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x210 screen connector gone?

Old(er) Thinkpads with New(er) Intestines: X62/T50/T70/X210/X330 etc.
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harryK
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x210 screen connector gone?

#1 Post by harryK » Thu Aug 12, 2021 5:19 am

So, my x210 started doing this: https://i.imgur.com/OLJPM5r.jpeg

If I move the lid back and forth the picture comes and goes. Happens with the 3K screen AND with the 1200p one, which flickers like hell. That makes me think of a bad connector on the mainboard rather than bad cable(s).

What should I do? :-(
Last edited by harryK on Thu Aug 12, 2021 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#2 Post by atagunov » Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:10 am

Oh snap. Pretty much an X2100/X210 horror story.. What we all - owners of these machines - fear to see
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#3 Post by L29Ah » Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:25 am

harryK wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 5:19 am
So, my x210 started doing this: https://imgur.com/a/ESgI4jz

If I move the lid back and forth the picture comes and goes. Happens with the 3K screen AND with the 1200p one, which flickers like hell. That makes me think of a bad connector on the mainboard rather than bad cable(s).

What should I do? :-(
I've replaced my panel data ribbon and now it works ~fine.
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#4 Post by atagunov » Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:29 am

L29Ah wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:25 am
I've replaced my panel data ribbon and now it works ~fine.
Out of interest - is it some standardish ribbon?
Or is some rework specific to X210/X2100?
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#5 Post by L29Ah » Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:33 am

atagunov wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:29 am
L29Ah wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:25 am
I've replaced my panel data ribbon and now it works ~fine.
Out of interest - is it some standardish ribbon?
Or is some rework specific to X210/X2100?
Standard. To quote myself from reddit a year ago:
I've been hit by the same problem. I bought a 300mm 30pin 0.5mm pitch type B FFC cable, and when i try to bend it at a diameter of less than 8mm, the cable catches enough interference to observe on the image, worsening with lowering the diameter. Adding aluminum foil around the cable greatly exacerbates the interference.
Okay, seems to be fixed with i915.edp_vswing=2.

A 200mm cable could have done the job but it wasn't readily available, AFAIR.
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#6 Post by L29Ah » Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:35 am

harryK wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 5:19 am
So, my x210 started doing this: https://imgur.com/a/ESgI4jz
What should I do? :-(
You should stop posting links that demand users to turn on javascript.
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#7 Post by atagunov » Thu Aug 12, 2021 9:23 am

L29Ah wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:35 am
You should stop posting links that demand users to turn on javascript.
I guess this applies to all of us who like the convenience of imgur.com
So is it a rule of good manners on the forum not to use it for images?..

I'm writing this with a heavy heart.. I'm not young anymore.. I certainly feel the appeal of good old days of plain HTML
And yet when needing to post an image I don't know a website better/easier/quicker than Imgur
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#8 Post by harryK » Thu Aug 12, 2021 12:05 pm

L29Ah wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:25 am
harryK wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 5:19 am
So, my x210 started doing this: https://imgur.com/a/ESgI4jz

If I move the lid back and forth the picture comes and goes. Happens with the 3K screen AND with the 1200p one, which flickers like hell. That makes me think of a bad connector on the mainboard rather than bad cable(s).

What should I do? :-(
I've replaced my panel data ribbon and now it works ~fine.
Is it plausible that the ribbons of two different screens work well and then go bad at the same time?
Also, my ribbons seem custom made by 51nb. Won't be easy to source another just to test...

(apologies for the imgur thing. Edited the first post https://i.imgur.com/OLJPM5r.jpeg)

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#9 Post by L29Ah » Thu Aug 12, 2021 2:29 pm

harryK wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 12:05 pm
L29Ah wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:25 am


I've replaced my panel data ribbon and now it works ~fine.
Is it plausible that the ribbons of two different screens work well and then go bad at the same time?
Also, my ribbons seem custom made by 51nb. Won't be easy to source another just to test...

(apologies for the imgur thing. Edited the first post https://i.imgur.com/OLJPM5r.jpeg)
Yes, the custom made ribbon can be replaced with the standard one i mentioned. Not sure what should be used instead of the 3K one that is featured on your photo, but i recall that you can buy one from xytech.
51nb X210 with community EC mod, me_cleaner and recelled 99W*h battery; X230 with coreboot, me_cleaner and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#10 Post by harryK » Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:17 am

So I spoke briefly with Xue and showed him the problem. He believes that the mainboard connector might have become loose or damaged and suggested to check for broken connections with a multimeter. Could be an easy fix for someone with the appropriate skills, however I don't have the resources, equipment or time to properly take care of the issue.

Therefore I decided to part with all my 51nb gear.

