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ThinkPad LCD in a Dell laptop?

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ThinkPad LCD in a Dell laptop?

#1 Post by MrMaguire » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:30 am

How cross-compatible are laptop LCD displays? For example: will the LCD from a 14.1" T43 work in a 14.1" Dell Latitude D610? Assuming that both displays are XGA, and that only the panel itself and its inverter are swapped. Will the hardware brightness controls work properly, will the panel mount properly inside the lid assembly, will the resolution be set correctly?

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Re: ThinkPad LCD in a Dell laptop?

#2 Post by FryPpy » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:20 am

I have some experiments with LCD and have read about som on this forum and this is my conclusions.
First of all when you want to change LCD you need to read specifications for old and new one. Good place for first observation of LCDs is panelook.com after that use google and LCD model number (and i add the word "pdf") to find real specifiactions. It give you some aspects is the change is worth it. How about resolution, brightness, contrast level, surface type, backlight type and viewing angles. If new LCD have better "basic" read real specifications. There you can find techincal drawings - where you can find dimensions, screw holes placements and connector placement. This is main answer for "panel mount properly". Next read part about pinout in LCDs connector. If connector is different ar pinout is different do not try this mod - in bad case some signals may be shorted and something can be hurt. Backlight system in old CCFL LCDs are fully independant from LCD itself. The only question is the wires length - sometimes it is noted in specifications.
If specifications for certain LCD is absent - you can search for LCDs that can be optionally placed in the same model (most cases they have the same dimensions and the same electrical pinout - but some risk can occur;)
Alternatives (and model numbers for LCDs) can be found with fars ebay search with the phrase "_Notebook_Model_ LCD" - search for used ones with photos and read what printed on stickers. Other way - use ThinkWiki LCD table but it only for thinkpads.
Last problem - EDID. This is small memory chip that have information about LCD name and all regimes it can work. Not all LCDs have EDID at all (pre T60 thinkpads haven't). Without EDID vido card must have other means of determining LCD capabilities. In T4x thinkpads LCD type was hardcoded in ribbon cable.
More problem - inverter. In thinkpads it is part of thinkpad and can light any CCFL bulb of compatible size. But in some notebooks inverter is a part of LCD (glued to it). Sometimes it can be moved from old LCD - but i dont have experience with it. I have only tore off some inverters when doing my mods.

Some modes (experiments) i have done.
- have installed Sharp WUXGA LCD in W500 - this is very good LCD (the best in some aspects) which is never was installed in Thinkpads. Without reprogramming EDID it have backlight problem in T(W)500 but haven't in T6x. One thinkpadder have idea that with original EDID thinkpad thinks that it is LED backlit LCD and use LED dimming steps (it seams nonlienear dimming with CCFL).
- the same 15.4" WUXGA Sharp in W700. It is certan that W700 never have 15" LCD but it worked well and dimming works ok.
- i want to install 17" WUXGA LCD (samsung LTN170CT01) but have got compatible one without EDID - W700 haven't eaten it:(
- classic QXGA mod for T6x - EDID reprogramming must be done (T6x hates notreprogrammed QXGA;)!
- LG LP141WP1 in Z61 - WXGA+ with best brightness contrast ratio i can get. Worked without any magic, never installed in Thinkpads.
- classic IPS X61 mod where LCD from X61 tablet installed in X61 - pinout is different but daper can help.
- one 14" Sharp sxga+ - didn't start in T61 but EDID is present and electrically compatible

There are more brave LCD mods in the internet (like IPS X301 or DreamColor W700/W701) but they need more knowledge and things to do.

I have no Dells. We can walk the way described to find LCDs commonly placed in D610 and research it.
Last edited by FryPpy on Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ThinkPad LCD in a Dell laptop?

#3 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:14 pm

My personal experience is with a Dell D400 12.1 inch LCD (Samsung LTN121XJ-L02) on an X61 (Samsung LTN121XJ-L07). Drop-in replacement, no reprogramming necessary.

As FryPpy has said, having the datasheets is essential.
You have to ensure that the pinouts are compatible, or else you'll blow a fuse at the very least, or lose both the panel and the planar board at worst. :O
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

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RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod

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Re: ThinkPad LCD in a Dell laptop?

#4 Post by MrMaguire » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:10 pm

After some looking around I've determined that the T4x inverter is a lot wider than the one in the Latitude D6x0, and I don't think it would fit, due to wider hinges on the Dell. But, looking at some specifications on example panels from a T4x and a D6x0, they both use LVDS 1ch, and it would appear from photos that the LVDS connectors on the monitor side are at least somewhat similar. I'm still looking around for detailed datasheets on example panels.

So, right now this swap depends on a couple of things:

- The T4x panel's back light being driven by the D6x0 inverter (Though the back light cable on the T4x looks to be too short to reach the D6x0 inverter. Can it be safely extended?)
- The LVDS connector and pinout on the two panels being identical.

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