Upper case and a bit extra

A project log for MakeBook pro

Removing the guts of an old Macbook Pro, while salvaging as much as I can, and replacing it with a SBC and some other cool stuff

EliEli 02/20/2015 at 12:060 Comments

As I noted in the previous log there are several elements in the upper case which converge to a single ribbon cable connecting the case to the logic board. At first glance this seemed daunting, however upon closer inspection I saw its a bit simpler.

After disassembling all of the pieces the breakdown is:

I spent a bit of time trying to see how can I interface with these parts and while researching the bluetooth module I came across a very helpful blog post by evilrobot:

I'll sum up the post:

He talks about building a hackintosh with parts from a dead macbook and adds an important note: "in any iMac; MacBook; MBP; etc, etc - the Bluetooth module; keyboard and trackpad (on laptops); built in iSight; and IR Reciever are USB devices!!"

so final conclusions for now:

  1. The power button has a built in capacitor to delay its operation, thus it only works with voltage applied to it.
  2. Reed switch is coupled with a magnet in the LCD enclosure and needs power to work unlike simpler reed switches.
  3. bluetooth module, trackpad and keyboard are USB devices, which fits the 8 pins I saw going to the keyboard and trackpad controller.
  4. backlight interface still unknown. I'll test it soon enogh.
  5. The bluetooth module USB connection is not standard! it uses 3.3v instead of 5v! this means other internal usb connection need to be examined as well.
  6. hackintosh forums seem to be a good source of information.

Some notes regarding non upper case components:

  1. As mentioned iSight camera and IR receiver are also USB devices.
  2. I managed to use the front led (on the latch button) with a simple 3v battery, so I can simply use a GPIO connection to control it.
  3. WIFI antenna uses a ufl connector.
  4. The bluetooth module has a SPI interface which I assume is used to load firmware to the device.