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X330 and port replicator

Old(er) Thinkpads with New(er) Intestines: X62/T50/T70/X210/X330 etc.
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stephenlamppost
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X330 and port replicator

#1 Post by stephenlamppost » Mon Jul 17, 2023 4:45 pm

Hello all. About 18 months ago I bought an X330 from xyte.ch and overall I am very happy with it. Hwoever, I have not succeeded in making it work with the port replicator (Port Replicator Series 3). Has anyone here succeeded in doing so?

When I connect the machine to the port replicator with the machine in powered-on or suspended-to-RAM state, it immediately powers off. If I connect the machine in a powered-off state, then power it on, it boots fine but the built-in display is blank, even if no other display is connected.

I did not expect the port replicator's digital display port (DVI or DisplayPort) to work. However, I would expect the VGA to work, and that would be good enough for me. I did discuss this with the seller beforehand and he said it should work. He was helpful with some other, earlier problems... but like others here, I haven't been able to get a response from him more recently, so am lacking help with this one.

Thanks for reading... any help much appreciated!

Bionicman
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Re: X330 and port replicator

#2 Post by Bionicman » Mon Aug 14, 2023 5:32 pm

Check this one: https://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.p ... ng#p867123
There should be a link with a picture showing which pins are taped. Just bear in mind, the taping may fall one day, as mine did :)
T420 -> W500 -> T601 Frankenpad -> X200s -> X330 -> modded T420

dr_st
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Re: X330 and port replicator

#3 Post by dr_st » Tue Aug 15, 2023 7:08 am

What about the Ultrabase? IIRC, that one has pins only for Dock DP#1. Do you still need to tape any pins on the connector if you use that?
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

TPFanatic
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Re: X330 and port replicator

#4 Post by TPFanatic » Tue Aug 15, 2023 8:04 am

My X330 shorts if plugged into the Ultrabase. Mine has the WQXGA kit with a USB controller for brightness. I am aware of the tape solution but I have decided to just never dock it.

Bionicman
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Re: X330 and port replicator

#5 Post by Bionicman » Tue Aug 15, 2023 9:16 am

dr_st wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2023 7:08 am
What about the Ultrabase? IIRC, that one has pins only for Dock DP#1. Do you still need to tape any pins on the connector if you use that?
I have tested this solution with the ultrabase and not with the others. This port replicator 3 doesn't seem to have DP or DVI at all ? I'm not sure about your case. But then again the same docking pins may still need to be insulated somehow.
T420 -> W500 -> T601 Frankenpad -> X200s -> X330 -> modded T420

stephenlamppost
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Re: X330 and port replicator

#6 Post by stephenlamppost » Thu Aug 24, 2023 4:22 pm

Thanks for the replies! Especially Bionicman for picking this thread up.

Funnily enough I recently acquired an Ultrabase in case it was different. For me it behaves exactly the same as the Port Replicator.

However, I have tried the tape fix and it is working for me! It took me a while to figure out how to do it... what worked for me was Kapton tape, a craft knife and perseverance.

I still have to trawl the older threads for a solution to the "backlight stuck at 100% and no longer adjustable" problem, if one was found. However, it's great to be able to dock my Thinkpad! Thanks again.

TPFanatic
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Re: X330 and port replicator

#7 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Aug 24, 2023 6:25 pm

Does your brightness control work off the dock?

I understand it is supposed to support cycling by pressing the Power button.

There is a utility for Windows. I think this is the one: https://github.com/ithinkso117/X330Backlight

Native backlight controller no longer functions with the 51nb kit, instead some sort of USB controller is used, which then stops working when docked. I presume taping over some of the USB pins is also necessary.

Nitrocaster's kit does not have this Achilles heel, his retains native backlight control.

stephenlamppost
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Re: X330 and port replicator

#8 Post by stephenlamppost » Sat Aug 26, 2023 7:05 am

Thanks for the reminder about the power button. Indeed, good suggestion -- turns out I can still adjust the brightness using the power button, even when docked. It is just the USB interface that no longer works. (I had bound the backlight keys to do the necessary USB pokery, using the Linux utility linked from the xyte.ch site. That is the thing that stops working while docked.)

However, I spoke a bit too soon about the shorting problem. The machine still sometimes get powered off while docked. It seems to be a glancing contact, i.e. it happens apparently at random when I handle the laptop, but not immediately when I dock. My tentative thought is that I should check my taping is good but also try taping the USB contacts. I'll try to dig out the schematics and figure out which extra pins to tape...

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