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So I recently received my Pi in the post and I'm now trying to think what to use it for.

I've had a look around and I quite like the idea of attaching a screen to it and using it as an RSS Reader/News updates etc.

The question I have is this, I have an old laptop lying around the house that I no longer use and wondered if I can make use of it? Basically I want to dismantle the laptop and utilise the screen, I'd then attach the screen to the Pi and mount it on the wall. I don't want to create a laptop from the Pi (I know there are a lot of posts about the LapDock, I don't want to use this, I just want the screen).

Is this possible? If so, how difficult would it be to achieve?

I want to avoid having to purchase lots of extra parts if possible, the odd cable is fine but I want to do it on the cheap.

Thanks in advance.

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What's the donor laptop? Lot of this will depend on what you have to work with ... – Maria Zverina Jun 29 '12 at 19:19
Good question, but duplicate of Can I use the screen/keyboard of a laptop with the Pi? – ACarter Jun 29 '12 at 19:22
Maria it's this one - cl.ly/HkYN ACarter - I'm not looking to utilise the laptop in any way apart from the screen, that thread is focusing on running the laptop, I'll be discarding mine bar the screen – Max Jun 29 '12 at 19:24
Yup, totally my fault, didn't read the question properly. – ACarter Jun 29 '12 at 19:30
Sorry, can't undo the vote. – ACarter Jun 29 '12 at 19:32

A lot of it depends on the LCD module that you have, but I think you might have success buying one of these. I converted two of my old laptop screens to standalone monitors and in fact one of them is used as a monitor for the Raspberry Pi.

Here is the link to the eBay seller from whom I bought my LCD controller. It's simple - just buy the controller, attach the laptop monitor to it and connect your Pi to the screen (provided you are ready to shell 30 dollars for the controller).

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@SteveIrwin +1, nice answer! Many of us have at least one broken laptop that would be perfect for such a transplant. – Avio Sep 28 '12 at 9:38
That would also be perfect for testing laptop screens. – Jon Hulka Mar 25 '13 at 22:19

You may be able to connect using the DSI connector on the RPi, see RPi Screens at the DSI connector section, but it will depend on the interface that currently exists and you may need to get some converters or get some interface blobs, see S2 and S5: Fit or no fit?.

Even if that could connect, sorting out the timings would be a driver hack issue so if that is your idea of a good time then I wish you luck, I've not tried this myself but the first link shows that some people have managed it on a variety of LCD screens.

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+1 as probably the best answer this will get until this is actually attempted. – Jivings Jun 30 '12 at 0:10

In case you'd want to build your own LCD controller, this guy seems to have it covered: LCD Controller - How to control a laptop LCD panel with an FPGA

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This looks like an excellent idea. Unfortunately, the XuLA-200 XuLA FPGA prototyping board no longer seems to be available. I've had a look for "XuLA-200" and "XuLA FPGA", on eBay, but with no luck. However, there seems to be a newer version, but it is not cheap ($120): XuLA2-LX25. – Greenonline Jul 14 '15 at 19:25
Thanks a lot for the info and updating the answer ! :) – Cyryl Płotnicki-Chudyk Jul 18 '15 at 7:16

If you want to do it cheaply, there is a VGA to LVDS board available on ebay for about £3.50. Used in conjunction with an HDMI to VGA connector (again about £2 on ebay) you could get your screen working with the raspberry pi. You may also need an inverter (about £1.50 on ebay)

Total cost: about £7

The LVDS boards support a variety of screen resolutions in combination with 6 or 8 bits and 1 or 2 channels. Someone gave me two old laptops and it worked with one of the screens but not the other (it may have been a fault with the screen as the laptops did not work).

You will need a VGA cable or gender changer to connect the adapters together. It is also fairly straight forward to hack the keyboard and touchpad if you decide to add these later.

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