V2 - Upgrading my old recycled 768 to new recycled 1080p external laptop screen - Directions

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Peter Simpson, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Expert Licensed User

    Hello fellow B4X developers,
    I'm at it again but this time I've taken photos specifically to post on this great community.

    Updating my current screen means that I'll be going from a 1366x768 not full HD to a 1920x1080 full HD portable external screen.

    A few weeks ago I purchased a faulty Toshiba laptop identical to my current development laptop, please note that you can do this with almost any used laptop screen and housing. I ordered an LCD controller board kit from Ali Express for about £19 delivered, about 2 weeks later (that is today) I received the LCD controller board kit and I proceeded to recycle the Toshiba laptop screen into a portable HD external screen to use with my development laptop. In total it took me about 90 minutes to complete the conversion. As this screen is a lot thinner, lighter with a thinner bezel than my current screen, it will easily fit into my current laptop rucksack.

    Older thicker 1366x768 external laptop screen display on the left, newer thinner 1920x1080 external laptop screen display on the right ;)
    Old and new.jpg

    Basic instructions to follow:

    This is the LCD controller board kit that I will be using on my recycled laptop screen.

    1. Get a faulty laptop but with a fully working screen.
    l personally specifically looked for and found a laptop that matched my current laptop. The faulty laptop only cost me £30, that way I've got a spare battery, original power supply and the 1080p HD screen that perfectly matches my current laptop. Having a matching screen doesn't really matter though.

    2. Separate the screen from it's base unit.
    I'll be selling the keyboard with base unit but without internals on eBay.

    3. Take the bezel off from the front of the LCD screen housing.

    4. Test the screen and LCD controller board.
    Before going any further connect the recycled laptop screen and the LCD controller board kit together, do this to make sure that everything is working as expected. These type of LCD controller kits run on 12VDC.

    5. Decide where to mount the LCD controller board kit.

    You will need to decide where you want to mount the LCD controller board and the keypad on the back of your recycled screen housing before drilling any holes, taking into consideration any internal frames for housing the actual LCD screen itself.

    The photo below shows the LCD controller board sitting loosely on the standoffs. The standoffs are currently not screwed into place.

    6. Connect the LVDS cable, older kits use normal cables.
    If need be LOOSELY fold the LVDS ribbon cable to the general height to where you will be placing the LCD controller board on the back of the screen. Try to line the LVDS ribbon cable position as best as possible to where the LVDS ribbon cable will be connected to the LCD controller board, this will help to keep the LVDS ribbon cable as straight as possible.

    7. Line up the LCD controller board and the keypad onto the back of the recycled screen housing.
    Use a marker to poke through the LCD controller board and keypad screws holes to mark where you want to drill through the screen housing. Drill holes and cut out a rectangle for the LVDS ribbon cable, if you just have a normal none ribbon cable then you can just drill out a large hole. Now proceed to install the 5mm high standoffs.

    8. Below is a photo of the flat screw heads that I used inside.
    You can also see where I cut out the rectangle for the LVDS ribbon cable. I deburred the edges of the rectangle to protect the LVDS ribbon cable, I also placed black electrical tape around one edge to help protect the LVDS ribbon cable.

    I've used M3x4MM flat head screws, the flat head is only 0.5mm in height, this screen with housing is extremely thin.


    9a. Screw the LCD controller board and the keypad directly onto the 5MM high standoffs.
    I used M3 nuts for the keypad and I used M3x13MM female to female standoffs for the LCD controller board.

    9b. Closeup photo of the LCD controller board and the keypad screwed down into place.

    10. Finally mount the protective cover.
    Line up the back cover to the standoffs on the LCD controller board. Drill 4 holes for the cover screws to screw into the M3x13MM standoffs, then screw the cover onto the standoffs.

    Please note:
    You should mark and drill the cover holes before screwing down the LCD controller board, in my case I had to cut the cover in half and I completely forgot to line up and drill the cover holes first. Either way will do as long as the end results still looks great.

    I finally placed the recycled external screen onto a foldable tablet stand, this way I can easily get my laptop, 6" right angled HDMI cable, and external screen into my laptop rucksack as the screen only weighs 593g.

    Here is the end result.

    This recycled external screen project has cost me about £58 in total as I already had screws and standoffs. I still have to sell the recycled keyboard with base which I'll advertise for £29 on eBay, also my friend Ian is buying my previous external screen from me for £35. So this upgraded external screen for my development laptop will end up costing me absolutely nothing, only about 90 minutes of time to put it all together...

    My new thin recycled screen with a resolution of 1920x1080 full 1080p HD.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  2. sorex

    sorex Expert Licensed User

    nice, Peter.

    I have some LCD screens lying around but I was hoping to find a usb based controller board so that I can add it my desktop.
    But that doesn't seem to exist?
    Peter Simpson likes this.
  3. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Expert Licensed User

    Good morning @sorex,
    You could always buy some cheap LCD converter kits for your screens and then use USB to HDMI converters, I've just ordered one just to see if they are any good ;)

    Check out the link below.

