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Design68: A 65% replacement keyboard using AppleDesign controllers


Well-known member
Damn you build a whole team ! The black is very nice indeed

How did you do these corded cables ? S-Video ?
I had a few extra coiled ADB cables. I cut off one connector, figured out which wire went to which pin, and connected them to a connector. I think I discussed it in this thread, but the 1st connector is 2.0mm pitch, not 2.54. But that allowed me to swap cables and made it easier to paint the black ones. It's a bit trickier than painting the mouse / cable I did for my MacTV, because you need to put a little tension on the cable to stretch it so you can get the inside of the coil. But you don't want too much because these cables tend to not return to their initial tight coil if stretched for too long.


New member
How dead are the "dead ADK"s that you guys turn into these keyboards? I've got an Alps ADK I'm thinking of turning into one of these, but I can't seem to get any life out of it at all - besides the LEDs flashing the first time I plugged it in, I can't get it to type, or flash the caps lock LED using another keyboard


Well-known member
Missing keys, broken case mostly. Can you see your keyboard with ADBParser ?

The three LEDs flashing the first time is a good sign. It means the controller is alive.

The LED trick I've seen it fail with working keyboards, don't know why. I will go with either your matrix is fully dead, or it's the ADB cable which is bad. Worst case it's the controller but my bet is on the matrix or the cable.

Try by disconnecting the matrix and checking the cable with a multimeter


Well-known member
@demik for the four LEDs, the accent and caps lock ones are working fine for me (accent is always on and caps lock is on when caps lock is activated). For the other two, there's one under the home button and one under the power/function button. These two blink when I turn the machine on, but after that, not sure what they are supposed to do/indicate or how they are activated?


Well-known member
@jmac they are not used much. The controller blink them after initialization and that's about it.

IIRC, the one under Power is actually "Num lock" and the other one is "Scroll lock". Like on a real Mac, these LEDs are not very useful.
You can make them blink with something like ADB Express

There is another software like ADB Express that can also blink the LEDs on network and / or disk access, but I cannot remember the name :(


Well-known member
Finally finished mine.

Gateron Yellow switches
CIY Tester board
Cheap key caps from Aliexpress

Many thanks to @demik for making this possible.


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Very nice cassie-esque keyboard. I'd like to do something like that eventually...

if only MacEffects would just sell the //c keycaps separately. I'm sure there's a lotta keyboarders that would like those.