WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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phage
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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#31 Post by phage » Sun May 28, 2017 8:53 am

I'll end up doing both, and post results on em. That way, others can learn from my mistakes, and I get to learn something fun along the way.

Concerning the fact that one can't just use, say, speaker wire to connect the fhd board to the mobo, I think I'll try the expensive route and buy an edp cable and scrap it for fly-wiring. This way, the wires are probably already within tolerance.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#32 Post by phage » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:04 am

Got my x220 in and went to do a test fit with my already-modded screen (...ea3). boutch55555, you were right, it is rather tight vertically, though with some sacrifices, it may have worked.

That said, I had a backup screen (again ...ea3), as I thought I'd break the first one for sure, to try a different approach on. I decided I'd test your hypothesis that the controller PCB could be flipped to the other side of the panel. It's possible, just not in the way that I thought it would work. The panel can't be "swung" 180°, but it can be "slid" back behind the PCB with the same orientation as before. This saves about 6 mm off of the bottom of the panel, however, swinging the PCB behind the panel does increase the depth a bit, but it should still fit in the lid.

Here's the pictures of the process that are probably more informative than I could be:
http://imgur.com/a/WTSdw

Summary of process:
-Strip the foil from the panel
-Unscrew panel from backlight grounds
-bend grounds 180°
-peel a bit of the glued FFC so that the panel is free to slide up
-cut 1 cm of the left of the PCB off so that the backlight power supply cable can stretch
-screw everything back in
-???
-profit

Will be updating with test fit shots later

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#33 Post by fourthree » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:32 am

Nice work. Any chance of cutting down the bezel, just like in the 51nb mods? That would be fantastic. I'm mainly curious for an X20x or X30x bezel cut, but the same principle should apply.
Dorkstation: T601f
Ultraportable: X61s

phage
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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#34 Post by phage » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:51 am

fourthree wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:32 am
Any chance of cutting down the bezel, just like in the 51nb mods?
I don't have a 20x/30x model, but it's fairly thin plastic, so it should just require patience. I'm gonna be doing it by hand, since I have no CNC available. boutch already did one on a test bezel, earlier in this thread

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#35 Post by fourthree » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:52 pm

boutch55555 wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:42 pm
I can confirm the HQ-LED30-156 from yoycart works but shipping is quite expensive, ended up around 40$ USD for 2 adapters shipped (fast option).

Here is a fitting test with a new unmodded panel on a intact lid (currently using a LP125WF2 SPB3 in my x220) : http://imgur.com/2EuwGvz
That's amazing. Is that a panel in the bezel? I can't see it too well because it's dark.
Dorkstation: T601f
Ultraportable: X61s

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#36 Post by boutch55555 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:47 pm

The final bezel isn't cut yet because I don't have a spare one and frequently use the x220. I just placed the screen on top to make sure the side switcher was long enough.
I've been putting this project aside for some time, as I was jobless for almost 3 months, no $$$ to put on expensive things I'll break ;) But now paychecks are coming in, I should order one later this week.

About the bezel cut : It can be done with very good results with the metal blade / razor blade / file method, just take your time. Find an old broken Thinkpad and practice before. And, honestly, this is one of the easiest parts of the mod.

Also, I hate this picture. http://imgur.com/svSeIDj

For those that followed, this is from a x320 from the Japanese guys that was opened. But they didn't even bother/needed trimming the tabs on the left (2 longest ones that touch the panel), With those tabs cut + panel trimmed all the way to the glass, it leaves me with less than 0.25mm. They were able to do it with what looks like over a mm to spare. HOW ?!
phage wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:04 am
Will be updating with test fit shots later
So, how does it look ?

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#37 Post by phage » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:14 pm

boutch55555 wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:47 pm
So, how does it look ?
boutch55555 wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:47 pm
The final bezel isn't cut yet because I don't have a spare one and frequently use the x220.
I have this exact issue, currently using the screen in the x220, so I don't wanna destroy the mounting points for the original. I'm waiting for the fhd kit still, or I would've had this thing in the x220 long ago. I've just been testing my panels with the Novena (studio Kosagi).

boutch55555 wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:47 pm
With those tabs cut + panel trimmed all the way to the glass, it leaves me with less than 0.25mm.
Without grinding my back bezel yet, I can say that I probably have as much room as you do. I'm not sure how much front bezel you could even save. It's like 2 or 3 mm that you'll be left with on the sides.

Yours is up and running, though, just no bezel? Grats, it's a thing of beauty.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#38 Post by fourthree » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:55 pm

I found this panel and I'm kind of curious what panel could be stuffed into a W500. Any estimation about possible panel sizes when the bezels are cut on various thinkpads?

