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Recycling a Laptop LCD Screen into a Raspberry Pi Test Bench

By Netopya on Mon Dec 15th 2014 1:38 PM

This project started off when trying to find a use for a broken laptop. The screen was perfectly fine so I decided to integrate it with a Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi is a fascinating computer great for small multimedia projects. I had such a project in mind, but first I wanted to test out the Pi to see what it was capable of so I create a test bench. The arrangement was fairly simple with the Raspberry Pi, a laptop LCD display, and a LCD controller to connect the two together. This setup was a great way to tryout the Pi and to recycle an old computer into a new one.

Full Gallery:

List of Parts

Getting the Components

I started off by following the disassembly instructions for the broken HP Pavilion dv6000 laptop I was taking the LCD panel from. I kept the screen's frame but did remove components such as Wi-Fi antennas and the webcam from the back. The frame was very useful for holding up the display while keeping it adjustable for this quick test. To make use of this display I needed an LCD controller to interface the display with common connectors such as VGA and HDMI. These devices are not the easiest to come by, but there are a few sellers on eBay which is where I got mine. The seller I contacted had great customer service and was able to point be to the appropriate controller for my LCD display.

Assembly

Once I got all the parts, hooking it all up was really easy. All the components of the LCD controller came pre-connected, so all I had to connect was the LVDS and power connections to the LCD panel and the HDMI cable to the Raspberry Pi. For final assembly I fastened all the parts to a piece of plywood with plastic spacers.

Assembled Parts

Final Thoughts

I have to say that I am really satisfied with the Raspberry Pi. It's amazing the form factors you can get computers in nowadays. Thinking back, one change I would have made to would be to turn the LCD panel so that it would be facing the other way and all the components would be hidden behind the display frame. Never the less I do enjoy having all the components in view. So far the test bench is working great and I'm looking forward to getting some projects up and running on the device.

Comments

Michael Mather on Fri Dec 4th 7:34 PM said:

I have a DV9000 which does not work. (It looks like the CPU has the solder problem.) Do you think it would be possible to reuse the screen, the case and the keyboard? That would be really neat.

Netopya on Tue Jan 5th 12:40 PM said:

@Michael Mather - Hi, since it seems that the issue with your laptop is isolated to motherboard, you should be able to reuse the screen. You would need to check the model number of the screen itself with a LCD controller supplier, and they would be able to determine which controller would be best for you. The case is purely mechanical, so it's free to use and easily moddable to suit your needs. The keyboard however is more difficult to reuse since there is no widely used standard for laptop keyboards. A quick search shows that while it is possible, I would recommend finding a new USB keyboard.

Lino Lopes on Wed Apr 13th 4:44 AM said:

Hi. Nice work. I have ordered a controller board for a Samsung ltn154x3-l0d screen. But from what I know, the board come without power adapter. Wich voltage /amp do you have on yours? Do you think there is a way to steal power from the board to feed the raspberry? Thanks in advance

Netopya on Mon May 2nd 12:44 PM said:

@Lino Lopes - Hi, I'm using a 12v 4amp power supply that I ordered with the controller board (picture of the back). There are quite a few headers on the board where you can probably find a 5v line for you to use, though it may not supply the recommended minimum of 1.2amp. If you're not tight on space and don't mind the extra hardware I would recommend to play it safe and use a dedicated power supply for the Raspberry Pi.

Robert on Thu Jul 28th 5:39 PM said:

where can I buy this controller? I am looking everywhere and can not find it.

Netopya on Sun Aug 21st 9:50 AM said:

@Robert - Hi, here is a link to the actual model that I bought (http://goo.gl/vpPmaI). I would recommend to contact the seller directly in order to determine which LCD controller will work best for your setup.

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