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Modding The Swiss Army Wireless Keyboard

Discussion in 'Modding' started by jodathmorr, 10 Jul 2004.

  1. jodathmorr

    jodathmorr What's a Dremel?

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    I reciently bought one of these:

    [​IMG]

    It is a Microsoft Elite Wireless Duo 2.0 and it kicks ass. The keyboard is the only part of the set I am interested in however. Its very ergonomic (the palm rest is leather!) and stylish and I think I'm going to keep this one. Anyway I want to do a few mods to it. The first the come to mind are backlight it and put in 3 LEDs to display Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock. Currently the LEDs are on the wireless reciever which isn't the smartest way to do it, but I guess MS was trying to save on battery life. Anyway the way this question is different from most keyboard modding questions is that this is a wireless keyboard. It runs off of 3 AAA batteries and aparently the battery life is really good and I want to keep it that way. I haven't opened this keyboard yet to see if there is room for a mod, but I bet there is. I say this because I wonder if I will need to put in an extra battery cage or two to power these other mods. My main concern is battery life for the LEDs and (possibly) EL wire or any other thing I could use to illuminate the keyboard keys. Has anyone done any wireless keyboard modding in the past? I could really use some help here.
     
  2. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    I've had a wireless keyboard for about 4 months now, runs off two AA batteries. I've not had to replace them once yet, but the batteries in the mouse go about once every week or so. Anyway, My guess is that if you were willing to change the batteries more frequently, you could get away with those mods. Maybe put a switch to turn the lights on/off for when you're away from the PC?
     
  3. apollyon

    apollyon What's a Dremel?

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    I looove that set, the keyboard is awesome, i love the semi-transparent keys, and i have the mouse, it's almost the definition of ergonomics and battery life rocks, though the soft scroll wheel isn't terribly nice for gaming. Sounds like you've got some very cool mods planned for it :thumb:
     
  4. jodathmorr

    jodathmorr What's a Dremel?

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    That I do :). I just bought a Razer Viper mouse which will replace my wireless mouse. The wireless mouse is actually pretty good for gaming (It held up alright in some rounds of UT2004) but I'd much rather have 1000dpi at my fingertips. I think I'm going to have to run the EL wire off of a battery pack and I will put in a switch to turn it on and off but I think I will let the LEDS "run" all the time. That might also have to be powered by a seperate battery source, but the LEDs will be off if none of those function keys are on. Can anyone link me to a website that tells me what to hook each individual LED into so when I press the apropriate function key that corresponding LED lights up? Do I need to build a controller board? Thanks!
     
  5. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Wetsander

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    Wow.... that looks nice. Like... really nice. What colour are you planning on using in that? I'm thinking almost anything, (red, green, blue... :D ) would look nice in that.
     
  6. Stickeh

    Stickeh Help me , Help you.

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    I have had a wireless desktop since about febuary and havnt had to replace the batteries in the keyboard once yet, but i have changed the mouse's batteries around 4 times. If you use decent batteries you get a longer life, the ones that came with the package , duracell ones i believe , lasted the longest at about 2.5 months. Cheap / rechargeable batteries last only a few weeks.
    Good luck with you mod!
     
  7. relix

    relix Minimodder

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    And how would you go about putting num/scroll/caps lock LEDs inside the keyboard? You do know that you'd have to put a transmitter in the receiver and a receiver in the keyboard, right? As there's no way the keyboard could know what the current state of those locks are (that's why MS put it in the receiver: else they'd have to double the costs and more than quarter the battery-life by putting a receiver in the keyboard and a transmitter in the receiver).

    You can't rely on the buttons of the keyboard only as well, as the num/scroll/caps lock is, unlike the popular idea, controlled by software, and not by hardware (meaning, the buttons don't directly change the state of the locks, but pressing the buttons only sends a signal to Windows that you have pressed that button (e.g. caps lock), and Windows will then change the state of the caps lock (if it feels like it)).
     
  8. tomd

    tomd What's a Dremel?

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    Just a note, i have the Logitech MX Duo, and they also have the caps/num/scroll leds in the base unit/mouse charger which is just fine with me, and i don't know if your ms one is like this, but you can set it up so it has OSD popups when the state of the buttons changes or whatnot.

    Also, with my logitech i've been using it since august and have yet to replace the keyboard batts, and mouse gets charged every couple nights.....
     
  9. jodathmorr

    jodathmorr What's a Dremel?

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    I always thought those LEDs were hardware controled (ie, you toggle the key and it sends a signal to the LED telling it to turn on). As for the LED color, I think I will be using red LEDs to go with the theme of my computer (as of yet undisclosed). I might open things up this afternoon and asses the possiblities of the whole project.
     
  10. nothingtrend

    nothingtrend What's a Dremel?

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    you could always rig up a second switch for the caps/num/scroll keys, so that it turns on the led, then run it off some watch/cmos batteries
    really wouldnt be that hard to do at all. if I get a chance over the weekend, I could write up a guide, I need to see if this labtek wireless set works anyway.
     
  11. theagent

    theagent What's a Dremel?

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    try changing your caps lock when your computer is truly frozen, then you'll know
     
  12. jaguarking11

    jaguarking11 Peterbilt-strong

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    Well i got the logitech Mx-duo. I am afraid of m$. I have had bad experiences with their software so I didnt even try their hardware. But I like my kb and mouse. The mouse feels suprisingly comfortable and games g8. It actualy games better than my previous wired ball mouse with a heavy grip ball in it. As far as batt life goes my kb has a pair of regular duracells and its about 3months old and the batt metter shows 95% full and the mouse gets about 2 weeks of heavy usage if you dont charge it. But I usualy charge it every nite, it became a habbit.

    But that ms duo looks very sweet.
     

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