MacBook Core Duo Logic Board Keyboard Connector Pinout

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

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  • Ebonfyre

    I can confirm this pinout works on a MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009) keyboard. I am an ACMT working for a school repairing their laptops and have stacks of this model topcase in various states of disrepair and wanted to find some way of salvaging one for a steampunk mod. Instead of soldering to test leads (which I could find no accurate diagram of anyway) I opted to solder to the connector leads on the board of the small black plastic male jack which connects it to the MLB (the diagram of which you so graciously put above). I removed the plastic jack carefully (I broke 2 but I have plenty to experiment with and I think with better tools and heat rather than force it would go smoother, if I come up with a readily reproducible method I will post that later) which leaves nicely tinned leads on the little board on the flat ribbon cable ready to go. The D+ and D- leads are pretty close together but a steady hand will triumph. I’m typing this on the reclaimed topcase now, multitouch trackpad works perfectly too.

    • Kyle

      Hey man,
      Me and a friend (both ACMTs) are messing around with this idea. What pinout did you use? We can’t tell which wires are which just by looking at the USB cable from the keyboard.
      And how did you get the plastic jack off without taking the leads with it? lol

      • Kyle

        Nevermind, my silly friend didn’t consider actually looking at the jack and comparing it to the pinout you have here… lol

        Will report back with our outcome.

    • Kyle

      Well as soon as the soldering iron touched one of the leads, the whole thing fell right off… it’s difficult to do this with surface mounted leads. Plus, our iron was pretty hot too… we need something with very low heat.

      Any suggestions?

      • http://cyrozap.com cyrozap

        You could try a hot air rework gun.

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