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X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

X60/X61 series specific matters only.
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xiphmont
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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#61 Post by xiphmont » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:36 pm

wileE wrote:I made before & after measurements with my Spyder. I would never claim to be able to see a difference of 20 nits.
xiphmont wrote:You can get the max brightness back by bumping down the sense resistance value a bit if you want.
How exactly would I do that? Dont assume that I know anything about what these parts I solder actually do. Complete dummy where electronics are concerned.
Hey WileE, sorry for not responding sooner, I just moved to California and between that work, have had no time to hack... I'll get some more explicit instructions together.
Having problems with the PWM mod on older fancyboost kits. Flicker is still visible after the mod.
1. Kit from 2013. Has the same layout as in the picture from FryPpy. Was also ordered for X61T, and delivered for X61.

When still on the X61 board this kit had the problem that the LED did not completely shut off when the charger was plugged in. When connected to a strip with groups of 8 and 9 LED, only the groups with 9 LED would turn off.
That's worrisome. Some of the other boost kits need LEDs in groups of >=10, but Fancyboost should not be of them. If the LEDs were not going out, there was either some misassembly or damage to the driver chip. The Fancyboost has a ton of fault sensing on the outputs, but I'm not sure how well protected the input are...

(as an example, I had a devil of a time in my designs with the TPS92510 because it turned out I had a transient coming in over the EN input that was over 5V for a few nanoseconds, and that was enough to damage the chip permanently. It _seemed_ to still work, but the CS input's bias current jumped from 100nA to a few hundred uA, enough to cause the circuit to malfunction slightly.)
This problem went away when I put the driver board on a inverter board that I modified myself. Never found out where the problem was.
Hm, if it stayed that way, I'd have thought 'oh, different rev of the driver, different behavior'. But having the problem magically disappear...
A mechanic friend of mine used to say "Nothing ever fixes itself. Whatever broke either froze up, or fell off."
Now I did the PWM mod, and the flicker is still visible, but also visibly faster. Not sure if it is better or worse now.
The mod changes the PWM frequency from 200Hz to 24kHz. So the flicker is still there, but the frequency is 100x faster, usually enough to pass even the pencil test. Is it actually running slower than that? Was this a kit that properly shut off LEDs before modding?

Oh, or do you mean flicker as in not PWM flicker, but brightness instability? Man, I wish I had a scope trace of the voltage across the sense resistors...
2. Kit from 2012. Has a completely different connection to the LED strip. And was delivered with a flexible LED strip with 36 LED.

Flicker was much less than with the 2013/14 kits.
That does sound like something is going wrong. There's a lot of glare in your pic of the mod, hard to see the traces and connections clearly (though I do not see any obvious problem). I see above you've already done this mod successfully to other versions of the kit, right? It's just the 'older'/alternative layouts that are giving trouble?

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#62 Post by wileE » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:29 pm

Moved to California? Good. Much more sunshine = more need for brighter displays. :lol:
There's a lot of glare in your pic of the mod, hard to see the traces and connections clearly (though I do not see any obvious problem). I see above you've already done this mod successfully to other versions of the kit, right? It's just the 'older'/alternative layouts that are giving trouble?
This time my soldering is not responsible for the problems. New soldering iron with .4mm tip, and lots of practise in the past two month with adding a third mpcie slot and expresscard slot.
Also the mod works fine on two fancyboost kits from 2014.

The flicker I have with the two older kits is backlight flicker, as if the PWM frequency changed only slightly. Another huge difference is the dimming range. It is now much bigger with the older kits.
Have not found a way to measure it, but I would say it has three times the range of the 2014 kits.

Not quite sure yet, but the flicker seems to be gone when I connect the 2012 kit to a strip with only 36 LED.

EDIT

Now I am sure. No flicker when the 2012 kit is connected to the strip with 36 LED.

And as this fancyboost was back on a X61 board, I took off the screen bezel on my X61 (which has a 2014 fancyboost without flicker).
Swapped in the 2012 fancyboost. Nothing. No backlight. Those crazy chinese changed +/-.

Changed that on the ribbon cable adapter I have to use with the 2012 kit, and now the backlight works: with clearly visible flicker.

EDIT 2

The kits from 2012 and 2013 have a differnt layout than the 2014 kit. Marked with red oval in the pic. And all my LED strips work on the 2012 and 2013, but not on the 2014 fancyboost, because of the swapped +/- connection. Exept for the one the 2014 kit was delivered with of course.

