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T410s frankenpad questions

T400/T410/T420 and T500/T510/T520 Series
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8etim
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T410s frankenpad questions

#1 Post by 8etim » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:00 am

Hi,

I've been using my T400s for a long time now and really love it, but its hardware is slow nowadays. So I wanted to frankenpad it but I can't find any panel that fits its 16:10 ratio with a at least 2K resolution.

But T410s has 16:9 for which there are plenty of 2K panels of this size (14"). I was thinking, since T440s are quite cheap, how hard is to mate T440s internals to T410s body.

So my questions is the keyboard and touchpad/trackpad connector different? Is there a solution?
- I looked at HW manuals, but there is no description of connectors. Also tried to search but nothing. Maybe I didn't know what to search :oops:

I suppose that motherboard is a bit tricky to position properly inside, but I guess I could design/print some 3D parts that would make a good workaround. :D

Thanks in advance.
Current: T470s
Previous: T60, W500 (WUXGA), T400s, T420s, T430s, T450s

dr_st
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Re: T410s frankenpad questions

#2 Post by dr_st » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:37 am

Welcome to the forum. Please update your location as requested in the forum rules. :)

T410s also has 16:10. In the 14" segment, 16:9 started with T420s/T430s. The FHD/QHD mods are possible for T420s/T430s.
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

8etim
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Re: T410s frankenpad questions

#3 Post by 8etim » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:29 am

dr_st wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:37 am
Welcome to the forum. Please update your location as requested in the forum rules. :)
Updated the location.
dr_st wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:37 am
T410s also has 16:10. In the 14" segment, 16:9 started with T420s/T430s. The FHD/QHD mods are possible for T420s/T430s.
Huh. I always thought T410s are 16:9 -- almost bought a good example to convert.

But, I'm not interested to update only the panel though, I want new hardware too. So the question is, how is it possible to connect old kbd/track/touchpad to a new motherboard (which I suspect will fit since there is a lot of room in the T420s (because of the screen ratio).
Current: T470s
Previous: T60, W500 (WUXGA), T400s, T420s, T430s, T450s

dr_st
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Re: T410s frankenpad questions

#4 Post by dr_st » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:47 am

8etim wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:29 am
But, I'm not interested to update only the panel though, I want new hardware too. So the question is, how is it possible to connect old kbd/track/touchpad to a new motherboard (which I suspect will fit since there is a lot of room in the T420s (because of the screen ratio).
The question is this - if you want new hardware - why not just buy a new machine? As you say, the **40 series is quite inexpensive.

The only thing I can see the old machines have over the newer ones is the 7-row classic keyboard. You can retrofit it to a **30 series, but not to anything newer. nd **40 and later motherboards will not fit in a **30 or older chassis - the placement of ports is too different.
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

8etim
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Re: T410s frankenpad questions

#5 Post by 8etim » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:37 pm

dr_st wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:47 am
The only thing I can see the old machines have over the newer ones is the 7-row classic keyboard [...]
Yes, I want the classic legendary 7 row kbd with almost new hardware and a 2K panel. Initially I wanted new hw on T410s because I thought it is 16:9. Now that I learned it is 16:10 closest thing is T420s.

I know that ports are very different, but I reckon there is a lot of room inside to place a newer motherboard including internal batteries. It requires a little more fabrication, but I think it is doable. Just would like to know if the keyboard ports are the same and they function.
Last edited by 8etim on Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current: T470s
Previous: T60, W500 (WUXGA), T400s, T420s, T430s, T450s

atagunov
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Re: T410s frankenpad questions

#6 Post by atagunov » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:16 pm

I share your view. Classic 7-row keyboard or nothing :)

The latest version of 7-row classic keyboard fits all *20 machines and probably *10 machines as well. So any of these will satisfy your taste for keyboard. Luckily it also fits any of the *30 machines. The only sad thing is that your led on Capslock no longer works. *30 keyboard doesn't have this led :( Otherwise it's a more or less seamless fit or so they say. *30 are obviously better than *20 - a little less power hungry and a little faster. Should be a pretty simple mod.

It might be a little more tricky with fitting the panel you want. There have been a lot of conversations about upgrading the panel in T420. I think T430 may be taking exactly same panels as T420 so is no different in this regard. There are also T520/T530 and W520/W530. I'm not an expert on this though so I will probably keep silent. It may be you will need an extra board to intermediate between your mobo and your panel and some soldering.. Not sure. Also T520/T530/W520/W530 may be accepting a richer variety of panels compared to T420/T430. Not sure.....

