• [179868] 15.4" LG/Philips LP154W01

    05/23/2021 at 09:55 1 comment

    Panel Catalogization

    This page lists information on a 15.4" laptop display panel. For more details and other panels, check out https://hackaday.io/project/179868-all-about-laptop-display-reuse/discussion-163462 .

    Panel ID

    Cable Assembly

    The cable came with an Acer Aspire 5020 series model MS2171 laptop and combines display and backlight cables.

    Panel Connector

    Backlight Inverter

    It seems Monolithic Power Systems made the MP1017EF converter IC as a proprietary solution, no datasheet seems to exist. No inductor on the board -> no buck converter + royer converter approach. Some of the components on the right are for tube current measurement.

    Perhaps MP1017EF is just a customized version of MP1015EM, for which a datasheet exists on the web (again not on monolithicpower.com ...):

    "MP1015 Full System Precision CCFL Driver:
    The MP1015 is a Power IC that offers a true complete solution for driving a Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFL). This Power IC converts unregulated DC voltage to a nearly pure sine wave required to ignite and operate the CCFL."

    "MP1015 uses a resonant topology for switching the outputs. The device will continue to switch at the resonant frequency of the tank until the strike voltage is achieved."The pinout might be compatible and thus be helpful in reconstructing/verifying the connector pinout of the inverter board:


    Following the traces from the connector to the converter IC visually and measuring resistance with a multimeter, the following pinout was found:

    CN1 Pin MP1017 PinFunction
    34DBrt via 10k
    EN via 100k

    [Here I had to delete and re-do the table because the WYSIWYG editor does not allow one to get the cursor past a table if the table is the last item in a page. Copied and pasted tables are completely garbled, so one has to completely redo a table to recover the page document. Thank you #Hackaday.io Project  for not fixing this bug for more than 3 years.]

    Panel Pinout

    Thanks to a related discussion on stackexchange the pinout is inferred below:

    I'm sure it won't hurt to wire up the GND lines between the differential pairs. Interestingly, DVR_CLK is omitted, as is GND on pin 1. Some cables connect pin 1 to VCC, so care must be taken not to create shorts later. The rest of the table of the LTN154AT07 panel seems to be in agreement with the LP154W01 connector, down to the block of NC pins 20-30. U1 pin 7 is connected to GND.

  • My opinion on a Hi-Link AC-DC module

    06/13/2020 at 11:10 0 comments

    Some manufacturers make low power AC-DC modules for small appliances, IoT devices and smart meters. MeanWell may come to mind (IRM-05-3.3), but one of the most cost-competitive modules is the Hi-Link HLK-PM03.

    Here I will have a closer look at how the module is built. There are of course other teardowns out there, but not necessarily of the 3.3V variant, and you never know if you're going to find something others could not or had not seen.


    So what's inside the HLK-PM03? With a silicone potting compound that readily unmoulds from the enclosure, the module was definitely inviting further investigation. 

    The assembly came out after gently pulling on the pins. Adhesion of the silicone compound to the electronic components is generally poor, and there is no primer / adhesion promoter on the surfaces.

    Quoting https://acc-silicones.com/products/primers:
    "Silicone adhesives and some 2-part rubbers have built in adhesion promoters - with these products the use of a primer will only be required for use with substrates that are exceptionally difficult to bond to. Most 2-part silicone rubbers will not have any adhesive qualities and the use of a primer will be essential if adhesion is required."

    I'm not seeing a lot of adhesion here, but the surface texture of the injection moulded plastic housing is reproduced flawlessly :) Slides right out of small gaps:

    The inner sides of the black housing have a satin texture added to better retain the silicone block. It seems like good practice, but only early models will tell the tale whether the mould texture was added later in production.
    There's a surprising amount of gas bubbles in the compound. In the picture they're mostly seen around the secondary side where they don't matter much, but they are also found around components on the primary side. While possibly acceptable for normal operating conditions, the porosity becomes a concern for high voltage transients. Silicone compounds break down at around 20 kV/mm, but then again there are no zones (except for the transformer) where the design would rely on high dielectric strength.

