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Converting Internal MacBook Trackpad to External USB Trackpad

Hi there,

I have a "Apple MacBook Genuine A1278 MB466LL/A MB466 Silver Touchpad & Cable 821-1254-A."

It's the internal trackpad from a modern MacBook Pro. It has some kind of 22-pin connector on the end of the cable. Does anyone know if it would be possible to convert this trackpad into a standalone USB mouse that could be used on another computer?

Here's a similar hack for older model Macbook Pros: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVQKl-HV...

Thanks!

Answer this question I have this problem too

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Yeah I would Love to have a Tutorial or Guide for that, too.

So hoping for this to be possible.

Please, somebody help US....

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@mayer, not to be too ignorant, but I fail to see how the link to that trackpad helps anything. Is it to verify the model?

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I changed the icon to the correct machine. Then added the link so people would know exactly what was being talked about.

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Hey,

I am also looking to achieve this mod. In my research I have found others used the test points on the older macbook pro touchpads as solder points for the data and power cables in USB. I cant see these at all on the newer A1278 models so will be sacrificing a known bad part to attempt to find them. Unfortunately this could be the only feasible option as the cables I the flex connector and cable are so %#*@ small. If I am successful will put it up for others to see.

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4 Answers

Most Helpful Answer

Yes you can! Mac trackpads and keyboards are just USB (1?) devices!

If you have a dead MacBook (Pro/ Air) you’ll still be able to convert its KYBD and trackpad to a genuine and original (although a bit steampunk) Mac KYBD & trackpad array. Apple itself, nor other brands IMHO have no KYBDs combined with trackpads on the market, So, get original!

Excellent addition for an iMac, for example.

You’ll need a soldering iron & some tools, as well as a simple USB A cable to spare.

USB 2 connections are very simple: Common, +5V, Data+ and Data -. Just 4 soldering connections to do.

The easiest Apple model to recuperate from I find is the 2007 MBP Core2 Duo with the defective NVIDIA 8600 M GT in it.

To be had for free, mostly.

Unrepairable, but the KYBD & trackpad may be salvaged. Internal flatcable may be defective (another generic defect with this model), but this in no way defeats our purposes.

If you want a more capable trackpad, a more recent Mac wreck will do. I hope some other iFixit members will chip in with the USB board pinout.

As for the present: see these:

https://youtu.be/dVQKl-HVnoI

https://i.imgur.com/IOur8lI.png

Happy DIY!

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Of what Mac Mobo I don't know, but here goes:

https://bounav.files.wordpress.com/2008/...

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Hi, has anyone managed to do this? I’d like to try myself

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I got a macbook but forgot the password how can i fix

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If it can be fix how much do it cost

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I got a hold on the new style of trackpad (started in 2016, I think) and the board schematic for a matching macbook pro. It looks like they moved to SPI for the trackpads, so I think you’d need to add another controller to convert it and at that point I don’t think you get the driver support.

Here’s some info for anyone that wants to pick up from here.

Interesting chips on the trackpad:

  • BCM5976C1 - There’s 2 and I think this is the digitizer and I think it’s i2c
  • STM32F103C8I6 - Arm Cortex-m3, capable of USB but IO is software controlled I think

Here’s the pin out for the trackpad connector on the logic board (I think you can ignore the KBD stuff since the keyboard uses a different connector):

  1. SMC_LID
  2. SMBUS_SMC_3_SCL
  3. SMC_PME_S4_WAKE_L
  4. SMBUS_SMC_3_SDA
  5. SMC_ACTUATOR_DISABLE_L
  6. KBD_INT_L
  7. TPAD_SPI_INT_L_CONN
  8. KBD_I2C_SDA
  9. GND
  10. GND
  11. TPAD_SPI_MOSI
  12. KBD_I2C_SCL
  13. TPAD_SPI_CS_L_CONN
  14. KBD_BLC_XBLANK
  15. TPAD_SPI_MISO
  16. KBD_BLC_XBLANK
  17. TPAD_SPI_MISO
  18. KBD_BLC_GSSOUT
  19. TPAD_SPI_CLK_CONN
  20. KBD_BLC_GSSCK
  21. PP5V_S4_TPAD_CONN
  22. KBD_BLC_GSLAT
  23. SMC_VIBE_L

then everything else is power or ground (5v, 3v, 0v - active gnd, 12.6v on a fuse)

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mitchchaiet will be eternally grateful.
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