I am considering sensible offers for the material in picture (was thinking around 600GBP):
  • X210 3rd gen i5-8250U mainboard in x200s (slim) case. Offered assembled as shown without storage and RAM but with an Intel AX200 Wlan card.
  • 16Gb RAM in one module, one slot free for expansion
  • 256Gb NVME
  • Intel AX200 Wlan card
  • 13" 3000x2000 LP130QP1-SPA1 screen in trimmed bezels
  • 12.2" 1920x1200 KD122N4-30NH-B2 screen in stock slim x201s lid assembly
  • 3x keyboards: 2 US, 1UK layout
  • 3x 4 cell Lenovo-47 batteries: 2 original, 1 aftermarket (holding around 22Wh each)
  • 1x 6 cell KingSener 47+ battery (new, 60Wh capacity)
  • 1x 9 cell Lenovo-47++ battery, original (86Wh capacity)
  • 2x palmrests: 1 with touchpad, 1 without
  • 1x 65Wh genuine Lenovo charger with genuine Lenovo "barrel power" converter (converter not shown)
All the material is in full working order, the mainboard is also in full working order, except of course for the issue discussed above. My setup with the x200s small fan assembly, 13" screen and 4 cell battery weights 1.1Kg and packs some punch https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/6515308.

Image Image Image Image

Will ship to the UK and possibly the EU (even though the buyer might incur in extra cost due to Brexit)

Here are two short videos illustrating the problem:

13" screen: https://cloud.afasici.net/index.php/s/5cLiFtTpMBLnySX
12.2" screen: https://cloud.afasici.net/index.php/s/XWE58HTGm7t4tEo

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#11 Post by jamesfawcett » Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:05 pm

Harry - pm incoming :)

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#12 Post by atagunov » Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:05 pm

harryK wrote:
Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:17 am
My setup with the x200s small fan assembly, 13" screen and 4 cell battery weights 1.1Kg
Makes me feel a bit envious :) Are X200s chassis + fan so much lighter than those of an X200?

Your kit is literally in a superb condition externally! But then I fear I might be unable to fix the connector :(
And 2nd machine of the same class would be too much for me.. No funds either.. Still a bit envious!

Connector might be worth a try with a soldering heat gun - like those used by phone repair shops - motherboard alone with all removable parts taken off including black flexible plastic covers
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#13 Post by atagunov » Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:28 pm

jamesfawcett wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:05 pm
Harry - pm incoming :)
Hey James, if you ended up getting this one would you mind sharing your experience?
I'd love to hear how the repairs go which part proves to be faulty and in what way etc
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#14 Post by jamesfawcett » Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:02 pm

Hi yes of course!

So I picked up the x210 tonight, and couldn’t help myself, I had to try things out right away!

Both displays do exactly the same on my x2100 - both have faulty ribbons, the lower resolution matt display works *sometimes* - if you push the ribbon right up inside the screen casing you can get it to stay on.

The 3000x2000 is completely dead, nothing at all on both the x210 or the x2100. I’m going to try a new ribbon first, and if that doesn’t work a new display panel.

My plan is to convert my x2100 to 3000x2000, and then use the 2880x1920 on the x210.

I felt bad taking apart my x2100 - it’s made by kk-mod shop and has some really well thought out cable management and super tidy solutions for how things sit inside. It’s very neat inside (until I took it apart!). It has a custom made circuit board adapter for the display cables, it’s a really nice solution and locks into place over the connector. The connectors on the 3000x2000 look home made compared to the KK adapter. I had to remove all the KK warranty seals and the tinfoil type tape. Ive taken some photos of the insides I’ll upload.

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#15 Post by jamesfawcett » Thu Aug 26, 2021 4:44 am

I've narrowed the problem down to one of three wires, or maybe all three.

Inside the custom wiring harness that goes to the 3000x2000 display, quite a few of the wires are bent to extreme angles. They were taped together like this, so done at manufacturer.

Image
Image
Image

When you each of the three "suspect" wires, the screen goes off.

Undecided on the next step - is there an improved design of the display cable available? Xue do you have anything better?
Or maybe I should order the same guage wire and repair, but without the extreme bends in the wires. I have a soldering station and i'm used to fine soldering, it looks very time intensive :)

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#16 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Aug 26, 2021 6:23 am

You can download the LP130QP1-SPA1 Datasheet from https://www.xyte.ch
See if you can get a bog-standard, ready-made, long enough cable with 40 wires, that fits on one side into the female HD1S040HA2 0.5pitch connector on the LCD.
(If the "GPU-source" end has only 30 wires, get a similar cable that fits into the GPU-end.)
Then cut the 40-pin (and if needed also the 30-pin) cable(s) somewhere in the middle and reconnect individual wires as per your current cable.
Spreading that out where you reconnect, should avoid any sharp "bends" and make it a lot easier to solder together.
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#17 Post by atagunov » Thu Aug 26, 2021 6:29 am

Amazing! And good job both forum members keeping this unique machine going!
So the fault then is inside the screen assembly, right?
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#18 Post by jamesfawcett » Thu Aug 26, 2021 11:58 am

I like the idea of replacing with a ribbon!

