I'm a computer engineer, otherwise total n00b to electronics. I have this old 15" display (ltn152w5). I would like to turn it in a st. valentine gift for my girlfriend. I would like to frame it and display some cool thing at the press of a button. Do you think I can learn to do such a thing in a month? Where should i start? I have made something with my arduino, very basic stuff with 7 segment displays.

Can you point me to some introductive resources? I definitely want to accomplish this task, even if it will take months.

PS: i also have the little inverter.


closed as off topic by Brian Carlton, Kevin Vermeer Jan 18 '12 at 21:23

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Will it accept VGA input now? - ie can you connect a PC o it and get a display? If so you can do almost anything with it that you wish. ... Gargoyles ... Ah... probably not - see eg {this}(lcds4less.com/Samsung-laptop-lcd-screens/LTN152W5-L03.shtml) . It may be easier to sell it and get an old monitor that you can e=access directly. and more easily. Maybe. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Jan 18 '12 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can make a vga controller, but can i attach it to a lcd? I always thought vga was only for crt \$\endgroup\$ – gurghet Jan 18 '12 at 18:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Probably because your questions aren't really suitable and you haven't looked things up for yourself. See the FAQ. \$\endgroup\$ – Leon Heller Jan 18 '12 at 18:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Of course I haven't, it is my question. It is very practical, and someone for sure will know the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – gurghet Jan 18 '12 at 18:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you were designing a display, that would be on topic. You'd have datasheets for your display, and a reasonable expectation for budget and timeline. However, hacking a laptop display when you've got no documentation, a very short timeline, and a hacker-sized budget is not a question of electronics design. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Jan 18 '12 at 21:29

A quick search shows that is an OEM display intended for laptops. That will likely be taking an RGB signal. Possibly VGA but it is hard to find data about it since OEMs like that will not release specs unless you are a manufacturer.

I would recommend looking at something that you can control over SPI or I2C, like this perhaps: http://www.crystalfontz.com/product/CFAF320240F035T Its smaller but much easier to handle. If you want to go with a larger screen like the 15" that you have you will need to involve VGA, LVDS, HDMI, DVI, RGB, etc. all of which will be hard to do from a microcontroller.

With your level of experience you should be able to at least get something going on that smaller SPI display by the end of the month. There might also be an Arduino backpack or whatever it is called (I do not like nor follow the Arduino community) that has a graphical module interface.


I think you will enjoy watching "The Ben Heck Show".

laptop screen with its laptop

As Russell McMahon pointed out, the ltn152w5 seems to be a laptop screen which is probably some proprietary, difficult-to-work-with interface. I wouldn't bother using it unless you have the exact laptop it is designed to connect to, and just want to rearrange the configuration, in which case, see Episode 5: Coach Section Laptop. Also "How to Make a Digital Picture Frame - DPF from a Laptop or Notebook" a b c

stand-alone LCD monitor with laptop or desktop motherboard

It will be much easier to interface with the LCD of a stand-alone external LCD monitor, many of which support VGA, DVI, HDMI, or some combination.

In particular, Episode 4: Portal Shirt, Episode 8: Ruggedized PlayStation 3, and possibly others, describe hacking an external LCD display. Also d. You'll need something that can generate the VGA, DVI, HDMI, or whatever signal the LCD display can accept. Some people generate VGA graphics with a tiny Parallax Propeller board -- that may be the path that you will learn the most if you want to get into low-power embedded systems. You may find it much quicker to connect the panel to the VGA (or DVI or HDMI) port of a laptop motherboard or standard desktop motherboard.

Arduino with embedded graphics LCD

It's very difficult for smaller microcontrollers like the Arduino to generate VGA (or DVI or HDMI) signals, but if you search Google ( arduino graphics LCD ) there are several small monochrome or color graphics LCDs (and OLEDs) available -- they are typically much lower resolution than you may be used to on laptop computers, but the net package LCD+microcontroller is much smaller and runs off batteries for much longer than the above approaches. (Consider storing the images on an external SD Flash card rather than trying to squeeze them into the Arduino's internal Flash).


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