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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:37 pm 
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I recently found a Thinkpad i Series 1124 (in general, a Thinkpad 240Z which is not black, but silver and was only sold in Japan - type 2609-73J) on eBay and had the luck to get it for a really good price. The overall condition of the machine is quite good, the keyboard is really nice (better than that in my Thinkpad 240) and the XGA screen resolution is much more fun than the SVGA screen on the 240.

But it has one big issue - a display cable problem which means that the screen won't show the graphics output, but is completely white. On my Thinkpad, it is still working in a varying rage of display opening angles - at the moment, it is working between about 70° and 80° display opening angle, if I open it further, the screen turns white.

I don't know exactly what the problem is - in general, there are three componens which could cause it:
- Display connector on the mainboard
- Display cable itself
- Display panel connector

I have another 240 (300 Mhz Celeron, broken SVGA screen, LCD type B) here which could probably help me finding out what causes the problem and probably even repairing it. As I already said, the 240's screen is broken, but some areas on the screen are still working, and so does the display cable. I thought of checking the points mentioned above like that:

Display connector on the mainboard
In general, I could attach the 240's SVGA screen to the i Series 1124 to see if the problem also occurs with that screen - if it does, I would have to check the connector on the mainboard. The 240's SVGA screen cable would fit to the connector on the i Series 1124's mainboard and I know that there was a i Series 1124 (2609-53J with 450 MHz Celeron and 2 MB graphics chip) that had a SVGA screen, but my model was only sold with XGA, of course. Do you think that this would work? Or could this possibly break the SVGA display cable or the i Series 1124's mainboard?

Display cable itself
I already disassebmled the i Series 1124 (for replacing the broken trackpoint buttons) and found that the copper tape on the display cable is still in place and has never been taken off. I tried to put some more tape on it to hold the cable in place, but this didn't work, the problem still exists.
I think that I won't be able to try to repair the display cable itself. I already compared the HMMs of the Thinkpad 240 and the i Series 1124 and found out that the drawings of the 240's LCD type B cable and the i Series 1124's XGA display cable look the same. The FRU numbers are not identical (XGA cable is 27L0606, but could be wrong because Google shows "IBM phone line cable" for it, SVGA LCD type B cable is 27L0489), but I found out that both screens are Hitachi screens. The SVGA LCD type B is either the TX26D31VC1CAA or the TX26D32VC1CAA with that cable, the XGA screen is the TX26D20VC1CAA. Looking at the screen's product numbers, they could belong to the same series and therefore have the same connectors, but I don't know that for sure. I looked for data sheets for the panels, but I wasn't able to find them.

Does somebody here maybe know where to find the data sheets for the panels?

As I already said, the LCD cable drawings in the HMMs look the same, and if they really look identical, I'd assume that the SVGA LCD type B cable would mechanically fit into the XGA screen, so I have two other questions:
- Is it possible that the same cable is used for a SVGA screen and for a XGA screen? Or is this technically impossible?
- If I would just try out using the SVGA cable with the XGA screen, could I break the i Series 1124's mainboard, the SVGA cable or the XGA screen panel? Or would it just not work/stay black?

Display panel connector
I think the only possibility to check this is to disassemble the screen and to check the connector, but I really don't think that it is causing the problem.

What do you think about the problem and how to solve it?

I would be really happy if somebody here could answer (some of) my questions and/or maybe even has had this problem on his own 240Z/i Series 1124 and could share his solution here.

Thanks in advance,

iYassin


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:21 am 
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your 1st 3 choices were right on i think...

bad connection at one end or the other, or a bad trace in the cable itself... past reseating the cable, the "works at varying angles" would lead me to believe one or more of the traces has broken.

As far as the cables being the same, it is very possible, it is just a straight thru cable. They would definately not be easy to repair as it is basically just copper traces sandwiched between two layers of plastic.

I would just physically look at the 2 cables, quite possible the one from the broken screen will work in the one with white screen.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:56 am 
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So, is it technically definitely possible that a LCD screen cable works with both an SVGA and an XGA screen?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:18 am 
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I would think so, would just have to look at the cables, again, they should be straight trough cables... wouldn't see any reason for them to be different, but only a visual inspection will tell.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:15 pm 
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I would be *extremely* careful when swapping LCD cables on ThinkPads of this era...

It's been a very long time since I last played with 240 series of any kind, but will state that since there were no chips to be read by the motherboard on the screens of that vintage, the cables simply *must* be different. The most certainly are on all pre-T60 ThinkPads - a different cable for every resolution and screen size.

If you're lucky, you'll get an improper display, or nothing at all. The screen will light up, but not display any image.

If your lucky star decides to take a day off, kiss that board goodbye.

