Holy Grail achieved?

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DrBunsen's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 946

Looks like someone has actually pulled off the laptop LCD to VGA Holy Grail hack.

They did it! from hardmac.

PCB and software hack took from December 2004 to now.

Google auto-translation of the French forum entry on MacBidouille -

Part One

Unfortunately only the first 14 entries are translated. If you want to read the rest you'll have to cut and paste the text into google's language tool. Yes, I've tried using the URL for entry #15 - doesn't work.


Damn the Torx screws, full speed ahead!
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dankephoto's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
Bah humbug!

I noticed this 'event' too. How is this useful to all those folks who regularly ask how to use their 'Book's LCD with other computers? All those old PowerBook displays used bespoke interfaces, I figure it extremely unlikely anything these guys are doing is gonna be applicable to more than a couple of 'Book panels.

Later 'Books use LVDS (or similar) standard LCDs which can be driven from commercially available driver boards, why reinvent the wheel?

I remain deeply skeptical about how relevant this project will be to most of us with old LCDs laying about.

dan k


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Eudimorphodon's picture
Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1204
Actually, I think it's an "in

Actually, I think it's an "interesting" project, in the sense that it was no doubt a fascinating exercise to design and build your own high-speed TTL-level analog-to-digital converter, which is essentially what this is.

It is worth noting, however, that their little circuit still requires using software to set up a custom video mode to generate dot timings acceptable to the LCD panel in question. It doesn't do any scan conversion or scaling like a "real" LCD controller. What you end up with after building this thing still isn't a complete "monitor" in the strict sense of being a plug-and-play replacement for a CRT.

All this does is reinforce the basic statement in the FAQ that, yes, interfacing a laptop monitor to a VGA port requires a lot more then twisting some wires together. (Whether it's a tricky-to-design homemade A/D board and some software hacks or a full-fledged controller board.) So the entry still stands unscathed.


Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 354
Certainly an admirable hack.

Certainly an admirable hack. But that's a heck of a lot of work, for a highly custom job. It might be of limited/no use to other people wanting to do the same thing with different laptops, but as someone who's tried to piece together an LCD/Controller system (unsuccessfully), my hat's off to them for pulling it off.


"One day I shot an elephant in my pajamas. What he was doing in my pajamas I have no idea."