CPC Laptop.

Started by Bryce, 14:20, 25 October 14

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TFM

Yes, connection of the LCD is the problem for me too. Anything else would be no problem.
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Bryce

Quote from: TotO on 18:16, 27 October 14
The idea with a 640x480 panel is more to be able to keep the 1:1 pixel ratio and remove those big borders that finally made the picture so small on a CTM. (and even smallest on a 8" screen)  :D
Sure, overscan screens will be cut, but... overscan means what it mean.  ;D

How would a 640x480 panel reduce the borders? It would still display the main window / border in the same ratio as the CPC did. I would have to intercept and modify the analogue signal to remove any border. Massively complicated. A 640x480 LCD won't give a 1:1 pixel ratio, it will reduce the entire "picture" which includes the borders in the same ratio as always.

Bryce.


Bryce

Quote from: Devilmarkus on 18:20, 27 October 14
Nice idea...
I also think about doing the same with my old Compaq Armada... But as I have no idea, how to connect the LCD display, I forgot the idea ;)

It has a 1024x768 LCD display...

Looks like a cool Laptop to convert. How big is the screen and how deep is the lower section? Will a plus PCB fit inside?

Bryce.

CraigsBar

Just a thought. When did all these light (as in colour not weight) beige laptops die out in favour of the black, impossible to type on in the dark, machines we have today? At least my mbp has an illuminated keyboard to resolve that issue.
IRC:  #Retro4All on Freenode

TFM

Or maybe a PCB of the cost down CPC? Could it be an alternative to the Plus PCB?
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Bryce

Quote from: TFM on 21:44, 27 October 14
Or maybe a PCB of the cost down CPC? Could it be an alternative to the Plus PCB?

Yes it smaller, but I really wanted the plus advantages. My plan at the moment is to have a "permanent cartridge" (with disable switch) inside, but under the expansion cover on the right I will have a cartridge port for playing games :)

Bryce.

TotO

Quote from: Bryce on 21:39, 27 October 14
How would a 640x480 panel reduce the borders? It would still display the main window / border in the same ratio as the CPC did.
Hum... You can't crop the picture area?
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Devilmarkus

Quote from: Bryce on 21:40, 27 October 14
Looks like a cool Laptop to convert. How big is the screen and how deep is the lower section? Will a plus PCB fit inside?

The display is about 15" I think... Max. resolution is 1024x768px.
I have no real idea if the plus PCB would match, I once opened the laptop but just to swap the cmos battery. (It's hard to find under all these little boards which are put one on another etc...)
I'm sure you need to remove the drive, and also the harddrive. (I have both: CD-Rom and also 3,5" floppy drive, you can swap these components)

Actually I still have W2K and W98 running on it. (P-I, 200mhz)
When you put your ear on a hot stove, you can smell how stupid you are ...

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Bryce

@TotO
No, pretty difficult to do actually. Would probably mean reprogramming the LVDS video processor, not something I want to take on. They are documented all that good either.

I've been checking out the G084SN03 which you suggested. This would be perfect, it would even fit in the original laptop LCD mounting bracket! But there's several versions. Version 0 to 2 all have CCFL backlights, the entire display, inverter and controller pull almost 4A! Version 3 is with LED Backlight and the entire setup pulls barely 600mA. So obviously I'd prefer a V3, but they are rarer and twice the price of the others (wrong side of €100). I don't suppose you have a cheap source to suggest? :D

Bryce.

Devilmarkus

Simpliest way to transform a laptop into a CPC (plus):

Use Win98 (Or, in my case, WinMe)
Remove Explorer.exe in system.ini and replace by WinApe.exe (Executioner compiled a special version for me, which has the ability to shutdown the stupid win-thing when you quit it)

Result:

Erstellt von Camtasia Studio 8

:P
When you put your ear on a hot stove, you can smell how stupid you are ...

Amstrad CPC games in your webbrowser

JavaCPC Desktop Full Release

Bryce

Quote from: Devilmarkus on 23:20, 27 October 14
The display is about 15" I think... Max. resolution is 1024x768px.
I have no real idea if the plus PCB would match, I once opened the laptop but just to swap the cmos battery. (It's hard to find under all these little boards which are put one on another etc...)
I'm sure you need to remove the drive, and also the harddrive. (I have both: CD-Rom and also 3,5" floppy drive, you can swap these components)

Actually I still have W2K and W98 running on it. (P-I, 200mhz)

Most LCDs are easy to find controller boards for. Just check the model number (on a sticker on the back of the LCD panel). Then search for that number and "controller" on ebay. They cost about €30 or so. That gives you a VGA to LVDS (50pin flat cable) converter. I intend to use my S-video adapter feeding one of those €16 S-video to VGA converters. I know that's complicated, but it gives the best picture for the lowest price. I'll solder the PCBs directly to each other to keep it compact.

Unfortunately, the VGA to LVDS converter needs to be in the lid, which I doubt would work with your laptop. The Compaq has a 200mm thick lid :D

Bryce.

Bryce.

Bryce

Quote from: Devilmarkus on 23:28, 27 October 14
Simpliest way to transform a laptop into a CPC (plus):

Use Win98 (Or, in my case, WinMe)
Remove Explorer.exe in system.ini and replace by WinApe.exe (Executioner compiled a special version for me, which has the ability to shutdown the stupid win-thing when you quit it)

Result:

Erstellt von Camtasia Studio 8

:P

Yes, but I want to have the expansion port and real joystick / printer ports to develop hardware on. No emulator can give me that.

