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WarriorRocker's Picture Frame PC

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Warrior_Rocker, 6 Apr 2007.

  1. Warrior_Rocker

    Warrior_Rocker Holder of the sacred iron

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    View the updated project log on my personal site, XodusTech.com

    Okay, so I have seen several users on the site post up their Picture Frame PC projects, and as I sat looking at my aging Toshiba Portege 7200cte I said to myself... well to be honest the first thing I said to it is not repeatable here, followed by you would only be good as Picture Frame PC. And the rest is history

    The specs of this particular machine are:
    Intel Pentium III Mobile 600mhz w/ speedstep
    320mb pc100 ram, 64 onboard, 1x 256 expansion
    Ibm Travelstar 13gb hdd
    Modded in usb internal wifi card, using 2nd usb bus

    What are some of the advantages of using a portege as a picture frame pc you may ask? Well for starters its one of the thinnest laptops ever made. Not only that but by now they are really cheap and easy to get a hold of. Secondly they have no onboard optical drive. Meaning that much less junk to deal with. Another advantage is that I have kept the original battery intact and completely removeable. In case of a power outage it runs on battery power. The battery is removeable and can be replaced just as if it were a laptop.

    A little background on this computer may help clear up some future questions. First of all this laptop was a 40 dollar purchase from ebay, barebones. It did not come with any additional ram or hdd, those I put in myself. It also came with a cracked lcd. At the time I was going to replace the lcd with one I recovered from a busted Dell Latitude CPi. The transplant was a success but only after I rewired the LCD cable to the standard LVDS pinouts. The original lcd in the toshiba used the same interface, but a different connector.

    Now a few weeks ago I find that the Dell lcd has quit working for no apparent reason. Suspecting that it was fried by the toshiba I voltmetered the 3.3v supply to the lcd. What a surprise 3.3v.... I guess Dell expects the same quality out of their lcd's as they do the rest of the componets that go in their machines. So after digging around in one of my spare parts drawers I came across a replacement lcd for an IBM thinkpad a20 series laptop. I bet it fits the t20 series as well. This lcd also uses standard lvds and connected right up to the cable I had made for the dell lcd.

    The problem was... this IBM lcd was 14.1'' and the toshiba LCD was 13.3'' ... So that is how I decided it would be the perfect candiate for a picture frame pc. First I took a spare palm rest plate for the toshiba Portege that already had the LCD hinges cut off and moulded flat. I then made some very quick and dirty brackets that mount to the side of the laptop and to the screw holes on the side of the lcd to mount the lcd to the palm rest. Note that in the pictures the inverter is hanging free. That is only until I find a little bit more time to mount it on the inside.

    As it turns out the lcd is exactly the same length horizontally as the toshiba, so this made mounting it very easy. Note that these are just some in progress pictures and there will be more to come. I just ran out of time today to work on this project and decided to start a small worklog of it. Enjoy pictures below:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Here is the PC mounted on the wall, It may not look the prettiest, but it does do the trick, and it will look much better once the inverter is mounted.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Side shot showing the side with 2 of the mounting brackets, and the bottom of the unit, or the back. Completely original. I reuse everything I can.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The bottom showing the power port, and the inverter... still dangling.


    All in all this project took me several hours. As I complete this project I will share some of the inside pictures to show where a good bit of my time was actually spent. This is one of those projects that I do on an impluse and cost me nothing to construct. Also one of the neatest things about this project, is that no permanet modifications were made to the original Toshiba parts. As I used a spare palm rest plate to mount the LCD I still have the original. I could easily dismantle this and restore the unit to pre-project bliss.

    Oddly enough this entire unit turns out to be thinner than the LCD monitor I use for my Media PC that hangs on a wall, It is also thinner than my samsung 204b's. The unit as a whole is slightly thinner than the laptop was to begin with. Also the HDD and Ram slot are still accessible from the back. A big bonus when you are constantly switching hardware. The laptop can also be docked back into the original docking station in case I needed to load a new os on it.

    Thanks for taking a look, I would love to hear any input!
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2012
  2. bumfluff

    bumfluff New Member

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    As usual Warrior_Rocker, your mods are awesome. Did this one cost you anything? Or were all the lying around?
     
  3. Cptn-Inafinus

    Cptn-Inafinus Member

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    Sorry but this made me laugh. I mean you must have quite a collection to just so happen to have a spare LCD hanging about...
     
  4. Warrior_Rocker

    Warrior_Rocker Holder of the sacred iron

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    Indeed bumfluff this is another project that thus far has cost me nothing but parts I already had. Except for one of my poor demel blades :dremel:


    I do have an extensive collection of parts as I am a collector or pack-rat depending on the point of view. The LCD actually comes from a complete extra chasis for my IBM a20m that one of my friends donated to the Warrior has no money and needs a new powerjack and palm rest plate for his laptop foundation. Or WHNMANANPJAPRPFHSF for short.


    I will update this soon
     
  5. Swampytoadstool

    Swampytoadstool New Member

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  6. mattthegamer463

    mattthegamer463 New Member

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    Nice ghetto job there, hope you frame it sometime.

    My poor Protégé 3110CT, never saw the ground coming...

    :'(

    19mm thickness offers little protection.

    very nice mod, I like it a lot. Once framed it will look pretty sweet.
     
  7. Warrior_Rocker

    Warrior_Rocker Holder of the sacred iron

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    Was the 3110ct also made out of metal as well? I know that when my 7140ct got dropped on its side, the lcd got cracked but everything else worked perfect.

    I do intend to frame it some how, for now I was trying to get everything as contained and compact as possible so I knew the exact dimensions I would need for a frame.

    Here is a small but picture heavy update for everybody. Basically I show the insides of the unit as well as how I mounted the inverter and the converter cable to adapt the standard LVDS connection of the IBM lcd to the connector on the Toshiba's mainboard. Enjoy!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] Here is an image of just the base of the laptop. The reason I chose the portege is because everything mounts to the bottom plate. So it is perfectly contained, it is just as sturdy on its side as upside down. It is also super thin low power and durable.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Here is the inverter and its cable (orange) and the LVDS cable I made. Notice in the second picture wire there wires are combined, I didnt have any really small heatshrink so I used superglue instead, Just as good and I can keep the costs of the project minimal. I used the glue because it is insulated and will make sure those solder contacts never break

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The inverter is mounted about 2mm behind the lcd to cut down on interference and the cathode wire is run through the front into the inside to the inverter, it almost not long enough.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The completed front lcd plate, and a closeup of the hole the cathode wire runs through.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Here is the LVDS cable and the inverter power cable plugged into the front plate and to the mainboard in the base. Easy isnt it?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Here it is mounted on the wall "temporarily" until I find a frame. Also note that there is a usb and ethernet cord plugged in. The unit does have a modded in internal usb wifi card that i will use once I fix my access point. The usb is for my printer until I find a new machine to be my print server.



    Thanks for taking a look, I would love any input!

    Note there is still much work to do, expect updates
     
    Last edited: 1 Aug 2007
  8. mattthegamer463

    mattthegamer463 New Member

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    The body is a magnesium alloy frame with plastic pieces, but the screen is almost all plastic except for a metal rim around it on the inside. It got dropped on the corner, but only from 1.5 feet up, in a padded case, in the center pocket of my backpack. Stupid thing.
     

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