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X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

X60/X61 series specific matters only.
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vavet
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X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#1 Post by vavet » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:26 am

After some trial and errors I finally managed to make a clean build of a touchscreen x61(s) (not tablet) assembly.
I will try to describe the process in details for those of you brave enough to go through this hustle :wink:

Few things to be considered first:

1. The touch screen kit I have used comes as a sensor film attached to a 2mm glass. The glass is not just glued to be solid, it caries some of the sensing stripes, so forget about detaching sensor film and using it only.

image
http://i.imgur.com/uAfVJmZ.jpg

ebay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-1-4-Wire-Res ... 3cd9c84295

2. The original x61(s) screen can be of two types: normal (FRU LTD121KC9B) and so called ultralight (FRU LTD121ECHB or LTD121ECHS).

The ultralight LCD
http://i.imgur.com/PYNzUAH.jpg

ebay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/171402218720?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

Besides being lighter the ultralight screen is generally thinner, but the plastic border around the LCD brings its thickness back to the normal's thickness though. Another key difference is that the controller board on ultralight is at the bottom while on the normal screen it is on top.

3. The back cover and bazel of ultralight and normal models look similar externally but internally there are differences.
4. The hinges of ultralight are short while the hinges of normal display go until the top.

image
http://i.imgur.com/EsKocU5.jpg

For the build I used the ultralight screen and normal screens back cover, bazel and hinges.
Here is why:

1. Ultralight screen can be easily modified to be thinner on top. The back cover + bazel assembly allows more thickness of screen at the bottom than on top. Using LCDs with controller at top is not possible without heavy modifications of back panel.
The top is actually the most troublesome part so having the screen as thin as possible is the key to fit in.

2. The touch glass adds some essential weight to the whole assembly, so having a lighter LCD and stronger hinges is important.

3. Despite that the backpanel+bazel of ultralight and normal screens do look similar, the internal difference are essential and the simplicity of ultralight screen is compensated by a more massive attachment points on its bazel.
This leaves no space for fitting the more massive glass which is a bit wider and longer than the LCD screen itself.

The build

So before trying to squeeze all the staff into the back panel the following modifications have been done:

1. Removed the touch panel connector as it was too thick. I soldered 4 thin but strong wires. the wires need to be quite strong to
survive screen open-close through a hinge.

original connector
http://i.imgur.com/g20V9L1.jpg

soldered wires
http://i.imgur.com/KImCBWs.jpg

2. I cut the borders of the LCD to make it narrower. The result is 2-3.1 mm instead of 4.2mm. I left some thickness in some places to prevent pressure marks by LCDs back touching back panel.

borders to cut
http://i.imgur.com/ptyMEUe.jpg

how to cut
http://i.imgur.com/I7wWDTu.jpg

thickness before
http://i.imgur.com/4FYosc0.jpg

thickness after
http://i.imgur.com/TYYXtHW.jpg

3. Removed all rubber metal and plastic placeholders and gaskets from back panel and bazel. A lot of different pieces are being used to hold the LCD in place within the back panel. All these need to be removed because we are going to put in a different screen. New ones can be added later to fit the new LCD+touch assembly.

new placeholders
http://i.imgur.com/cWdr4Ix.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Jswblye.jpg

4. Now when everything was ready, I cleaned the inner surfaces and attached the LCD and touch panel with double sided adhesive film in several points at the corners.
There is no need for massive amount of adhesive. Few points are enough. Firstly because you will definitely detach and reattach it several times to find a better position for the screen (to be in the middle of the frame) and the touch not to show its stripes when bazel is on. And secondly, because the whole assembly will be so tight so the LCD will have no chance to change it's position inside.

The touch can be calibrated so its orientation is flexible. That said the connector of touch can be both from left or right side of the screen.

right (when looking from screen side)
http://i.imgur.com/wF3Xnn9.jpg

left
http://i.imgur.com/KImCBWs.jpg

The second is preferable because the stripes on touch are wider on left same is the bazel of x61.

5. The wires are led to the right hinge and the hardest part begins. The fitting is real pain, but it is doable. most problems arise with fitting the glass between the hinge bars so that the touch stripes are not visible under the bazel.
There is no direct description on how to do it right, its just a matter several tries. Eventually I managed to find the best position.

http://i.imgur.com/i38CPV7.jpg

It is important that the screen and touch lay as flat as possible, otherwise you wont be able to put the bazel in place.

left side
http://i.imgur.com/UELWkPc.jpg

right side
http://i.imgur.com/a3xjcy3.jpg

After some struggle I managed to close the bazel almost perfectly. The top right corner has a 0.4mm gap, mainly because the wwan antenna cover on the side has a little play which allows it to come forward under pressure.

I believe This is possible to fix if the wwan antenna cover is glued to its place on the back panel prior to the installation. Nevertheless, the gap is very small and wont bother unless you are such a purist freak as me :mrgreen:

To be continued ...
(USB connectivity)

Spoilers
http://i.imgur.com/rIawF8m.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/4s0Qq7E.jpg

Few more things...

1. SXGA+ will not fit without modifying the back panel. I know, I have tried that :)
The problem is that the back panel loses its strength once cut and can be easily broken. The new plate to cover it must be properly attached to provide the necessary strength.

here are some pics
http://i.imgur.com/6tl3knJ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/71eRj9r.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/1kUyrb2.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/JpVTHRI.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/PhnFYyN.jpg

No SXGA+ LCD or X61 backpanel has been injured during the experiment (they were already dead, I swear) :lol:

2. Knowing Chinese sellers there is no guarantee that the kit you order will be exactly the same as mine (bought about a year ago) or even the one in their sale's pictures. So ask them questions in advance. On aliexpress I have seen similar kits with detailed measurements.

