Arutema
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Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:34 am

So I've got 2 laptops in various states of disrepair:

An Eee PC 1000 with a mostly dead onboard SSD (and a few failed attempts at replacing it).

A Dell Latitude D830 that doesn't power on, even on AC, and didn't take a charge before that.

I've been impressed with the performance of the Pi 3 so far. Would it be possible to replace the guts of one of these with a Pi 3, with a decently lasting battery for it, and connect it to the stock screen, touchpad, and keyboard?

How crazy or workable is this?

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RaTTuS
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:37 am

depending on the screen on the laptop - you may be able to get a HDMI to that adapter
the keybaord may be possible if it is really a USB one though you may have to find somewhere to solder things.
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Laurens-wuyts
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:39 am

I got the touchpad and keyboard of an old macbook pro working via USB. Maybe this is the same for your laptops.
For the screen, you'll probably need some kind of driver board.

Laurens

ricardoreis
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:16 pm

hi, hi..
doesn't sound like madness to me. :)
maybe because i'm trying something exactly like this, on my old (and dead) acer 5050 laptop.

i'm struggling with some things, though, so, i'm gonna tell you what did i do, and i'm hoping to have someone giving some hints and tips on what can help go through this little project.

so, the idea was basically getting the old and broken motherboard taken out of it and replaced by a raspberry pi 3b, using the lcd, keyboard, touchpad and buttons. on top of this i still might add a 4 ports usb hub (mainly because two usb ports are very tight under the keyboard and might not be possible to be used at all, and to keep the laptop sockets for usb ports still working, just for the fun of it) and a usb WiFi dongle (i can explain that latter).

what do i have in the laptop case, up and running so far:
1. the lcd is working, connected to a board i bought on ebay (they're fairly common these days, you just need to pick the right one for your lcd specs);
2. the raspi is running on a Samsung 64Gb Evo+ class 10 micro SD card (i know you can run it off smaller, slower and cheaper cards, but speed and sizer were important for my project) - i have Kali installed on it (you can chose a quite fair different set of OSs that run on raspi);
3. got my raspi to be powered by the LCD driver board - i am aiming at having this looking and feeling like a working laptop;
4. as a temporary solution, i'm using a wireless keyboard/mouse.

what i'd like to have working but for whatever reason isn't so far:
1. the touchpad - got the wiring all done (as it's supposed to be a ps/2, but as they're directly compatible i wired it straight to usb). i don't get it to be detected anywhere - my desktop (win10), laptop (win10), raspi (kali). I've access to several models from synaptics, i've tried them all, none of them actually works - i really need help on this, as i'm running out of ideas (besides going GPIO and do my own code/driver to run it. If the touchpad itself gets to work, i'll be cutting the part of the (mouse) buttons off the old motherboard to get them to work with the pi too;
2. the keyboard - i didn't have any usb keyboard that would use the same number of pins on their driver, so, i'm now waiting for a small keyboard w/ case for tablet that i've ordered from ebay, my hopes go for it to work, with some remapping on the keyboard probably being needed;
3. cut the old motherboard (again) to get some more buttons from the laptop case to work - this time for the lcd driver buttons - not really necessary, but a nice to have;
4. reuse the lid switch to turn on/off the screen (easy);
5. reuse the power button from the case to actually power up both - the lcd board and raspi (relatively easy);
6. fit a decent lipo (i know, they all seem to explode these days :D ) inside the battery case and actually have it powering up this 'system', adding a circuit board to handle the charging too (one can only dream, no, the laptop is a 14.1", there's not that much space for everything).

well, there would be still a lot to write about this, but this is already too long.
what do you (all) think? is there any hope to make any of this work? - i'm focusing on the touchpad at the moment.
thank you a lot for reading! :)

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Laurens-wuyts
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:45 am

ricardoreis wrote:1. the touchpad - got the wiring all done (as it's supposed to be a ps/2, but as they're directly compatible i wired it straight to usb). i don't get it to be detected anywhere
I think it's only backwards compatible, so you can use a USB mouse on a PS/2 port, but you can't use a ps/2 mouse directly on usb (except when your track-pad explicitly supports it). ;)

Laurens

ricardoreis
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:52 am

Thanks for the reply!
I actually read that on a couple of forums, but as there were so many doing it directly I kept on ignoring that. I'll try my luck with a converter. Would you recommend any in specific? (I saw already a few - some are 'huge' with ICs inside, some are too small and might be just directly wired. Not sure what to buy.. :/

Major Tom
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:56 am

Laurens-wuyts wrote:
ricardoreis wrote:1. the touchpad - got the wiring all done (as it's supposed to be a ps/2, but as they're directly compatible i wired it straight to usb). i don't get it to be detected anywhere
I think it's only backwards compatible, so you can use a USB mouse on a PS/2 port, but you can't use a ps/2 mouse directly on usb (except when your track-pad explicitly supports it). ;)

Laurens
The answer is neither.

PS/2 is not at all directly compatible with USB, which explains why it doesn't work.

