Hardware

Question

How to convert laptop keyboard to usb keyboard?

By rushily ·
Tags: Hardware
Hello,
I have recently removed my laptop's keyboard and want to put it to some good use.
It has a micro-controller which has a 10 pin 1 mm FRC cable which is going as an input to my laptop's motherboard.
Now I want to attach the FRC cable to a USB adapter which I could use to connect it to my other laptop as an external keyboard.
I am not sure what would such an adapter be called? Please advise.
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All Answers

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Why would you want to ??

by birdmantd Moderator In reply to How to convert laptop key ...

Keyboards are so cheap. Is there something special about the laptop keyboard ?? If you decide to convert it, you will need to obtain a detailed wiring diagram and will need to buy additional parts to convert it. Don't forget that you will probably have to mount it in some type of case/cover. I don't understand why you are asking.

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Reply

by rushily In reply to Why would you want to ??

Thanks birdman for your response. I don't need a wiring diagram as everything is already there. Even wouldn't need a case or cover, it already has a decent cover. I just need a way to convert the FRC to USB. Yes, I know keyboards are pretty cheap but I want to give this one a try. If it works out, nothing like it.

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As our Dark Lord says: "All too easy."

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to How to convert laptop key ...
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Reply

by rushily In reply to As our Dark Lord says: "A ...

Thank you rproffitt for your response. I had checked out Arduino earlier. I think I would not require that as the keyboard's FRC cable is already connected to a microcontroller out of which a 10 Pin 1 mm FRC is coming out which goes to the motherboard. Now, I want that FRC to be converted to a USB for plug and play.
An arduino might do the job but I will have to do some programming and other stuff which is explained in the search you mentioned or as birdmantd also pointed.

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Source code reply.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Reply

The search I noted not only gives you solutions based on Arduino but the CODE in the solutions has notes about what the signals do on the FRC. I also saw schematics on how to connect to the Arduino board.

You have full source code and schematics so if I had to guess it's this that is stopping you:
" I think I would not require that as the keyboard's FRC cable is already connected to a microcontroller out of which a 10 Pin 1 mm FRC is coming out which goes to the motherboard. Now, I want that FRC to be converted to a USB for plug and play."

You didn't detail what microcontroller this was, if we can program it and most of all if it has the required USB interface.

There's a person you see on the web almost every day with a request to connect this to that "with only wires or a cable." Hopefully this is not one of those requests.

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by rushily In reply to Source code reply.

Thanks rprofitt. I know the question is pretty generic but I'm not a hardware expert myself. The board has an ECE1117 microcontroller sitting on some board which has both 4 pin and 10 pin outs. I think it's already programmed. Nonetheless, I was able to get hold of the motherboard's specs and was able to find out what each pin on the 10 pin FRC is doing. I think I know now what I could do next. Will post a solution soon if I am able to convert the laptop keyboard.

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Small world.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Reply

I've used Microchip parts for decades. Both as the electronics designer and writing code.

So let's find out if the ECE1117 has USB (spoiler, it doesn't.)
"ECE1119 communicates to the upstream host via BC-Link or SMBus and provides up to three downstream BC-LinkTM or SMBus ports to permit communication between the upstream host and downstream companion devices."
- https://www.microchip.com/en-us/product/ECE1117

No USB there!

As it stands with this keyboard you have to implement some BC-Link to USB adapter (an Arduino would be my choice) and after all this would have learned a lot of valuable lessons.

-> I've read http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/00001860D.pdf You should too.

--> This has no microprocessor for us to reprogram. <--

But with some other controller we can talk to this chip to get to what it provides.

Hopefully you can see why we'll need some micro to do the keyboard to USB work now.

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by rushily In reply to Small world.

Let me explain what is happening in detail. There is a 26 pin FRC which is coming out of the laptop's keyboard. It goes into a circuit board (I'm unable to find it's name). This circuit board has the ECE1117 microcontroller, one 10 pin out and one 4 pin out. Now, I believe I don't need to reprogram the microcontroller as it's giving me a 10 pin out. I have been able to find out what each of those 10 pins are doing. My plan is to now see which of those 10 pins, I would use to connect it to a USB. Let's see...

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The ECE1117 is NOT a microcontroller.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Reply

Not one of the 10 pins or any pin on the FRC is USB compatible.

I should not duplicate prior discussions about laptop to USB using the Arduino because that's been done to death.

-> HERE, you appear to be under the misconception you can connect this to USB with wires.

No. Simply no.

As to the pinout we use https://www.google.com/search?q=laptop+keyboard+connector+pinout and if need be an Ohm meter to confirm.

Again: The ECE1117 is NOT a microcontroller.

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