Acer TimelineX 3820TG Backlit keyboard mod

Discussion in 'Acer' started by Hendrickson, Jun 12, 2010.

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  1. Hendrickson

    Hendrickson Notebook Deity

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    How to upgrade / replace the keyboard with a backlit US 3810 keyboard.
    Firstly you need some patience with this mod, there is a very tricky join to solder in order to get power to the LED backlights.

    If your not good with a solder iron I recommend you don't attempt this or get someone to help that can solder this point.

    I'm not responsible if you damage or brick your main board. You do this at your own risk!


    I sourced my 3810T Backlit US keyboard from ebay. Just search for 3810T backlit keyboards and you will see a few sellers selling them.

    [​IMG]
    Removing the keyboard: Use a plastic tool here and push in the holding tabs/clips. Careful not to force them up, but in.

    [​IMG]

    Lift up the keyboard from the top to the bottom and remove the keyboard connector. As shown. Push the plastic clips on the connector upwards.

    [​IMG]

    The two keyboards side by side. (The backlit keyboard is about 0.5 mm thicker.) It will require some bending of the tabs to fit in correctly.

    [​IMG]

    Connectors are 100% identical. 3810T and 3820 keyboards are using the same flex cable.

    [​IMG]


    Again identical with the 3810T

    [​IMG]

    To make it fit, I cut out a bit of the plastic insert that fitsinside the tab area where the keyboard is held down in place. Bend these down also about 2mm. This will help when we go to fit the keyboard later on.

    [​IMG]

    Cut the plastic insert in the tab area and remove it. Also bend this down a bit. (2mm aprox)

    [​IMG]

    Solder on two thin wires to the LED power flex cable as shown.

    [​IMG]

    Wrap the cables in electrical tape to insulate them against shorting out.

    [​IMG]

    This is the area where I found the best power source. I foudn that using the USB port power 5volts is too much and the keyboard is too bright.

    [​IMG]

    Here I decided to feed the cables through the plastic top cover. For this you'll need to remove all the screws under the keyboard and then from the
    underside (back) of the notebook. Seek a service manual for this if unsure.

    [​IMG]

    I took the ground / negative from the top left USB port and soldered the calbe here like so. (The power source is there too from USB)

    [​IMG]
    Insulation tape over it just incase.

    [​IMG]
    The power source, 3.5ish volts from the speaker power as shown. You could take power from the fan1 but it could have negative effects. This solder is very very tricky!! It took me about 4 goes to get.

    [​IMG]
    Place the keyboard back and push the wires back into the gap shown. Placing the keybaord back is a hard task, you need to push down quite hard near the top and side clips. But it does fit. Too reduce any bending in the middle you can use some thin double sided tap along the bottom.

    My keyboard doesn't touch the screen but it is close, about 1mm. I use a thin cloth between the screen and keyboard when traveling anyway to protect it.



    The end result:
    (Photo's don't do it justice)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Edit: How to disable the back lights to save power: Go into device manager and right clicking realtek hd audio, select disable and the backlit keyboard turns off. Enabling it again it turns on No reboots required. Oh course the downside is no sound when the lights are out.

    Edit: Here's how to fit the switch to it as a method of on and off.

    Link: http://forum.notebookreview.com/ace...20tg-backlit-keyboard-mod-13.html#post6620058

    YouTube - Acer Aspire TimelineX 3820TG keyboard backlit mod

    Video of my backlit keyboard with switch as reqested....
     
  2. luffytubby

    luffytubby Notebook Deity

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    Nice job hendrickson! You really are amazing!

    rep for you:D
     
  3. peter999

    peter999 Notebook Enthusiast

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    great job hendrickson

    now I am waiting two things
    1: 3820 laptop
    2: backlit keyboard
     
  4. apoikos

    apoikos Notebook Guru

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    Excuse my ignorance: taking the power from one speaker will lower its volume if audio is playing right? Or not?

    AND the light will depend ON the volume wouldn't it?

    Actually, it'd be fun to renounce to "stereo" audio and connect the speakers to the same source and then VIA software put the output on one channel while using the volume of the other channel to change the keyboard brightness!
     
  5. Hendrickson

    Hendrickson Notebook Deity

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    No I tested this, It doesn't effect the sound volume at all or the lights. They do not flash with the sound either.

    This source is a flat/stable 3.5v i think it was and always on 100% of the time the laptop is. It will turn off under sleep mode and hibernate. Unlike the USB 5v I originally used.

    I have tested the laptop under full load (GTAIV) and with full volume its the same as before. No issues, I could have tapped into the fan1 power but I see this a being more risky than the audio. Last thing you want is a slower fan....
     
  6. Riddhy916

    Riddhy916 Notebook Deity

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    is there a way to change the keyboard to full chiclet like vaioz or asus u30jc keyboard
     
  7. apoikos

    apoikos Notebook Guru

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    ah, good to know. so I understand even muting doesn't affect the light..
    What about de-activating the peripheral? If you deactivate the speakers maybe it will cut the power. And maybe, just maybe, with a little software tweak an app (in the bar maybe) can activate/deactivate the peripheral automatically. Which'd be cool if you need the extra 30 mins.

    Did you try to see if the missing UMTS module relative connection to the motherboard has some sort of power?

    By the way, aren't you bothered at all that you screwed the warranty?

    Again, great job dude!
     
  8. Hendrickson

    Hendrickson Notebook Deity

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    Not sure, disabling the sound maybe could work. I will try it soon. But I think its on all the time.

    No bothered about it. I tested the system quite a bit to make sure there were no issues. Benchmarks etc. Heat tests. Its all good.
     
  9. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope.

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    Does anybody know if the tool pictured in Hendrickson's first picture can be purchased anywhere? Or something like it. It looks perfect for removing keyboards.

    Bronsky:cool:
     
  10. BruBoo

    BruBoo Notebook Evangelist

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