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Converting old laptop to be portable Flat Panel display...??

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 19, 2005 6:53:01 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Hi There--

I'm often finding myself wishing that I had a second screen onsite. I
currently have a Powerbook and was wondering whether it would be
possible to convert a laptop that has no motherboard or hard drive into
a display that I could carry with me and slave as a second screen to my
powerbook.

It seems like such an obvious thing that I thought I'd ask to see if
other people have done it before.

If anyone has any idea how I should approach this project, I'll be
grateful for any advice that would get me started.

Thanks,

Lee
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 3:09:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Thanks, James,

Is there a way to put a flat-panel display into a laptop housing so I
can carry it around with me and it would fold up and be protected?

Thanks for your response,

Lee
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 6:00:11 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:
>
> If anyone has any idea how I should approach this project, I'll be
> grateful for any advice that would get me started.

Google is your friend, especially in the Laptop NGs.

In short, don't bother. You can buy a 15" desktop LCD for less than you'd
lay out just for the parts necessary to turn your old laptop display into
something usable.

Regards,

James
Related resources
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 9:40:46 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Think I'd rather take a laptop and convert it. I don't want something
that would fit in a briefcase. I want another laptop size/heaviness.
I'm small and not very strong. I'm willing to put the time/money into
it.

Can someone tell me what it would take? I'm going to assume that there
are no off-the-shelf parts that will do this. I have access to a full
electronics shop. It would give me enough of an edge so that it would
be worth it.

Thanks,

Lee
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 9:52:04 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Went and looked up X-Terminal. I'm not sure, but my understanding is
that it wouldn't act as a second screen where I could put my tools on
one screen while the object I'm working on would be in the other and
the cursor would track across the two screens as if they were one. If
I'm mistaken, I want to learn more. I'm looking for additional screen
real estate, like when I hook up my desktop screen to my powerbook.

If my understanding of the nature of x-terminals is flawed, please, I
want to hear more.

Thanks,

Lee
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 10:32:55 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:

> Thanks, James,
>
> Is there a way to put a flat-panel display into a laptop housing so I
> can carry it around with me and it would fold up and be protected?

Use the mounting holes on the back to attach whatever you want to use for a
cover. Or just get a piece of plywood and some velcro or rare-earth
magnets.

> Thanks for your response,
>
> Lee

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 10:48:33 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:

> I'm often finding myself wishing that I had a second screen onsite. I
> currently have a Powerbook and was wondering whether it would be
> possible to convert a laptop that has no motherboard or hard drive into
> a display that I could carry with me and slave as a second screen to my
> powerbook.

Given that the circuitry that drives the display is on the motherboard,
you'd have quite a task cut out for you.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 10:49:42 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

JHEM wrote:

> Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:
>>
>> If anyone has any idea how I should approach this project, I'll be
>> grateful for any advice that would get me started.
>
> Google is your friend, especially in the Laptop NGs.
>
> In short, don't bother. You can buy a 15" desktop LCD for less than you'd
> lay out just for the parts necessary to turn your old laptop display into
> something usable.

Now if it had a functioning motherboard, but no hard drive, he could turn it
into an X terminal.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 10:50:56 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:

> Is there a way to put a flat-panel display into a laptop housing so I
> can carry it around with me and it would fold up and be protected?
>

Again, it'd be more trouble than it's worth. You may find some diplays,
that are meant to be portable and come with a suitable case.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 1:14:03 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:

> Think I'd rather take a laptop and convert it. I don't want something
> that would fit in a briefcase. I want another laptop size/heaviness.
> I'm small and not very strong. I'm willing to put the time/money into
> it.
>
> Can someone tell me what it would take? I'm going to assume that there
> are no off-the-shelf parts that will do this. I have access to a full
> electronics shop. It would give me enough of an edge so that it would
> be worth it.

Basically what you are going to have to do is design, build, and test the
electronics to put a VGA or DVI interface on the existing panel, or
alternatively fit the video controller and associated components from the
laptop onto an AGP or PCI board that you can plug into a conventional
computer and make up the necessary cabling. The latter _might_ be easier
in practice because you may be able to scrounge the parts from the laptop
where getting the parts to go the other way in small volume might be
difficult or may end up costing a ludicrous price.

But I don't understand what you mean by "laptop size/heaviness". An LCD
monitor without the stand weighs about the same and is about the same size
as a laptop.

> Thanks,
>
> Lee

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 4:12:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:
> Thanks, James,
>
> Is there a way to put a flat-panel display into a laptop housing so I
> can carry it around with me and it would fold up and be protected?

None that I can think of as that would require a relatively enormous laptop
housing, but there are plenty of desktop LCDs that are small enough with
their stands removed to fit into a briefcase.

