have to put the point of your knife under the left or right side of a key and then push it carefully up. The key should just pop off.

I recommend not to use the bottom or the top to remove the key, because the clips which hold the key, are mounted on the sides of the key and may break if removed incorrectly.

If you just wanted to remove the keys to clean the plastic under them, you can stop here and just vacuum it out. If you want to clean the keys, that will be shown on the next step.

Step 3: Disassembling ​the Body

To Disassemble the rest of the keyboard you have to turn it upside down and remove the 3 screws. Afterwards you can simply lift off the membrane from the case.

Look out fortheribbon-cables!Thosebreakeasily!

To remove the ribbon-cables grip them by the tabs on the sides and pull up.

Do not pull on the cable itself.

Step 4: Cleaning the Keys

You will have to remove the plastic decorative plastic (1st picture) in order to clean it, what can be done by removing the two screws as visible in the second picture.

To clean the keys I took two pieces of cloth and sprayed window-cleaner on the first one, and the turpentine on the second one. I then rubbed all 5 sides of the keys on the window-cleaner cloth and if there still was some grime on it, I would rub that side on the turpentine soaked cloth.
I used this approach many times and have never damaged the keys, so this should work.

Step 5: Cleaning the Case

Remove the screws holding the motherboard in place, and also the two next to it.
Don't forget to remove the two screws holding the USB port cover.

You should now be able to remove to motherboard and the USB cover in one piece.

Then the white piece will just fall out of the translucent case if turned upside down.
You can now clean both with window-cleaner and a bit of cloth.

Step 6: Reassembly

You now have to follow this guide in reverse to reassemble the keyboard. But with a few extra's:

  • To put on the keys, just lay the key on the switch and press down on it
  • It might be a bit difficult to align the membrane with the body, just move it around.

You are now done.

On OSX your keyboard will work as soon as connected.
The same will be on Linux.
On windows you will have to wait to install the driver and then everything will work except for the eject key.

My keyboard is not as yellow as it seems in the last pictures, I just have horrible lighting in my room.

I have used some pictures from this Youtube video as I forgot to take some:

By doing this you will void your warranty, but unless you are reading this 10 years ago, you don't have any.
I'm also not responsible for you breaking your keyboard nor for you hitting your neighbour with it.

Thanks for reading!

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    10 months ago on Step 6

    I like my older iMac keyboard so this instructable lesson is appreciated. It works great but is looking a little shabby ; this chore will make it spiffy again.