Author Topic: Adding backlights to the non-backlit Magicforce / Qisan 68 key Mini Keyboard  (Read 8918 times)

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Offline Leslieann

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This is a pretty simple hack.

If you want to control the lights, you can put a switch in the middle of the jumper wire, otherwise, with this method the lights will always be on so long as there is power to the keyboard. If you use a powered hub, the lights will remain on even if the computer is off. This is because the traces that go to the controller are not fully populated and without consulting an electronics expert (not me) and maybe using a scope, you probably won't get that working, and that is if it's even built into the controller at all.

All you simply (HA!) need to do is add resistors and LEDs, and then jumper (wire) the ground bypassing the controller.

Here it is partially finished, I was just making sure it works, I'll be doing the rest this weekend.
128878-0

Necessary items:
68 100ohm SMT resistors
68 3mm diameter 5volt leds
A 2in strip of small wire.


Open the keyboard, there is one screw under each pad and two under the small stickers at top and bottom in the middle. There is nothing under the large label.

First add your jumper wire, this needs to go from the connector over to a pad on the pcb as shown. Ignore the crappy joints, I was tacking things.
128880-1

Close ups:
128882-2
128884-3

Now add your resistors and LEDs.
LEDs need to be installed with the long leg in the + hole, I recommend bending them out 45 degrees after going in to hold them in pace while you solder. Make sure they are in all the way, I had one I had to redo because it hit the keycap.

Resistors are super tiny, but they are not as bad or time consuming to do as you think once you get a rhythm going.
I add a teeny dab of fresh solder to one pad (I did both, bad idea) then while holding the resistor in place with tweezers, melt it down. Now go add solder to the other side.

Next up, finish adding parts and print covers to change color and control the direction of light output.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline ArtVandelay

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  • Location: Maryland
Hi Leslieann! I've got this same board on the way and was considering adding LEDs to it as well. I just found your post and noticed that it kind of ends abruptly. Could you post some followup pictures of how it turned out? Also, I get where the LEDs get soldered to but I don't know where the surface mount resistors go. I also plan on adding a switch, possibly a potentiometer, to control them. Any additional help would be greatly appreciated!

EDIT: Looking at your pictures more closely, I'm thinking the resistors go where the "R##" is printed?
« Last Edit: Mon, 07 March 2016, 12:48:32 by ArtVandelay »

Offline suicidal_orange

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I don't know how this board's wired to be sure but 100ohm is a low value resistor for a keyboard LED and it sounds like Leslieann is using a powered USB hub so she may have more power available than a standard USB port can provide.  Not saying it won't work but I wouldn't go buying anything until she confirms it works for the whole board as if it draws too much power your computer will complain and disable it.

You're right though - R## are where the resistors go :)
                               
Ducky Zero, MX Reds    JD40, Jailhouse Blues           GH60
Soarer controller

Offline Leslieann

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Hi Leslieann! I've got this same board on the way and was considering adding LEDs to it as well. I just found your post and noticed that it kind of ends abruptly. Could you post some followup pictures of how it turned out? Also, I get where the LEDs get soldered to but I don't know where the surface mount resistors go. I also plan on adding a switch, possibly a potentiometer, to control them. Any additional help would be greatly appreciated!

EDIT: Looking at your pictures more closely, I'm thinking the resistors go where the "R##" is printed?
Sorry, I should have posted that.
Yes, that is where they go, you can follow the traces back from the LEDs. Beware, there are places where extras go, and if you populate them, who knows what will happen.

I have been busy with work and then I got the flu (yay), so I have yet to finish it. It doesn't help I'm not happy with the lights anyhow. They are really bright, and since it's on a powered hub, they stay on 24/7. I was going to rip the leds out, but decided I'll finish it, but a switch goes in first.
« Last Edit: Mon, 07 March 2016, 21:57:11 by Leslieann »
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Leslieann

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I don't know how this board's wired to be sure but 100ohm is a low value resistor for a keyboard LED and it sounds like Leslieann is using a powered USB hub so she may have more power available than a standard USB port can provide.  Not saying it won't work but I wouldn't go buying anything until she confirms it works for the whole board as if it draws too much power your computer will complain and disable it.

