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Modding Compaq Luggable :D LCD Dispaly fun, pics inside. Also small problem! Help needed.

Discussion in 'Modding' started by xX~EXCELSIOR~Xx, 29 May 2004.

  1. xX~EXCELSIOR~Xx

    xX~EXCELSIOR~Xx What's a Dremel?

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    Hey all..

    All right, here's the deal.

    I got a compaq luggable (seen here) from ebay for $40 shipped.. IW as only interested int he LCD really, but I figured I'll prolly use the comp itself as a cheapo netbsd firewall, what the hay.


    Overall unit from the front:
    [​IMG]


    A look at it once I got the back off:

    [​IMG]
    Right here I noticed the cable coming from the LCD (orange)

    I got kinda worried, since I was *hoping* there was a long shot and it was standard vGA, but no matter, I continued going on in...

    I hate compaq screws with a passion. Compaq makes special screws on thier cases, as you probably know, that needs a special screwdriver to open. Since I couldn't find my compaq screw, I had to use a regular screwdriver, which basically meant me pushinga s hard as I can and turning very slowly. This got quite excruciating after about 70 screws in :p

    [​IMG]
    AHa! The orange connector lead to a videocard... *Drumroll* that's PCI!

    I was ecstatic, hopefully this would mean I'll just take the unit with the pci card and the power source and stick it in my comp to fire it up... well there are a few problems with this scenario.. but that's for later on, for the time, I continued ripping it apart.


    [​IMG]
    There's a better view of the whole thing, things were lookin up at the time.


    So then I removed the rest of the backing and here's a shot of the entire thing overall:
    [​IMG]


    That uberfast 3.8 gb quantum hard drive
    [​IMG]



    So I removed the little daughtercard that hosted the PCI slots as well as the ISA slot as seen here:
    [​IMG]



    And here's a shot of the card I removed:
    [​IMG]

    I then removed the mobo which left this pesky frame:
    [​IMG]

    The one thing about these screws, they were bigger than the other stupid compaq screws.. and I've had about enough of these damn things, so I decided to get my dremel out :attn:.


    It made quick work of the aluiminum.
    [​IMG]


    Under that alumi frame I saw the 4cd changer cd drive (Yeah 4cd changer drive!) and the floppy as well as all the cables left
    [​IMG]


    So I followed the black cord near the orange flat cable, and I found that it used to connect to the mobo, which discouraged me a bit, since I thought maybe they'd have had it standard molex or similar. I continued on, disconnected that and beheaded the LCD of the main unit itself.


    front shot of it:
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    The cables went back into the mysterious LCD box itself as you can see.

    I then opened the panel casing itself to meet a pleasant surprise:
    [​IMG]

    Wohoo! that black cable was a mic for the comp not power for the LCD! I examined everything and apparently it draws power from the PCI slot from the vidcard.

    Shot of vidcard itself:
    [​IMG]


    All right so everything is gravy right?

    Well not so...

    I took the unit to a spare comp I was fairly certain worked, I plugged it in the pci exactly the same way it was.. bascially it was the lcd unit itself with the orange cable to the pci vidcard. I plugged it in, turned the comp on.. and nothing. No display, the comp turned on but nothing else happened.

    So I went back downstairs somewhat discouraged, and I plugged the power connectors into the old mobo and put the daughtercard back into the slot. I then plugged the display in via the PCI card and fired it up.

    I was greeted by the nice compaq logo and a bunch of text as it did before whenI fired it up.. ODd

    So I go upstairs to my comp that has my 9700 pro.... I plug it in there and turn on the comp. the computer LED output read FF which means booted fine pretty much, and everything made the usual sounds.. but no display on LCD. Heck, oddly enough, the keyboard wouldn't even work (display alpha lock light etc.)

    so I plugged my vga monitor into the LCD's pci vidcard since it also has a vga output, and it did the same thing.

    I removed the 9700 pro from the mobo so basically all that was there was that pci vidcard and it did the same thing.

    I then took the pci card out, and put my 9700 pro back in and fired it up with my normal CRT... Everything booted fine and the alpha and num lock keys showed LEDs.

    So, bsically, I'm wondering what could possibly be happening here? Any IRQs I need to change, any bios settings etc?

    This seems like it's been a fun project, and if I get this to work it might be a new thing to watch out for if someone wants a cheap nice looking LCD display.

    Let me know if anyone can help,

    -Excelsior

    P.S.
    All right, I have some pics of it in action with the old computer.

    Sorry about crappy quality, but I can't find the charger for my digicam so I had to use my cell phone then put the media card into a card reader just now.

