Keyboard Tester

Nice perk of my current job is that we are allowed to spend time creating time saving programs. Within reason!

After getting an unusual number of reports of broken keyboards we decided we needed a quick easy way to test keyboards. Using mostly Apple iMacs, that is what we wrote the program for. BUT it works pretty good on windows as well (numerical keypad has issues though, but useable).

Spent less than a day creating the DIY Keyboard Tester using LiveCode.

Keyboard Tester Mac: diykeyboardtestermac

Keyboard Tester Windows: diykeyboardtesterwin-exe

 

Thumb Drive – Data Recovery

After a small mishap, a user couldn’t read data off a thumb drive.  Of course EMERGENCY!

broken_td

Disassembled the thumb drive and under closer review I noticed a bend in the connector. Using a meter I toned out each of the four pins and found that none were connected to board. Noticed when the connector is bent, the internal wiring inside the jack break. Unsure if that is good or bad, but it could keep the board from shorting out when/if plugged into a computer.

usb_ports

Being careful to wire ground and 5+ volts correctly, I wired up an old usb cable from an old keyboard. (Test keyboards with [keyboard tester] and the ones that fail cut off their USB cables and go in parts bin.) Being very careful not to short any wires, solder cables as shown above. The solder pads for the USB connector could delaminate from the board, so follow the traces to a point you can solder to. Being very careful not to overheat anything!ds

td_wired

When I plugged the thumb drive back into computer, the drive was mounted. JUST long enough to copy off its contents. (Pretty sure I had a cold solder join on the chip.)

— Before you plug repaired thumb drive in, make sure you are ready to copy data off, you may only have one chance. —