  4. sorex

    sorex Expert Licensed User

    well, it's kind of mixed :)

    one colleague has a laptop without vga or hdmi output and comes default with a usb>hdmi thing.
    He had a lot of misery with it that his external screen blacked out several times per day/hour.
    Another colleague with the same setup doesn't have any problem at all.
    We always say it's a PEBKAC issue as everything he uses fails ;)

    since he uses this iTec device it's working fine > https://i-tec.cz/en/produkt/cadual4kdock-2/

    but you don't want to drag that to around all the time between customers so something pocket size would be nice as in your link.
    Peter Simpson likes this.
  5. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Expert Licensed User

    This is my 3rd conversion in the last 18 months. I'm selling my spare one to a friend of mine for his Pi 3 and CISCO setup, the other screen is in my spare development laptop rucksack, I use it with my other laptop.

    I've never ever had any issues whatsoever with these converted laptop screens, but this is my first full 1080p screen. I know that I can spend £160-£200 on a portable 1080p screen from ASUS or another big brand, but nah, I enjoy these little projects of mine and this one is as light as a feather and looks GRRRRREAT. I power the displays using my normal laptop power supply, I just plug the power supply into a splitter, one end goes into the laptop at 19V and the other end goes to a DC to DC step down buck converter going from 19V to 12V, it's only about 2cm by 4cm in size so it's absolutely nothing really.

    I really like the idea of recycling laptop screens into something useful like this, and it fits in my laptop ruckracks :)
    Tadeu Botelho and DonManfred like this.
  6. derez

    derez Expert Licensed User

    I would like to turn the screen of a non working laptop to external HDMI display (for RPI and MXQPro). It is Dell 1520 with the following screen specifications, I can't understand what lcd controller I should buy. Can I get some advise ? Thanks.
  7. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Expert Licensed User

    Hiya @derez,
    You need to get the actual LCD part number from the back of your LCD panel just to be sure. But a quick Google search shows that your panel part number is most probably LTN154X3, thus the 2 links below are just two of many boards that will work with your screen.

    I personally prefer the kit in the second link.

    The kits for your particular panel comes with an inverter, so you would need to replace the inverter in the bottom of your screen with the one supplied in the kit. If you just search AliExpress or eBay for 'LTN154X3 controller' and you will see all the ones you can choose from.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
    derez likes this.
  8. derez

    derez Expert Licensed User

  9. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Expert Licensed User

    That's a big board, too big for my taste. I would personally go for something smaller like the one in the link below, plus it has both VGA and HDMI inputs.


    It appears that all these part numbers below are all for the same part thus compatible, so the boards in my original response to you would work too.

    LP154W01 / B154EW08 / B154EW01 / LP154WX4 /LTN154X1 and LTN154X3.

    Btw I had to cut out a nice clean rectangle, you can just drill a hole because your kit uses a normal cable where my kit above used a flat ribbon cable.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  10. derez

    derez Expert Licensed User

    Fine, but I still don't understand which cable connects where. Do I need the green flat cable ? I think that the kit's cable is going to connect instead of the blue plug which has many pins so the green cable will not be necessary.
    After removing the green cable I have the screen free from the laptop with two plugs of many pins. The last picture shows a 30-pins plug. Does the kit has the two cables that connect there ?
    See the pictures and sorry for the questions...




  11. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Expert Licensed User

    Hiya @derez
    Your screen uses 2 connectors, one at the top for the LDVS cable that is supplied in the kit, and the other connector at the bottom for the screen inverter.

    The kit only comes with one lead for your screen, your screen has a 2 pin cable coming out of the bottom of it that connects to the inverter in the kit.

    The thin copper coloured cable at the top of your first photo isn't needed. Actually, give me a minute and I'll see if there's a YouTube video for your panel.

    Okay here is a YouTube video using your exact same panel. The kit is the same as in your link (that does not matter), but the connections are the same no matter what kit you purchase.

  12. derez

    derez Expert Licensed User

    Thank you Peter, I understand and I'm going to order the kit. I'll update when project is complete !
    Peter Simpson likes this.
  13. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Expert Licensed User

    Btw @derez,
    My friend Ian is buying one of my spare converted screens from me for only £35 to use with his Rasberry Pi and also his CISCO lab for testing hacking scenarios. When he asked me if it would work for his kit, I quickly broke out my old RPi, connected it to the spare screen that he is buying from me and I sent him this photo.

    My Raspberry Pi connected to one of my converted laptop screens :)

    Good luck with your screen conversion, I'm sure that you will complete the project with ease.

    By the way this is the stand that I use for all my screens https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bc7P0PZX

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    DonManfred likes this.
  14. derez

    derez Expert Licensed User

    Very unprofessional installation but I got it to work finally, after waiting some more time for replacement part from the supplier.
    I can use it at my work corner without the need to go to the home TV for my RPi or my MXQpro. Thanks for the support Peter !

    Attached Files:

  15. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Expert Licensed User

    Excellent @derez, using cork is a good idea.
    I'm really am so please that this post has helped at least one person to recycle their broken laptop and use the screen as a second monitor.

    Thank you for letting me know, I'm well chuffed :)
    DonManfred likes this.
  16. derez

    derez Expert Licensed User

  17. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Expert Licensed User

    Perfect @derez :cool:
    Space saving and cheaper than buying another monitor too, no regrets I hope. Putting it together can be a bit of a pain in the rear end, but the end result is sure satisfaction :)
    I manage to use mine with a small tablet stand, just a couple of dollars from ebay...
    JakeBullet70, derez and DonManfred like this.
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