I have a librem 15 v2 and since the end of last week, several keys on my keyboard work badly (I need to press several time to get the character out or one press produces 2 characters). Interestingly, the keys are not randomly distributed on the keyboard: they are the , [i], [k], [,] keys (ie on the same diagonal).
I have no clue what could be the reason… other than I had my laptop as carry-on luggage in a plane trip and it could have been pressed by some other luggage in the overhead bin (but I can not see anything visible on the case itself). Does anybody has an idea what I can do to repair it? Or do I have to order a replacement keyboard?
Thanks a lot,
That’s interesting, I have the same issue since some time. The affected keys (, [i], [k], [,]) are also exactly the same. What I found out is that after a while of using the keyboard the keys are working better again, until I move the laptop…
I also cleaned the affected keys but that didn’t help at all. Any ideas are appreciated!
Surprisingly, yesterday my keyboard worked perfectly fine. Not a single problem with these keys… I have just no clue what this could be.
I can’t speak for Librem keyboards specifically, but for keyboards in general the symptom of a column of keys sometimes working and sometimes not working suggests that there is an intermittent break in the electrical connection for one of the keyboard matrix columns.
If you’re lucky, it might just be that the connector needs reseating. (If you’re very unlucky, this might disturb the fault and make it worse.) Don’t forget to release the locking mechanism on the connector, or you’ll damage it. (I speak from experience!)
Otherwise, the solution is usually to buy a new keyboard.
If you have a lot of patience, you might be able to dismantle the keyboard, locate the broken trace (by visual inspection or by probing with a multimeter in continuity or resistance mode), and then repair it very carefully using a conductive ink pen. There is probably a hairline crack somewhere, which just about makes a connection but sometimes moves out of place, so it might be difficult to find it. These keyboards can be difficult to take apart and put back together correctly, because of all the tiny, easily broken plastic key mechanisms.
From Pursim’s answer as well as after doing it myself: I’ve cleaned up the keyboard connector and it now works perfectly!
The connector looks like this: https://wiki.puri.sm/hw/L13/v3 (it is actually written on the motherboard). To open the FPC connector, you have to lift up the black tab: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9PwK9eGrCY . Then I cleaned it up with a soft cloth and alcohol (and it was actually quite dirty), pushed it back, and voila!
I had this same exact problem on a Librem 15 V3. The same solution worked perfectly. I had two minor issues performing the ‘surgery’, which I overcame:
- Some of the screws are held in by loc-tite. Persistence and a good small screwdriver did the trick. Perhaps have some on hand if you want to replace the loc-tite.
- The component arrangement on the V3 is slightly different. The keyboard ribbon component looks the same and is easy to identify.
The entire process took me about 20 minutes, most of which was screwing and unscrewing screws. Simply removing, cleaning, and re-seating the keyboard ribbon completely solved the keyboard problem.