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shifuimam in ibookmod

Upgrading a clamshell iBook to XGA (1024x768) - Open Firmware hack

What you need for the LCD upgrade project:
This is a list of components known to work. You may try other parts if you like.

  1. LG display data cable, Apple part #922-5368. You can order one of these through your local certified Apple resale/repair shop - go to Apple.com to find one near you. This part has officially been discontinued by Apple and all remaining stock at official resale and repair locations has been discarded. You will need to look for this cable elsehwere - eBay is probably a good start. You can also solder the wires from the original cable to the pins on the Samsung LCD's display connector.

  2. 12" Samsung LCD from an Apple laptop, model number LTN121X1-L02. The Philips LG LP121X04 is also known to work. These are confirmed to be found in 12" G3 and G4 white iBooks. Nobody's pulled one from a 12" PowerBook, but we're pretty sure it's the same model.

  3. Clamshell logic board with FireWire - these are the only boards with the upgraded 8MB ATI video chip that is known to output 1024x768 (XGA) resolution. Older boards (300 and 366MHz) may or may not work. The 466Mhz boards were only in the DVD-capable graphite and key lime clamshells.

  4. Latest firmware update - this is necessary for the resolution hack to work! You should be able to download from Apple's website. Don't ask me how to update it - I don't know, since my iBook had the latest firmware when I bought it on eBay.

How to actually do the firmware edit:

Hold down Cmd+Opt+O+F and boot up your computer. This will open up the Open Firmware (OF) console.

Type in the following commands (new line means hit enter). Make certain you're typing it in correctly - a missed keystroke could render your computer unusable (maybe). Just be careful.

nvedit
dev /
3 encode-int " display-family" property

Hit Ctrl+C to quit the NVRAM editor.

nvstore
setenv use-nvramrc? true
reset-all

You should have working XGA resolution now. If you don't, PLEASE at least take a quick look at pages 6 and 7 of this thread for possible troubleshooting tips. Still having trouble? Post as many details as you can so we can help you!

If you think you've messed up the NVRAM edits at all, hold down Cmd+Option+P+R to reset the PRAM entirely. This will remove all NVRAM edits and the code that directs Open Firmware to use the custom NVRAM file when booting.

Comments

It should be. Apple used three brands of LCDs in the clamshells - IBM, LG, and Samsung. If you're lucky enough to have a clamshell with the LG display, you've already got the cable you need.

Edited at 2008-07-07 04:25 am (UTC)

(Anonymous)

There are different versions of the LP121X04 display:

LP121X04 (B2)
LP121X04 (C2)(K2)

What's the right version to work in the Clamshell?
Thank you.
I actually don't know. I've only worked with the Samsung LCDs; the Philips model number came from someone else.

(Anonymous)

I see. :-/ Where did you get your Samsung LCDs from? Only from used white iBooks?
Mine came from a 12" white iBook G3.

There are othe similar XGA Samsung LCDs with very similar part numbers, but it would appear that only those from iBooks work. I've tried one that was salvaged from a Compaq laptop. While it did power on, the display was all garbled.

You might a well give it a shot, though, if the LCD you're after is cheap enough. The Compaq one I tried only set me back $20. If you try it and it works, post about it and I'll add the part number to the tutorial entry.

(Anonymous)

Cable

I do not understand one thing: if the needed cable is already inside a Clamshell iBook, then why the need of buying it? Or didn't I get the whole problem?

Re: Cable

There were three different brands of LCDs installed in clamshell iBooks - IBM, Philips/LG, and Samsung. Each LCD had a different cable.

The LG LCD has the cable we need, but you're more likely to find a Samsung LCD (and cable) in your iBook. If you're fortunate enough to have the right cable from the start, you're good to go. Otherwise, you need to get the right cable separately.

(Anonymous)

Re: Cable

I've taken a lot of iBook G3 and G4 Dual USB apart, so I really do know how a display looks like from inside especially each part, as cables etc. But I dont know which kind of cable is meant when it is about the Clamshell. Is there a picture so that I can have the slightes idea how it looks like? Concerning the white ibooks, there is one cable already installed in the screen (the connector is almost oink and white coloured) and there is the other cable that comes from the ibook logicboard and which is connected on the middle upper back part of the screen. This is a flat and wide connector. So how does it look like inside the Clamshell itself? It'll be grea to have a pic since I really do not want to take it once again apart without managing it to have a 1024x768 LCD afterwards. Nevertheless, I have right now three displays from white ibooks to choose from, and I want to put one of them in the Clamshell, no matter what it costs.

Re: Cable

All LCDs have three cables - inverter, data, and power. The power cable is that two-wire (pink and white on the white iBooks) cable. The inverter cable is usually connected to the same small circuit board as the power cable, and connects to the motherboard with a small, single-row five- or six-pin connector.

The data cable is flat and connects to the motherboard with a multi-row, multi-pin connector (it's flat and has a black pull tab on the back on the white iBooks).

The clamshell iBooks have one of three cables. The Samsung and IBM brand cables have a black connector on the LCD end. The LG cable has a smaller, white connector on the LCD end.

The inverter cable and power cable are the same between the clamshell LCDs and white iBook LCDs. The data cable is different. If your clamshell data cable has a small white connector on the LCD end, you're set to install your XGA display. If it has a black connector, you need to find an LG cable.

(Anonymous)

Re: Cable

Well, withe the app called SwitchResX Control I just figured out that my display is a samsung. So, no need to take it apart. I have to first get the LG data cable. Unfortunately there is noone who sells it in germany, and even at ebay there is no one offering it. The only seller is from US called AllMac, for around 12 Dollar but they wont ship abroad, I guess.
As i understood, the LG cable is important for connecting it to the screen, in that case a Samsung. But What about the idea taking the same display cable that comes together with a samsung LCD from a white ibook and installing both in the clamshell? As far as I know the white iBooks do either have a samsung LTN121X1-L02 or a LG LP121X04 (c2) display. So either you take both Samsung components and install it in the clamshell or you take both LG components. So why the dismantling and merging of a samsung LCD with a LG cable?

LG display

i have successfully installed the LP121X04 (C2)(K2) in a 366 f/w!

i got the correct display data cable, Apple part #922-5368, from http://www.wegenermedia.com/ibookp.htm ($40)

see my pix @ http://wibles.webhop.net/toms/iBookMod

Re: LG display

Did you make brackets so that you could screw it down? It looks great - I wasn't that careful; I just stuck it in there and hoped for the best. :D

Edited at 2008-12-23 01:31 pm (UTC)

brackets

i cut some right-angle plastic & nibbled the shapes...i guess the grey plastic is hard to see in the pix, but clicking thru will give u the original.

dislpay is working on the 466, but...

it's too dim to be useful, and the brightness keys don't do anything:-(i tried the fix http://community.livejournal.com/ibookmod/1333.html but that didn't work)-:

it was nice & bright on the 366, and the 466's old display, now on the 366, is ok...must be something wrong with the 466 mobo? damn...

fixed it...

d/l'd the code @ http://mattdanger.net/2008/12/adjust-mac-os-x-display-brightness-from-the-terminal/, massaged it a little 2 get it to compile, and set brightness to 1.0 aye wah-lah!

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