Not on the picture: the 2013 kit has the same backlight connector as the 2014 kit. Not very nice.

Maybe you should put a warning on your site to check the layout before doing the PWM mod.

Any thoughts on what I could try to get the PWM mod working? Hoping for some lucky guesswork, I know it might be impossible to say solder this and that from looking at pictures.

Big pic warning: above 400KB
http://i.imgur.com/6ESbfEU.jpg

EDIT3

Kit 2013 with a LED strip with 34 LED (had 36 LED / 4 groups of 9 originally): no flicker! (completely different components than with the test of the 2012 kit)

So I only have flicker with the older kits when they are used with the strips with 48 LED.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#63 Post by xiphmont » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:54 am

wileE wrote: The flicker I have with the two older kits is backlight flicker, as if the PWM frequency changed only slightly. Another huge difference is the dimming range. It is now much bigger with the older kits.
Have not found a way to measure it, but I would say it has three times the range of the 2014 kits.

Not quite sure yet, but the flicker seems to be gone when I connect the 2012 kit to a strip with only 36 LED.

EDIT

Now I am sure. No flicker when the 2012 kit is connected to the strip with 36 LED.
Ahhh, that's all very interesting.
And as this fancyboost was back on a X61 board, I took off the screen bezel on my X61 (which has a 2014 fancyboost without flicker).
Swapped in the 2012 fancyboost. Nothing. No backlight. Those crazy chinese changed +/-.
Did they also ship matching LED strips that put + on black and - on red like some I saw?
The kits from 2012 and 2013 have a differnt layout than the 2014 kit. Marked with red oval in the pic.
That's just two 0402 resistor pads in parallel instead of a single 0603. Possibly a vestige from development of the design when a very precise nonstandard value was needed (easier to make it out of two values in parallel).
EDIT: I have the kit now, I was incorrect above. The second unused pad leads to pin 2, not pin 1. It still does not represent a functional change.
Any thoughts on what I could try to get the PWM mod working? Hoping for some lucky guesswork, I know it might be impossible to say solder this and that from looking at pictures.
Here's a wild guess: Are those 48 LED strips in groups of 12? If so, we may be lucky, because that means you might be just barely hitting the OVP threshold. When the fancyboost hits a 41.8V output voltage, it shuts down. If the LEDs have a full-power Vf of > 3.45V or so at full current, the circuit will hit that voltage. And, given soft start, after the protection trips, it will power back up and then trip OVP again repeatedly at a few hundred Hz... which looks just like PWM, except it's not.

And if that is it, since you're right at the edge of the OVP, I could believe one kit trips, and another one coincidentally doesn't. And it's probably temperature sensitive as well.

If it *is* OVP (and the 48 LED strip is 4x12), replacing the 335 resistor with a 365 should allow it to work by bumping the trip threshold from 41.8V to 45.5V. The controller chip is rated to 50V output.

That's a guess. Possible, but not by any means the certain problem.
Last edited by xiphmont on Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#64 Post by wileE » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:53 pm

Did they also ship matching LED strips that put + on black and - on red like some I saw?
Yes. They must have switched that sometime at the end of 2013.

Do you mean the 335 resistor in the upper right corner? http://i.imgur.com/wys0udM.jpg
This 365 OK? http://uk.farnell.com/multicomp/mc0125w ... dp/2142161

I will try that. But I do not have high hopes, because I am pretty sure that the strips have 6 groups of 8 LED.

It might be a few weeks before I have news on this topic. Ordered a new strip for this. I do not want to open the screen assembly everytime to test something.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#65 Post by xiphmont » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:29 pm

wileE wrote:Do you mean the 335 resistor in the upper right corner? http://i.imgur.com/wys0udM.jpg
Yes.
Probably not. that's 1206, which is 2x bigger in both directions.
I will try that. But I do not have high hopes, because I am pretty sure that the strips have 6 groups of 8 LED.
Ah, that might well be. Since Fancyboost can actually shut the output off... It would be operating entirely in linear mode on the charger though!

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#66 Post by wileE » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:54 pm

Probably not. that's 1206, which is 2x bigger in both directions.
Thanks. 0603 will be a better fit. No sense of scale with this SMD stuff.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#67 Post by xiphmont » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:17 am

xiphmont wrote: Ah, that might well be. Since Fancyboost can actually shut the output off... It would be operating entirely in linear mode on the charger though!
Hm, come to think of it, I'm not really sure what the fancyboost will do when the output voltage needs to be less than the input, since the boost couldn't run.

