usbkeyboard

This is not an "extremely useful website which is a model of how a website should be done!"
I got an old messed up Apple USB keyboard (Model number M2452) from a friend in 2004. After finding some resources, mainly Byron Gracey's great manual that can be found here, I wanted to see if I could make it usable again. So I started trying. Soon, I found out, that the USB Keyboard differs quite a bit from the Apple PRO Keyboard Byron Gracey had already documented. So I just wanted to document my attempts to bring the keyboard back to life, so I took some pictures, commented them in iPhoto in a not-as-useful manner and exported the whole stuff to a webpage. That is the only purpose of these pictures.
I hosted the webpages for a time on a different server, but then I asked Byron if he could perhaps upload my "works" to the webspace where he is hosting his PRO Keyboard documents to have the resources together. He agreed -- in fact you can read it. Thanks, Byron!
update 20100221: One month ago I received an email from Douglas Ray of Melbourne, Australia, who had a similar problem with one M2452 keyboard and found my old attempt to document my keyboard repair still useful (despite of its sloppiness and age). Douglas added some concise descriptions of his approach, and I am quoting this in the text for Image 7, Image 8 and Image 12.
This page is still only a quick export from iPhoto, and unfortunately I could not come up with new images depicting what Douglas wrote, because I cannot even find the keyboard anymore since I moved several times between then and now.
Anyway, thanks Douglas, for your support and for your suggestions for this update!

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First step to open up the keyboard (Model number M2452, originally shipped with the color iMacs and G3 b/w): Pry out the keys.
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As you can see, this keyboard is very dirty, so I chose to use some force to clean it…
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The shell without the Key Caps. Dirty again, as I said.
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The vacuum cleaner did help a little.
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Using clean water and (later) an old toothbrush to clean the Key Caps.
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Model number
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Second step: Open the screws on the back side near the USB outlets (2 on the left, 2 on the right)
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this allows you to separate the top shell from the bottom one. [update 20100221:] This is one of the most delicate steps in the whole procedure, as Douglas Ray points out. He found an alternative solution to the tricky bit (unfortunately I cannot provide any pictures of that – Douglas has also included a screw list which is below the next picture).
“The hardest part in disassembling the M2452 is to preserve the upper shell's front-edge snap links.
I've discovered how to do it.
You DON'T separate the upper shell from the lower – not at that forward edge!
Once you have all 10 screws out, the whole internal assembly will lift out (backwards; easily). The upper and lower shells simply hinge, like a clam (not too far: something like 30 degrees).
You don't need to remove the upper shell to extract those upper 6 screws. Once the underside 4 screws are out, and the back (USB) edge of the case shells are unclipped, the upper shell can be moved enough to extract all remaining screws. (You don't even need to remove the keycaps, excepting the shift-lock).
You do need to remove the adhesive translucent plastic baffle-strip (to remove the screws) and to unseat the USB connectors (to lift out the internal assembly).
The 4 upper screws at the rear can be removed just by removing the baffle-strip and hinging the upper shell. The remaining 2 upper screws require hinging the upper shell (only 30 degrees or so), and then gently flexing it to one side (maybe one or two millimeters). The driver will still have a small offset from perpendicular.”
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To separate them on the lower side, press the frame down and try not to violate the upper shell's snaps - good luck, and a lot of dirt (I really do not want to know!).
[update 20100221:] Screw summary by Douglas Ray:
“Just to be explicit, I'm referring to the same screws:
upper 6: 5 fine thread:
- 1 under shift-lock keycap
- 1 between carriage-return and "4" on number block
- 2 on USB cable clamp
- 1 at base of on-off switch
and one coarser thread (black):
- 1 at ground-lug (by USB cable clamp)”
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Next step: Open the tiny philips screws located beneath the CapsLock Key …
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… and between the CR Key and the Num Block.
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To take out the core of the Keyboard, you have to open the 3 pictured screws, too.
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Plus: remove the screw that secures the on/off-button, then take out the USB ports.
Additional advice comes from Douglas Ray (update 20100221): Left from the screwdriver, on the shiny shielded top of the inner assembly of the M2452 you need to remove the heavy adhesive translucent plastic baffle). In my case, I think it was not translucent but rather black, but my original operation was almost six years ago. Douglas writes:
“It has to come off (to get to the screws). It takes some work. It is useful to know beforehand:
* at which points strong leverage is okay (almost the whole distance);
* where it is not (at one end, where it is attached to the delicate folded green printed-conductor, and at the thin strand connecting around the power button);
* that it must be removed from the green conductor strip, and this may be best done last (because it can re-attach to bits as you free others).
At re-assembly, I'd suggest:
* a bit of tape or paper to guard the green conductor strip from the adhesive baffle.”
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So, what you can see then: a lot of screws waiting to fall to the floor, a lot of dirt and, importantly, the parts of your USB keyboard.
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Turn over the inner part, remove the many, many screws that hold together the metal back plate and the grey part where the keys used to reside. Remove the metal plate gently (to avoid losing the small plastic keys that press the two membranes together at a keystroke). In this case, the membranes were stuck to the metal plate because of the approx. 1 litre of beer that the keyboard had had. I did not know about that until I smelled it.
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Doesn't look too good…
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Beer and other liquids do damage the traces on the membranes, especially if you allow them to sit there for days. I had to "bridge" this portion of the upper membrane, later.
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Another "no good"-closeup.
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The membranes were totally stuck together – to avoid pulling off the traces when separating the membranes, I put them in cold water for some hours, then they smoothly went apart.
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I used these hours to clean the rest of the keyboard parts, i.e. the metal back plate, which does already LOOK sticky.
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So I got a nice grey key mold and many small key "springs".
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After cleaning and letting the parts dry, i reassembled the inner part of the keyboard again for testing.
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Well, it did not work really. Take it apart once again and locate the problem areas on the membranes. Here, you can see a nice quick'n'dirty fix: Imagine, it is sunday, stores are closed, nothing at home except for chocolate.
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I could fix the J and M keys with a small piece of aluminium foil from chocolate and some tiny bits of tape.
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Then I began reassembling once again. This time, it worked. Yes!
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Stephan Kurz, August 2005. You can contact me at s k u r z { AT } g m  x  { DOT } a  t
This page will not be maintained unless I start fixing another keyboard (a PRO keyboard) that's been around for a while and really looks BAD. Or maybe one of the new Apple Keyboards (Part Number: M9034LL/A) will die before? Let's see. [update 20100221: There was a number of different Apple keyboards that died drowning in my vicinity, but none could make it to get a (more or less decent) repair attempt. In adverse to this disclaimer, I added Douglas Ray's refinement of my brute-force quick'n'dirty approach in the descriptions above.]