I'm interested in:
X61
X200 (X201)
X300 (X301)
T400 (T500, W500, R400, R500)
W701 (Still need to get past the MXM block, though.)
Dorkstation: T601f
Ultraportable: X61s

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#39 Post by chx1975 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:35 am

The X320 would be a dream! lcdfans on facebook at least they had a problem with screen availability so they don't have them :( but stuffing a 13.3" full HD screen in the X220 would be nice. Or would've been -- now I have a full HD T420s and I think that will tide me over until the Retro. Fingers crossed for the Retro. Hell, toes crossed for the Retro as well, just to be sure :P

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#40 Post by phage » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:36 pm

On the x220, what was your method of approaching the hulking mass of WiFi antennas? They're very much in the way; I suppose they could be replaced by slimmer ones, but I wonder if they can be bent flat without losing reception. If this was possible, they would just sit behind the screen.

I simply removed the wlan antennas, as I don't use a wlan card for battery reasons.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#41 Post by fourthree » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:47 pm

phage wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:36 pm
On the x220, what was your method of approaching the hulking mass of WiFi antennas? They're very much in the way; I suppose they could be replaced by slimmer ones, but I wonder if they can be bent flat without losing reception. If this was possible, they would just sit behind the screen.

I simply removed the wlan antennas, as I don't use a wlan card for battery reasons.
Does a 3G (possibly 4G?) connection sound like a workaround?
Dorkstation: T601f
Ultraportable: X61s

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#42 Post by phage » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:58 pm

fourthree wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:47 pm
Does a 3G (possibly 4G?) connection sound like a workaround?
My issue was that the antennas in the bezel, near the top, are too large. The solution for the antenna for the 3G/4G WLAN was easy, because I don't use them, so I simply removed the antenna block and put it aside. However, I want to keep WiFi, for obvious reasons, but they're still in the way.

If I misread the question, I apologize. Also, the WLAN antennas are actually bigger, so using those would come with their own set of issues.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#43 Post by boutch55555 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:55 pm

phage wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:36 pm
On the x220, what was your method of approaching the hulking mass of WiFi antennas?
Just cut the bottom or fold it. If that's not enough for you, try those

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#44 Post by phage » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:27 pm

Ah, I didn't know, my knowledge of RF is pretty lacking. Thanks for the info.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#45 Post by TPFanatic » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:17 pm

On the subject of petite bezel screens, any thoughts on the feasibility of mating a 15.4" screen to a T420? I had my Z60m's lcd out the other day and had it sitting on top of the T420 and the dimensions are close. I'm thinking a T500's LED display with a T410 WXGA cable (LVDS), or a Macbook panel with the FHD mod cable could work?

Of course a custom lid would have to be designed. This brick will be so thick we gotta call it the R420. R for Retro.
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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#46 Post by boutch55555 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:15 am

Well, the t420 is 340.5 mm wide. Looks like both the Z60 and t500 have a LTN154*3-* or similar that's 344mm wide so the panel would need to be modded as well. I guess a 1680x1050 would work since it's 30 pin LVDS (don't quote me on that though, I didn't search enough), have a look at those and try finding one with a smaller outline. But a quick spot check tells me 344 is the standard, even for 15.0 panels.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#47 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:18 am

The 15.4" panels are also twice as thick as whatever is already in the T420 so I'm thinking fabricating a custom lid would be necessary.

There are two constraints: any panel going into the T420 would have to be LED lit, secondly the CS09 T-series uses specific cables for different resolution screens. This leaves us with the LP154WX7-TLP2 1280x800 from T500, and possibly this LP154WP3-TLA3 1440x900 LED display used in some LG thing after dicing a T410 actually T420 cable....

edit: Another possible constraint. Panel for sure has to be 2 channel, 6 bit, LVDS. The T410 apparently uses 30 pin screens whereas the T420 uses 40 pin screens. However I have successfully plugged a T410 lid onto a T420 base and it worked flawlessly. So use a T410 cable for 30 pin screens, and T420 cable for 40 pin screens.

For higher resolution screens, a T420s or T430s would have to be used with the FHD mod for EDP screens.
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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#48 Post by ka_phi » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:46 am

Hi,

how did you fix the panel in the rear cover? Did you use double sided 1,5mm foam tape as well? Any recommendations?