You're right though - R## are where the resistors go :)
It seems a few keyboard guides spec 1000, but I researched it before I bought them and everything agreed at 100 outside the keyboard community

As for the power, yes, I run it off a powered hub.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline ArtVandelay

  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Maryland
I don't know how this board's wired to be sure but 100ohm is a low value resistor for a keyboard LED and it sounds like Leslieann is using a powered USB hub so she may have more power available than a standard USB port can provide.  Not saying it won't work but I wouldn't go buying anything until she confirms it works for the whole board as if it draws too much power your computer will complain and disable it.

You're right though - R## are where the resistors go :)

Thanks suicidal_orange! I'll keep all of that in mind.

Offline ArtVandelay

  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Maryland
Hi Leslieann! I've got this same board on the way and was considering adding LEDs to it as well. I just found your post and noticed that it kind of ends abruptly. Could you post some followup pictures of how it turned out? Also, I get where the LEDs get soldered to but I don't know where the surface mount resistors go. I also plan on adding a switch, possibly a potentiometer, to control them. Any additional help would be greatly appreciated!

EDIT: Looking at your pictures more closely, I'm thinking the resistors go where the "R##" is printed?
Sorry, I should have posted that.
Yes, that is where they go, you can follow the traces back from the LEDs. Beware, there are places where extras go, and if you populate them, who knows what will happen.

I have been busy with work and then I got the flu (yay), so I have yet to finish it. It doesn't help I'm not happy with the lights anyhow. They are really bright, and since it's on a powered hub, they stay on 24/7. I was going to rip the leds out, but decided I'll finish it, but a switch goes in first.

Thanks for getting back to me! I hope you're feeling better. Would it be possible to install LEDs without using a powered USB hub? And would your use of those lower resistors be causing the LEDs to be very bright? I'm wondering how the backlit model of this board handles the LEDs without requiring a powered USB hub.

Offline Leslieann

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I'm no electronics expert, my understanding is the resistors are to drop the voltage from 5v down to the LEDs 3.3 volts. I fed that into an online calculator and it told me 100 ohm based on the LED specs. I couldn't tell you if they are brighter than normal or not, they are bright, but that seems to be all the rage these days. I do know they are not even warm to the touch.

I have no idea what effect it has on hub vs direct or any of that.


And yes, I'm feeling better, just starting to get back on my feet.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline kwadhera

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Hey! Trying to do the same thing with my unbacklit boards. Tried just one led with a 100Ohm & 1k Ohm resistor. With 100Ohm it is really bright, with 1k resistor its significantly dimmer but not bad.

Instead of jumping from the connector, which means LED are always ON. Someone suggested a transistor that might allow for us to use the built in dimming feature, but Im not sure which transistor to try.

If someone has PCB pics of the backlit Magicforce, they would be really helpful.


EDIT: Found a pic, http://i.imgur.com/6SQsn5Z.jpg  (Still would appreciate a better one though)

Looks like the backlit version uses 1.2k Ohm resistors, I might just go with 1k then
« Last Edit: Wed, 09 March 2016, 22:19:51 by kwadhera »

Offline Leslieann

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Even if you can identify all the missing parts, there is no guarantee the firmware has the code to turn them on and off, not that I wouldn't like to try.

As for the resistors they use, we would also need to know the specs of the LEDs as they work as a team.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Zibob

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Hey! Trying to do the same thing with my unbacklit boards. Tried just one led with a 100Ohm & 1k Ohm resistor. With 100Ohm it is really bright, with 1k resistor its significantly dimmer but not bad.

Instead of jumping from the connector, which means LED are always ON. Someone suggested a transistor that might allow for us to use the built in dimming feature, but Im not sure which transistor to try.

If someone has PCB pics of the backlit Magicforce, they would be really helpful.


EDIT: Found a pic, http://i.imgur.com/6SQsn5Z.jpg  (Still would appreciate a better one though)

Looks like the backlit version uses 1.2k Ohm resistors, I might just go with 1k then

The only this g the throws me off about the inbuilt controls for the backlighting is that the OCBs are different between the backlight and non backlight boards.

The backlight boards have the controller on the PCB SMD style. The non backlight has it in another separate green PCB that is soldered with pins to the main red PCB. The non backlight also lacks the DIP switches, while they have nothing to do with the LEDs the board is not just missing the switch but does not have the traces or through holes for it at all. So I am wondering if they have go that far to change the PCB whether the controller on the non backlight version even has the controls for the backlighting on/off or brightness.

I am very close to getting this project started myself and I have just planed to drill a small hole on the left side of the case and put a toggle switch through hooked up to the jumper wire to work the on off. Though if you could find more information about adding all the other parts to the non backlight board and seeing if it would come to life that would be really cool.

