W530/T530 classic keyboard mod (Pic warning)

T430/T440 and T530/540 series specific matters only
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brchan
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W530/T530 classic keyboard mod (Pic warning)

#1 Post by brchan » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:34 pm

This guide will teach you how to fit a classic keyboard from the T420/T520/W520 generation into a T530/W530 generation laptop with default chiclet keyboard.

For future reference, T520/W520 palmrests are not compatible with W530/T530 models. Thinkwiki was incorrect with the 15.6" models. There are numerous additional plastics around the bottom of the trackpoint area that don't line up with the magnesium frame. Even after removing them, the top left corner of T520/W520 palmrests will always want to 'shift' downwards. There is also noticeable 'bowing', at the trackpoint area. Lastly, the short screw hole of palmrest that is next to the W530/T530 logo (near the hinge) is offset just enough that it will not align properly with the magnesium frame hole.

It is therefore much easier to use the default W530/T530 palmrest with the classic keyboard, and do the following:

1. Sand/cut only the front nub at the trackpoint buttons on the classic keyboard.
2. Cut the little double plastic tab inserts on the palmrest where the different nubs of the left and right sides of the keyboards insert into the palmrest. This is very easy and will allow the full size nubs of the classic keyboard to fit in. These double plastic tabs were added to fill the gap between the flat nubs on the chiclet keyboard, compared to the thicker ones on the classic one.
3. After modifying the palmrest and seating it back into the machine, Insert the back of the keyboard first, then press down on the front. The nubs of the keyboard will probably not fit in right away, so you can remove the 'alt', 'arrow down', and left 'ctrl' keys and get better leverage for fitting them in.

All done! Now you can enjoy the classic keyboard in T530/W530 models.

Sits flush with palmrest:
http://i67.tinypic.com/t8kl02.jpg

Tiny cutout visible because classic keyboard does not cover it:
http://i65.tinypic.com/29wnakj.jpg

Closer look at keyboard:
http://i64.tinypic.com/2q0nc06.jpg

Trackpoint nub insert is not noticeable at all:
http://i64.tinypic.com/2vl7acn.jpg

MOD edit: you've been on this forum long enough to know better about pictures and allowed sizes etc...
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

ajkula66
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Re: W530/T530 classic keyboard mod (Pic warning)

#2 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:52 pm

I'm not certain that I understand the point of this mod without a BIOS mod - still not available for *30 series AFAIK - being done first.

What - if anything - am I missing?
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

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brchan
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Re: W530/T530 classic keyboard mod (Pic warning)

#3 Post by brchan » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:09 am

The purpose of the mod is not to regain the functionality of the 7th row (since there isn't a bios mod available), butto get the feel and look of the classic keyboard on T530 era models. The chiclet keyboards on these models reduced key travel depth from 2.5mm to 2.1mm. The classic keyboard I received happened to also be the first ALPS keyboard I have every used. The trackpoint buttons in particular are much firmer and less mushy than my liteon chiclet keyboard. I think this might be my one of favorite keyboards, just behind the X301.

EDIT: There is now a bios mod for xx30 models that enables support for the classic keyboard: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6&start=60
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

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