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Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

X60/X61 and X60t/X61t Series
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Lomax
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Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#1 Post by Lomax » Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:38 pm

The other day I fetched my X61s out of storage, intending to use it in my workshop as a general test/measurement/control machine (huge amount of connectivity on this laptop!). It's in really great condition, honestly looks almost new, and it has a Core2Duo L7500 CPU, 128gb SSD, 4gb RAM, and the X6 UltraBase with a DVD/CDRW drive. I really love this machine, BUT the CCFL screen has gone really dim with age, and isn't really usable any more except in a darkened room. Having looked around the forum, and on the web in general, it seems it's some years since people were interested in upgrading these machines with IPS screens or LED backlight, and I haven't been able to locate a reliable source for either a new screen or an LED upgrade. Does this mean the machine is basically trash, or is there something I can do to get a usable screen?
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - X220 - X230 (X220 kbd)

Neil
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Re: Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#2 Post by Neil » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:04 pm

I don't know....but if it were me, I can't throw even semi-good stuff out. Maybe connect a spare external monitor, and go from there. Or, pick up a cheap monitor at a thrift store or something.
Collection = T430 - T500 - R400 - X300 - T61 (14" WXGA+) - R61 (15" SXGA+) - T60 - X40 - T43p - T43 - T42p - A30P

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Re: Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#3 Post by dr_st » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:37 pm

IPS upgrade may be a tad tricky on this model, but seeing as your screen is already basically unusable, I would at least consider it.

And if not, at the very least you should be able to get a compatible TN XGA screen in better working order.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

Lomax
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Re: Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#4 Post by Lomax » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:38 pm

Neil wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:04 pm
I don't know....but if it were me, I can't throw even semi-good stuff out. Maybe connect a spare external monitor, and go from there. Or, pick up a cheap monitor at a thrift store or something.
Yeah, njae, nah, I don't like this option; it's a laptop after all.
dr_st wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:37 pm
IPS upgrade may be a tad tricky on this model, but seeing as your screen is already basically unusable, I would at least consider it.

And if not, at the very least you should be able to get a compatible TN XGA screen in better working order.
IPS upgrade would be nice, even if I have to fiddle around to make it fit. But where can I get the necessary parts? From what I've read it's not just a simple panel swap, I need an adapter cable, and swapping the inverter for a LED driver as well, no?

There are replacement screens on the bay, but cheapest I've seen is £80, with most costing £200 or more. Needless to say I'm reluctant to spend that kind of money on a 13 year old laptop without getting any kind of upgrade out of it... CCFL tube replacement is another option, but having done that on my 600X many years ago I was very disappointed with the greenish light produced by the replacement tubes - especially since it was a lot of work to perform the operation. I would much prefer swapping the CCFL for a LED strip, but again, where can I buy the bits I would need?
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - X220 - X230 (X220 kbd)

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Re: Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:36 am

Still NOT a great day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff).
Ireland is on FULL lockdown until Easter 2021!
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Lomax
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Re: Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#6 Post by Lomax » Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:52 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:36 am
How to put in IPS: https://ithinkpad.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/x6xipsguide/
Some old(er) info: viewtopic.php?p=440672#p440672
Well, yes. I had read that, and whatever posts I could find here on the subject. The problem is the adapter cable that's needed is no longer available to buy. And the screens are really difficult to find - there are three chinese sellers offering them on the bay for around $100, but all use the exact same photos, which makes me think they're all fakes. Besides, changing to an IPS panel is quite a lot of work. Expenisve, risky, and fiddly - indeed perhaps even impossible - not a tempting proposition tbh. The more I think about it my preferred route would probably be to replace the CCFL backlight with LEDs - and if that's not possible, a new CCFL tube. Has anyone here done either to their X60/61?
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - X220 - X230 (X220 kbd)

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Re: Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#7 Post by TRS-80 » Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:06 pm

I am essentially in the same boat, with a number of T60s. Those sound like just about all the options.

In particular, I don't seem to be able to get a straight answer whether the Far East panel sellers on eBay are legitimate or not. In my case, I am looking for Hydis 15" UXGA with LED backlight, which is a different model, but as I said we are essentially in same boat, options wise.
All good things are Wild and Free.

What is free software and why is it so important for society?

(2021) Actively on the lookout for for 15" T60 FlexView / Hydis LED displays and parts, for my own usage. Kindly PM me your demands if you are willing to part with anything. :D

Lomax
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Re: Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#8 Post by Lomax » Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:40 pm

TRS-80 wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:06 pm
I am essentially in the same boat, with a number of T60s. Those sound like just about all the options.
Sorry to hear it. I sometimes get the feeling that the golden age of Thinkpads Frankenpads has passed, and that people have given up and accepted the locked-in alternatives from Lenovo and others. A friend just gave me two T4xx machines today, nothing terribly exciting but timely as I'd promised another friend I'd sort him out with a laptop with a CD-ROM drive. He has a lot of his photos on CDs, which are... difficult... to access from a smartphone - besides, who wants to look at photos on a pocket size screen? But that's how it is today, barely anyone I know still uses anything we would recognise as a computer; it's tablets and smartphones all the way down. One of the machines I was given is a T440p, and that got me quite excited at first; that "p" used to be a sign that the machine had a stand-alone GPU, a high-end CPU and (often) a decent screen. Not so! It's got a measly i5, a measly 4Gb of RAM, a measly TN screen, and no stand-alone GPU. Worse still, the chassis is mostly plastic, none of the titanium composite goodness I associate with the Thinkpads - and it has a horrible 6-row chicklet keyboard that doesn't even have a backlight (the only plus with a chicklet keyboard imo), with a gargantuan touchpad in front of it (seriously, it's a Thinkpad, why the **** would I want to use the touchpad!? gimme back my missing row of keys instead you thieving [censored]!). EVEN WORSE, it has an administrator password set on the BIOS, and there is no (cost effective) way to remove this, even for someone equipped with all manner of eeprom read/write hardware, and who's not afraid to use them. Basically, it's trash - and arguably it was trash already when it left the factory. It says something about the way things are going that the other machine, which is an older and decidedly more budget oriented T410i has few of those shortcomings; great 7-row keyboard, decent screen, good speakers and a titanium chassis. It does have a boring i3 CPU, and an 8Gb max RAM limit, but for web browsing and looking at videos/photos it should do quite alright. This too had a supervisor password set on the BIOS, but that was easy possible to circumvent by [redacted due to forum rules]. It took a few tries to get the timing right, and near full disassembly to get to where I needed to be, but it worked. T440p: trash. T410i: useful.
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - X220 - X230 (X220 kbd)

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Re: Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#9 Post by dr_st » Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:52 pm

Fascinating, but off-topic discussion split off:
Sustainability, planned obsolescence, landfills and everything in between
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

Lomax
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Re: Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#10 Post by Lomax » Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:10 pm

Fair enough, and apologies for going off on a tangent - which of course I knew it was. I'm just in a strange place at the moment, desperate for some kind of social space. It builds up and pours out, and any response is welcome - just to beat the loneliness. I very much doubt I'm the only one feeling this way right now... Right?
600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - X220 - X230 (X220 kbd)

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Re: Near mint X61s with dim screen = trash?

#11 Post by TRS-80 » Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:17 pm

I get on IRC when I feel like that.

"All my real friends are on the Internet." :lol:
All good things are Wild and Free.

What is free software and why is it so important for society?

(2021) Actively on the lookout for for 15" T60 FlexView / Hydis LED displays and parts, for my own usage. Kindly PM me your demands if you are willing to part with anything. :D

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