Thanks,

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#49 Post by boutch55555 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:53 am

It's not done yet, but I'll probably use whatever double sided tape they have at a local hardware store, with additional layers / spacers if needed. I have a used "complete display assembly" on the way, as I wanted to make sure to get an original bezel + have spares to do a 2nd panel (already modded) sometime in the future. Tracking says I should get it next week, I might be able to finally finish this project over the 29-30 weekend.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#50 Post by boutch55555 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:00 am

So, about those antennas... I got the new display assembly yesterday and the ones inside don't look like any other I've seen before. Looks like even wwan will fit with minor modifications. It says x220 on the bezel and came with a IPS LP125WH2-SLB1 (!!!), quite a steal for 50$. No FRU on the antennas, but lid is 04W2185.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#51 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:08 am

Not such a great screen, check this: viewtopic.php?t=120564

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#52 Post by boutch55555 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:47 am

Yeah, but still way better than a TN panel, nice bonus since I didn't need it anyway. At least this one I might be able to resell.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#53 Post by phage » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:16 pm

Hey, that's pretty cool. I'm betting the seller just put non-stock antennas in there, but you came out with the better deal.

I ended up trying to bend the wifi antennas flat to accommodate the screen on top of them. Using the wavemon package in linux, I noticed an unusable drop in performance. I ended up ordering the antennas that boutch55555 recommended, and they work better (offer greater connectivity over longer distances, as determined by wavemon) than the stock x220 ones, which was certainly a plus, on top of being the correct size for the mod.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#54 Post by boutch55555 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:57 am

I think they are just another model, just more rare. Might be from a later revision when they ran out of the original ones. An image search for the lid FRU got me this one from Aliexpress with the 3 antennas setup. Having a closer look, they are labeled Lenovo DB. Variants on CAN43130 are available on ntb74.ru, but they seem almost identical to the other ones you ordered.

Can you share the numbers you got for stock / stock bent / replacement, I'm curious about what the range of variation is.

Edit : Did you bend it inward or outward ? Might have a big impact as the core is soldered to the top part and shield at bottom. The core wire can also break quite easily when bending outward, as seen here.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#55 Post by phage » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:07 am

I bent it outward, such that makes the footprint larger for the antenna. I had to break the core wire connection and resolder it, which is (I'm sure) where I messed up.

With the new ones, sitting in the same location in my house, I'm getting a signal level of about -43 dBm. The originals, I believe were around -57 dBm (going off of memory here, because they're KIA); after breaking them, I was getting a link quality of about 12%. It's admittedly not a huge increase, but it's certainly not a sacrifice for the mod. I'm curious about using the AUX antenna connection to wire to a pigtail connection for a better gain antenna that you could take off in transport.

Using something like this:
http://img.dxcdn.com/productimages/sku_149922_2.jpg

I've ordered one (it's on the slow boat over) and plan on drilling into the case near the kensington lock. If anybody is interested, I can post findings on that too.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#56 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:02 pm

phage wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:07 am
Using something like this:
http://img.dxcdn.com/productimages/sku_149922_2.jpg

I've ordered one (it's on the slow boat over) and plan on drilling into the case near the kensington lock. If anybody is interested, I can post findings on that too.
Your plan reminds me of rkawakami's external antenna mod for the Thinkpad 600X: http://www.rkawakami.net/ibm_600x/mini_pci_wireless/

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#57 Post by boutch55555 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:32 pm

Yeah, as long as you got some sturdy metal behind (like through the kensington lock backing) you should be fine. The magnesium from the case isn't enough, as I found out years ago on a x61t. Now there is a hole where the antenna used to be. I'd probably go for a USB wifi card with big antenna (and master mode) at that point though, more versatile, easier to install / remove and nothing sticking out.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#58 Post by phage » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:39 pm

Thanks for the info, guys. Through the help of RP-SMA male-male and RP-SMA female-female connectors, I'm going to try to make a "port" such as would be flush with the casing, because I really don't want anything snapping off in a backpack.

It's a bit hard to explain because of the odd naming conventions, but I'll post pics when I'm done.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#59 Post by boutch55555 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:27 pm

Slowly getting there.

Hinge mod
Side view of top bracket. You need to remove the plastic part to do a clean cut on those.
Filled with epoxy because clips are gone. Might help to sand the surface.
All they has at local hardware store for padded double sided tape I'll try to find better one tomorrow before final assembly.

Guess I won't hold it by the screen anymore.

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Re: WIP DIY x320, what I learned so far

#60 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:31 pm

boutch55555 wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:27 pm
Slowly getting there.

Hinge mod
Side view of top bracket. You need to remove the plastic part to do a clean cut on those.
Filled with epoxy because clips are gone. Might help to sand the surface.
All they has at local hardware store for padded double sided tape I'll try to find better one tomorrow before final assembly.

Guess I won't hold it by the screen anymore.
Next up, you should try making a 14" DIY X220 using a custom edgeless LCD panel and a revamped 701C keyboard mechanism to move the screens :D
With great power comes great responsibility!

A lesson Lenovo has not cared to learn yet.

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