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Thread: Converted Laptop LCD display

  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Converted Laptop LCD display

    Has anyone successfully converted a laptop display to work correctly with standard VGA outputs from a desktop computer? If so, how?

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    Decorah, IA, USA
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    I haven't done this, but I can assure you it's not that difficult. Basically all you need to do is find the datasheet on your display. It's easier to find these than you might think. The datasheet will (or rather, should) have all of the pinouts of the connector, and these will hopefully coincide with the pins on your VGA connector (you'll have to find the VGA pinouts too, since I don't remember them right off-hand, but they're standard and will be easy to find). After that, you just need to connect everything together. Hopefully, the datasheet will also have information on the display's refresh rates, etc., and you'll need to configure those in your display settings (it's easy in Linux, but somewhat more difficult in Windows. You may have to download a third-party program to do this correctly). Then you need to get your backlight inverter hooked up (be careful doing this, those things can kill you), which isn't too difficult if you already have the inverter. Otherwise, it's somewhat more difficult. Anyhow, I hope I've been of some help. I'm sure others out there know quite a lot more about it than I do, so if I'm wrong with any of this stuff, please let me know.

  3. #3
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    Cool. I'll look into finding some data out about my LCD. I'm not sure about hooking up that backlight inverter, but once I get more info, I might be able to figure that out. If anyone has any more info on hooking up "that thing that could kill me" =) or better known as backlight inverter, it would be helpful. Thanks JupiterX for your input!

  4. #4
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    Youngstown, Ohio USA
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    From talking to some knowledgable people I've found out that LCDs off laptops accept digital input. You VGA video card outputs analog signals, which are incompatible unless you buy some kind of converter. Some motherboard manufacturers are starting to manufacture mobo's that have digital outputs already on them, which could possible be compatible.
    Its not just a matter of matching up pins tho.

  5. #5
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    Aug 1999
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    Almost all motherboards that have built in LCD outputs are industrial SBC's. You can get either a digital video card or you can get an analogue to digital converter. A couple of places these are available are here: http://www.flat-panel.com , or here: http://www.sage-inc.com

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate
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    Decorah, IA, USA
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    Well, I wasn't aware of the whole Analogue/Digital thing, but I guess it's not that surprising. If you really want to get into your elbows with a soldering iron, consider this: Your run-of-the-mill VGA video card thinks in digital, but then just before it sends off it's signal to the monitor, it has to convert it to analogue. So, if you could find the card's digital-to-analogue converter, you could conceivably intercept the signal before it gets that far, and then pump the signal to your LCD. Of course, that would be very difficult, but it's conceivable. Anyhow, for some reason I have the notion in my head that analog-to-digital converters don't cost all that much, but I could easily be mistaken. Anybody have more info on these? Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Beaverton, OR
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    For video processors made in the last three years or so, the DAC is almost invariably integrated into the chip, so intercepting to digital signals is next to impossible (unless you maybe pull it directly off the frame buffer, but you would have to know a bit about the chip architecture, again too much of a pain). Also the desktop MBs with flat panel outputs come in at least 4 different standards (DFP, DVI, TDMS, P&D). So your display would have to be able to properly communicate with the board. The easiest solution right now are the flat panel monitors coming out now that take the analog VGA signals and convert them back to digital, but I don't think there are any <13". Other than that, the best solutions I've seen are getting an addin card using a mobile graphics chipset with a proper BIOS update per your notebook LCD (ala Mazda MP3) or putting your VGA output through a scan converter to a NTSC compatible display

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