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Replace ACER Aspire ms2361 Keyboard with or without frame?

I need to replace the keyboard on an ACER Aspire ms2361 laptop.

The keyboard consists of 3 parts:
- the keyboard core with keys and cable
- the keyboard frame that outlines the keys and provides the interstices between the keys. This piece goes on top of the keyboard core.
- a metallized plastic sheet with two threaded socket-type mounts that attaches to the keyboard back/bottom (with sticky material) and then to the computer from the bottom with screws to hold the keyboard assembly in the computer.

There are many keyboards found for this computer "without the frame".  I bought one.

With some "reasonable force" I was able to remove the old keyboard core from the frame as well as the metallized backing sheet.  Replacing the backing sheet isn't "neat" but it seems adequate as the sticky material remains.  
And, I was able to "reassemble" the keyboard and the frame but not "good enough" in my opinion.
It appears that the keyboard was attached to the frame with plastic posts on the frame that fit through holes in the keyboard metal backing.  Some posts snapped into the keyboard and some didn't.  
(It appears that the keyboard was originally attached to the frame by thermoplastic flow of the post ends in some sort of press - much like expanding a rivet).  Maybe there's a tool for this?

Anyway, while the attachment so far seems just adequate, the faces of the keys don't protrude quite far enough above the interstices on the frame - so it seems a bit hokey.

I'm wondering if there's a way to better make the attachment to the plastic posts?
- trim them (so they'll fit through the holes) and re-flow them with something like a soldering iron?
- give up and purchase a keyboard with the frame integral to it?

If you've done this then you probably know the answer.
What I can't figure out is why there are so many of the keyboard cores for sale alone?
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Fred Marshall
Asked:
Fred Marshall
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1 Solution
 
arnoldCommented:
Do you still have the old, might it have had a cusion in the button that pushed it upwards?

You might have gotten the wrong keyboard. I.e. The keyboard had to come with the frame attached.
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
"- trim them (so they'll fit through the holes) and re-flow them with something like a soldering iron"
If you don't have enough post left for a good spread by heating, a dab of model cement or 5-minute epoxy will do the trick.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
It's the correct keyboard.
There is no cushion involved.

Good idea re the glue.

Any ideas how to trim the posts?  What kind of tool?  I don't even know what it might be called.  Something like a reversed end mill that's hollow with the cutters on the inside periphery.
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
X-Acto knife and just cut off the mushroom's sides; leave the post as long as possible.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
An X-Acto knife would probably to it but would be quite tedious and not very precise.

I was hoping for something that could "turn" like an end cutter.  That would be more precise and a lot less time-consuming.
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
You can get router bits that are the proper shape; though, I don't know about the correct size being available......

I have done this before, more than once, and never had any trouble with the X-Acto knife.  How many posts are there?
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
There are over 50 posts.  You can see the holes for them on the silvered back of the keyboard you linked.  Each hole with a recessed edge plus all those similar half-holes on the edges engage with posts.

The keyboard link you sent is the keyboard WITHOUT the frame  and WITHOUT the backing foil.  It's for a slightly different model number but I don't see any obvious differences.  
If it were with the frame then the interstices between the keys on the front would not be showing all those round holes and there would be a frame with smooth edges around the sides.
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arnoldCommented:
The difficulty some posts that are long might be the ones that once pass through actually hold the keyboard up while the shorter ones are acting as spacers/support.
Can you compare the original keyboard to this one dealing with long posts and whether that is where there are ......

I think there are replacement backlit keyboards for your laptop that are complete, vs in pieces.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
The posts are all the same length.  The issue with trimming them is that they've been mushroomed at the top like a rivet more or less.  So, there's a small protrusion at the top going out to the side.  And this protrusion has a larger diameter than the holes they need to fit into.  And, then they would need to be re-swaged or formed.

Yes, there are replacement keyboards that are complete.  This question is about dealing with the many for sale that are not complete.  The price difference is considerable, like 4X.
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arnoldCommented:
Understand, cost but the time, and the issues that might arise following the assembly ...

How is the backlighting fits in?

Have not/seen how does the bottom backlight attaches?  It may have the rivets that force out those posts.
Compare the old keyboard's to the new.  
Trying to heat/mold the slightly expanded posts.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
In this case there is no backlighting.  That seems to take another connector/cable.
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arnoldCommented:
Was there a cusion type on the bottom of the old keyboard between it and the backplane?
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
The keyboard and the backplane are really a single assembly.  Just like the picture in the link you provided.
There is a backing foil with glue that may be for shielding and is definitely there to glue the keyboard to mounts which screw in from the bottom of the computer.
No cushion.
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Can we say YUCH?!!!!
The actual name for the top piece is a bezel.  I found it in several colors and yes, it looks like a PITA.
Note to self; if encountering this Acer, tell the poor guy his keyboard will be $60!
But; since we're already in deep kimchi....

Most of the time, the plastic posts are fairly soft.  If you have a pair of needle nose pliers with serrated jaws (grooves to grip better), what happens if you grab a post, semi-loosely, and rotate the pliers to reform the swedge?  If the mushrooming falls off, fine; if it reforms, great.  Once all of the posts go into the holes, you can either melt them or put a drop of glue on the end to hold it in place.

That "MS2361" is a little vague to find good info.  The model ought to be something like V5-571.  What is it?
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
It's a
V5-531-4636 / MS2361

Yep, I think you are getting the picture here DavisMcCarn!

I was able to get enough of the posts to engage as follows:
Frame face down:
1) Engage the top or bottom edge posts first by slanting the keyboard into them.
2) Lay the keyboard down on the frame - keeping the edge posts engaged.
3) Bow the keyboard upward in the middle from top to bottom so that the remaining top or bottom posts can engage the half-holes on that edge.
4) Using a small 1/4" drive socket handle with a small hex socket, use this as a pressing tool to "pop" the existing posts into the holes by pressing down over them.
.. this way, without trimming the posts, I was able to get an "acceptable" reassembly.  The space bar didn't work the first time so I had to do it over again.  So, I'd recommend watching the space bar.  It should have a soft "click" like any other key when pressed down.

I'd like to find a better trimming tool than needle nose pliers...
I have another one to do.
Fully assembled keyboards run around $85 to $90.
Bare keybors around $20.
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Hey; after over 38 years of fixing these things, most days, I have a clue......
My only concern with forcing the posts through the holes is that some of the mushroom may break off and wind up between the bezel and the keyboard.
But; FYI, if the bezel is silver, here it is for $49 with the bezel and the back: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Acer-Aspire-V5-571-V5-571P-V5-531-Replacement-Lighted-Keyboard-NSK-R3KBW-/111581449814?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19fac5ce56
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