Bryce.

Devilmarkus

Quote from: Bryce on 23:34, 27 October 14
Yes, but I want to have the expansion port and real joystick / printer ports to develop hardware on. No emulator can give me that.

Sure, but I also have a 3,5" floppy drive attached (or 2x accu or 1x accu and 1x DVD drive) and I can also transfer DSK easily in this way to 3,5" :P
When you put your ear on a hot stove, you can smell how stupid you are ...

Amstrad CPC games in your webbrowser

JavaCPC Desktop Full Release

TotO

@Devilmarkus :
If I remember well, it exist a DOS CPC Emulator that handle 640x480 screen mode and access to the real 3" & 3"1/2 floppy drive.
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Devilmarkus

Quote from: TotO on 23:42, 27 October 14
...that handle 640x480 screen mode...

See the bug? ;)

The CPC has more than 640x480 pixels :D
When you put your ear on a hot stove, you can smell how stupid you are ...

Amstrad CPC games in your webbrowser

JavaCPC Desktop Full Release

TotO

Quote from: Devilmarkus on 23:43, 27 October 14
See the bug? ;)  The CPC has more than 640x480 pixels :D
No, the CPC had a big border that made 99% of programs displayed in a little window.  :-*
That is an opportunity to remove them... (for the 1% overscan demo, use a real CPC)
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

TotO

#41
Quote from: Bryce on 23:21, 27 October 14So obviously I'd prefer a V3, but they are rarer and twice the price of the others (wrong side of €100). I don't suppose you have a cheap source to suggest? :D
Sure... If you buy 100 of them.  :laugh:
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Devilmarkus

Quote from: TotO on 23:48, 27 October 14
No, the CPC had a big border that made 99% of programs displayed in a little window.  :-*
That is an opportunity to remove them... (for the 1% overscan demo, use a real CPC)

Oh, Arkanoid was a 1% demo? :D  :laugh:
When you put your ear on a hot stove, you can smell how stupid you are ...

Amstrad CPC games in your webbrowser

JavaCPC Desktop Full Release

TotO

#43
No, it was 0.1% games.  :-\

You won more than you lose... Because you continue to see them in overscan, with less borders. (nice on a little screen)
On a 256x256 veltical overscan game, only 8 pixels up/down will be cropped.

My god, Arkanoid is no longer playable!!!!

[attachimg=1] [attachimg=2]
[attachimg=3] [attachimg=4]

Hum... No, it look bigger overscan and that for all games...  :o 
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Devilmarkus

Your shots are 320x240 px which is wrong ;)

Should be 320x200 px.

But anyway...  :-*

I don't know any DOS emulator, which is at least 90% accurate, so this is not an option.

But lets get back to topic please :)

I really like Bryce's idea and I hope, he can get it working
When you put your ear on a hot stove, you can smell how stupid you are ...

Amstrad CPC games in your webbrowser

JavaCPC Desktop Full Release

Bryce

#45
Not much to update on. My friend who collects old PCs/Laptops is going to go through his pile of spare LCDs and see if he has anything suitable. I've also found a bag of these: http://sigma.octopart.com/21354265/image/ALPS-SKQGABE010.jpg (probably about 200, so enough) in my stock. They are 1.5mm high and I'm hoping I can use these instead of the membrane under the keyboard.

The next step is to prepare PCB. The PCB is only a few millimeters too long to the case, so here's my plan (see photo below). The red part needs to be cut off, meaning that the floppy port has to go, but the remaining part can still be used to mount something different. So what I intend to do is remove all the ports on the left side of the PCB. The Lightpen can go, I've never seen anything that I could connect it to. The Analogue Joystick also isn't required so much, so I will leave that out too. The sound socket will be removed and wired directly to a small stereo amplifier / speakers inside the case. That just leaves the two digital Joystick ports. I'm hoping that they will fit in the space left where the floppy port was. To do this I need to sand down the part shown in green, to remove the copper tracks. Then I can drill the appropriate holes and mount those ports securely and wire them with leads from the original positions. Then the entire left side is free of connectors and I don't need to modify the side of the case :)

Bryce.

TotO

You definitively not read me (640x480) ... And don't remember your own answer (640x480).  :laugh:
But OK, if today you prefert to troll, better to not continue to speak on the Bryce topic.  :-*
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

TotO

#47
Quote from: Bryce on 13:55, 28 October 14Not much to update on. My friend who collects old PCs/Laptops is going to go through his pile of spare LCDs and see if he has anything suitable. I've also found a bag of these: http://sigma.octopart.com/21354265/image/ALPS-SKQGABE010.jpg (probably about 200, so enough) in my stock. They are 1.5mm high and I'm hoping I can use these instead of the membrane under the keyboard.
Haha!
I have watched the sames on ebay 1 month ago.
My idea was to build a new CPC PCB with the keyboard matrix on the upper side, and the computer circuits to the other.  ;D
(sure, the tracks should be merged at end... I hope that will be doable)
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Bryce

You'll see how doable it is in a few weeks :D

Bryce.

TotO

Hehehe !  ;D (I'm just afraid about the key noise sounding arcade stick)
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

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