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:57 am 
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The cables all interchange between ALL my 760 series... EL XL XD etc...

If we are just talking about the flat ribbon cable, it is JUST a straight through cable, IF the ends are the same, and the length is correct... then the cables will swap... whether they are visually the same or not only physically looking at them will tell.

If me and the OP are indeed talking about the same "LCD CABLE ASM" then there is no "magic" in this cable, it is just copper traces sandwiched between 2 layers of translucent orangish plastic.

Type A cable: 05K2859
Type B cable: 27L0489

Page 58 & 59 of the hmm

This would be akin to me taking the VGA cable from my old 286 14" VGA display and connecting my current desktops ASUS 22" widescreen with it... the VGA cable is just a straight thru cable. Although I have no clue what the skinny part of the Type B cable does (looks like it goes to the inverter), the Type A cable just connects the video card to the lcd.

Here is a page on the i1124...
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.mars.dti.ne.jp/~ayase/tp/tpi1124.htm&ei=MRnrTffWO5P6swO3yLH0DQ&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CB0Q7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3DThinkpad%2Bi1124%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26prmd%3Divns

it most definately looks like a 240... so close that I would think it VERY plausible that it IS just a 240 for the Japan market, and most likely has interchangable parts (to an extent, MB/BIOS & keyboard maybe being localized), google translate blows, but it sure looks like the guy is talking about the 240 and 1124 being the same but counterparts (US/Japan).

EDIT: Further down (at the bottom) this guy states:
Quote:
The most anxious, in that it is pointed out that there is a problem with the cable inside the LCD panel, it becomes practically unusable away suddenly the screen is white.


Again, google translate, but if we are talking about a cable INSIDE the LCD, then what ajkula66 would be very true...

EDIT2:
ThinkPad 240X/240Z ThinkPad i Series 1124 (2609, 2612)

The Japanese HMM... note it is for 240X, 240Z AND i1124 :) Page 63 to 65 in it, I personally can't read it, but the pictures of the Type A & Type B... and ??possibly a Type C?? look identical to the US 240 hmm.

EDIT3: The part numbers between the type B US vs. JP cable assembly is the same, the type A is different... but the type uses DIFFERENT lcd assemblies and the same cable, I wouldnt think the type A is any different.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:59 pm 
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I also meant the "LCD cable ASM" in the HMM.
Type A and B are both SVGA screens, Type A is a Sharp panel (with the short cable), Type B is the Hitachi panel (with the longer cable and the small cable to the inverter). The Japanese HMM adds Type C which is the Hitachi XGA screen (with a cable that looks identical to the Type B one).

I know that what ajkula66 wrote from the T4x series, there are some resistors on the LCD cable connector, and they are not identical on the XGA and the SXGA+/UXGA cable. You can use the same cable for SXGA+ and UXGA panels, but you need another one for the XGA screen or you need to modify the SXGA+ cable to be used with an XGA screen (or vice versa, XGA cable needs to be modified for SXGA+/UXGA screens). If you use a wrong cable there, the mainboard will definitely be damaged. But on the 240's LCD cable, I can't find any resistors or something (it has a very small connector), and from the cable's thickness, I suppose there aren't some inside the coated parts of the cable, I think it could really be just straight through like ozzymud thinks.

That "inside the LCD" would be really bad, but I hope that this is a Google Translate mistake as the display's proper functioning only depends on the display opening angle, if I open it more than 70°-80°, it gets white, but if I bend the whole display a bit, the LCD continues working, so it shouldn't be something in the LCD panel itself.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:05 pm 
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The cable differences attached to screen size/resolution go back to A2x/T2x series at least, and the former machines are contemporaries od the 240 series...

I've never tried swapping the screens between 240 and 240Z (never owned the latter to begin with) but was simply voicing what I still deem to be a valid concern.

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:00 pm 
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iYassin wrote:
but if I bend the whole display a bit, the LCD continues working


That part would worry me... do mean actually flexing/twisting the panel? If so that could still be a cable issue, especially with regards to the 70-80% opening part, cause typically that is all that it is, open screen to X position and it works (or goes out at position X)

But anyhoo, the only real test will be to physically match the cables with each other, then swap them.

@ajkula66: Yea, this was THE year when they started mucking around with what worked. As referenced by the "Type B" cable, this was the 1st part of them putting more function into what was just a simple cable. For all the machines made before about mid-year 2000, the video cable was just a video cable :P

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:26 am 
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Today, I disassembled the two screens - and the cables don't even match mechanically.