WileE, would you be willing to send me one of those older Fancyboosts for detailed testing and analysis? I'll trade one of my new driver boards... ;-)

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#68 Post by wileE » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:42 am

WileE, would you be willing to send me one of those older Fancyboosts for detailed testing and analysis? I'll trade one of my new driver boards...
Yes. I would be happy to do that. It is unlikely that I will ever figure out what is going wrong with those boards.

Do you need it mounted on a Tablet inverter board? I do have spares of those.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#69 Post by xiphmont » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:55 am

wileE wrote:
WileE, would you be willing to send me one of those older Fancyboosts for detailed testing and analysis? I'll trade one of my new driver boards...
Yes. I would be happy to do that. It is unlikely that I will ever figure out what is going wrong with those boards.

Do you need it mounted on a Tablet inverter board? I do have spares of those.
No need to mount it. I'll PM.

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new driver update

#70 Post by xiphmont » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:06 am

I've built the first batch of complete driver boards based on 'New Design 1'.

First observation: Dang, these TI driver chips (TPS92510) are really really easy to damage by accident during assembly. Or at least, I assume the ones that didn't pass testing were damaged, and I damaged them while I was clumsily soldering them. Of the 12 boards I built, 8 passed all tests. One wouldn't light at all, and three others showed regulation inconsistencies that were definitely due to the controller chip (and not some other wiring error). Given how long I heated these to get the thermal pad to flow, perhaps the only surprise is that I didn't damage more :-|

The second observation is that the regulation on the working boards is exceptionally precise (better than a quarter percent over the entire operating range), but there's controller-to-controller absolute accuracy differences that require trimming the range slightly on each board. TI lists these chips as being accurate to '+/-3%', but in reality it seems the accuracy is more like an absolute +/- 3mA or so. Each controller chip is off by some constant amount.

3mA is no big deal at 500mA and a much bigger deal down at 10mA. That means the lower end of the dimming range needs to be trimmed on each board if I want them all exactly the same (otherwise min brightness varies from as low as 6.5mA to as high as 12.5mA).

The good news is eight perfect boards at a shade under 95% efficient! That saves an additional 1/3W at full brightness over the various Chinese boards (that top out at about 87%). And that's on top of the efficiency improvement of moving to LEDs! Hoorj!

I have also built one of my alternate 'New Design 2' boards, and that prototype also works perfectly. The main benefit of Design 2 is that it uses an RT8450B controller chip with dimming as a built-in feature (instead of just hacked into dimming), and the chip seems considerably more robust against assembly abuse as well. Hopefully that means better yield and no need to trim brightness range on each board. The downside is that it's less efficient, topping out at about 90%.

http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/thinkpad/IMAG0480.jpg <--moderately large pic of fairly small boards warning (each of the boards is only 3.75 x 8 x 44 mm :-)

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#71 Post by wileE » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:31 pm

Those boards look like a lot of work. Very nice. And with labels at the connection points, which is very considerate.
Hopefully that means better yield and no need to trim brightness range on each board. The downside is that it's less efficient, topping out at about 90%.
I think you would be the only one who would care about that loss in efficiency. Everybody else would be happy about a driver board without flicker.

Got around to connecting the kit I got from ccfloffer.com last week. 260mm long, 48 LED in groups of 3.

LED are mounted on top of the strip, which I think is much better than the side mounted I got with the fancyboost kits.
The driver board is rather strange: Large pic warning, 430KB http://i.imgur.com/kPdyVv3.jpg
It has a size that would be unusable in a X61. And the LED turn on for a flash every time I pull out the AC adapter from the X61.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#72 Post by xiphmont » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:37 pm

wileE wrote:
Hopefully that means better yield and no need to trim brightness range on each board. The downside is that it's less efficient, topping out at about 90%.
I think you would be the only one who would care about that loss in efficiency. Everybody else would be happy about a driver board without flicker.
The real concern is that lower board efficiency results in a higher minimum input voltage to maintain regulation. That's not a problem on X-series which uses 14.8V batteries, but on T-series with 11.1V batteries and longer LED strips, the voltage may drop too low to maintain full brightness as the battery discharges, especially when load causes the battery to sag down to ~10V.
wileE wrote: Got around to connecting the kit I got from ccfloffer.com last week. 260mm long, 48 LED in groups of 3.

