Re-using Powerbook Displays

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Joined: Mar 25 2004
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Does anyone know of a way to connect a dismantled Powerbook G3's display to a desktop machine (like a G4 tower or a PC)?

Thanks!

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g3head's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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Don't bother

Its not worth it. You would need an LCD driver that will cost more than a regular VGA LCD monitor.

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Joined: Mar 25 2004
Posts: 3
re: don't bother

Your probably right, but do you know of an LCD driver that might work? I'd at least like to get a look at one.

Thanks.

jt
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Actually . . . on a PC, it might just work . . .

. . . there are a lot more options available for that platform, especially if you want to hunt down an old ISA card. Start at earthlcd.com and check out compatability. Their old site had inexpensive ISA cards, dunno about the new one. You might also want to google for info in Linux newsgroup archives.

jt

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Re: Actually . . . on a PC, it might just work . . .

Thanks. EarthLCD is a nice reference site, even if I don't find anything for the Powerbook.

Mackie's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
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Well - if I could hook my G3

Well - if I could hook my G3 laptop LCD to my G4, that would rock. But it's impossible. Sad

catmistake's picture
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how about

Is it possible to connect a display from, say, a Duo 2300c to a pismo logic board?

Just the details, please, I have a plan. I'm not building a laptop, but it occurs to me the pismo/firewire board is one of the sweetest boards to start from when making something... if only I knew more about microelectronics Sad

jt
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Probably not, but . . .

. . . you never know!

I'm likely to get shouted down for saying this, but there might be some possibility . . .

You'll need to (or at least this is how I'd go about it) pore over the Devnotes etc. of the entire NuBus PPC PB series and correlate LCD types, resolutions, controllers and their compatability ranges. They all use vintage C&T controllers and it looks to me like you'd have a good shot at running the 2300c's LCD off any of the others given the proper interconnect cable configuration.

Check out wegenermedia.com for the model/cable/LCD breakdown for LCD conversions (upgrades & downgrades) to come up with a compatability matrix illustrating possible combinations using available stock Apple cables (see the monitor/CPU/card matrices on gamba) and then cross reference that info with backward compatability info on the LCDs and MLB LCD "controllers" of the PCI Architecture PBs that followed . . .

Your best indications of possibilities would be to research the "Mustang" prototype that was recently auctioned on eBay. It appeared to be a 5300ce with a 1400c LCD hacked into the lid, if so, the configuration of the interconnect could be crudial information as would be documenting the incredible flexibility of the single controller/dual LCD interfaces on the 2300c MLB.

I haven't been able to look into any of this yet, but a solid copper, alternate groundline or individually shielded signal (teensy co-ax?) cable adapter MIGHT to a possibility. Each would need to be matched electrically for connecting any of the specific signal compatible combinations of MLB and LCD in the PB family . . . IF my hunch is correct.

Using the right cable driver circuitry, such an adapter cable could conceivably be longer than the standard flex cables used in production 'Books. If it's a hardwires (soldered wire) connection between the connector pads on the MLB and the matching connector pads on the ACTUAL LCD controller that's wired up to the LCD inside the lid . . .

Dr. Bob?

jt

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Dude

Put that crack pipe down

Dr. Bob

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jt
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=8-P

tsk! tsk! . . . you should know by now that I don't discourage THAT easily, db!

There looks like a LOT of intercompatability between mobos and LCDs in the NuBus PPC PB lineup and the list of LCDs compatable with earthlcd's controllers cuts off right around that generation of LCDs. It stands to reason that there should be SOME LCD/PB cross-compatability for which Apple never bothered to create cabling . . .

. . . or never shipped some that they DID develop . . .
. . . like maybe the one in the Mustang ProtoBook. Evil Block Company

jt Wink

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why

The "pismo" display uses the LVDS interface. The 2300 does not. Translating between these two will prove to be a practical impossibility. LCD interoperability was really shoddy before they standardized on LVDS and TMDS.

Dr. Bob

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jt
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Round 1 goes to . . .

. . . the learned young hackmaster! Good one, db, I learn something new here every day.

You've sufficiently discouraged any kind of Duo/Pismo playtime, but those mobos are unhackable anyway as far as I'm concerned. Whatcha think about forward/backward compatibility between the transitional NuBus and PCI architecture PB families with similar interface specs, ASICS and LCDs?

How about my theory about the Mustang's 5300ce->1400c LCD interface cable? The LCD swap chart looks like they must have been using some kind of signal/sensing setup implemented in the LCD cables of that transitional era.

Where does the LVDS branch appear on the PB Product time line? There's an awesome web page/info database waiting to be compiled from this kind of stuff. Time line tracking Mac/PB evolution by architecture, component technology developments, shared ASICs, firmware development and industry developments overall right alongside the usual OS and I/O interface information would an incredibly rich/dense pack information source.

Adding in the design philosophy shifts might be a good idea too.

jt

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edit: back again, I just had a nasty thought, adding market share to the time line would make it look a lot like the communications award winning chart that was in one of the MacMags many moons ago . . . a time line graphic of size and location of Napoleon's army overlaid on the map of Europe/Russia delineating the invasion and retreat from Moscow. . .

. . . sorta like Custer force marching the 7th Cav straight into a snowblower. Evil Block Company

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Re: Round 1 goes to . . .

jt wrote:

You've sufficiently discouraged any kind of Duo/Pismo playtime, but those mobos are unhackable anyway as far as I'm concerned. Whatcha think about forward/backward compatibility between the transitional NuBus and PCI architecture PB families with similar interface specs, ASICS and LCDs?

Back in those days, just about every one of them was different.

Quote:

How about my theory about the Mustang's 5300ce->1400c LCD interface cable? The LCD swap chart looks like they must have been using some kind of signal/sensing setup implemented in the LCD cables of that transitional era.

No they just both happen to use the same video chip.

Quote:

Where does the LVDS branch appear on the PB Product time line?

The powerbook 2400/3400 were the first to use the Chips and Technologies 65550 series, and with that brought in LVDS display support. Those chips are still in use today by some companies in laptops. Keep in mind that all powerbooks with ATI chips (wallstreet and up) had much more flexible display support.

This page has everything you need to know about interfacing to the C&T 65550:

http://www.asiliant.com/65550.htm

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