Reusing Old Laptop Parts to Build Cheap Portable System

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Introduction: Reusing Old Laptop Parts to Build Cheap Portable System

Recently my old Laptop died and I had to buy a new one, ( RIP! 5520 you will be missed ).

The laptop's mother board died and the damage was repairable Until recently i brought Raspberry pie and started tinkering with IOT sutff but needed a dedicated screen to work on raspberry that can be portable and batter powered. Since i participate in lot of onsite hackathons so i need to carry it.

Although my laptop was 6 years old the screen is in preety good condition worth saving.

so Instead of throwing the old laptop, I planned to use the lcd screen of my laptop and what ever i could salvage. from it.

the following Instrucatable will work with.

1366x768 LG&PHILIPS LP156WH4(TL)(A1) LED Screen Panel

Or it will also work with following Laptop models:-

  • Acer: Aspire 5551, 5736Z, 5733, 5336, 5349, 5742ZAsus: K53(X), X54(X)
  • Toshiba Satellite: C655D,
  • Compaq: 610, CQ56, CQ57, CQ62
  • HP: DV6, G56, G62, G6, 2000, P/N: 641663-001, 667896-001, 689690-001, 645096-001, HP 2000-219DX, 2000-239DX, 2000-355DX, 2000-365DX
  • Gateway: NV52, NV53
  • Dell Inspiron: 1564, M5010, M5030, N5010, 1545, N5040, M5040, N5030, N5110 P/N: 4Y4GM, 9HXXJ, XM5XG, D669J, 1JC2N
  • Dell Studio: 1555
  • Lenovo: Y550, G550, G560 E520
  • LG Philips: LP156WH2 (TL)(AC), LP156WH2 (TL)(A1), LP156WH2 (TL)(QB), LP156WH2 (TL) (Q2), LP156WH4 (TL)(A1),LP156WH2 (TL)(AA), LP156WH4(TL)(A1), LP156WH2(TL)(EA), LP156Wh4-TLQ2, LP156WH4-TLN2,LP156WH4-TLN1, LP156WH2-TLQ1
  • AU Optronics: B156XW02 V.2, B156XW02 V.2 HW4A, B156XW02 V.1, B156XW02 V.6, B156XTN02.0, B156XTN02.2
  • Sony Vaio: PCG-71312LBOE: HB156WX1-100
  • Chimei: N156B6-LOB, N156B6-L0B, N156B6-L04 Rev C.1, N156B6-L06 rev.C1, N156B6-L0B REV.C2, N156BGE-L21, N156BGE-L21
  • Chungwha: CLAA156WB11A, CLAA156WB13
  • AInnolux: BT156GW01 V.3, BT156GW01 V.4, BT156GW01 V.1, BT156GW01 V.4
  • Samsung: LTN156AT05-U09, LTN156AT05-S01, LTN156AT05-H01, LTN156AT05-W01, LTN156AT05-H07, LTN156AT05-Y02, LTN156AT05, LTN156AT02, LTN156AT09, LTN156AT17, LTN156AT16-L01, LTN156AT24-L01, LTN156AT24, LTN156AT32

Required parts:-

  • 1366x768 LG&PHILIPS LP156WH4 LCD screen (any old laptop with screen in working condition)
  • metal plates (for fixing and holding the screen)
  • Ac to DC 12 volts adapter
  • LCD Controller Board DIY Assembly Kit depending on model can be brought from here.
  • Nut bolts.
  • Raspbery pie (keyboard + mouse+ pie power supply)
  • lcd connector cable

Step 1: Find the LCD Model Number and Current Working Condition of Lcd Screen of the Laptop.

I feel like warning should always come first , so here it is:-

  • Please not that you are dealing with electronic hardware proceed with caution.
  • Remove battery and ac power source before opening the case.
  • I you don't know what you are doing consult a technician.

I am not responsible to any damage you do while performing these steps.

Before proceeding please make sure if LCD screen is working perfectly or the system is not working because of the screen example (blank screen, cracked screen or shattered screen).

If it is any of the above mention case then do not proceed.

If you know the model number look step by step instructions for the disassembly instructions online search for keywords like " xxx model dissambly".

I found a decent step by step video of for my model here: dell Inspiron 5520 disassembly.

After removing the lcd panel from laptop body and finding the lcd model number at back of panel (which in my case is LP156WH4)

Also remove the hinges on which the lcd screen is mounted it can be used later.

Google for "LCD Controller Board DIY Assembly Kit For xx model number"

You can also try searching for amazon and bangdoo.com

Here is result of both the websites for my model.

I prefer the bangdoo.com since its cheap and better comments and feedback is there for the item

place the order.

Step 2: Building the Lcd Monitor Using Old Components

At this point i am considering you aready have

  • working lcd screen
  • a universal LCD Controller Board DIY Assembly Kit as per your model.
  • ac to dc power supply and lcd connector cables.

Lets do this.

  1. Assemble the LCD Controller Board DIY Assembly Kit. As attached images.
  2. Make holes in the back panel of the LCD screen plastic back cover ( please notice:-I am trying to REUSE the old laptop parts the same LCD housing can be build by a wooden board).
  3. Pass the LCD power cable via the hole made previous and secure the ribbon in back of LCD using duct tape.
  4. Use the foam between back panel and LCD and cover the LCD with front covering.
  5. Now the LCD is sealed Tightly. tighten the hinges at bottom of LCD firmly.
  6. On the frame fix the circuit board using spacers and on the right fix the spacers for raspberry pi.
  7. Now join the cables and power on the LCD and raspberry pi.

VOILA!!! you have done it (considering you have done it right).

After building this i felt that the overall system needs a face lift.

So in the next step we are gonna improve the looks. Because honestly its hideous!

Step 3: Giving a Face Lift

For improving the look and feel i want to use carbon fiber sheet to hide the old plastic parts.

you can find it for decent price here:-

Steps to follow:-

  1. Remove the circuit board and plcae the sheet on back panel carefully.
  2. Put holes again on sheet and follow the previous step for any problem in assembly.
  3. Join the cables and power the pi and the LCD panel.

Congratulations you have successfully made a portable pi station using old re usable components that can also be used as a LCD TV screen (HDMI,VGA,Video-input), secondary screen with laptop, portable pie station .

Thank you

Happy building.

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    7 Discussions

    Nice, but not to rain on the parade but I can buy a re-certified HP laptop with a i5 processor, 4 gigs ram, and 1/2 gig hard drive for under $200 pre-loaded with Windows 10 from newegg

    All with a warranty. So no. Great idea, but it's not 1995. Laptops are cheap.

    4 replies

    True, but an advantage of doing this is that you can make a Raspberry Pi laptop with the case and sutff. :)

    I have used pi just because when you do remote session you can't have good graphics and not every time you have a free lcd to spare, i could have used the old Laptop parts instead of pi but the damm MoBo died :(

    Also the whole setup runs on 12-9v dc which a laptop can do.

    will you use a $200 laptop for making a smart mirror, will you use 200 laptop for taking it apart probably not. what will you do will all the spare electronics. Throw it? You tell me where is your six years old machine lying around someplace dusty or sold to someone for $200 This instructable is all about reusing old to build new and useful.

    i am not trying to make a laptop FYI.

    Most of the DIY is not about saving money just show you can Do It Yourself. Not all is money.

    This gave me a bunch of ideas for some spare monitors I have around...

    good job there, your idea is amazing

    thank u for the lesson, now i can work on my broken lap..

    Impressive build! It's nice you were able to keep those pieces from just being thrown away :)