Is it possible to adapt the Framework’s internal eDP 40-pin port to just a regular display out, like a DisplayPort? I’d imagine it’d be difficult to do and I don’t have the expertise as an electronics guru to accomplish it but surely there’s a way, and given how much of a loss running an external monitor is in terms of IO if you’re using the Framework without the OEM display it seems like it’d be a very useful adapter to have.
I was looking at this but there are a few issues:
- The resolution is kinda fixed/programmed if my memory serves
- You probably need another daughter board to connect the 40-pin to the PCB then from the PCB output to DP cable.
I wanted to convert the mainboard into a mini-ITX PC with a eGPU myself too.
The eGPU thing might be simpler - you can “reclaim” some of the issue with the lost IO by using an eGPU enclosure with a USB hub onboard itself. I personally saw a thing that was a “Framework but it’s a tablet” and the fact he had to eat an entire USB-C port just to have a touchscreen tablet screen was what triggered this idea. I figured you’d probably need an intermediary daughterboard between the 40-pin and the DP cable but if the display out resolution is “fixed” that’s kinda disappointing, and I would have hoped that the display was the side telling the system what resolution was available for the image.
Yea I wanted to kinda make the framework mainboard case that can mount to a PCIe bracket with an eGPU, switching the WIFI card for an ethernet. Ideally the keyboard and touchpad can be converted to USB keyboard+mice input but the adaptability isn’t very feasible from my research. I wanted to maximise the ports as we only have 4 USB-C ports, 1 is already used for power, 1 for displayout, unless I hook up another thunderbolt dock or something.
Now, I’m not an electrical engineer, but I did spend a hot minute with the Framework Mainboard Pinout, a DisplayPort Pinout diagram, and the pinout of a different eDP to DP thing which I found on StackExchange, and I may have come up with a way that connects the two together, based on the names of the pins and the fact that the other eDP to DP inverts the lanes (ie, lane 0 on one side goes to lane 3 on the other).Again, not an electrical engineer so please please please CHECK MY WORK before you hook this to anything you can’t afford to lose, but if anyone wants to have a look at it, the pinout is as follows (left is Framework eDP, right is DP):
1 - NC
2 - NC
3 - NC
4 - NC
5 - 16
6 - 15
7 - 17
8 - 11
9 - 10
10 - 12
11 - 8
12 - 7
13 - 9
14 - 5
15 - 4
16 - 6
17 - 2
18 - 1
19 - 3
20 - 13, 14
21 - 18
22 - NC
23 - NC
24 - NC
25 - NC
26 - NC
27 - 19
28 - 20
29 - NC
30 - NC
31 - NC
32 - NC
33 - NC
34 - NC
35 - NC
36 - NC
37 - NC
38 - NC
39 - 13, 14
40 - 13, 14
This has already been done actually, let me go find the post.
@SteveHeist If you want an exact pinout for the Framework eDP connector, it is also listed in that thread a little farther up.
@GhostLegion I was looking at that at one point, and it looks like they’re doing the inverse of what I was asking about (although I explained it poorly in my original post so that’s my bad) - ie they’re adapting the eDP on the Display Module to a DP for input whereas I was asking about possibly adapting the eDP on the Mainboard as output. @nrp mentioned in passing that the modules they found in that thread might be able to accomplish that with a special cable but as far as I can tell said cable doesn’t exactly exist, and as much as I would like to see it made I don’t have the expertise to ensure I don’t just cook off a motherboard or display by sending 5V to the wrong pin. I’ll definitely keep an eye on that thread though - it may be worth reiterating my thoughts on that thread as it seems to have more eyes on it.
Do you mean having a connection to the eDP to a DP for a normal screen so it doesn’t take up any ports?
yep, that’s what he meant
ahh I need that too then
I stumbled upon something interesting:
Asrock has a screen that connects to embedded display port connector, not sure if it could be adapted to Framework though (considering standards and stuff)
Somebody would have to buy that and try it. I have no idea if it’d be successful or not.
eDP can be adapted to full size DisplayPort with a simple passive cable, just hooking up the signals for full-size DisplayPort and ignoring the power and backlight stuff. But since the Framework uses a custom eDP cable, you’d need a little breakout board to adapt the Framework eDP to a standard eDP socket or a customized cable.
As for going the other way and using other laptop screens like the ASRock one, eDP is pretty standard in terms of the video signal but I have no idea if the power and backlight specs are the same, even if the pinout is.
I’m also interested in adapting the onboard eDP port to standard DP connector as a display out. As @Paul_Combe said, this should be achievable with a custom cable or some such that routes the DP signals out. Thankfully, the display connector on both the mainboard and display panel sides is documented on the Github. I was planning to get parts and make an adapter cable but the issue I’m running into is sourcing the mating connector that connects to the mainboard side.
Any chance @Framework could make the display cable used for the display kit available on its own? The rest should be straightforward since FFC connectors/breakout boards for the display side aren’t hard to find online.
I am also interested to see internal eDP to either HDMI or Full size DP board. So far I have found this (GeekWorm EDP to HDMI Adapter).
From the description it seems it will do the job however it is super expensive for an adapter board.
There is also this one.
If there isn’t a fantastic board for this, does it make sense to just design something and manufacture it on PCBWay? a non-assembled board might be $85 for 100 pcs assuming 2-layer 50x50mm.
I haven’t used PCBway yet, but maybe this is a plausible first project. I haven’t done electrical engineering in 20 years, but maybe others would want to work on it too?
You probably can’t just use a board, that’s the easy part, problem is you need a cable and those are a lot harder to have made.
A board that takes the display side of the stock cable and converts it to a dp connector could be pretty doable though (40pin edp in, dp out). But the dp signal lines need to be length matched and stuff which may not be the easiest “babys first pcb” project out there.
Also you can get small orders of 2 layer boards for a lot less than 85bucks, no need to make 100pcs of a prototype.
This adapter should work fine: https://aliexpress.com/item/1005005483462272.html
It’s USB-c but I do actually prefer that because it’s smaller. You can just buy a seperate USB-C to DP cable.
This is unfortunately the wrong direction, pin-out may still be right but both sides trying to power each other that may not be good.
I found this for eDP to HDMI: Amazon.com (it has a 40-pin eDP input with .5 mm pitch)
and this for eDP to DP: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/congatec/conga-MITX-eDP-to-DP-Adapter?qs=sPbYRqrBIVlhNQXU%252B91efw%3D%3D
I have the first one and will give it a try (with the eDP cable sold by Framework) once I get my AMD mainboard upgrade kit.
Let me know if you spot any obvious issue with my plan (I have only superficially looked into it so could very well have missed something).