Some PS/2 mice (or trackpads) support USB and PS/2, and will auto-detect what kind of port they are plugged into, but it depends on the hardware. Some are PS/2 only. Some are USB only. Some can use a simple passive adapter (just routes the four wires from a USB plug to a PS/2 plug). For others, an active adapter (with a small microcontroller inside) will be required.

The trackpad in ricardoreis's laptop is probably PS/2 only, and so a PS/2 to USB adapter will be necessary (like this one, but only use the mouse PS/2 socket: https://www.amazon.com/SANOXY-USB-PS-2- ... B00007AP2O)
Last edited by Major Tom on Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
My circuit's dead, there's something wrong.

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Laurens-wuyts
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:59 am

I think you should need one with an IC otherwise it's probably just wired directly. A good word to use when searching is 'active' which means there is some circuitry involved and not just wiring.

I haven't used one myself so I can't give you any good recommendations.
Laurens

ricardoreis
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:11 am

Thank you both.
I'll give this one Tom linked a try.
I can also post here the ids of the specific touchpads I have as it might ring some bells.
The first two, same sizes, different ids:
1. TM61PUF1G372 / Synaptics 920-000436-01 RevA
2. TM-00372-011 / Synaptics 920-000707-01 RevA
(Tried both, with same result - detected but not recognized)
Third one is different in size (didn't try it yet because it is of a different size):
3. 920-001019-01 RevA (the cable ribbon on this one has just 4 wires)

Major Tom
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:09 am

Those Synaptics touchpads are probably PS/2 only. You need to be sure you have the correct pinout, but once you have, you should be able to hack open a PS/2 to USB adapter and make it work.

I found this:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Turn-a- ... -Trackpad/

Which links here:
http://www.synaptics.com/sites/default/ ... ACF126.pdf

Which is broken, so try here:
https://github.com/telmich/gpm/blob/mas ... ACF126.pdf

Incidentally there is another model of the PS/2->USB adapter that is in a different housing so may be more hackable, depending on the space you have inside the laptop:
https://www.amazon.com/Generic-Female-A ... B01GPY4NIO

There are other configurations, but I am sure they all have the same chip inside. And you can find them on your favourite auction site or Chinese supplier's website.
My circuit's dead, there's something wrong.

ricardoreis
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:32 am

Thanks!
I'll probably give it a shot with this blue adapter, it looks like it'll be easier to get rid of the housing (yes, space is a problem - the smaller the better).
I've some links to share with Synaptics pinouts, will do that once I get home.

(Btw, did I cross any forum rule referring to eBay?)

Major Tom
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:36 am

I don't think so. I didn't want to show favouritism by mentioning only one auction site, and instead suggested that people are free to choose any auction site they prefer.

(Yes, I am being ironic.)
My circuit's dead, there's something wrong.

ricardoreis
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:57 am

:) I'm too new to the community to get the exact meaning of that, though I appreciate seeing that this is a healthy community. :)

I'll post the links when I get home, thanks for all the inputs so far.


ricardoreis
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:02 pm

adding some photos so you get the idea of what's going on:
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the only difference on the inside, is that i've connected the raspi directly to the lcd driver board (there's a 6 pin row, right next to the power input of my board, from which 2 pins are ground, 2 are 5v, making it easy to get this setup running out of just one power line)

:D that hdmi cable is waiting for a shorter replacement. guess what - i couldn't fit the 2m inside! :D

ricardoreis
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:05 am

Minor updates: short HDMI cable, power from the pi now taken from the LCD driver board, new USB hub 4 ports added to it.
USB keyboard and touchpad might be sorted out, but waiting for deliveries. - if they'll work, will then add the rj45 extension (already prepared), and wire some of the buttons from the LCD controller to repurpose buttons from the old laptop board, as well as using the laptop power jack to feed the whole thing.
15241397_10207803468265618_4313270312903266478_n.jpg
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nahaks
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Mon May 01, 2017 12:01 pm

I also undergoes through your same problem that is your Dell latitude D830 doesn't get on. I try lot of attempts to fix this issue and every time it gives me same result. At last, if find solution in Dell Latitude D830 Manual, in which it is written that:
Ensure that the battery is fully charged
Remove the Battery and disconnect the AC Adapter; Hold the power button down for 5 seconds to discharge "Static Flea Power"
Reseat the battery on the Notebook and power it on
Remove the Battery from the Notebook and power it on using only the AC Adapter
Ensure that the Power LED on the AC Adapter is lit to ensure the functionality of the AC Adapter, also try another working AC Adapter if available.

peterlite
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Wed May 03, 2017 3:16 am

There are many posts on recycling laptops. Perhaps there could be a sticky thread listing the laptops by brand and model with a link to the thread for each.

ali,syed1
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Re: Pi 3 in an old laptop. Is this madness?

Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:40 am

Thanks for sharing all the details for the project. I don't know if it's madness or not, but I'm planning to attempt the same.

I found this video that might help with figuring out the keyboard matrix.

If you take apart the laptop keyboard and check the row and column mapping, you should be able to manually find the mapping to an old mechanical keyboard chip in an hour or so maybe. I'll keep you posted when I make progress with this


Ali

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