The one thing to bear in mind in the above scenario is that often times the
power brick is thicker than the display!

Regards,

James
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 7:18:23 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

I don't know about X-Terminal, but adding a second video card and
another monitor does exactly that under Windows 98 or higher.


Cheers!


______________________________________________
Bill (using a Toshiba 2595XDVD & Windows 2000)
-- written and edited within Word 2000


<Webslinger2300@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:1111330323.984963.180650@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
Date: 20 Mar 2005 06:52:04 -0800

Went and looked up X-Terminal. I'm not sure, but my understanding is
that it wouldn't act as a second screen where I could put my tools on
one screen while the object I'm working on would be in the other and
the cursor would track across the two screens as if they were one. If
I'm mistaken, I want to learn more. I'm looking for additional screen
real estate, like when I hook up my desktop screen to my powerbook.

If my understanding of the nature of x-terminals is flawed, please, I
want to hear more.

Thanks,

Lee
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 8:06:46 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

SORRY ALL! I didn't realize that Lee spammed many newsgroups. I thought
I was replying to one on:

comp.sys.laptops

So the rest of you on the other newsgroups, just ignore my previous
post.

Bill



"BillW50" <BillW50@aol.kom> wrote in message
news:jnh%d.22760$hU7.17352@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2005 16:18:23 GMT

I don't know about X-Terminal, but adding a second video card and
another monitor does exactly that under Windows 98 or higher.


Cheers!


______________________________________________
Bill (using a Toshiba 2595XDVD & Windows 2000)
-- written and edited within Word 2000
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 8:06:47 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

BillW50 wrote:

>
> SORRY ALL! I didn't realize that Lee spammed many newsgroups.

Nobody spammed anything. Someone asked a perfectly reasonable question,
on-topic for all groups to which it was posted, using cross-posting for
exactly the purpose for which it was intended.

> I thought
> I was replying to one on:
>
> comp.sys.laptops
>
> So the rest of you on the other newsgroups, just ignore my previous
> post.
>
> Bill
>
>
>
> "BillW50" <BillW50@aol.kom> wrote in message
> news:jnh%d.22760$hU7.17352@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
> Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2005 16:18:23 GMT
>
> I don't know about X-Terminal, but adding a second video card and
> another monitor does exactly that under Windows 98 or higher.
>
>
> Cheers!
>
>
> ______________________________________________
> Bill (using a Toshiba 2595XDVD & Windows 2000)
> -- written and edited within Word 2000

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 10:29:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:

> Can someone tell me what it would take? I'm going to assume that there
> are no off-the-shelf parts that will do this. I have access to a full
> electronics shop. It would give me enough of an edge so that it would
> be worth it.

You'd have to design & build the circuitry, that would take the video signal
and use it to drive the circuitry that runs the display. Now some of that
can be done with application specific ICs, but you're looking at
essentially designing & building a video monitor. Just think of what it
would take to design and build a car, if all you had was an engine.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 10:32:14 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:

> Can someone tell me what it would take? I'm going to assume that there
> are no off-the-shelf parts that will do this. I have access to a full
> electronics shop. It would give me enough of an edge so that it would
> be worth it.

When you say you have full access to an electronics shop, are you
experienced in designing and building complex gear? Or do you just mean
you've got one at work, where you're allowed to tinker a bit. Big
difference.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 20, 2005 10:49:53 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:
> Think I'd rather take a laptop and convert it. I don't want something
> that would fit in a briefcase. I want another laptop size/heaviness.
> I'm small and not very strong. I'm willing to put the time/money into
> it.

I daresay that just a small desktop display in a light briefcase would weigh
_less_ than a comparable laptop.

The little 15" LCD combo display/TV I've got upstairs in the kitchen weighs
almost nothing once the stand is removed. I daresay it's well under 4 pounds
and that's for a unit that has two speakers in it.

My wife's 17" LCD only weighs 5 pounds with the stand removed.

> Can someone tell me what it would take? I'm going to assume that there
> are no off-the-shelf parts that will do this. I have access to a full
> electronics shop. It would give me enough of an edge so that it would
> be worth it.

No offense, but if you have to ask this question here in the NGs, then you
quite possibly don't have the skills to perform the modification.

First, you need a power supply.

Next, you need some sort of case to contain and carry your Frankenscreen.

Last, but not least, you need some way to convert the analog output of your
laptop's VGA connector to the external (former laptop) LCD's digital input!
The PCI cards that are sold to allow repair folk to check laptop LCDs on
desktops start around $150 and go UP from there.

Regards,

James
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 24, 2005 5:56:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

You refer to 2 applications...

