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I have a Raspberry Pi Model B and the display unit from a Dell laptop - functional, but removed from the laptop because of a broken hinge. Is there any way the Pi's GPIO pins can be used to drive the display unit directly, to function as the Pi's monitor?

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    \$\begingroup\$ this is probably better suited to raspberrypi.stackexchange.com \$\endgroup\$ – vicatcu Jul 30 '12 at 14:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the people here have a better chance of answering this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Jul 30 '12 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ The standard way to handle something that belongs on another se site @vicatcu is to flag for migration, not suggest a double post, we will only migrate if it meets the other sites quality guidlines. Second, as RussellMcMahon says, you often want to be greedy with questions that could go on either site and try to keep them, this way naturally the site with better answers on the subject grows. In this case I can see migration as an option as it seems a bit broad, but if there were good answers here already I would probably err on the side of not migrating. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jul 30 '12 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vicatcu I am here to teach, thank you for taking the time to both help improve our site and steer users to where they can best get the answers they need. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jul 30 '12 at 22:58
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It might be possible, but

  • Such displays often use a parallel interface (4, 8 or more data lines, lots of control lines) and the Pi has only a few GPIO available on the extension connector. (You can guess the number of GPIO simply by counting the wires in your interface - likely a flex cable).

  • I don't think anyone has done this yet, it will not be easy, and there is not much incentive to do this for any particular screen.

So unless you are in it for the thrill (and willing to spend a lot of time on it) I would say: forget it.

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The display almost certainly wants data at a significantly higher frequency than you can output from the Pi. If it uses a standard LVDS interface then you may be able to find a cheap aftermarket controller for it that takes video inputs (this is commonly done by people making DIY projectors out of laptop display panels) and connect that to the Pi.

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The rasberry pi has a yet-unused lcd connector which would be worth investigating, though an adapter (more than just cabling) and detailed register programming data may be required.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for all comments. I'm investigating the possibility of an easier way forward. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Taylor Aug 3 '12 at 13:55

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