I read that the ESP32-S3 has a built in peripheral for driving bare RGB dot clock displays such as the one in my scavenged display. I pulled the display pinout from the data sheet I luckily found on panelook.com for this display connections. Looking at the ribbon cable it looked like a reasonable match (VCC pins were visibly connected, grounds were wider traces than the signal pins).
After a mad mess of wiring, I compiled and flashes the Espressif RGB LCD demo onto an N8R8 demo board.
I powered the backlight with a separate power supply and it is alive!
I have the up/down and left/right pins connected to ground. Looks like I need to swap the to high. But at minimum it looks like it might work. Now I need to get this board in a stable state so I’m not fighting the wiring while developing.
It runs ok at 10 MHz but an attempt at 30 MHz was glitchy. I think the long wiring may be a limiting factor right now, but it’s good enough for initial code development.