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Hardware Review: Custom LVDS LCD Cable by MotorCity

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  • Hardware Review: Custom LVDS LCD Cable by MotorCity

    Hardware Review: Custom LVDS LCD Cable by MotorCity
    What it is/does:
    A custom designed 12' long cable used for connecting a suitable LVDS LCD panel to a video card or motherboard with a LVDS transmitter.

    LVDS is a technology used in many laptop LCD displays, and has a capability of going distances up to around 15 feet (or so).

    Reviewed by: Giuliano
    Manufacturer: MotorCity

    Twelve foot long LVDS cable, with integrated wiring for the backlight inverter and the USB touch panel controller.

    Price: $95 (MSRP)
    Rating: 9.5/10
    Manufacturer website:
    Purchased at: Via PM / e-mail.
    • A very well made and professionally crafted cable assembly.
    • Each wire in the assembly has a unique color pattern, making it easy to identify which wires go where.
    • The entire length of cable is jacketed in a very tough heat shrink tubing, protecting the wires from damage.
    • Combining the LVDS Data / Power wires, the LCD Inverter wires, and the USB Touch panel wires into one cable reduces the number of cables that you need to run to the dash.
    • Obtaining the cable took a week or two longer than I expected, due to a few minor issues and delays. However, I am still pleased with the service and the product.

    Here's what the LCD side of the cable looks like:

    The flat connector on the bottom contains the LVDS LCD power and data signals.

    The thick cable in the middle is the USB touch panel controller cable - it's shielded, and there's a ferrite about 6" down the cable to eliminate any noise issues.

    The connector on the top is for the LCD Backlight Inverter, and contains wires for the 12V power, backlight enable / disable, and the backlight brightness control.

    The tiny brown wire hanging off the end of the Inverter connector is an option I specially requested - a short bit of cable left on so I can control the backlight with a variable resistor (potentiometer) if I choose to.

    All the wires in the assembly are stranded wire, and are in twisted pairs.

    Stranded wire is better than solid core wire, as they can make for cables that are more flexable than solid core. For example, most CAT5 Ethernet cables are solid core wires.

    Twisted pairs are good, as the signals carried on the wires are received as differential pairs - having the wires all being twisted pairs means that the cable can be longer without the need to have a more expensive shielded cable.

    The wires themselves have a teflon-coated insulation, and are uniquely color coded for each pair.

    For example, one color pair has a red wire, and a red wire with a black stripe.

    The same pattern follows through with the other wires, although sometimes the colors are a bit different.

    It's nearly impossible to make a good quality LVDS cable by yourself - the tools that are required cost near $1000+, and the contacts are too tiny to work on by hand without an eye loupe or magnifying glass, and a very steady hand.

    This thread provides an example with some good pictures:

    On a related note, MotorCity also provides additional services or components, such as:
    • Custom Touch Panel sizes.
    • LCD Transflective Upgrades.
    • Backlight Brightness enhancements.
    Personally, I can tell you that MotorCity (Duayn) was a pleasure to work with, and I plan to return for additional services in the future.

    Highly recommended!

  • #2
    Does it work??


    • #3
      I haven't been able to test the cable yet.

      However, since I know what pins are supposed to go where, I verified that the pinouts are correct.

      I have no doubt that it'll work perfectly.

      However, I won't be able to test it for a few more weeks due to work commitments.

      I'll probably be able to update with results after May 28th (Memorial Day).


      • #4
        good to hear, i'm already getting one from him myself, i just need my car and to figure out what computer i'm using
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        • #5
          motor city, awesome guy to deal with. using one of his cables for my car pc. And yes it works.
          i did more leg work than i had to. ordered the connector and pins for my motherboard from digikey, sent him my lvds cable from laptop and he pinned it for my motherboard. also pinned in the back light inverter.

          i had problems getting my pc set up, so he said to send him the motherboard, lcd and cable.
          I also had him install a 14.1" touch screen on my lcd. Everything came back and working exceptionally.
          thumbs up for motor city tech.