Radically upgrading the motherboard is a lot more difficult than you may think. The space inside all these machines is extremely constrained and tailored to a particular motherboard. Newer motherboards just will not fit. And will not work with older keyboards (other than discussed above). This is why various projects exist to produce new fully custom motherboards fitting older bodies. There is so called X210/X2100 - a new $700+ modern motherboard for X200/X201. xytech on this website can probably sell you one. There is also the ongoing saga with making new motherboards to fit 15" 4:3 T60/R60, so called T700. I suspect those new motherboards could potentially fit 14" 4:3 T60/R60/T61. Most adventurously maybe just maybe 16:10 15.4" T60/T61/T61p. But not 16:10 14.1". They are collecting money for them in another thread on this forum. xytech was considering producing new motherboards for X220/X230 next year. I wish him success.

Cases when newer motherboard can be fitted into older chassis are rare. This is an exception not a rule. And people discuss them to no end: what will fit and what will not. I think what you initially wanted will not fit.

Luckily *30 machines can be quite powerful. W530 is a monster if a bit battery hungry/expensive/heavy/bulky. Only the very newest Thinkpads are beating it. T520/X220 I own are very much usable too. Very. Workhorses. *30 must be even better. You could probably try to fit a 4 core CPU into a T430 (or even T420?) making it equivalent in power to a W530 (almost, T420/T430 will not go beyond 16Gb DDR3 while W530 will go up to 32Gb). Of course the question will be if the cooler will keep up. And you would need to flash Coreboot or some other BIOS I think.. I believe T420/T430 still have a socketed CPU. T420s however is soldered, I think. So while T420s is nice in being slim it doesn't take CPU upgrades. The point is we have power in *20/*30. What we don't quite have is battery life :) But you can compensate with an extra battery that can be attached to the bottom of the notebook to the docking connector! Or just carry some spare battery around. Or carry a USB-C power bank and an adapter cable to plug it into your round-barrel socket on T430.

P.S. there are also X230 motherboards in existence where the stock 2-core CPU (soldered) has been replaced with a 4-core CPU (also soldered). This again makes an X230 into W530's brother only with 16Gb RAM limit :) I think there are also panel upgrades for the said X230-s. Not sure to which resolution. Probably to FHD e.g. 1080 vertical. But probably there are higher-res options too.. That's the case when a small new board is added to the machine. This board hooks up to one display-port lane on docking connector on one end and drives a eDP panel on the other end. I think there is a choice of panels that can be fitted. Some of the normal 12.5" size and some of 13" size. In the latter case a more extensive mod is required to display part of X230. Sometimes such machines are referred to as X330. You can search reddit for X330 to see how they look. I think xytech has been making and selling them, so you can talk to him about availability and cost. He is on this forum as xytech on reddit as xueyao and this is his website: https://xyte.ch A-ha he even has a price list there for both X2100 and X330. Both are 12"-13" though so probably not what you wanted.. And if you prefer DIY godspeed :) Think xytech can still sell you the motherboards - that's one thing neither you nor me can make ourselves now.
X220, 2 *T520

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Re: T410s frankenpad questions

#7 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:34 pm

Build something like I did:

1) Start with ThinkPad T430s, Ivy Bridge hardware with efficient and powerful dual core, native USB 3.0, and good HD4000 graphics
2) Swap to T420s keyboard and/or palmrest, do EC firmware flash -- Follow this man's instructions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYSUUpuOk9c
3) Install Chinese QHD adapter with QHD screen (eg. B140QAN01.1, confirm the exact model number), this is 2560x1440


Another approach, if you really like your T400s and just want it faster you can consider getting a T410s motherboard in some way, such as the board itself, or a T410s with a busted/defective LCD, or a whole new T410s, and put that into your T400s. T400s and T410s are 99% the same laptop. T410s has first gen Intel Core series processors which are quite a bit faster than Core 2 Duo.
lenovo T420 i5 2520m 16GB QHD w/ eGPU GTX 960
lenovos T520 i7 2720qm 8GB FHD, T420s i5 3320m 8GB QHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD w/ Optimus, S1 Yoga i7 4600u 8GB FHD
IBM X601 Tablet L7500 8GB SXGA+
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads.

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