    [​IMG]
    Unit standing up in my room.. does NOT display anything with it connected to MY motherboard.

    [​IMG]
    all hooked up downstairs with old mobo to pci slot


    [​IMG]
    Showing the regular old riser, nothing fancy.


    [​IMG]
    Single connection that bonds the pci vidcard to the lcd and also powers it.



    [​IMG]
    There it is on.. it's giving errors since nothing is plugged in in the way of keyboards or hard drives



    [​IMG]
    'nother shot of it on with the old mobo



    [​IMG]
    Normal PCI/ISA slot riser card...

    COMPAQ ASSEMBLY NO 005556-001 REV A
    DIAGRAM NO 005557
    RISER BOARD

    it has 3 connections on one side:

    SLOT 2 - PCI CONNECTOR 2

    SLOT 1- ISA CONNECTOR

    SLOT 0 - (VIDEO)

    the pci vidcard works in both pci slots.


    -Excelsior
     
  2. mrplow

    mrplow obey the fist!!

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    First picture is soooo big it screws up the thread and makes it too difficult to read the post tbh.. recommend you dump it / resize it ;)
     
  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Compaq being awkward about propietary format issues? No, really? :D

    So what you're saying is that the LCD/GPU card combination works only with the original compaq mobo... well, could be driver issues but then you'd expect it to default to vanilla VGA, would you? Bios settings may be an issue, but I doubt it, really, as you would still get VGA.

    I think the problem is associated with the fact that the graphic card actually feeds the LCD panel. How much juice does such a backlit thingy need again?5V for the CCFL inverter at least, I assume, but at what current?

    The maximum power available for PCI cards is 25W. However, a system with several PCI slots is unlikely to have 25W available for each slot. Such a system could check the PCI slots while powering up and decide not to power up if the installed cards go over its total power capability.

    PCI slots have 12V, 5V and 3.3V pins (see layout :here:). The maximum +12V current is 500mA. The maximum current that you could draw from +3.3V is 7.6A, because that works out to 25W, assuming no current is drawn from all the other supply voltages. But this limit is system dependent, so a given system might not have the full 7.6A available for one slot even if it is the only one occupied by a PCI card. In fact, looking at the teeny-tiny tracks on a mobo, I can't see 7.6A course through there in any case... A system might balance the power capabilities differently between the +5V and +3.3V (and +/-12V) supplies, rather than making 25W available from +5V and 25W available from +3.3V. All this juice, furthermore, is likely to be spread over all the available PCI slots.

    The maximum current from +5V is 5A, with the same conditions as above
    for the +3.3V supply, BTW.

    So what I'm thinking is that the Compaq mobo was designed to handle the current draw by the GPU card over the PCI slot, given that this card had to feed the screen. Other mobos of course are not designed with this feature in mind, so some may be able to manage it, while others refuse to POST.

    Sorry. :(
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2004
  4. xX~EXCELSIOR~Xx

    xX~EXCELSIOR~Xx What's a Dremel?

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    all right well here's what I've done:

    I went downstairs to check on how big the power supply driving the old compaq is... 92 w O-o

    I tried the display in my HP pavillion 6735 I got for free, it only has 3 pci slots.

    It gave me the beep code: one long beep followed by two short.

    anyone got any idea what the interface taht that orange ribbonc able is using is called? maybe Ic an find an alternate card or a way to interface it withs ome other output, if I can find a way to power it.

    I don't wanna give up hope just yet :/

    -Excelsior
     
  5. Starfighter

    Starfighter What's a Dremel?

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    That sounds like the motherboard moaning about not having VGA card..

    Forgive me if you've already done this, but have you set the option in BIOS to initialise PCI graphics?

    I know from fiddling with older systems I've had to set "init PCI graphics first" in the BIOS before I got *anything* out of a PCI gfx card.

    I'm not sure whther this needs to be set, or if u've already tried.. but worth a go :)

    good luck

    /edit

    might not be called "init PCI graphics first" but it's something to do with initialising PCI / disabling AGP.
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2004
  6. FuzzyOne

    FuzzyOne

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    have you set your bios to initailize (sp?) the pci slot instead of the agp first?
     
  7. FuzzyOne

    FuzzyOne

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    have you set your bios to initailize (sp?) the pci slot instead of the agp first?
     
