Keyboard illumination?

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Keyboard illumination?

Postby otterbuff » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:23 pm

Any thoughts about keyboard illumination? I am heading to Microcenter later today and plan to root around for something interesting. In the meantime, I found an over the ear LED from a Shrek Happy Meal that was totally useless. Until now! It is a low power green light that I plan to rig some mount up for the top of the screen to cast some light on the keys! Any other ideas?
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby generalludd » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:49 am

Hi: I was going to recommend a little USB powered lite from RadioShack that costs about $12.00. I have one and tried it in one of the USB plugs. It is really not bright enough. It also probably shortens the run-time on battery.

I did have a little light that clips onto the bill of a baseball cap. I tried that on the cap and found it quite satisfactory. I think i bought mine from a Catalog called "Solutions", not sure. Anyway you can probably find it on the internet.

Regards
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby generalludd » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:00 am

Hi: It is me again. It is called UltraLite and i got it from Herrington. It costs $19.50. Order by Phone: (877) 435-7156. Ask about their buy one get one for 1/2 price.

Regards:
Mac Mini,Snow Leopard OS 10.6.2; iMAC OS 10.4.11, Cableone.net Wireless via Linksys Router. 10Mb down/1MB up connection.
Two XOs, build 860
Firefox & Epiphany browsers
Flash Player 10.2..
People perish for lack of knowledge
(revised 02/28/11).
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby Infamy » Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:08 am

You know what would be a _sweet_ hack, would be if we could find a way to pipe away some of the light coming from the light bar to aim at the keyboard. That lightbar is brighter than you think, and is also removable/replaceable. Maybe a job for a short span of fiber?

-Infamy
1st day donor :)
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Market for hacks

Postby otterbuff » Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:41 am

I was thinking about that yesterday. There really will be a market for these hacks. Perhaps people will be (already are?) trolling these boards for hints!!! How long until a "Dummy's Guide" shows up. I am not advocating that, since I prefer trolling these groups and learning from those that have gone before.

I saw in one of the pictures of an early release model that there were to ports above the keyboard for LEDs. Too bad they took them out.

I have been thinking that fiber optics would be the way to go. The lightbar idea sounds like a winner (but I am not willing yet to crack it open and look (I know that is one of the points of the XO - I am just not ready to make that leap!). There is a gap under the screen when it was open that you could position some fiber leads from an LED or 2 to cast light on the keys. I do not think the light needs to be all the bright, just enough to help you position your fingers or hunt for the right key.

I will also look for those external sources that generalludd mentions.
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby doug » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:59 am

anything from the LCD area would have to be piped through the hinge or else its view angle to the keyboard is obstructed by the edge of the battery compartment. I was thinking that the hinge area cover would be a good place for two leds angled toward far keyboard corners but they are too central and will probably result in shadows at the upper keyboard corners.

A better location would be in the battery areas above the keyboard located on each side of the hinge. Possibly about 1.5"-2" from hinge/center. In a perfect world, we'd just be using the power LED and antenna LED in those locations since they are always on anyways but the means more wiring through the hinge area and could lead to stresses/failure. Without that, the two new LED's needed should also have a photo resistor to sense the dark keyboard and turn on the LEDs. Power should be pulled from the keyboard/touchpad supply so it is removed when the XO is powered off. Proper location of the photo resistor might also turn off the LEDs when in ebook/tablet using light from the power LED bleeding through the XO case. Otherwise, the keyboard would be lit always in ebook mode.
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby Nick Tindall » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:58 am

Has anyone tried one of these?
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby otterbuff » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:33 pm

Nick,
I purchased the exact thing from Micro Center a few weeks ago for ~10. It works like a champ (I thought I had posted about that, but I guess not). Had I known about the link you posted, I would have gotten it from there.
Cheers
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby Gabey8 » Fri May 02, 2008 11:32 pm

I ordered this kind of light online. It's great -- it's flexible, so it can be aimed directly at the keyboard.

http://mikegyver.com/IdeasnProducts/iLite/index.html

It cannot, however, be aimed in such a way as to illuminate the screen if the backlight is off. But if you are only interested in illuminating the keyboard, this is nice.
Donna -- My XO character has a purple outline with orange fill color. If you see me in the Neighborhood, say hi! :)
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby doug » Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:51 pm

that short USB LED light looks kinda bright. If your eyes have adjusted to night reading, you'll probably want to put some black tape over the top half at the very least. Otherwise, you'll be seeing spots every time you look up from the keyboard and toward the display.
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby birdart » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:55 am

Those flexible USB - LED lites are usually available at .99 Cent Stores. Or, you can pay $12 at Radio Shack.
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby jfbrown42 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:17 pm

I'm a musician. We use lights on our music stands so we can read sheet music on darkened stages. I've got an LED on a flexible neck that clips on to the XO just fine. Check out http://mightybright.com for it.
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby bhamxo » Sat May 23, 2009 1:46 am

I was able to light up the keyboard using a couple of LED lights actually inserted into and powered by the XO. I just did this and need to find a couple of identical LED lights to use, but it does work and it is very easy to do (for me it was anyway).
I plan on making an "instructable" for this little mod. If I don't get to it I wanted to post how it is done here and let anyone else get after it if they want to. Of course images will be posted if and when I follow through on the instructable.

The quick and easy is this (that is if you know how to take one apart and have done so often).

While the XO is closed there is a piece that comes off when you unscrew it where the battery pack goes.
Well, that is where the LED lights go. There is a gap on both sides of the bracket that holds the screen on. So, if you drill just off to the sides of the bracket with a hole the size of your LEDs then you can remove that piece and take off the top half. Fix your LEDs in place however you want to in the holes of the plastic. Then, run the wires through the bracket with the other wires and connect them to your LEDs. Now run them up to the open 3.3v so called serial developer port. It's open and unused so why not take advantage of it? Just make sure you know which is + or - and then connect it all together. Close it up and poof, your board is lit!
Takes longer to type it all out than this, but that's about it. The instructions will take much longer and the images will take that much more, but I truly hope to do this during the weekend. I have been known to be distracted though. Thus, my typing out the basics of it now.

Tyler
bhamxo@gmail.com
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Re: Keyboard illumination?

Postby nelleyz » Sat May 30, 2009 1:41 am

Why doesn't my keyboard work when I try to convert to Ubuntu at the computer start up? I have a windows 2000 but a new generation keyboard.
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