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Old 08-11-2010, 02:25 AM   #1
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Default DIY LCD Gauge Cluster??

So I acquired for free an ~7" LCD screen 6.5" x 4" foot print. It was not from a netbook, picture frame etc. It came from a promotional little kiosk display, at a hobby shop. I disassembled the display and removed the screen, and separated it from the circuit board it was attached to and unplugged the FFC from the board.

My intention was to try and wire it to a VGA/ DB15 connector and the have the LCD mounted in my dash din and allow my to display my AEM digital dash via connection to my laptop.

My biggest hurdle is trying to find a 26 pin FFC plug, and hopefully and easy way to wire it t a VGA cable. I havent been able to find a pin out for this screen since it does not have a name brand on it or anything, but the FFC cable says Foxconn (a common brand), and "2000161-00", also "2007" on the elswhere on the ribbon. I assume the 2007 is the year it was made, nothing comes up for the other number, and not sure how to "decode" what it may otherwise mean. Addtional to the FFC ribbon are two ~22ga wires im assuming are for power?

My knowledge on this kinda stuff is limited, although I'm pretty sure its feasible.

If someone knows of a store that sells a cable that would work or know a thing or 2 about thi sI would greatly appreciate it.

Here's pics of the screen and FFC (sorry for the shitty cell phone pictures, my camera's battery was dead):
(FRONT SIDE)
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(BACKSIDE)
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(FFC RIBBON)
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:09 AM   #2
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Just as an FYI, before you go spending any money on it, that screen you've got there most likely won't accept a VGA input. Typically, those displays expect to be addressed by some variation of an LVDS serial interface.

The two pin connector is for the backlight.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:42 AM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up. I wasn't planning on spending much on this...it was just a "hey, I got this for free, wonder if I can make it work". Having a digital cluster would be cool and all but not necessary.

This LVDS interface, might that be what the board was this was connected to? it kinda looked like a little mother board.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:34 PM   #4
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LVDS is a generic acronym- low voltage differential signalling. It describes a general method of transmitting data, not a particular interface standard.

The closest thing to a standard for interfacing with these displays is PanelLink, and I'm not sufficiently familiar with it to look at that ribbon cable and say "Yes, that's what this is."

The downside, however, is that at no point in the original signal chain was there ever a VGA signal between the motherboard and the display panel. The VGA standard (analog RGB, with discrete H & V analog sync) made a lot of sense fo interfacing with CRT monitors, but it's a real pain in the *** to deal with on flat panel displays. So with laptops, or other devices where the video chipset and display device are coupled together in a common package, they don't even bother going though VGA, they just directly generate the digital signalling to drive the display in its native format. When a VGA connector is present on a laptop for external purposes, it's merely a downconversion at the end of the signal chain.

Now, it's entirely possible that if you dig through enough old desktop LCD monitors with VGA inputs, you may find one that's compatible with that panel and has the circuitry to decode an analog VGA signal and then drive the display with it.

What was it connected to inside the kiosk display, and what happened to the rest of the electronics?
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:40 PM   #5
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Its also highly doubtful it will be bright enough for daytime use. MP3car.com has a wide selection of suitable monitors.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth97 View Post
Its also highly doubtful it will be bright enough for daytime use.
Indeed. Ideally, you want one which has a transflective panel sandwiched between the display element and the backlight. The idea here is to reflect some of the incident sunlight back through the display, so you take advantage of the light hitting the panel rather than having to fight it. I've got one of the Liliput brand that is of this construction, and in direct sunlight it is adequate. Still pretty washed out, but readable.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:37 PM   #7
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done it. was running megatune on it but it was completely worthless. cant see **** with ANY amount of light. only usable during night. and that was with a badass lilliput monitor too.
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