—Repurposing an old laptop LCD screen as a 2nd monitor for Trinity

February 22, 2012

I haven’t posted anything on it (yet), but following some work I did on Silvia, I took on the task of rehabilitating my girlfriend’s old Dell Inspiron 1150, which was a mess to say the least: missing keys, a broken headphone jack, dead speakers, and a decapitated display. I did my best to bring it back from the grave but sadly it’s still a mute (speakers still dead). It does run with a tad bit more pep, and sports a few new coats of paint. My biggest triumph was repairing the headphone jack. Out of that project I acquired an extra LCD screen because, as it turned out, all I needed was a new converter cable, hinges, and cosmetic plastic covers to fix the display. The ill fated replacement was also the wrong size at 15″, though somewhat compatible (eBay burn). That extra screen has been sitting in “the workshop” dreaming of a day it would once again have purpose. Welp, it seems that day has finally come.Originally I was going to sell it back on eBay, but I boxed it up and tucked it away… out of sight of mind. The potential resale value dwindled as I’m pretty sure most 1150s have been sold for their parts or have journeyed to that big scrap heap up in the sky. Somewhere in the back of mind I figured I could turn it into some sort of touch screen monitor for some insane home automation controls (I dream big). Then more recently, I built Trinity, hooked it up to my big screen TV and longed for a 2nd display to do work on while streaming a flick. Good thing I kept it eh?

From what I’ve read, what’s necessary is a controller board. Many LCD panels share components with TVs as they come from the same or compatible manufacturers, and all that’s needed are the controls to turn it on/off and a way to interpret the signals. This being something laptops cover with their other integrated hardware. The best part is it’ll only run me about $30 (man I love eBay). I’ll also have to find something to house the contraption, but I’m thinking bare bones is hard core so I might just let it all hang out. —Awaiting delivery, more when it arrives.


4 Responses to “—Repurposing an old laptop LCD screen as a 2nd monitor for Trinity”

  1. Charisse Says:

    Where is the after picture of the laptop?

    -Charisse 🙂

  2. Marc Says:

    So did you ever get this panel to output a display? I have access to a dead laptop with a 16″ display (motherboard was water damaged) and was wondering if these LVDS controller boards needed any additional programming to make them work.

    • rrbrowne Says:

      —I haven’t gotten around to it as yet, hence lack of update (sorry), but this eBay seller does the programming of the controller for you, just have match the model number found on the back of your panel to their list and send them a message to see if they support it.

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