    Unfortunately I will not finish this article on account of the hackaday.io having deleted a good portion of the text, lost graphics and giving error 413 when I save the draft.

    hackaday.io is no hacker's "platform". If you can put up with a text editor that loses your work over and over again, that's your choice. I won't condemn your masochism, but I won't share it.

  • Hose Clamp - Style GT2 Belt Tensioners

    05/26/2020 at 21:26 0 comments

    A couple of years back I bought "MakeBlock" parts from the XY Plotter v1.0 kit for a low price that reflected the hot mess this construction was in its early conception.

    Here begins my journey which can be summarized as: I rebuilt an XY Plotter with most of the parts, machined my own bits and pieces and then time had other plans for me. And so this thing has been sitting around for another 3 years ... because the belt tensioners were missing.


    The better isn't just the enemy of the good, and I've had many better ideas along the years, none of which ever materialized. So, it needed dealing with:

    You're looking at a hose clamp, a spade connector and adhesive-coated heat shrink tube.
    The version I settles on looks like this:

    The hose clamp is what tied it together, really. I did digest some inspiration from [adamfilip] who built a tensioner from guitar tuners

    The tuner has a worm drive to create rotary motion and a toothed pulley to get back to linear belt movement. Consequently, one could attach the belt directly to the worm wheel, then unroll the wheel and replace it with a perforated metal band. You want the ones that have punched holes, not the embossed threads.High Torque Jubilee® Clips | PAR GroupThe proof-of-principle build I made was more about figuring out how to attach the belt to the clamp strips than about the tensioning or mounting. The hose clamp has a strip attached to the formed housing which becomes the fixed end.

    Build process (first shot, consider modifications mentioned later):

    • unroll the hose clamp - for me this was a 1/4-5/8" size one,
    • figure out how long the fixed end needs to be to attach the belt,
    • cut with metal snips,
    • Remove bridges. I used a Cr-V steel chisel held at 10-15° to score the two sides, then snapped the weakened bridges with a screw driver.
    • File the corners with a square needle file,
    • insert belt protection elements (see later),
    • attach belts.

    Seen every now and then in beginner solutions, the belt is pulled over a sharp edge. While cheap GT2 belts should come with aramide fibers, it's generally a bad idea to abuse them this way. Other belt types can be glass fiber-reinforced and really don't like minimum bend radius violations.


    If available, slotted spring pins can be inserted into the slot and rested against the sharp edge to roll the belt over with at 1.5-2mm radius. I ended up cutting spade connectors into pieces and filing them to the desired height:
    They can also be wedged open and crimped shut to lock them in place. Here they're inserted into the parallelogram-shaped slots and pushed to the sides where they are squeezed (without crushing) with pliers to stay put:
    Attaching Belt Ends

    I ended up using two layers of heat shrink - thin heat shrink tube to get the belt to where it needs to be and to do a test fit. It doesn't have adhesive and even in unshrunk condition it holds well enough to set the belt length reliably. The actual clamping would have been done with a steel crimp ferrule for belts, but I didn't order them in time. You might also get away with thin walled copper or brass tube which can be squished and annealed with a gas torch in preparation for crimping. Either way, I'm giving hot-melt coated heat shrink tubing a try, as it was available and can be trimmed with a scalpel.

    Below you can see how the heat shrink terminations worked out. The belt ends were pinched with needle nose pliers to allow the heat shrink to set in a fully closed shape.


    The final challenge is where to put the mounting bolt. At first I tried to be smart and put the hole in the fixed end in front of the screw, but that required the screw head to clear by ~1cm and made the whole tensioner extra long. Shown above is the revised version where the bolt head is right next to the belt attachment on the strip-only end.

    And that's the finished product in place:

    I'll see how this solution holds up over time. I've outfitted three belts with it,...
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