1 (edited by mclien 2015-08-24 01:20:21)

Topic: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

A friend of mine donated his TP T61p (6457-5KG) with a died graphic chip. It has a 1920x1200 screen and I'm thinking wether or not I should try to fit the novena in..

Disassembly is somewhat "much" to reach the final pannel, so I started to find out:
a) which type of panel it is? (eDP, LVDS..?)
b) it is wise to buy some of the overhang parts from crowdsupply (eDP board, adapter cables..)

I failed horribly in a) searching the net, so can't answer b)
Anyone out there to support?

EDIT:
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=111164
so these are the optioins:
Samsung LTN154U2-L05
LG LP154WU1-TLB1
both LVDS interfaces

EDIT2: Change the topic to generally finding a notebook, which can hold the novena, with as little trouble as possible..

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

So not as tired as last time I did more disassambling and ended up with the bare LCD panel plus LCD cable assembly, which reveals the following:
(apart from the 3 WiFi antennas on the back of the magnesium frame)
- one (most likly propritary) connector mainboard site, which ends up on the LCD site in 4 ends:

- LVDS connector
- "Thinklight" (the little LED at the top of the screen to light the keyboard
- bluetooth daughter board
- inverter board, which also holds all LEDs for status (bottom of the screen, 10 LEDs inside, 4 outside)

So I'm now stuck again which path to choose.
Is it worth to attampt a breakout board for the mainboard connector or should I better start rewire the needed parts anew?

my priority would be:
musts:
-LVDS
-backlight (means barts from the inverter board)

nice to have:
-thinklight (nearly a must)
-

not needed:
- bluetooth (that's onboard, right?)

no idea:
- which of the indicater lights are desireable or better placed elsewhere
for completion here is the list:
inside:
-wifi
-BT
-num lock
-caps lock
-HDD activity
-on/off

both sides:
-battery (2 color)
-plugged?
-hypernate/sleep

anybody intrested to us ethe same tp model for conversion?

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

Ah, damn it. Started the investigation kinda the wrong side:
The base of the Thinkpad, which holds the orignal motherboard is simply to flat and the novena mainboard won't fit in (even without the GPBB..)

I had a short look into my other Thinkad models (560, 600, 570, T43) and they all are to flat. At least without lots of modification.

So maybe I use the screen with the hinges and the magnesium frame, but in whole it seams not to work...

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

Kind of off topic, but you guys might be interested.

I recently picked up a Panasonic Toughbook CF-29 off ebay and this one is fat enough to hold Novena inside. It's a ruggedized laptop so it has doors for all the compartments (look it up on google images). Interesting thing - the compartment on the left side where a CD-ROM is supposed to go is almost as wide as the Novena board itself making it a nice solution to access all the connectors.

There are a couple of issue though:
1) Screen (13') is square and with the res of 1024x768. One workaround would be to fit a widescreen 11-12 inch into the 13' top half.
2) Bottom half with the keyboard and touch pad doesn't look promising either. Keyboard is made of rubber... so it's a piece of shite and finding some other keyboard that will fit is a pain in the butt.  Touchpad is also awful.

So this can be a good candidate but needs some work and possibly special tools. But IMO worth considering. I haven't given up on using this one.

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

so I opened the discussion a bit in the direction of finding a case in general where the novena could fit in. Thinkpads (older ones) are a candidates because of the keyboards I guess.

I downloaded the 3D files from bunnie to look into making a "dummy" board:
I try to strip it down to a package model so you can simply cut some acryl/plywood with a lasercutter, glue the pieces together an have a volume model of the novena. So you can try to cram it into old laptop cases without riscing yout $550 novena board plus $150 battery board...

Still don't know if it's worth the CAD work...

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

I really like this idea even if I'm not a hardware person.

7 (edited by dbtayl 2015-08-24 10:48:16)

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

mclien wrote:

so I opened the discussion a bit in the direction of finding a case in general where the novena could fit in. Thinkpads (older ones) are a candidates because of the keyboards I guess.

