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How do I turn my laptop keyboard into a travel keyboard? Answered

I found an old laptop in my closet and decided to have some fun with it, as the battery was missing. I took the screen off and I also removed the keyboard. I was wondering if I could connect the bare wires from the keyboard to an old USB cable, so I could plug it in and use it as a travel keyboard. I was also wondering if I could somehow use the screen I removed as a monitor. Any advice would help, so feel free to reply. Thanks!



Best Answer 8 years ago

Keyboard: Probably not directly to USB. The keyboard is more likely to to want a direct serial-port connection of some sort, akin to the old-style external keyboard. If you can establish the signalling speed, you may be able to persuade it to connect to a serial-to-USB adapter. Probably more expensive than just getting an external keyboard, but may be fun to attempt. Don't forget that you'd have to make sure it gets appropriate power too; the USB port may or may not be able to provide that depending on what scanner chip they used in the keyboard.

Screen: See past discussion here on Answers. Basically: No. Too much of the essential circuitry resides on the laptop's main board, with no way to extract that, provide external input to it, and use it separately. Better answer, if this is what you want, would probably be to keep the laptop intact, running off its wall-wart, and have it run one of the remote-console tools to connect to the other machine.

Laptops are compact partly because they *aren't* designed for generality and reusibility.


6 years ago

I know it's almost 2 years ago but I just stumbled over this.
In case of the screen lookout for these guys(njytouch), they sell their products on ebay and they work very very well,
They have controler-/ converterboards for many LVDS-Displays (commenly used in Laptops)
They are from Cina and it took about 30 Days for shiping to Germany but it is worth it.

Sean C.

8 years ago

Ok, thanks. I didn't think so, but I thought I might as well ask anyway. The particular laptop I got it from was one of those ancient, Pentium (1) laptops which made me think that I wouldn't be able to, just based on the age of the device. On another note, I have an old Pocket PC 2003 that I'm trying to fix up, so you might see me write many more questions. Again, Thanks.