The computer in question is a 2007 model (Core2Duo) Macbook (not pro) whose battery exploded and bent the chassis and killed a few parts. I decided to buy a new macbook pro instead and this sat there for a while until I decided to do something with the still working parts. Originally it was to become the guts of a G4 tower case I have here, that was until The_Decryptor told me to make it a tablet and so I took a look.
If you want to see all this information in an unbroken line and sans comment click here: http://www.i-dahr.com/?p=131
So step 1: Hardware Dismantling
Time to dismantle the old macbook
Firstly I opened up the old macbook and took out the damaged parts:
Oh dear god, just look a that mess. It really is a wonder this thing stayed on for 3 years and didn't die any sooner than it did. It lived a pretty hard life, travelling to and from uni, work or just about anywhere else and it looks like that took it's toll over the years.
Firstly let's remove the damaged parts: DVD drive, power connector, battery and part of the casing
I got the dvd drive out (above), but there was some resistance... oh dear, all those hidden pesky screws.
I took the screen off and tested the connections to make sure it was okay
Look it's an Amiga Keyboard Mac!
The device still works fine without the screen and external video output seems to keep working fine.
The screen is now all marked out on the top cover for cutting:
- Find a 13.3 inch 16:10 resistive touchscreen [Done]
- Get a dremmel and cut the screen dimensions out on the other side of the top case
- Screen rotation
- Shielding for the parts at the bottom of the screen (foil?)
- A new battery: Rechargeable Battery - 13-inch MacBook (White)
Find a way to re route the cables for:
- Airport antennae
- Video out
Update: 17th April, 10pm
The screen has been purchased!
4 wire Resistive Touch Screen (Film on Glass.. epic)
Connecting Parts / PBC RJ to usb controller
Operation Supports : Windows 98 / ME / XP / 2000 /Vista windows 7, Linux, Mac OS operation.
Compatible with 13.3"(16:9)-inch Touch Screen Models.
Dimensions / Size: 299 x 195 x 2 (mm)
The dimensions are JUST what I need:
Update 19th of April: On the software front
Just got the driver information from the supplier:
Firstly it is definitely OSX compatible, and secondly it has 4 point AND 24 point calibration. By the looks of the driver and software information it's an eGalax Touch Screen (they are an OEM provider so that's a plus), I also found the company website with the other drivers if I need them.
I haven't installed it onto the tablet mac hardware yet though, as currently it's connectivity is kinda limited. Basically I can't find an ethernet cable and the airport antennae isn't connected due to the screen being pulled off at present.
Given it will be a tablet I will need to rotate the screen so I had to find some software. (Thanks to Steve for making me look/think of it)
The program is meant to have some shortcuts (Example: command option 0 for landscape), but I can't get them working so that is something to investigate later. For now I can use the drop down box using my finger to select the option I want.
Software Source: http://www.magesw.com/displayrotation/
On Screen Keyboard
Apparently you cant just whip up an apple script to bring up the keyboard anymore, nor can you just drop the application into the dock. Great. This is where a tip from Alex comes in.
In 10.6 they took away that ability, so I need an app and a script for that.
Download and install keyboardViewer:
sudo install keyboardViewer /usr/local/bin
tell application "System Events" if exists (process "Keyboard Viewer") then click process "Keyboard Viewer"'s window 1's buttons whose subrole is "AXCloseButton" else do shell script "/usr/local/bin/keyboardViewer" end if end tell
One that is all done I can click an apple script in the dock to launch the keyboard rather than fiddle with the little drop down menu.
Software Source: http://github.com/nr.../keyboardViewer
Up Next... Construction!
Marking out the screen roughly for the first cuts:
The marking was done in pen on the interior of the case and the exterior marked in tape as seen above. This was done to retain the cosmetic appearance (obviously), I will be leaving a good deal of margins to be safe and cut it down as I go.
Once that was done it was time to test fit the screen in it's new orientation and make sure all of the cables would make it to where they need to go.
Screen frame inverted and the cable routing checked:
A few notable issues here:
- The iSight simply will not fit with it's current frame
- The display cable is at risk of being damaged in this configuration
- The silver tape on the airport cables once removed exposed the shielding (what the hell?)
- The inverter board is going to be a serious problem (see below)
I don't see how to re route it without changing or modifying the cable in some way at this point, I'll have to see how it works out. I may do it like this:
And simply make the cable just that bit longer to stretch back to the original position. Once the touch panel arrives I'll be happier to actually cut out the front , but until then I have to wait. At this point it could be friday next week before I see it.
Whilst I wait for the screen it was time to investigate the power button;
The big problem was I did not want to dismantle the keyboard to kind out, just in case. The documentation is also kinda sparse unless you're a developer apparently, that sucks a little. After a quick search I found that the keyboard appeared to be USB based (see below), that's a plus because USB is only 4 pins
But I had to confirm, so I found a project that used one of the keyboards as a USB keyboard and this is what I found:
This confirmed it for me, we had 6 data pins, 1 ground and one isolated cable in the ribbon. This splits out to 10 pins at the ribbon connector:
Excuse the quality, but what you will see is the usb pins (marked in red) and the two unknown pins moving into the PBC in another direction (in green). From what I've been able to ascertain I need to short these two pins using a low-value resistor (100-470 Ohm), but you have to be very careful (oh joy) and you may short something else out if you aren't.
More from me once the screen is here.