Laptop screens:
o Interface is different to desktop
---- laptop screens are generally LVDS, but various implementations exist
---- there is no TTL SVGA input to them & graphics logic is on the mainboard
o Physical design
---- laptop panels are very light, very thin
---- bracing is thus formed by the enclosure / bracing / friction-hinge
o Brightness is limited
---- desktop TFTs draw more power mainly due to their backlighting

So...
o You can't convert an old laptop display into a portable TFT
---- not by using its original display at least
o You can convert an old laptop into a dumb terminal
---- XP-Pro & Remote Desktop, or Tight-VNC, or Citrix Client/Server etc

Fitting a desktop screen into a laptop:
o Desktop screens are actually an open frame TFT panel + boards
---- a TFT panel is mounted in lots of bent steel to brace it
---- a more powerful backlighting + bigger invertor are fitted
---- a logic board for TTL (SVGA) or DVI to LVDS etc is then fitted
o Desktop screens unfortunately integrate that spaghetti "badly"
---- the logic board & invertor often sit behind the panel itself
---- that is why you have a depth of ~38mm on most 15" XGA monitors
---- unfortunately cables to the logic board may enforce this layout
o Note that mechanical bracing *is* required for a TFT-panel
---- laptops barely get away with it
---- they use flat-bar bent edge on around the perimeter to friction hinges
---- weight must be minimal re limited torque of hinges, yet brace the screen

An easier approach:
o Pick up a TFT flat-panel from an industrial supplier & fit into the laptop
---- you can pick up 10.4" XGA LVDS for ~150$/£100 from Switzerland Ebay
---- no experience, and you will also need cables/invertor/adapter on top
---- same for 12.1" & 15" all the way up as you require
o Once fitted into the laptop, the base can take a keyboard
---- Cherry do a keyboard that will fit - its the G84 series
---- you may have trouble getting a Toughpad or whatever to work

If you go this route I would dump trying to fit it into a laptop:
o It will not fit easily in a laptop - instead build a clamshell enclosure
o Flight-case hardware -- 5mm extrusion re dbl-angle & hybrid edging
o Pelican-case hardware -- standard case & lid-panel/base-panel
o Halliburton alloy case -- no need, but www.dolch.com do just that

Another approach is....
o Get a 1U TFT/Keyboard combo used in Coloco centres
o That solves most of your problems - but at a price & weight
o Weight is too heavy for your lap, put it that way :-)

The simplest is...
o Pick up an old laptop & use it as a thin-client (remote desktop)
o If ruggedness is needed, check Ebay for the old Toughbooks
o Note that parts/repairs are somewhat silly in price for them

I think the lightest "proper" (rugged) toughbook is 2.9lbs.
Unfortunately price is aimed at the military - R&D to make back.

There is a market for a "TFT/Keyboard Clamshell" for many people.
The problem is the economy of scale works against it vs a laptop.
You can easily replicate a laptop - but a laptop still has an UPS :-)
Just stick an SBC board in there (M-ATX, Mini-ITX, SBC, EBC, J-Rex).

If you want to shockmount use Sorbothane sheet into corner pieces,
or ConFor foam (EAR) realising that that foam goes hard in cold weather.
Toughbooks now use Poron as it's a bit better in super-thin pieces, and
I think Apple & IBM use similar materials to shockprotect their HDs.

Some of the Apples give similar ruggedness to Toughbooks for less $,
most people don't need the waterproofing - email in the golf buggy :-)

All my IT gear is ruggedised as I often fall onto it, long story.
Stopped me breaking laptops, but didn't do my ribs much good :-)
--
Dorothy Bradbury
www.dorothybradbury.co.uk for quiet Panaflo fans, free delivery
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 25, 2005 5:32:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc,comp.sys.laptops,comp.os.linux.portable (More info?)

In article <1111276381.863277.258840@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
Webslinger2300@hotmail.com wrote:

> Hi There--
>
> I'm often finding myself wishing that I had a second screen onsite. I
> currently have a Powerbook and was wondering whether it would be
> possible to convert a laptop that has no motherboard or hard drive into
> a display that I could carry with me and slave as a second screen to my
> powerbook.
>
> It seems like such an obvious thing that I thought I'd ask to see if
> other people have done it before.
>
> If anyone has any idea how I should approach this project, I'll be
> grateful for any advice that would get me started.

Having read through the thread, a thought occurs to me that a older,
used laptop (in this case, an older powerbook series or iBook) that is
fitted with a firewire could be linked with a firewire cable, and then
an app written that would send video data being fed to the graphics
driver could be mirrored to the second laptop and it would feed the
firewire input into its own graphics driver to act in the way desired
above.

And no, I don't know anything about coding to allow me to tackle such an
idea. I'm pretty much limited to BASIC for my programming skills.

jt
!