LED are mounted on top of the strip, which I think is much better than the side mounted I got with the fancyboost kits.
The driver board is rather strange: Large pic warning, 430KB http://i.imgur.com/kPdyVv3.jpg
It has a size that would be unusable in a X61. And the LED turn on for a flash every time I pull out the AC adapter from the X61.
That board has the same controller chip (PT4115) and component count/values as the Cheapybuck, so the schematic is possibly the same. Those are nasty little controller chips too, they will oscillate and go up in flames if the input decoupling is inadequate or you poke them wrong... It's worrisome that the cap and inductor values are both much lower than the spec sheet recommends.

BTW, I did the first testing last night of the Fancyboost you sent me. So far I only tested it on strips with groups of 8, 9 and 10 LEDs from 8V to 22V and it behaves as expected, no flicker, nothing unexpected. Could you take some close pics of front and back of the strips that caused trouble? I'm wondering now if they're not using the typical ~3V/20mA LEDs but something higher power, or maybe they're arranged strangely...

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#73 Post by wileE » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:51 pm

xiphmont wrote:BTW, I did the first testing last night of the Fancyboost you sent me. So far I only tested it on strips with groups of 8, 9 and 10 LEDs from 8V to 22V and it behaves as expected, no flicker, nothing unexpected. Could you take some close pics of front and back of the strips that caused trouble? I'm wondering now if they're not using the typical ~3V/20mA LEDs but something higher power, or maybe they're arranged strangely...
Do not know if those are good or bad news.
I never considered the strip as a possible cause of the problem. Have to pull a strip from my X61T for pictures.

Do you know what type of strip creatall88 is likely to ship? Compatible with a fancyboost driver board?

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#74 Post by xiphmont » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:19 pm

wileE wrote:Do you know what type of strip creatall88 is likely to ship? Compatible with a fancyboost driver board?
Last i checked (which has been a while) creatall only shipped Unboosty boards with 9.6V LED strips that have groups of 3 LEDs. So, not compatible with the fancyboost, but compatible with other buck-down boards.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#75 Post by 85101 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:57 pm

I just installed a modded fancyboost in my X61s with the IDTech N121X5-L06 display (42T0343). About a vertical third of my screen is darker than the rest and tinted yellowish. It's not a sharp transition (no "lines"). Could this be bad LEDs on the strip or another problem?
T430: i7-3632QM, 12GB, 1080p IPS, 2x256GB SSD, NVS 5400M
X220 (work): i7-2620M, 16GB, IPS, 512GB SSD
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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#76 Post by xiphmont » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:03 am

85101 wrote:I just installed a modded fancyboost in my X61s with the IDTech N121X5-L06 display (42T0343). About a vertical third of my screen is darker than the rest and tinted yellowish. It's not a sharp transition (no "lines"). Could this be bad LEDs on the strip or another problem?
Not bad LEDs-- that would cause left-to-right unevenness along the bottom. I think your LED strip has simply rotated out of position. The yellow tint is because of the kapton tape on the strip-- peel it off. It serves no useful purpose and gets in the way.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#77 Post by wileE » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:17 am

It does not look like the LED strip is the cause of the unsuccessful PWM mod.

Took the screen with flicker from my X61T (fancyboost kit from 2013 with flicker after PWM mod) and connected it to the LED driver board from my X61 (fancyboost from 2014 with working PWM mod) using a adapter for the +/- swap.

No flicker.

When I connect the screen (just the LED strip - I hate taking the SXGA+ out of the lid) from the X61 to the driver board from the X61T I have flicker in that screen too.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#78 Post by xiphmont » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:08 pm

wileE wrote:It does not look like the LED strip is the cause of the unsuccessful PWM mod.
Mostly I wanted a good pic to verify the arrangement and specific LED type in use so I could successfully emulate it. I have no doubt you're seeing flicker, I'm just trying to get it to happen here :-)

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#79 Post by wileE » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:20 pm

Pictures: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ppkfx8p3o8fb ... Nen0a?dl=0
Not very good. I could stitch together something better if you say which side you are interested in.
The black stuff on the end LEDs is textmarker.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#80 Post by xiphmont » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:42 pm

wileE wrote:Pictures: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ppkfx8p3o8fb ... Nen0a?dl=0
Not very good. I could stitch together something better if you say which side you are interested in.
The black stuff on the end LEDs is textmarker.
That shows me everything I wanted to know. Completely conventional 8S6P layout, and I recognize those side-facing LEDs from other strips. They're not unusual in any way that I know, I'll test a few here to make sure.

