Puttying an iBook G4 in a Mac SE Shell

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MT Martian's picture
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Joined: Jan 8 2006
Posts: 19

Okay - a little while ago I had a repair question elsewhere about an iBook G4 with a bad backlight.

Now I've got a question about gutting an iBook G4 with a bad backlight and putting it in the shell of a Mac SE.

Yes, by an odd coincidence, the two questions are a little bit related.

Anyway, I'm looking to keep the mod as unobtrusive as possible, ie. keep it looking as much like an actual SE from the outside.

Question - Does anyone know of a relatively inexpensive 9" diagonal LCD display that would work with this?

If possible, I'd like to be able to hook it up to the internal screen connector (long shot, yeah, but who knows). Otherwise, the external VGA video output adapter (and if that's the case, is there some way to get it to mirror to an external larger screen?) would have to do.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1204
Well...

I know it is *possible* to get 1024x768 LCDs in sizes that are close to the proper size. (8.4 inch is a "common" size, and remember that the hole in the front of an SE is actually smaller than 9 inches diagonally. A fair amount of the 9" measure of the tube is hidden inside.)

In the realm of pure speculation, here's a panel that takes either 18 or 8 bit color (I *believe* the iBook is 18 bit) that *might* work if you found the right cabling and is timing compatible with the original display. You'd have to find the data sheets and compare, and the iBook motherboard still might puke if the display controller is restricted to accepting a tiny range of valid EDID numbers.

For links to bare LCD panels and some hints about cabling the forums on mp3car.com are a good place to look, that's where I found the link to the one above. (The poster claimed the quantity one price was around $450.) The issue is that LVDS displays are *not* an easy subject. Different sizes have different connectors, laptops use different connectors than the panels in desktop monitors, laptop LVDS controllers are often hardcoded to support only a few specific displays... in other words, whether it's feasible to do this is a great big fat "It Depends". At a very minimum you'll need custom cables, I guarantee.

If you're willing to settle for 800x600 resolution and don't want to be heroic 8.4 inch stand-alone VGA monitors of that size are "fairly affordable". If you go that route it's pretty much just a matter of skinning the monitor and using appropriate cables to make it go. As for external mirroring, well... you could use a Y cable. (Or better, one of those little amplifier boxes to drive multiple screens.) Since this is an iBook you'll ultimately be limited to 1024x768 anyway, so it may be a non-issue.

It would be super-awesome wrong if it were possible to make this work with a Mac laptop motherboard, but... I suspect that would be mission impossible. ;^)