I once had a laptop whose trackpad acted erratic, scrolling left to right in a quick hyper-active fashion. The manufacturer determined the battery, around 4 years old at the time, was slightly expanding, and causing pressure upon the trackpad. The diagnostics included a screen with a grid-like box for analyzing trackpad depressions. Sure enough there was a straight left-to-right line that formed in the diagnostic tool, mimicking mouse swipes that weren’t happening; the battery was definitely to blame. But it never dawned on me what the trackpad circuit board itself looked like – and so when my friend Darius recently posted this picture it suddenly all made sense!
A post shared by Darius B'Alexander (@antsinthekitchen) on
If I ever have to scrap another laptop (my current Lenovos are still chugging along after 5+ years in operation) I’ll be sure to salvage the trackpad circuit – that thing is a beauty!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.