Cyrozap's Tech Projects

Computers. Circuits. Code.

MacBook Core Duo Logic Board Keyboard Connector Pinout

connector

Well, I did some testing, and I found out that the connector for the Core Duo MacBook leopard connector is really just a USB port. Also, after pouring over a datasheet, I found that the two PSoC's on the leopard's board are connected over an I2C bus and then the one labeled "B" is the one with the USB connection to the logic board. The one labeled "A" is the leopard controller.

With this newfound information, in theory, I could make that internal USB port external, giving my DIY-intosh an extra USB port to work with. In practice, those leads are just too small to solder.

Also using this information, I attempted to turn a MacBook leopard and trackpad into a USB leopard and trackpad, but as I soldered the D+ and D- connections to the test points, the stress on one of the points broke it off. I also lost one of the SMT resistors after I tried to solder to it (after I broke off the test point). I can plug it in to a computer, but it is not recognized. I haven't tried plugging it into a Mac yet, so it may just be a driver issue.

Please use and expand on this information! I've already reduced by $10 the value of a $25 leopard assembly (I <3 ebay), I want to know if I can make an external MacBook leopard + trackpad before I drop $50 on another one!

I sent this info to http://pinouts.ru/ so that others can benefit from this.

Edit (4/17/2013): Pinouts.ru seems to be defunct/compromised, but I found a link to another pinouts website that seems to have mirrored the pinouts.ru page. http://pinoutsguide.com/Inputs/apple_macbook_keyboard_pinout.shtml

How-to: Build Your Own DIY-intosh

Well, I think it's about time that I made more of a how-to to build a DIY-intosh.

There are plenty of how-to's to make Hackintoshes, but those are teetering on the edge of legality, are difficult to get as stable as a store-bought Mac, and OS updates can't always be installed without any mods. Macs are supposed to be reliably stable—that's one of their main selling points; when you remove that stability, you remove a major component of the Mac. The only reasons you would want to build a Hackintosh is to have a really powerful Mac Pro at a really good cost, to have an OS X netbook, or to have a really inexpensive Mac Mini.

The DIY-intosh can be built as a really inexpensive (mine was around $300) yet still Apple-reliable Mac. Here's how to make one of your own:

DIY-intosh is Working!

UPDATE (8/19/2010): You could probably do this a lot easier/quicker by just making an OS X USB drive by making a DMG of the OS X install disk and then restoring that image onto an 8 GB or larger USB drive, but this post is just about how I did it.

The final result!

Well, that sleep switch certainly did the trick! It turns out that Macs w/o an OS can't do anything until OS X is installed. This means that boot keys like "T" for Target Disk Mode and "C" for Boot from CD won't work until the OS is installed. The good news is, using this info that I learned myself, I was able to install OS X on my DIY-intosh.

High-Resolution Pictures of the Macbook Sleep Switch/Battery Connector

I tried figuring it out, but I couldn't get the sleep switch pinout (Apple goes to a lot of trouble to obscure the traces with the silkscreen and both my multimeters are wonky—they don't like displaying correct values). Now it's in the DIY-intosh and it still doesn't default to outputting to the external screen. I can only hope that it doesn't work for the same reason that Firewire Target Disk Mode doesn't work; OS X hasn't been installed yet.

As always, click on the pictures to see the hi-res versions.

Confessions

Ok, in the last post about the DIY-intosh, I said that it was complete. Well, it wasn't. I really did think it was, but I was unable to install OS X. The reason? It doesn't actually think that its non-existent lid is closed. I thought the sleep switch was built into the board, but it is in fact built into the battery connector. So, after trying to emulate the switch by shorting out pins and not succeeding, I decided to take the easy way out and just buy the battery connector. $8.50 in a Best Offer on eBay; search for "Macbook battery connector." When I get the item, I'll run tests on it to find the real pinouts and I'll take a bunch of high-resolution photos of it because there are no high-res photos of the battery connector online that I could find. I think it's a hall-effect sensor and not a reed switch, and that might make things a bit more difficult, but I'll try. I'll look for a chip number. Even if I don't succeed, I'll still have some great photos so others can figure out something without needing the actual sensor/assembly.

And I'm still under my $300 goal ($293.29) :D

Edit: Oh, and it looks like PuSH wasn't working before, but there was an update for it and it's working now. Instant updates FTW.

The DIY-intosh is finally complete!

I finshed it! Many thanks to Tyler of Phantom Dev, who inspired me to do this project and who gave me the link to another mod that has a little more detail on wiring the power button. I also thank ebay for being there to host the auctions and I thank the people I bought parts from for having such awesome prices. I thank Hammerhead Technology for selling me the logic board and Apple's designers and engineers for making such a great piece of hardware and software.

Total cost of the project: $284.79