Sunday, April 26, 2015

Reviving an Apple Wireless Keyboard

After about five years of service, my Apple Keyboard started giving me lots of trouble: missing keys that I’d typed, repeating keys that I’d only typed once, showing the character accent pop-over when I hadn’t held down a key, and spontaneously connecting and disconnecting from Bluetooth.

In the past, these types of problems always signaled that the two AA batteries needed changing, even though they were usually shown at 20% or higher capacity. This time, however, changing batteries only helped for a few hours, and then the problems recurred. I tried several sets of batteries, all above 85% capacity. Restarting the Mac sometimes seemed to help, but only for a short time. Other Bluetooth devices worked fine with the Mac.

I was pretty sure that I needed a new keyboard when I came across this post by Kevin C. Tofel about using tin foil to fix a Bluetooth Apple Keyboard that wouldn’t power on. He put a little ball of aluminum foil between the battery and the keyboard’s positive contact to make sure that they were connected. My keyboard always turned on, but perhaps the problems were caused by it intermittently losing power. Sure enough, I dropped a much smaller ball of foil into my keyboard two days ago, and it’s been working perfectly ever since.

This is a great keyboard. The only other problem I’ve had is that the labels are wearing off some of the keys—the E and S are gone, along with half of the D and C, and much of the Down Arrow—though I only use it with clean fingers. The E has even developed a little depression. This never happened with other keyboards that I used, for more years.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

I am so pleased to find that someone used good old fashioned ingenuity to make a 'tin foil pea' to place at the positive ends of the Apple Wireless Keyboard battery terminals.
I was thinking of doing something like this but didn't have the patience to waste my time. Luckily I googled "Apple Wireless Keyboard battery' and found this highly technical brilliant solution.
I didn't expect this sort of thing from Apple even in 2006.
This is my second keyboard. Maybe I could have saved the first one this way.

[…] this was due to a hardware problem with my original aluminum Apple keyboard. I had been able to extend its life by making better connections to the batteries, but power problems with this model seem to be […]

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