The chassis will have an integrated screen so a screen does not have to be carried separately. The LCD panel was salvaged from my old Dell Inspiron E1705 laptop, a workhorse that eventually suffered a failure in its discrete GPU.
But before I can use the panel in my project, I need a driver board to take standard video port signal and translate to the panel's proprietary signal. Fortunately there are many vendors on eBay to provide this: search eBay for "LCD Controller Board".
After I provided all the numbers visible on the back of the panel, the vendor confirmed they can create a board for my panel. Two weeks after the PayPal payment, I received a box with the following parts:
- Main controller board, with a 12V power input port plus DVI and VGA video input ports. (In hindsight I should have ordered the version with HDMI, too.)
- A small control board with a set of buttons for brightness and contrast and other adjustments normally found on a monitor.
- A high-voltage converter board to drive the fluorescent back light.
- Wiring harnesses to connect between the boards.
Once everything was hooked up, my salvaged laptop panel became a PC monitor.
There was a minor annoyance with the board: it incorrectly reports a preferred resolution of 1280x800, so the operating system defaults to that resolution. I have to manually change over to the actual panel native resolution of 1920x1200.
And it's very obvious when the computer is sending 1280x800! The resolution scaling and interpolation of the driver board is very poor. Thankfully once I switched to the native resolution there is no further need for scaling/interpolation.