QXGA 2048x1536 for Thinkpad T60

I finally got time to put the 15 inch QXGA (2048x1536) screen in the T60. I wussed out and used the original !WinXP with the $30 Powerstrip program to write the new EDID to the display. I couldn't find enough documentation on the Linux i2c-tools to feel comfortable with risking a display on them.

The whole package cost approximately $750, with a used T60 from Ebay, A 500GB Seagate SATA drive (plus a spare) from Frys, and a new Idtech IAQX10N panel. Try http://bigestock.com, about $180.

The upgrade will not work with a 14.1 or 15.4 inch display. Here is a table of what (probably) works and what does not.

If the Thinkpad has a 1600x1200 or a 1400x1050 15 inch display, then you probably have the proper backlight inverter board. If it has a 1024x768 15 inch display, you will need to get a 42T0076 or a 42T0079 inverter board. These are about $10 used on ebay, or $40 new from http://acsparts.com .

Be aware that the pixels on these displays are very small, 0.15mm pitch. That is slightly smaller than an iPhone pixel. You will have to scale the text in a number of applications, and you may have to use the opera browser to resize flash animations large enough to see. 5x7 characters will have line spacings of 1.4mm or so - too small to read without a magnifying glass.

More information on the mod at: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Installing_a_QXGA_display_in_a_R/T60_or_61


I built a second QXGA T60 for my wife

I used the first T60 to program the second screen, as well as a third backup spare.

I compiled the Linux version of ponyprog2000 and used a small two-transistor plus resistors circuit to connect the parallel port of on a T60 docking adapter to a spare screen flex cable. The connection is I2C, with 3.3V levels, and a 3.3V lab power supply powered the little board and the screen. The whole assemblage drew much less than 10mA.

I used the circuit shown on the ponyprog2000 website, with some additional series 33 ohm resistors in series with the I2C-to-screen wires to damp any resonances.

The laptop parallel port was set to Bidirectional/0x3BC/IRQ7. I needed to reboot the laptop in the docking adapter, and do an rmmod lp and insmod ppdev to get ponyprog to work.

Ponyprog2000-2.07c was downloaded and compiled for a 2.6.18-164.2.1.el5 kernel (updated Scientific Linux 5.4, an RHEL5 clone). The v/Config.mk file that I used is attached to this page. The program is installed in /usr/local/bin/ . In order to make help work, I made a symlink to firefox from /usr/local/bin/netscape .

I ran Ponyprog as root to avoid permission issues with /dev/parportXX . After clicking through the splash screen, I went to the Setup/Interface Setup... menu to set:

With the cables hooked up and the power on, I clicked the PROBE button to make sure all was connected.

I closed the I/O menu, then selected Setup/Calibration... menu. There is one button, which was mostly obscured by text on my screen. I clicked it, and the I2C clock rate got set. A cheesy timing loop, probably.

In the main menu, I selected I2C Bus 8bit eeprom and 2401-A. Then I clicked Command/Read All to read the original EDID contents, and saved them to a file with File/Save Device File.... This saves a 128 byte binary file to disk.

I clicked File/Open Device File... and selected the 128 byte binary file with the new EDID contents. Clicking Command/Write All wrote the data to the 24C01 in the screen. I powered down and disconnected the screen, ready for installation in the second T60.

Note - I did not enter any address for the 24C01 I2C chip - ponyprog found it. Nor did I have to fool with the parallel port address or type in the BIOS (though you should make sure it is enabled). After making sure everything was compiled and wired correctly, the above instructions more-or-less worked.

QxGa (last edited 2011-01-30 01:28:59 by pool-72-90-106-232)