I took some photos of the LCD panels and the cables, here are the links to the photo galleries:
Thinkpad 240 SVGA Type B LCD
Thinkpad 240Z/i Series 1124 XGA LCD

I have no idea what to try next...
What I know is that I can't swap the cables and I definitely won't find one on eBay. I even called IBM and asked for the FRU, but they could only tell me that the notebook is End of Service since 2006 and there is no such cable in stock in whole Europe - but I was expecting that ;) So, the only option is finding one in a forum or repairing the one I have...

I took some photos of the cable and especially the hinge area (looks damaged in a way, this could be the cause of the problem) and uploaded them to the photo galleries posted above... is it maybe possible to tape the cable somewhere or to toughen the hinge area?

Thanks in advance,

iYassin


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:33 am 
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iYassin wrote:
I have no idea what to try next...


Try to get the parts from a Japanese auction site. There are several of these and they have been mentioned on this forum a few times before.

I had an i1124 and loved it. I sold it on this forum last October for $110: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=91264

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:03 pm 
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Could you give me a hint where I can find these sites?
I searched the forum for different terms, but couldn't find them...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:04 pm 
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If your upto repairing (soldering VERY small wires), you could get some 24 or even better 26 gauge wire... use an ohmmeter to see what trace is bad, then solder a new one in between. Even in laptops there is usually enough room to fit a few more 26 gauge wires.

Hint: telephone wire comes in 22, 24, & 26 gauge normally, not the cables you'd like plug a modem in with, the kind you'd run from the telco box to your jacks in house.

Image

google search for 4 conductor phone cable, cat5 network cable also works, I've use it inside a Nintendo DS before :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:37 pm 
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iYassin wrote:
I searched the forum for different terms, but couldn't find them...


The problem is that the forum search engine doesn't work well. I just went to Google and looked up:

Japanese auction thinkpads.com

...and found http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=27979 and http://www.thinkpads.com/forum/viewtopi ... &view=next

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:55 pm 
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ozzymud wrote:

Quote:
If your upto repairing (soldering VERY small wires), you could get some 24 or even better 26 gauge wire... use an ohmmeter to see what trace is bad, then solder a new one in between. Even in laptops there is usually enough room to fit a few more 26 gauge wires.

Hint: telephone wire comes in 22, 24, & 26 gauge normally, not the cables you'd like plug a modem in with, the kind you'd run from the telco box to your jacks in house.


I would advise against using CAT3 voice-grade cabling for such applications.

The "twisted pair" IW of today is really "not* meant to be used in any environment that requires soldering. It was a very different ballgame forty years ago.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:28 am 
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Works fine in my Dell D600, it had a bad trace on the video cable... used a wire from some radio shack phone cable... still working today and that was about a year ago.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:53 pm 
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I wasn't implying that it can't be done, just advising against it.

There was a time when a lot of soldering was involved in telecom industry, and the wiring was made accordingly. I'm fairly certain that different RoHS and what-not regulations outlawed the type of wire that was made with the purpose of being soldered in COs and MDFs on what is commonly referred to as "piano block" in the Bell System lingo.

Today's telco-intended wiring of any kind - and I've seen everything that is out there and then some - is garbage, plain and simple. Unless one pays top dollar for a T-1 grade shielded cable.

I would never use a strand from a today's CAT3 cable in any type of computer repair work that requires soldering.

A strand from what was known as "candy cane" aka paper-wrapped-twisted-pair, absolutely - if I could find an unused and non-oxidized run - barring that, I would go for high-grade speaker cable.

My $0.02 only...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:09 am 
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I dont see any paper wrapping in the stuff i use, it is just 4 stranded bare copper wires with vinyl insulation packed inside a beige vinyl casing... been also using it in Xbox 1 mods for years (bought a 50yd spool of it). I can see no difference in it then larger stranded wire, same insulation, same hairlike copper wires making up each strand.

The box lists:
[green check] ROHS Compliant
Modular Cord
26 AWG (7 X 34) [I assume 7x34 is the stranding]
Stranded bare copper
vinyl insulated
conductors parallel
beige vinyl jacket
four wire = black, red, green, yellow

Dunno... works for me, solders well, just gotta watch the heat as the insulation melts back REALLY quick.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:49 pm 
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ozzymud wrote:

Quote:
I dont see any paper wrapping in the stuff i use,


Of course you didn't because there is none. The paper-wrapped wire was the one that *was* supposed to be soldered, think of this on a smaller scale:

http://www.bambootrading.com/proddetail.asp?prod=1904

Since we're way off thread here, let me just say this in closing:

Back in the dim dead days when I was doing quality inspections in the field, anyone who would attempt soldering a piece of IW like one you've shown would most certainly go home and watch cartoons for a week with no pay.

It works for you - God bless and good luck.

Off of my soapbox now... :D

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