Here's a couple of photos of my X2100 by KK-Mod Shop. Here's the solution for the display adapter they have used on the main board, really nice tidy little solution!

Is the ribbon used here the kind of thing you had in mind RealBlackStuff?

Image

Image
atagunov wrote:
Thu Aug 26, 2021 6:29 am
Amazing! And good job both forum members keeping this unique machine going!
So the fault then is inside the screen assembly, right?
The fault is on the X210 3000x2000 custom screen adapter harness, on the end that goes into the display. Right on the bit that bends with the display lid. A few of the wires were longer than the others, wrapped round and kinked, then taped. I think it was only a matter of time before the tiny guage wire failed internally.

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#19 Post by atagunov » Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:38 pm

So is it inside that "vacuum cleaner house" kind of thing wrapped into black outer "shroud"/tubing (the shroud looks like it's made of black fabric) going through the hinge in your top photo in this thread? It doesn't look hand-made.. Why would it even fail if it was made to be used like that?..

...the way display is attached on T60/T61 is entirely different; there is a flexible flat ribbon going through the joint between screen and base of the machine; I haven't taken apart enough of other Thinkpads to know how common the flat ribbon aka T60 is and how common this: "vacuum cleaner house" through the hinge is.
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#20 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:53 pm

I have never seen any of those X210/X2100 or their cables.
I only suggest to look into the best possible hookup of a flat(?) 30-pin to a wired(?) 40-pin cable outside of a connector, with the best-possible free space between them.
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#21 Post by jamesfawcett » Fri Aug 27, 2021 1:37 pm

Thank you for all your ideas!

I'm actually thinking something like this, spliced into the one I have: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3295095 ... 60ffPtJ6Bk

The wires that currently run into the X210 display end of the harness are glued in, in differnet lengths. I think I'm going to get this, and make a neater splice further down, on a part of the connector that doesn't flex with the lid.

In other worse, completely replacing this bodged mess:

Image

I'll get one ordered and let you know how I get on :)

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#22 Post by atagunov » Fri Aug 27, 2021 1:54 pm

I think I'm starting to understand a little.

The display panel has got a normal 40pin connector as found on modern factory-made eDP cables.
For god knows what reason on a X2100 motherboard you have to connect that into two connectors: 6-pin and 30-pin.

The X2100 that you originally had, James, made fully by 51nb itself has a rather engineered but nice solution.
They have produced an intermediate board. It connects with two short ribbons into these 30 and 6 pin ports on the motherboard.
On the other end it connects into a bog-standard 40pin connector.
/Am I right? Is it indeed standard? Same as the "motherboard end" of the Aliexpess cable you're purchasing?/
This is super nice. If the cable breaks you just go and purchase a new standard one. Job done.

The two screens that you purchased from HarryK are different. They have fully custom cables. I still don't quite understand how those cables are made. It seems like a bunch of wires collected by hand together and at one end soldered on... What? Some sort of mini-pcb that plugs into the 40pin connector on the display panel? The black "tubing" is wrapped by hand around those wires?.. Who has even made those "cables"?.. Have they used the right sort of wires to withstand the bending?

P.S. I wish 51nb sold those intermediate boards together with motherboards. Or that they didn't design two connectors to start with!
P.P.S. It seems one might be able to take a FHD panel and use a 30pin to 30pin cable to connect it to this motherboard without much hassle. Can this be why they designed the motherboard that way?..
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#23 Post by jamesfawcett » Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:07 pm

Hi Atagunov that's exactly right! Thank you, you articulate much better than I ever will!

Yes the intermediate board is such a good idea! And the cables used are much better for flex. I wonder if this is why other 51nb modders don't support the 3000x2000 displays?

Here's a photo from a few nights ago. I had the display cables from both harryK's 3000x2000 display, and also the ribbon from his 1200p display. I was testing continuity along the tracks.

FORUM warning:
picture(s) WAY too big, tags removed. Please read the Forum Rules, especially Section 5: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=14339

All your other pictures in this thread are also all too large, but I let them 'through' for clarity.
If your picture is too large: resize it first.
Or crop that picture to show just the items you want to show, like this:
Image

Or if you need to show a huge picture, just post the link to it (without the [img] tags), like yours below.

https://www.jamesfawcett.co.uk/LINKINGF ... cables.JPG

The 51nb 1200p ribbon is a much better design, but it has some breaks in the tracks. If you flex the cable when checking the continuity, it comes on and off.

