Mac Plus Wireless Keyboard?

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Joined: Mar 12 2005
Posts: 117

What would it take to adapt the Mac Plus keyboard to the new wireless Apple keyboards? In looking around the net these new keyboards seem to have some kind of thin rubber film and sort of rubber nipples that support the keys themselves. I can see traces in the membrane, so theoretically I would just solder wires from the Mac Plus key switches to the wireless keyboard membrane traces. Or would it be nearly so easy? There's more than enough room in the bottom of the MacPlus keyboard case to do it with the circuit board removed. But can it be easily done without destroying the delicate looking membrane?

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gobabushka's picture
Joined: Apr 26 2004
Posts: 494
that would be soo cool if you

that would be soo cool if you could do it!!!


"I reject your reality and substute my own!!!" -Adam Savage, MythBusters

eeun's picture
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891
You won't be able to solder t

You won't be able to solder to the membrane layers. They're made of a very thin printed-on layer of conductive paint on top of a thin mylar or similar. Any attempt to solder would melt the mylar.

What you might be able to do, though, is wire a plus keyboard to the same matrix, and connect that to the wireless keyboard's PCB.

...or bypass re-wiring and get a pic programmer and have it translate the plus kbd. matrix to the wireless matrix, similar to these chaps for the Atari ST. I've built 5 of those, but designing and writing the program is way out of my league.


"Give a man a fire, he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life."
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Jon's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
You'll need to map far more k

You'll need to map far more keys than a single Plus keyboard has too. No F-keys, fewer Meta keys, no paging keys, no media controls. You may do well to just match up to the existing Plus keys but you'll loose a lot of functionality.

EDIT: Well, I just counted 76 keys on the new wireless keyboard, 78 on a Plus keyboard (w/ number pad). I first responded with the first gen BT keyboard in mind.


I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

DrBunsen's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 946
There's an open-source keyboa

There's an open-source keyboard protocol translator project at for (inexpensive) PIC microcontrollers. It's already up and running for several protocols. I would encourage everyone who's interested in this kind of thing and has the necessary chops to sign up and help out. The ADB protocol in particular seems to need some help Laughing out loud

For example, they already have a working translator for a Mac 128k/512k/Plus Keyboard on a PS2 Computer, and PS2 kb on a Plus. Getting the ADB protocol sorted out would add a whole buttload of niftyness.


Damn the Torx screws, full speed ahead!
Apple and Wireless FAQ