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This is a question we hear a lot: “I have a spare LCD panel; what else do I need to make a monitor?”

This Chinese eBay seller has the cheapest out-of-the-box solution I’ve seen: If your LCD panel is in the list, send ‘em $33 and they’ll send you a controller board to drive it. If it’s not in the list, send them a message, first, and they may be able to help you out, anyway. Here’s one success story that caught our attention. [Thanks, Matt Mets!]

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=37705553 Scott Rocca

    In theory, couldn’t you combine this with some plexiglass, IR LED’s and some multi touch software to create a tablet for drawing on?

    It could make for an interesting open source alternative to some of the more expensive tablets.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=37705553 Scott Rocca

    In theory, couldn’t you combine this with some plexiglass, IR LED’s and some multi touch software to create a tablet for drawing on?

    It could make for an interesting open source alternative to some of the more expensive tablets.

    • Pat Kleespies

      Yup, though pressure sensitivity would be interesting to work out. If you’re willing to drop the “big bucks,” the same seller has some mid-priced touch overlays.

    • Pat Kleespies

      Yup, though pressure sensitivity would be interesting to work out. If you’re willing to drop the “big bucks,” the same seller has some mid-priced touch overlays.

    • Pat Kleespies

      Yup, though pressure sensitivity would be interesting to work out. If you’re willing to drop the “big bucks,” the same seller has some mid-priced touch overlays.

    • http://twitter.com/Ekus Andrzej Rusztowicz

      Popular plexi + IR LED’s setup requires lot of free space behind the glass, for a webcam, and has no place for LCD screen (a projector is used instead).

    • http://twitter.com/Ekus Andrzej Rusztowicz

      Popular plexi + IR LED’s setup requires lot of free space behind the glass, for a webcam, and has no place for LCD screen (a projector is used instead).

  • Joshua Dolan

    If only some of these chinese electronics producers would produce a solid cheap scan-doubling module for retro computing. I really want to hook my Amiga 500 up to my 25in LCD . . . or any cheap modern monitor for that matter.

  • Anonymous

    dang, id love to put some lcd’s i got laying around to good use, but i cant use ebay :(

  • Anonymous

    dang, id love to put some lcd’s i got laying around to good use, but i cant use ebay :(

  • Anonymous

    dang, id love to put some lcd’s i got laying around to good use, but i cant use ebay :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Ballard/532865120 Jeff Ballard

    Ive used this same exact product to give my reprap/makerbot clone a dedicated screen, works great, been using it for about 6 months though.

  • Taemoor Khan

    apple has just filed a case against this peasant for ‘bringing back life to a glowing rectangular object that looks like something they make’.

  • Taemoor Khan

    apple has just filed a case against this peasant for ‘bringing back life to a glowing rectangular object that looks like something they make’.

  • Taemoor Khan

    apple has just filed a case against this peasant for ‘bringing back life to a glowing rectangular object that looks like something they make’.

  • William LeVan

    EarthLCD.com has controllers too.  They cost more but it is another solution.

  • William LeVan

    EarthLCD.com has controllers too.  They cost more but it is another solution.

  • https://plus.google.com/102896746298103220894/posts Kaspar Bumke

    Will this work with the Pixel Qi screens?

  • AuralVirus

    I have an old 2.33 intel duo core 24″ iMac (2006 model) that (surprise
    surprise, actually no surprise at all) burnt its gpu a few years back a
    month outside apple 3 year warranty :P.
    I always intended to get it
    fixed but after buying 3 desktops and 2 laptops since its now hardly
    worth it (if at all) as the nvidia 7600gt gpu apple variant never came
    down in price which is still over £200 new for essential a £25 pc
    equivalent card.
    Oh yeah this most certainly was the last imac /apple
    pc I bought having had 4 previous, I got fed up of the overpriced under
    powered junk apple sells – fashion victim products..

    Now I’m about to build my daughter a gaming rig (the parts are on the floor atm ready to be assembled)…
    She
    choose a white & purple bit fenix neos case which got me thinking –
    it’d look real nice with that iMac as a monitor so I bought a white
    bezeled 22″ monitor but of course thought wtf not actually use the
    iMac’s rather nice 24″ 1080p screen? and as intend for her to have 2, 1
    for games 1 for fraps or whatever as she intends to stream and record
    her gameplay, lets hack the pile of apple poo.

    So to the point, How to hack an iMac 24″ to become a monitor for a win7 (or 8 or 10) pc?

    Are there any informative, in depth, instructions on how to do this?

  • David Jeffers

    I have a question about something I’ve been trying to figure out for a while now but I don’t even know what questions to really ask Google to help me find an answer… So here goes.

    I Had a laptop, an HP Elitebook 2740p. The entire lower half was damaged, but the screen wasn’t.. and I have seen mods using laptop screens as an external monitor and I want to be able to do that, I know I need an LCD controller board, but I have no idea how to find out which one to get. Especially considering it’s a wacom style tablet screen and I want to be able to still use that part of it….

    The screen’s part number is 597827-001

    I know commenting here is a longshot… but I’m getting desperate for help XD

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