Well, hmm. I'll play with it more tonight to see if I can figure it out. BTW... does the flickering happen only on battery, only on AC, or both? It happened outside of the machine as well as inside?

Monty

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#81 Post by wileE » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:01 pm

does the flickering happen only on battery, only on AC, or both?
Both.
It happened outside of the machine as well as inside?
Do you mean that the strip is inside a display?

Always. I have this nice dark grey picture where the flicker shows very well.
I don't think I would be able to see the flicker on the LED strip itself, and I have no way to measure it.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#82 Post by xiphmont » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:19 pm

wileE wrote: Do you mean that the strip is inside a display?

Always. I have this nice dark grey picture where the flicker shows very well.
I don't think I would be able to see the flicker on the LED strip itself, and I have no way to measure it.
Which model screen is it going into? I wonder if there's some strobe beating with the the HF dither being used in the display? That seems unlikely or impossible, but *something* is happening :-)

I asked about inside machine vs outside as I was wondering if one of the LED supply leads might be shorted to ground by accident... Also not very likely, as the inside of the backlight bracket is insulated by reflective mylar, but it's possible (and I've blown a few fuses to prove it ;-)

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#83 Post by wileE » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:27 pm


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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#84 Post by xiphmont » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:30 pm

wileE wrote:Which model screen is it going into?
HV121P01-101.
Huh, OK, no surprise there either. I don't suppose you can send me the same picture you're using? And the screen is in an X61T, not X61 correct? I think they run at different refresh rates...

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#85 Post by wileE » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:24 pm

Just a grey picture: http://imgur.com/6dm0fwz
And the screen is in an X61T, not X61 correct? I think they run at different refresh rates...

Screens. Both. I tested every combination I could think of. Refresh rate has nothing to do with it.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#86 Post by khseal » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:24 pm

I assembled Unboosty. There is a blinking screen while on battery power at low brightness. Sometimes blinking screen at maximum brightness from the power supply. My LED strip give much green color = ( I'll try and receive Spyder3 to calibrate the display.
My hands are broken. When pulled CCFL lamp, rubber at the other end of the lamp broke got stuck in the middle of the matrix. I disassembled matrix completely =(
Be careful when pull out the lamp!

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#87 Post by xiphmont » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:05 pm

khseal wrote:I assembled Unboosty. There is a blinking screen while on battery power at low brightness. Sometimes blinking screen at maximum brightness from the power supply. My LED strip give much green color = ( I'll try and receive Spyder3 to calibrate the display.
That is, unfortunately, to be expected. The unboosty flicker is what I warned about in the earlier posts (I had not seen it on AC-- it must be a particularly bad one), and the greenish LED color is also, alas, a common problem on the IPS FlexView and SuperView screens. The LEDs being sold in these kits are often too low a color temp and far too green. It is why I have been binning LEDs by hand the past few weeks...

https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/pics/binning.jpg <-- large pic warning
My hands are broken. When pulled CCFL lamp, rubber at the other end of the lamp broke got stuck in the middle of the matrix. I disassembled matrix completely =(
Be careful when pull out the lamp!
Yes, the CCFL tubes are very fragile! But if only some rubber gets stuck, you can push it out with a thin dowel, or even just some q-tips with the cotton cut off. The tubes are fragile, but the screen matrix, when still assembled, is not. Just be sure not to use something like a metal rod with a sharp lip; it might gouge the polished edge of the waveguide, or rip up the insulating mylar coating in the bracket.

Actually, the matrix pieces are still fairly strong when disassembled, just be careful of the flex cables where they bond to the glass. It is, however, a real pain to figure out how to get it back together smoothly if you've not done it before :-| Also, fingerprints on the rear polarizer....

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#88 Post by Qing Dao » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:33 pm

That picture link is broken, but I found this:

https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/pics/binning.jpg

That setup looks like you really know what you are doing.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#89 Post by xiphmont » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:35 pm

Qing Dao wrote:That picture link is broken, but I found this:

https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/pics/binning.jpg

That setup looks like you really know what you are doing.
Yah, typoed it at first, had to fix the link. Edit: see also https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/pics/bindata.png <- medium-sized pic warning :-) I'm binning at 1mA and 15mA by x,y and intensity. It looks like the calibration on the binning rig is holding reasonably steady.

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Re: X6X-series LED backlight conversion kit howtos

#90 Post by flyingfishfinger » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:47 pm

Nice, looking good! Lots of LEDs...

R

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