Am wondering how to use the keyboard from a Thinkpad 350.

Keyboard - showing connectors

There are three cables, with 6, 10, and 18 pins (but the big connector on the motherboard seems to have only 17).

I assume this is a grid of some sort. Perhaps the small cable is for the trackpoint and buttons.

Anybody know the details? Easiest way to use it now, with Linux?

Clarification: "use" = with a computer other than TP 350.

  • What do you mean, "use it"? You mean connect it to a computer other than a Thinkpad 350? It's possible but you might be better off asking on electronics.se
    – user
    Mar 15, 2018 at 14:57
  • Unlikely... The 18 pins are probably a matrix for the keypad. You will almost certainly need some kind for decoder for other systems.
    – user
    Mar 15, 2018 at 15:11
  • Ask how to measure the diodes on electronics.se
    – user
    Mar 15, 2018 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


I've had a very similiar problem - I wanted to use a ThinkPad S30 keyboard with an arduino nano (or any atmel), and no docs were available.

First things first, you'll need to figure out the keyboard matrix. I'd recommend using a multimeter with a beeper, and touching every single contact together with every other contact on those flex cables. It may be tricky, as you'll need to press every single key in order to know which one is which connections. After getting a beep, note everything - to be exact, which pins were shortened and which key(s) gave you a beep.

Then, you'll need to create a prog that will translate keystrokes from the keyboard to USB HID or PS/2 interface. The testing process will be very, very hard, but I'm sure that with some courage you'll be able to do it. Please post results when you'll finish, I want to see it working :3

  • Yes, thanks. I was hoping somebody else had done it...
    – Tomas By
    Mar 17, 2018 at 17:43

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