Salvaging a laptop screen

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#1
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Hello,

So I've a broken lenovo thinkpad lying around and am rather keen on recycling that lovely display...

To date I've not had any luck with it though and sadly google hasn't been much help. Has anyone here done anything similar and is willing to share some pointers as to how one would go about this?

Thank you,

Phil

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We use 19" monitor panels in our product and I guess the situation will be very similar (though perhaps a little more integrated in a laptop?). The panels themselves have row/column drivers that are driven over an LVDS connection. This in turn is driven by a "scaler card" which is a board that can take an analogue input (VGA) and then digitise/scale it to the required size and output the RGB data and pixel/line/frame clocks over LVDS. In a laptop I guess the analog element may not exist. A bought-in scaler (if you commit to 10,000+) might be $5..$10 (which actually buys a lot of electronics. If you could buy them in retail, one-off I'm guessing £30..$50 perhaps?

Cliff

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Thanks for the quick response. This scaler card sounds like just the ticket. The input to the screen itself looks a lot like that of the little LCDs I'm used to; not that this is anywhere near definitive but intuition suggests you're on the money.

This is just for tinkering with at home so I think 10,000+ may be overkill but buying one (if I can't source a sample) may be worth while if I can discount the experience:)

Thanks again!

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Every broken/thrown away LCD monitor that ever existed contains a scaler. Not sure about South Africa but here we have "community refuse reclamantion" sites (aka "rubbish dumps" ;-))

Usually in the corner there's a pile of old monitors and other computer bits and pieces. If you ask them nicely they might let you take an LCD monitor or two to "scavenge"

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Definitely worth a go but the mindset towards chucking stuff out differs somewhat over here :wink:
When I was up there I remember a guy throwing away a whole car because it failed its roadworthiness due to a couple of minor problems. The mind boggles!
Fortunately those who know me tend to give me their broken stuff :lol:

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Just one word of warning when fiddling about inside the back of an LCD monitor - most of it is 5V or 3V3 but not the backlight inverters - do NOT touch the hot side of the inverters or you'll know about it (or in the worst case you won't).

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Sorry but if you don't have a way to look at the signals, that can get it to work (the old broken labtop or an other one that works) you are in for a hard time.

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Thanks for the heads up! Just the sort of thing I forget to think about...

...until after I've touched what shouldn't be touched...

...repeatedly :oops:

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Quote:
if you don't have a way to look at the signals
If only... It's going to be a whole lot of trial and error for the most part. Fortunately I have no time constraints. Either I'll eventually get it working or I'll break it (be it deliberately or an accident :lol: )

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I have an old laptop I kept for similar reasons. I almost let it be carted off to a recycler, but thought it might have hack possibilities.

Perhaps this scaler takes a standard vga signal like described http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vga?

If you don't know my whole story, keep your mouth shut.

If you know my whole story, you're an accomplice. Keep your mouth shut. 

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Quote:
Fortunately those who know me tend to give me their broken stuff

Yes, I know what you mean. :D I will have to build another new shed soon.....not! :oops:

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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Hi Torby,

Thanks for the link. What was already a fairly daunting project is getting more so... If you have any luck please do let me know :D