3. There used to be a thinner version of touch kit that consisted only from the film and no glass. They were calling it film-to-film. I tried to find one but all the sellers that had it listed said that it is now out of production. It was said to have 0.3mm thickness versus 2.0mm available now. If you manage to find one than even an SXGA+ touch mod can be easily done.

4. The screen assembly will be on sale soon. I need to finish with USB connection and do some tests.

Cheers
Last edited by vavet on Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:53 am, edited 5 times in total.
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

RealBlackStuff
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Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet)

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:28 pm

Based on the low price ($223) you achieved on eBay for your SXGA+Touchpad-X61s, I think neither is an attractive proposition.
Unless you have somebody who is dying to get one at all cost...
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

vavet
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Posts: 218
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet)

#3 Post by vavet » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:57 pm

Yep, you are right. No rush this time.

I will try to do the mod in any case. The revenue is not the primary goal. So let's see what comes out first :wink:

The initial plan is to cut and remove the whole back of the lid and to do a new one. The screen assembly will get a bit thicker, to fit the screen and the touch panel.
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

vavet
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Posts: 218
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Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet)

#4 Post by vavet » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:18 am

all done, without modifying the back !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D7qVic ... e=youtu.be
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

ctoph0
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Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#5 Post by ctoph0 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:18 pm

Any tutorial? What were those wires coming out from the right side?
Past: A22M T61P X41T X200 X201
Present: X201 X220 X61s T420
Future: Upgrading the present!

flyingfishfinger
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Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#6 Post by flyingfishfinger » Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:15 pm

Impressive! +1 on the tutorial! I want one! :D

R

vavet
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Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#7 Post by vavet » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:44 am

Today received the new lcd to replace the broken one used for the prototype.
Will build a clean assembly one of these days. The tutorial will follow once done !
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

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Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#8 Post by xiphmont » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:13 pm

Huh! Well that answers my question about whether or not the X61s can use the digitizer. Or is it a T mobo/firmware in it?

wileE
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Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#9 Post by wileE » Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:10 pm

vavet wrote:Today received the new lcd to replace the broken one used for the prototype.
Will build a clean assembly one of these days. The tutorial will follow once done !
Could you please take pictures of anything you do to the back of the Ultralight?
Still dont know how you got that flat enough.
xiphmont wrote:Huh! Well that answers my question about whether or not the X61s can use the digitizer. Or is it a T mobo/firmware in it?
No. Its done with a USB kit. Something like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-12-1-Inch-4- ... 56606d62da.

+ LED Mod would be really nice to make up for the lost brightness. :)

ctoph0
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Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#10 Post by ctoph0 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:14 pm

wileE wrote: No. Its done with a USB kit. Something like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-12-1-Inch-4- ... 56606d62da.

+ LED Mod would be really nice to make up for the lost brightness. :)
Where do you plug the usb internally?
Past: A22M T61P X41T X200 X201
Present: X201 X220 X61s T420
Future: Upgrading the present!

flyingfishfinger
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Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#11 Post by flyingfishfinger » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:44 pm

There are several options. You can sacrifice a USB port and wire it up only internally, or you can find another inside. There's at least one somewhere under the PCMCIA slot (there are two vias you need to solder to, which gives you another port).

R

vavet
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Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#12 Post by vavet » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:06 pm

wanted to start the clean build today, but discovered some pressure marks on newly arrived display :(
so had to postpone it until sort out the issue with the seller...
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

vavet
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Posts: 218
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Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#13 Post by vavet » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:26 am

The seller agreed to replace the screen, but as I have no much patience to wait until it reaches him and new one arrives, I decided to open it and to replace the damaged layer with the one from my old broken screen.
Everything went smooth and now the clean build is done !
I have updated my first post in this thread with a tutorial.
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

vavet
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Posts: 218
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Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#14 Post by vavet » Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:37 am

Managed to convince the manufacturer to sell me two touch films of 3mm 0.3mm thickness!!!
Got them yesterday. Will try with my extra led sxga+ screen now...
Last edited by vavet on Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

wileE
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Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#15 Post by wileE » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:21 pm

vavet wrote:Managed to convince the manufacturer to sell me two touch films of 3mm thickness!!!
3mm? Glas or somekind of plexiglas? You might have to think about some counterweights under the palmrest, so it will not simply fall over. :D

Can you say something about the optical properties? Tinted somehow? How much loss of brightness?

And those wires really look like they are difficult to fit through the hinges.

vavet
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Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#16 Post by vavet » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:30 pm

Its 0.3mm, sorry for typo.
The wires are not an issue at all.
As for optical properties, haven't noticed any difference so far.
the sxga+ version is planned for tomorrow. Will do more pics


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

vavet
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Posts: 218
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Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Re: X61 with touchscreen (not tablet) DONE!

#17 Post by vavet » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:01 pm

SXGA+ with touch done!
The brightness doesn't seem to suffer at all. At least didn't notice anything (this particular screen is LED). Unfortunately, the film is more glossy than the glass, but not too much.
The touch is quite responsive, just need to get used to high resolution when using finger (or install Win8 ).


the 0.3mm touch film
http://i.imgur.com/DlRzluO.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/rHyQsxR.jpg

installation
http://i.imgur.com/OSj2iVk.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/p6reKI7.jpg?1
http://i.imgur.com/74zouMs.jpg

wiring
http://i.imgur.com/ZlRcHrT.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/e3t23MA.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/n1KX8nC.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/EFoTYBT.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/22SyKqv.jpg

video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VZVITP ... e=youtu.be
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

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