On the resistor side. I have a strip of 100Ohm SMD resistors after reading the initial post, so I will be using them, they were only a dollar or so though so if some thing like 300 or 500 would be more appropriate I would go get them before I start.

Has there been any more progress on the OP board?

EDIT: Iasked for some more pictures of the backlight PCB to see f there was some more info to be gained, I got back these so far but not sure if they are of enough help.

http://i.imgur.com/KtbZHZX.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/B7KbqCm.jpg

More EDIT: I took a look on the inside after i had though about the caps lock key having a resistor on the non backlight version and wanted to see what value it was. The resistor on the caps lock for the non backlight board is marked 472 which decodes to 4.7kOhm, so good and high. It is kind of dim but not very, this has me wondering just how bright the 100ohm LEDs will be. Maybe I should grab some 1k just in case I don't want to have to redo SMD stuff.

The other thing that interested me is that CapsLock seems to have two positions for Resistors on the LED. Would one be for the on/off when pressed and the other for just permanent on like all the other keys?

The other thing is looking at other pictures of the backlight version is that it has diodes all over the board but no fore ever single switch, though there could be some more on the other side too for what ever reason but unlikely. Incontrast the non backlight version does not seem to have these diodes.
« Last Edit: Mon, 04 April 2016, 17:46:12 by Zibob »

Offline Leslieann

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Use the 1000ohm resistors.
I think I burned one out already, not to mention annoyingly bright, glad I only did a few.

When I get back to it, I'll be putting in a switch, either on bottom (dip switch location) or the back (easier to reach). For the moment, I clipped the ground wire to turn them off.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Zibob

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Yeah sounds like a plan 1KOhm it is. I was just thinking that while 3-3.2 is their range running close to the limit could shorted the life span. This is also why I plan to SIP socket the board. I am not a fan of burnt out LEDs and having to delsolder to fix it. Been there, done that, had a run in with the company involved never want to go there again.

On the switch note I have a plan for that too. Got hold of a small toggle switch and found a nice spot on the right side near the wires to hook it in and have it poke out the side.

https://imgur.com/a/YxFVY there are a few pictures in there of the switch and location.
« Last Edit: Mon, 04 April 2016, 18:12:24 by Zibob »

Offline Leslieann

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If you're worried, you could probably use 1200ohm, that's what the lighted version uses.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Zibob

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Not overly worried, more just a little cautious 1kohm should be fine. I have the 100 ohm on hand as I bought them when I read you first post but I am going to see if a shop has them instore and pick up some 1k and try one of each any way just to see the brightness, but for the whole board I will go 1k all over, if the shop has them.

Offline kwadhera

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Hey guys I finished this project about 2 weeks ago. I made a post on reddit that has pictures. https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/4dk3bt/keyboard_science_photos_modded_turquoise_leds/


Please feel free to ask me any questions you have.

I ended up using 3.3V turquoise LED's and 1k ohm resistors. I put in a switch on one of the boards that works perfectly, albeit a bit ugly.



Offline Leslieann

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Don't use 100ohm, 1000ohm or even 1200ohm is much less likely to be problematic, as mentioned I had one burn out pretty fast.

Remember what they say, not everything on the internet is true. Pretty sure the formula I used was wrong.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline TheUltimateWeeb

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Thanks for the quick reply! I found 2.2k smt resistors online, would they be ok?#
Here is the link https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/100-x-SMD-SMT-0805-Chip-Resistors-Surface-Mount-2K2-2-2K-ohm-222-5-1-8W-RoHs/162803107132?hash=item25e7d2453c:g:epAAAOxyedRTed2z
also, how exactly would you solder them on? I don't see any obvious way of doing it.
Thanks for any help!

PS. I watched a video. Now i get it :)
« Last Edit: Tue, 15 May 2018, 15:20:59 by TheUltimateWeeb »

Offline Leslieann

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2.2k will be too much, should be able to get the right ones on ebay for cheap.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline TheUltimateWeeb

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Oh ok sorry, I thought that you meant that 1200 and 1000 ohm is too low.
Sorry for the misunderstanding!
I will definitely order the right ones.

Offline TheUltimateWeeb

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The last question I have is what size to buy? I have noticed that the most common size is 0805 (I'm not sure if that if that number is size, I'm just guessing)

Offline Leslieann

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All I did was search the resistance + SMD on Ebay.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)