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Can I add LED's to a regular Razer Black Widow Mechanical Keyboard?

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yazza2014

Registered
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Location
Australia
Hello,

First time posting, anyway I'd like some information/help regarding soldering LED's to a regular non-backlit Razer BlackWidow. I think it's the one from 2010.

I did some research, and some people have reported that the PCB in my version is the same as the Ultimate editions PCB. in other words, the current PCB in my keyboard has the pads for LED's and circuitry involved with LED's.

My questions are:

Can I add LED's?

Would I also need some resistors?

What LED's will I need? I'm guessing 3mm LED's. I'd like to use blue ones.

The method I will use will be using a solder sucker on the LED holes (To make a hole) and slip the LED legs through the switch and into the hole, and then solder them in place. Does this sound reasonable?

Some pictures

Back of the PCB (Ultimate edition, should be the same as mine)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mondalaci/5647305223/in/album-72157626562246038/

LED circuitry on PCB from switch removed

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mondalaci/5647864782/in/album-72157626562246038/

What I would like it to look like at the end, mine also has room for a LED.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mondalaci/5647866306/in/album-72157626562246038/

One thing I'm worried about, this picture of the PCB shows a place for resistors, do I need these for the LED's to work and what value are these resistors? Would be a lot of work if I had to do this. (Would need to desolder every switch to get to this part of the PCB)

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=147843&d=1407382720

Source for PCB info:

http://www.overclock.net/t/869461/razer-blackwidow-review

Thanks
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Can you pop off a keycap and take a picture of the key on your motherboard please?
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Okay, good, the switch has the pass-through for the LED.
I've seen some before that don't have the hole for the LED legs to go in.

What you want are these:
http://www.maxkeyboard.com/max-keyb...-for-backlit-mechanical-keyboard-110-pcs.html

You should be able to do this without unsoldering the switches, but it'll be tough.
You'll definitely need all the solder removed from the spots for the LED's before trying this.
Your method of doing this sounds reasonable. Also consider using some wick instead of a solder sucker, it might be easier for this job.

The only reason I see now that you possibly couldn't add LED's is if the firmware of the keyboard is written not to use that part of the circuit.
 
OP
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yazza2014

Registered
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Location
Australia
Okay, good, the switch has the pass-through for the LED.
I've seen some before that don't have the hole for the LED legs to go in.

What you want are these:
http://www.maxkeyboard.com/max-keyb...-for-backlit-mechanical-keyboard-110-pcs.html

You should be able to do this without unsoldering the switches, but it'll be tough.
You'll definitely need all the solder removed from the spots for the LED's before trying this.
Your method of doing this sounds reasonable. Also consider using some wick instead of a solder sucker, it might be easier for this job.

The only reason I see now that you possibly couldn't add LED's is if the firmware of the keyboard is written not to use that part of the circuit.


What about the resistor points on the circuit? Will they be needed for LED's? Do you know what value they would be?

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=147843&d=1407382720

I'll be buying one LED today to see if it lights up, before I end up spending $15 on LED's.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
^ this...use wick. Have you ever soldered before?

As for the resistor value...that will depend on the LED voltage and what you are powering it from.

The LED will have an on voltage (usually around 2V) and a current requirement to light the LED.

Resistor = (voltage - LED_voltage) / LED_current




 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
What about the resistor points on the circuit? Will they be needed for LED's? Do you know what value they would be?

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=147843&d=1407382720

I'll be buying one LED today to see if it lights up, before I end up spending $15 on LED's.

It's not a resistor point, it's a diode symbol. It shows you the polarity of the solder points so that you don't put the LED in backward.

^ this...use wick. Have you ever soldered before?

As for the resistor value...that will depend on the LED voltage and what you are powering it from.

The LED will have an on voltage (usually around 2V) and a current requirement to light the LED.

Resistor = (voltage - LED_voltage) / LED_current

Won't need a resistor for this as long as you use LED's to the spec of the keyboard that comes with them.
 
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yazza2014

Registered
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Location
Australia
^ this...use wick. Have you ever soldered before?

As for the resistor value...that will depend on the LED voltage and what you are powering it from.

The LED will have an on voltage (usually around 2V) and a current requirement to light the LED.

Resistor = (voltage - LED_voltage) / LED_current

Yes, I have soldered before. Even done SMD components, I should be fine.

I'd like to use blue LED's, so they'd be around 2.8~3 volts.

I used a multimeter on the board, under an LED already on the board, it measures 2.8 V, when it's turned off, I get a small reading in milli-volts. I get a similar reading for mili-volts on the LED pads without LED's (The ones under each switch)
 
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Y

yazza2014

Registered
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Location
Australia
It's not a resistor point, it's a diode symbol. It shows you the polarity of the solder points so that you don't put the LED in backward.



Won't need a resistor for this as long as you use LED's to the spec of the keyboard that comes with them.

They look like pads for resistors, the PCB shows R75, R74, R77. These aren't needed or related to LED's?

So I don't need resistors at all then? It should be as simple as placing the LED's in the circuit?
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Ah, sorry, I missed that picture. Yes, you'll need a resistor there for sure.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Any idea on the value of the resistor? Also, how can I access the top part of the PCB? There's a metal plate, how do I remove that?

JrClocker had the resistor value equation.

Not sure if that is attached via the switch or not.
If you don't see any screws, it is most likely attached by clipping the switches into the plate and then soldering the switches to the PCB.
 
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Y

yazza2014

Registered
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Location
Australia
JrClocker had the resistor value equation.

Not sure if that is attached via the switch or not.
If you don't see any screws, it is most likely attached by clipping the switches into the plate and then soldering the switches to the PCB.

Okay, well I'm not sure what the initial voltage is (I'm guessing 5v). It looks like I'd need to de-solder every switch to remove the metal plate to get access to the top part of the PCB. No wonder no one has documented completing this project. Everyone says it's possible, but the amount of effort is a lot.

Might not be worth doing then, would be easier to buy a new keyboard. But would still be an interesting project.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
I would just go buy a keyboard that's better than a Razer, IMHO.
 
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Y

yazza2014

Registered
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Location
Australia
I would just go buy a keyboard that's better than a Razer, IMHO.

I'm not going to buy a new keyboard while this one works fine.

Anyway, there is an LED at the botton of the circuit that lights up the Razer logo. Is there any way to hijack this circuit and direct power to other LED's? Only alternative I can think of.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Possible? Maybe.
Practical? No.

Instead, use that circuit to find out what voltage input you're getting.
 
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yazza2014

Registered
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Oct 25, 2014
Location
Australia
Possible? Maybe.
Practical? No.

Instead, use that circuit to find out what voltage input you're getting.

That particular LED reads as 2.8V, on the top of the PCB I can see a resistor that leads to that LED pad (The one powering up the Razer logo). I can't read the value of the resistor though.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
You'll need to read the value of the resistor, that's by far the easiest way to see what you need.