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Thread: FAQ: Using a Laptop LCD as Your Car PC Screen

  1. #1
    FLAC cproaudio's Avatar
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    FINALLY an answer to laptop LCDs in the FAQ section.

    Here's a quick answer for those who wants to use a laptop LCD for display for their CarPC. I hope this will be helpful. And there's no more excuse for crying "oh oh oh its not in the faq section."

    A basic LCD monitor you buy over the counter is already prepackaged with everything you need to hook up to a common video input jacks such as VGA, RCA, S-Video. The basic components are LCD screen, controller, and backlight inverter. The controller has an input and output. The input connections are either VGA, RCA, or S-Video. The output then connects to the LCD screen. The backlight inverter takes low voltage power like 12v and steps it up to a few hundred or thousand volts for the backlight to light up the LCD. The higher the wattage, the brighter the screen for daytime viewing. That's another story.
    Laptop LCDs come with the LCD screen and the backlight inverter and the backlight built in. It does not have a controller. This is the part that most people dont understand why they cant use a laptop LCD. You need a controller to convert standardized VGA, RCA, S-video signal to non standardized LCD signal.
    LCD screens dont cost much. You can buy a laptop LCD screen for a few dollars on ebay though they can get as high as $100-$300. The controller is what's gonna cost you the most.

    Here's a site that carries laptop LCD controller.
    http://www.aurora.se/controllers.htm Antimatter Edit: minimum 100 orders

    The pictures are from www.earthlcd.com and from the link below, also a good post to read about laptop LCDs
    Laptop Lcd
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    NEW complete and updated My project with 100+ pics on 7-4-03
    If you have a Shuttle FV24 motherboard in perfect working condition for sale, please PM me.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    you're overlooking the BEST way to use a laptop screen in the car, which is to have it run off of the laptop it belongs to...... you can get an awsome pentium m laptop, athilon xp-m laptop, or even a cheap pentium III with a lot of ram.....(p4 laptops run to hot for in car use) total system costs can be pretty low using this approach as an added benifit....considering the fact that a good tft monitor alone is several hundred +...

    one of the biggest drawbacks of using a laptop screen, regardless of whether it is run off a controller or the laptop itself, is the fact that most laptop screens aren't very bright........ this should be high on your "spec.s to consider" list in choosing a laptop screen....there are modifications that can be done to laptop screens for brightness enhancements, but they can be very costly....

    HERE is one example of a laptop screen install, laptop & all.......

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate Yuriy's Avatar
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    I've done about 4 different laptop installs and I can say that many LCDs of different sizes (but same resolution) will fit many different laptops. For example, an LCD out of an old Compaq LTE 5300 will fit many more powerful Toshiba laptops, etc. Also I made a FAQ long time ago about properly extending your laptop LCD wires, it can be done with most Toshiba LCD panels (many brands use them) that have wires and not ribbon cables.
    The thread is not in this section, but you can find it somewhere around here.

    Edit: here it is!
    Extending Laptop Screen Cables
    00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
    Newest install - my quickest ever
    My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
    My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate Pokiarchy's Avatar
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    I want to make the cheapest most effective computer monitor for the car. What parts can I use from the laptop? Can I make a controller from oh lets say a CRT monitor? Or is the whole point of the controller to convert from lcd, in which case i guess a crt wouldn't have one. But perhaps one could be fashioned with some sauldering skills? Let me know. I'll keep researching.
    Thanks in advance for not being an *******.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    not gonna happen, your two choices are going to be running the screen off the laptop it belongs to or buying the correct controller board for it.... no way around that............

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate Pokiarchy's Avatar
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    Ok, let me evaluate the situation for everyone to the best of my knowledge.
    The problems of converting laptop lcd to desktop lcd.
    1) Laptop lcd is digital, desktop lcd is analog.
    2) Would need a controller to convert from lcd to rca or vga.

    Is a controller the cheapest way? What would it take to have my desktop act more like a laptop in this sense? Can I maybe use 2 mother boards, the one from the laptop then link it to the main motherboard? What's stopping me from making my desktop a big *** laptop? Is there no software/hardware for this? Thanks in advance for not being an *******.

    Edit: Laptops have docking stations to make them more like a desktop, is there maybe some hardware to do the opposite? This is such a popular topic all over the internet i figgerd maybe some young entrepeneur tried to make some money off this.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    a desktop lcd monitor is nothing more than a raw lcd, (the same raw lcd that you would get from a laptop) in a housing with a controller board that converts the vga signal to something usable for said lcd...... a laptop has this board as part of it's assembly.... it is not usable outside of the laptop & is propriatary to that particular laptop....

    the only way you are going to get your vga signal to become something usable to a raw lcd is with a controller board.... there's no if's and's or but's about it, there's no magical or overlooked solution....no parts from any other obscure items or no amount of motherboards strung togeather are going to change this.... you must have a controller that is compatable with the lcd in question.... there are many different types of lcd's & they require different controllers based on what they are

    to make a desktop into a big *** laptop you would either add a lcd monitor(that has the controller board as part of it's assy) or a raw lcd & a controller that is compatable with the lcd

  8. #8
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    Where can one find these controller boards at? I don't think any of us want to buy 100 identical boards. I need one for an LG LP141X3 LCD screen.

    Also, do these boards come with a compositve video input built in? How is the screen powered one the board is connected? I can't find anything on these controller boards except for direct part numbers and prices. No information about that or how they work.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    earthlcd.com, there are others that don't come to mind right now... search for "lcd controller board" or something similar on google...

  10. #10
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    I've done alot of searching. I haven't found anywhere that has a controller for my screen, except that POS site that requires 100 pieces.

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