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Thread: How about this for a cheap TFT?

  1. #1
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    Post How about this for a cheap TFT?

    Take a TFT LCD Projection panel - these can be found relatively cheap (Ebay is a so-so source, local surplus places are far better - beware). Add a backlight setup from any defunct laptop, etc. Now you have a backlit 6-10" TFT display with built in VGA controller, Video-in, etc. for very little money.

    The reason I thought of this is that I am getting a Sharp 1200 model tommorrow - it says in documentation that there was an "option backlight" sold which would "enable use as a standard LCD monitor." So why can't we just add backlights ourselves. Many of these LCD displays are smaller (6-8") and would be great for cars. They can be had for under $50 usually, rip the backlight off something else, and you have a TFT display with VGA in, video in, etc. Usually with built in brightness, etc controls.

    So now tell me - why won't this work? Is the 1600 special in that it would allow you to add a backlight? Any other concerns I should know of?

    I ripped the backlight off an old laptop and it looks like I can just "fit to size".

    Another thought - you could wire in a normal TFT display and use these as a source of cheap VGA contollers.

    What do you think?

    [ 07-24-2001: Message edited by: LCD crazy ]

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate Raas's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I thought about this also,
    but, (correct me if I'm wrong) I thougt that almost every display you are talking about were DSTN or maybe even STN screens. However. it could be that it is a TFT. (I just haven't seen any off them). So if it isn't a TFT than it would be useless for any video playback. only mp3's and navigations, but no games, tv, dvd/divx. because of the low refreshing rate the screen will drag.

    You are right about the controller part, you just have to find a display that matches the pin-outs.
    So now tell me - why won't this work?
    I didn't say it won't
    It might not be usable for Video-playback.

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  3. #3
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    Thanks for your thoughts Raas. I get my panel today and I have a backlight and backscreen(?) ripped out and ready to size (thought backlight light is too long (for a 10.4") so I will have to get a hold of an 8.4"). With regard to the TFT thing - you have to be careful, but there really are a large number of TFT displays out there, several are 640x480, even 800x600 for way less than $100. They vary in size from 8.4-10.4, some even in the 12" range I think. Another thing is that most have remote control of the screen controls as well, which means that you could reprogram a universal remote of some kind to control brightness, etc. Many useful possibilities.

    For example, this is a panel I got for about $50 (they go for more on Ebay but thats a ripoff in my opinion):

    "The QA-1200 houses an 8.4-inch LCD with a palette of 1.7 million colors and 640-by-480-pixel resolution. It also supports two simultaneous sources -- one computer and one video -- and offers both front and rear projection. A $200 backlighting unit allows the device to be used as a desktop monitor."

    Anyone know if the "front and rear projection" option is key to being able to backlight it and look at it like a monitor?

  4. #4
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    Front and rear projection means that the picture gets flipped around for rear projection. This is for placing the panel and projector behind the projection screen instead of in front of it.
    When using standard (front) projection and looking down at the panel, it displays properly. When looking at the panel in rear projection mode, the screen would look inversed so you would want front projection for your purposes.

  5. #5
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    this really does not work as well as you might think... I have a Sharp QA-50 projection panel, and tried faking a backlight.. looked like crap.

  6. #6
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    How did you "fake" a backlight? Did you use a backlight scree/tube/inverter assembly from a defunct laptop screen? Or did you just try to shine light through? PLease let us know so I can see where this project is heading.

    Also, isn't the QA-50 a monochrome, etc. I wouldn't expect this to look too great in any case.

  7. #7
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    I wonder what kind of controler cards these things have...can we take them out and hook up to a regular tft lcd??
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  8. #8
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    OK, just ripped apart my Sharp QA-1200

    I think this thing may work. I pulled out the panel, it is a sharp LQ9P161 with a standard 31 pin connector. I wonder what the difference between the LQ9P161 and the laptop display LQ9D161 are? I would almost guess they were completely interchangable.

    The controller board is a Sharp P1193YA-8MM powered through a Sharp P1194YA hooked up to a 12V DC source.

    I did notice the panel LCD whas somewhat less opaque than a DSTN screen I had laying around.

    Nxt I will cut to fit a backing/backlight setup from an old laptop and crank it up. I'll let you know what happens tommorrow night.

  9. #9
    Raw Wave wizardPC's Avatar
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    I seem to remember someone having one of these screens and all they did was put a regular old car headlight behind it. I cant remember who it was, but they claimed it worked beautifully.
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  10. #10
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    So far so good, but here is a question - anyone know where I can buy an extension for the LCD hookup (31 pin hirose I beleive). I fi can get an extension for this (I know there are a number of length limitations, but I am only talking about a little more length)? This would enable me to separate and hide the electronics (a relatively sizable package of electronics) and the screen itself. Is this something radioshack would have?

    By the way, this looks like it could work out nicely since I could separate all the electronics, put the on-screen menu control buttons somewhere strategic, etc. Since I find this interesting I'll keep posting unless you guys get bored with this.

    Offhand, anyone know how one could figure out interchangability of screens? For example, if say a Sharp 10.4" TFT had the same pinouts as a Sharp 8.4", could I just plug the 10.4" to the connector and power it up? I'm not averse to experimentation, but would it destroy anything if I tried?

    I like this possibility becuase these panels are cheap, available, and the video-in means you could run a playstation or other game system to the same display with ease.

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