  8. PsychoI3oy

    PsychoI3oy Minimodder

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    have you set your bios to initailize the pci ... wait, didn't i just read that?

    sillyness aside, the above points about too much power for normal pci bus are probably accurate, i've seen compaq do some really funqy shiznit in their day.

    as for the orange ribbon cable, you might get lucky and find the actual manufacturer of the lcd somewhere on the back of the screen, and figure out the pins from there, but just like all other lcds, you'll have to figure out how to attach it to a normal video card assuming the compaq one won't work in a normal computer.

    good luck
     
  9. steelydoubt

    steelydoubt What's a Dremel?

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    why not try, plugging a normal vga monitor in the compaq and see if it works.

    aslo try using an old pci graphics in the slot in the compaq and see if the vga works.
     
  10. shroom

    shroom What's a Dremel?

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    The screwdriver is called a Torx driver. The screws are nice, just a pain if you dont have the right tools. I do :D
     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Hang on, dude. The wattage of the PSU has nothing to do with your problem.

    The problem is how much current the PCI ports can channel. If the Compaq graphic card has to supply the LCD screen, it may require a fair bit of power, and although the Compaq mobo PCI bridge was obviously designed to supply this, other mobos may not be. It doesn't matter whether you have a kick-ass ninja 550W PSU or a weedy 100W one.

    What you need to find out is how much current the Compaq LCD screen asks for, so that you know what PCI current specs a new mobo must meet.

    As for the screen interface, I imagine it's a straightforward digital one (close, although probably not identical to DVI standard). Unlikely that you can find another GPU card that will drive it directly, but perhaps you can whip up a DVI to "ORC" (Orange Ribbon Cable :D ) standard.
     
  12. SJH

    SJH Minimodder

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    http://www.techfest.com/hardware/bus/pci.htm#6.0

    If you're willing to mod the motherboard then perhaps you could supply a slightly higher voltage/current to the necessary PCI pins. You could use a multimeter or something to find out the current current (lol) needed.

    Just an idea, depends if you want to void warranties or not ;)

    -Sam
     
  13. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    this means you'll have to find you're LCD's voltage pins, find their voltage on the compaq, then supply it.
     
  14. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    beeeeeeeeep beep beep = VGA error. IT can't find a card, and is MAD.
     
  15. star882

    star882 What's a Dremel?

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    I can't tell for sure, but the video card looks like it doesn't have a ROM. It uses a pretty standard S3 GPU, though. Try putting it into a PC with another video card. Set it to boot to the normal video card, then see if you can use the LCD as a secondary display.
     
  16. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Do you mean: it looks like it doesn't have any RAM? On second looks, it doesn't, does it? OK, here's another hypothesis of what may be the problem:

    The graphics are in fact integrated on the motherboard, and what you think is the GPU card, is in fact just the interface circuit driving the LCD panel, nothing more (S3 did make LCD interface chips). All it does is receive the GPU data and splash it on screen. This means that when you put it in another mobo without integrated graphics, it will indeed complain there's no VGA card.

    I'd check System Properties on the Compaq and find out if the graphic drivers refer to an integrated graphic set.
     
  17. star882

    star882 What's a Dremel?

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    I actually said ROM (for the video BIOS extensions), not RAM.
    Indeed, if you look at the right side of the picture, you will see a small board attached to the card, that's most likely a RAM upgrade module.
     
  18. A13n0rma1

    A13n0rma1 Wannabe

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    That's EXACTLY what it is. They make cards like this to add DVI outputs to cards with onboard graphics.

    My applause to you, Nexxo, I was wondering why'd nobody had thought of the absence of VRAM and the fact that the unit is a Compaq all-in-one would be a dead giveaway.


    What my tips would be is looking around on the pins for that orange connector to do stuff like provide a VSync signal and what not, or look for a pinout on that LCD screen's datasheet more probably.
     
  19. xX~EXCELSIOR~Xx

    xX~EXCELSIOR~Xx What's a Dremel?

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    Sorry guys, that's not it.

    See that square of raised PCB to teh right of the s3 chip?

    That's compaq's old way of attaching ram.

    It's a PCB that has two ram chips on it, and there are two others on the PCB of the board itself, it fits onto it with connectors that look like miniature IDE cable connector thangs. Definitely labeled Video Memory.

    -Excelsior

    (I'll try a normal vidcard inthe compaq soon, I just am studying atm...)
     
  20. xX~EXCELSIOR~Xx

    xX~EXCELSIOR~Xx What's a Dremel?

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    [​IMG]
    Card's RAM chips that are onboard! ^^

    [​IMG]
    PC running of a spare PCI vidcard I found, onto a normal Monitor... PCI slots seem normal :/

    [​IMG]
    Pic of the setup.

    Please helppp :(

    I don't see anything about init PCI or anything in bios, or the bios manual for hte 8rda+ or the HP

    -Excelsior
     

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