I downloaded the 3D files from bunnie to look into making a "dummy" board:
I try to strip it down to a package model so you can simply cut some acryl/plywood with a lasercutter, glue the pieces together an have a volume model of the novena. So you can try to cram it into old laptop cases without riscing yout $550 novena board plus $150 battery board...

Still don't know if it's worth the CAD work...

There's not really all THAT much to the Novena board (in terms of features you'd need to model). You can strip it down to a couple components and have a pretty decent idea of what it's like:

-RAM
-Ethernet ports
-CPU heatsink

Stick those on a board cut to the right shape with appropriate holes drilled, and you've got a decent idea of how things will go. There ARE a couple components on the bottom you might want to think about (just assume you'll need some short standoffs), but it's a good first approximation.

I'll also be "that guy" and say that you can go the other way and CAD up any potential laptop case and use the existing Novena mechanical CAD files to see if it will fit digitally. Of course, I get that sometimes you just want to have things in your hands to get a feel for.

Finally, you should also be able to use a band/scroll/table/whatever saw and get a decent representation of the board- it's mostly rectangular prisms. If you don't have a guide, you can print out the board and glue it to a hunk of whatever you have handy, then cut on the lines. So not only those with CNC mills and laser cutters need apply.

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

The idea of the dummy board is more like: I have an old/broken Laptop with screen still working. Now I wan't to disassamble it till i have the bare case, go to my basement an start sawing, drilling, grinding and filing the right shape in that case while checking if the novena fits in. And I surely don't want to have the novena in that environment...

But the representation should be a lot more exact than a hand cut piece of wood, so a lasercutter will give you the representation including all the holes for the connectors. You could even cut the board alone and clue in all external connectors (cheap enough).

And for the components I just thought of a rough outlined extra layer of material mostly a bit bigger than the original parts. I think I'll give it a try and show some screenshots... perhaps someone else can make use of it too.

@dbtayl:
designing a own case from scratch, I would of course start digitally compleetly. But build the digital representation of the existing notebook??? (have you disassembled an thinkpad like mentioned lately?) I'd say NO (having in mind that, if you have to modify/ cut away pieces, which have to be transfered back to the real thing...)

9 (edited by projectgus 2015-08-25 09:33:08)

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

If anyone wants to do a retro case, I have a Compaq ST/286 (1990 era) that has a lot of space inside for remodelling. smile Plus already has Novena-style removable keyboard.

Is free to good home, it just needs to be collected from Melbourne (AU) shortly. Or will send anywhere at your expense, although overseas is probably prohibitively expensive - these things weigh 6.5kg!

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

cool idea indeed, but sending to germany too expensive, I guess.
But I nice idea to look into (there are lots of those retro thingies out there...

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

It's tempting, but I won't be down in Melbourne until February, which is a bit long to keep it around for.

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

Found another interesting approach:
http://www.santox.com/geraete-spezialko … k-galerie/
(sorry no idea how to get the site in english).
They make individual cases. In the pictures you see they also do suitcases that open 90° different as usual. I was thinking now a bit mote in the direction of "portable" Desktop. Just open the suitcase and have 2 Displays site by site...
I'll try to let my son do some Blender sketches for that, perhaps I can give them a call on friday to have an rough idea what price per case we are talking about...

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

Just had a phone call with santox.
Very disapointing. They only do cases, when a small series is to be expected. They won't even do it, if you would pay the whole 2,500EUR Design cost.
I dare to asked for parts (profiles, hindges, and such) to do it myself, but that got me some "our patented system.. won't sell to anybody in parts... and such" very old style closed production way. So nothing from there to be expected, I think.
So the search goes on.

Re: Finding a Laptopcase to fit novena (was:Thinkpad T61p as Novena case?)

I have been building a case with Aluminium because I have access to a machine shop. But it just occurred to me that someone could use a cheap poker chip case as a starting point. Just throwing it out there.