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#1 2018-01-01 15:15:25

PowerBookGuy
Member
Registered: 2018-01-01
Posts: 1

Vintage PowerBook keyboard and trackball interface???

Hi, noob here...

I want to take a PowerBook keyboard and trackball and make it USB. Has anyone ever done this?

My goal is to gut my old, broken PowerBook 145b and replace the insides with a Raspberry Pi, but I want to maintain the original form factor, with a usable keyboard and trackball.

Thanks,
Dan

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#2 2018-01-05 12:46:22

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 855

Re: Vintage PowerBook keyboard and trackball interface???

The trackball connects via ADB (though good luck figuring out the pinout of the ribbon cable), so in theory you could connect it via USB using either an iMate or USB BusBoy.

The keyboard also connects via ADB, however from what I understand that happens on the logic board. PowerBook keyboards are little more than a key matrix. However, if you were able to figure out the pinouts and develop your own controller, theoretically its possible.

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#3 2019-12-13 00:02:00

DanielH1346
Member
Registered: 2018-10-20
Posts: 3

Re: Vintage PowerBook keyboard and trackball interface???

PowerBookGuy wrote:

Hi, noob here...

I want to take a PowerBook keyboard and trackball and make it USB. Has anyone ever done this?

My goal is to gut my old, broken PowerBook 145b and replace the insides with a Raspberry Pi, but I want to maintain the original form factor, with a usable keyboard and trackball.

Thanks,
Dan

Have you figure out a way to get the keyboard to USB? I've been wanting to put my iPad in my powerbook and have a USB adapter for the keyboard for almost a year now!

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ThinkClassic specialises in the use, maintenance, repair, restoration and modification of vintage computers and peripherals.