The other cable is the poor quality 3000x2000 harness. It's just those thin wires bundled together and taped. This is the one I would like to improve, using like you said, some kind of standard laptop eDP cable for the part that flexes with the screen.

Ps thanks for taking as much interest in this as I am :) I was hoping to put the 3000x2000 display straight onto my X2100, but seeing the quality of the solution, and even just the masking tape holding the screen parts in and bits of cut up foam, has put me off. I don't want to make my x2100 unreliable.

***Edit - admin sorry for the large image I know this is against forum rules, you couldn't see the detail at the lower resolution, please feel free to remove or tell me to delete it, thanks

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#24 Post by atagunov » Sat Aug 28, 2021 6:23 pm

jamesfawcett wrote:
Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:07 pm
The 51nb 1200p ribbon is a much better design, but it has some breaks in the tracks. If you flex the cable when checking the continuity, it comes on and off.
That's a shame, it looks quite nice. Is that ribbon a 30pin to 30pin?..
Why did they not use a ready-made 30pin to 30pin eDP cable?
Is it because the hinges on that screen don't have a pass-through hole for a cable?
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#25 Post by jamesfawcett » Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:24 am

I managed to get the 1200p display working by replacing the ribbon. I bought an AWM 20624 80C 60V 30 Pin ribbon in 0.5mm Pitch. Its 200mm Long to match the 51nb cable. I actually really like the 1200p matte display. In this photo its just my X2100 for testing.

Image

Image

I'm still waiting for parts from AliExpress to have a go at fixing the display cable for the 3000x2000 display.

I would love a solution like the KK one where it has the intermediate board, and then a 40pin to 40 pin Edp cable. It's a shame the KK one is a 50pin Edp, or else I would try order another of those! :)

I'm going to cut and join a standard ThinkPad 40pin Edp cable to the 3000x2000 display cable, and solder the joints somewhere not near where the screen bends. I've ordered some 0.6mm heatshrink too. Fingers crossed it all works out!

Thanks
James

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#26 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:06 am

Please follow the Forum rules for pictures!
Yours are all 1000x750, too big!
Please reduce them to 800x600 if you want to show your pictures here!
Last warning!

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#27 Post by jamesfawcett » Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:25 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:06 am
Please follow the Forum rules for pictures!
Yours are all 1000x750, too big!
Please reduce them to 800x600 if you want to show your pictures here!
Last warning!
All resized! Please clear your cache :) 800x600px, very retro.

Thanks
James

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#28 Post by atagunov » Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:48 pm

jamesfawcett wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:24 am
I managed to get the 1200p display working by replacing the ribbon. I bought an AWM 20624 80C 60V 30 Pin ribbon in 0.5mm Pitch. Its 200mm Long to match the 51nb cable
I violently applaud your success! Fingers crossed for this ribbon holding together..
Ideally it would be sandwitched between some plastic sheets to ensure better survivability wouldn't it?
Plunder "native" (damaged?) thinkpad screen cables to get that flexible plastic out of them?..
jamesfawcett wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:24 am
I would love a solution like the KK one where it has the intermediate board, and then a 40pin to 40 pin Edp cable. It's a shame the KK one is a 50pin Edp, or else I would try order another of those! :)
50pin?.. Why?... How?... It's still 40 pin on display panel side isn't it?..
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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#29 Post by jamesfawcett » Thu Sep 02, 2021 7:27 am

Oh you know! I am not so sure. I might have to dismantle it to check!

This possible model is 50pin: https://www.xyte.ch/wp-content/uploads/ ... %B9%A6.pdf
This possible model is 40pin: https://www.xyte.ch/wp-content/uploads/ ... %B9%A6.pdf

I was trying to avoid taking the x2100 apart and disturbing all the tidy wiring, but if it is 40 pin, it would make the 3000x2000 swap much easier!
I'll get the screwdrivers out and take a look this weekend.

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Re: x210 screen connector gone?

#30 Post by jamesfawcett » Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:44 pm

Does anyone here have contact with KK, or able to get hold of these for me?

Image

It's such a good design. It converts the motherboard 30pin and 6pin connectors into one 40pin eDP cable. I have taken apart the display on the X2100 too, just to be nosey. The Back of the 2880x1920 12.6" display has another interface board which then converts a 40pin eDP for the display, which I think is 50pin.

I tried the 3000x2000 display by connecting it direct to the display end of the 40pin eDP cable and it works (I cross referenced the pinouts first).

My plan is to get try hold of one of those connectors from my photo above, and then copy this same setup for the X210.

I then want to swap the 3000x2000 onto the X2100, and vice versa. Then hopefully two nice machines with rock solid eDP cable solutions!

PS... I gave up on trying to get the 1920x1200 display working. The cable I was making above does work, but had interference when folded. I bought some EMI shielding tape which helped a bit, but there were still small graphical glitches after folding the homemade FFC display cable.

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