My Dell Studio 1557 laptop died some time back in early 2014. It started conking out a few months earlier, but I managed to “heat-gun” the GPU into submission and it worked for a few more months. My wife had an identical machine, bought at the same time, which lasted a year longer.
So we had these two dead Dells with lovely, flawless 15.6 inch full HD, low-power screens in the loft, waiting to be targeted for termination. I’d wondered for a while about getting a driver board and seeing if I could re-use them. But back in October 2015 I actually did it. As soon as I’d made it work for one, I ordered a second board, with the intention of making a video about it.
I managed to finally get ‘a round tuit’ yesterday. And I put it together live on camera, just so that you can all see how easy it was.
Here’s the Video
The driver board I bought came from Ali Express. It’s no longer available, but I’m sure you could find one if you wanted to. In any case, your LCD will probably be a different part number.
There is a Risk it Might Not Work
But in my case, it was definitely worth the ‘punt’. I now have 2 gorgeous 15.6″ Full HD displays that I paid $32 each for. I also have a friend with a similar Dell that died, so I scrounged that too. So there’s potentially going to be a third one.
Lots of people throw away dead laptops now, but often the screens are perfectly fine. If you want to bag yourself a gorgeous screen for your Raspberry Pi, DSLR, Video camera or any other computer I’d recommend you give it a shot. Do be aware that you are not guaranteed a result (that’s why I bought one driver board first, then another when I knew it worked).
This is something I did that brought me a lot of pleasure and I regularly use one of these in my workshop as a video monitor and with Raspberry Pi. So I thought I’d share it with the world. If it works out for you, you can really get an awful lot of screen for your money. Certainly more than any screen you can buy new.
Also, be aware that you will have to either sort out your own case or frame for it. For us hacker types that can often be a plus rather than a minus. I just kept the really useful mounting frame on the LCD and hung it from a shelf at the perfect height for my use.
If you decide to try this for yourself, come back and leave a comment to tell us how it worked out for you.