Making the prototype bottom screen

Since the summer of 2021, I have been using an Asus Zenbook Duo. As a programmer, I love the second-screen functionality that I get. Unfortunately, the battery is barely lasting me about 4 hours with the second display off, ultra power mode on, etc…

I want to make the switch to the Framework 16 inch but keep my second screen. What I have been thinking about doing is removing the display from my old laptop and repurposing it in the 16-inch. I have very little experience with board fab and electrical diagrams, but I would hate to waste my laptop’s 2nd screen.

Here is an image of the keyboard area:

If anyone has any advice please let me know!!! I would also have to look into a smaller trackpad that would sit next to the keyboard when moved to the bottom, but that is going to be a problem for later me lol.

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Its likely that the screen is too high resolution/bandwidth for the USB2 currently used by the input modules. To get it working you’d probably need to route whatever ribbon cable it uses to an expansion card or something, assuming it uses eDP and can be converted somewhat easily.

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Dsiplaylink *gag* actually can do quite high resolutions through usb 2 but you would have to deal with displaylink so that’s only an option of last resort


@Nich_Trimble @Adrian_Joachim Thanks for the feedback, ill have to keep that in mind when I am designing it. Thanks!

I’m interested in an even more unreasonable screen (touch and covering the whole Input Module bay), so I’ll look out for something that would work here while I’m screen hunting.

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@Be_Far I saw your post earlier and that’s what made me think of it lol

You may need to take a detour via an expansion card, doubt the input modules would have the io for it.

DisplayLink’s 1x5 series supports 1080p over USB2.0, I’m not concerned about bandwidth. However, I don’t just want it as a screen, I also want input functionality, which would be done on an RP2040 acting as a HID. Managing the two is the trouble, especially if I want the screen to respond to input. potentially I have something set up as a framebuffer that the Displaylink chip writes to yet the rp2040 overlays on?

Have you ever actually used displaylink? It may be somewhat fine to display an excel sheet if you don’t scroll too much but you definitely don’t want to do touch controlls on it.

I have only used usb3.0 displaylink and that was jarring af, don’t even want to imagine 2.0.

I don’t really see the problem here, it’s not like you need stupid fast hid if you just want to interact with displaylink and usb allready handles multiple devices.

@Charlie_Watson Sorry if this comes across as a criticism but I’m wondering would it not be orders of magnitude easier not to mention better for the environment and final product to not tear-down your less than two year old machine and just replace the battery?

@Usernames I would probably repurpose the laptop as a server on my server rack. I self-host a few things, and I bet I could find a job for it in its afterlife. I bought the laptop 2nd hand ( I think its the 2019 model) and it doesn’t allow ram upgrades, so it’s stuck with 8-gigs. Im open to suggestions though.

@Charlie_Watson Ah soldered RAM, what a horrible trend and sounds like the reason you need a new machine… Good thing you next laptop won’t have that issue :slight_smile:

I can’t help feel like it might have more value as a complete machine though if you cannot find someone who would like it sounds like you have a good use for it.

Your project sounds very ambitious and I wish you lots of luck!

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Oh no. Now you’ve got me thinking of moving the 16" keyboard down and begging for a numpad-sized trackpad.

@ParticleCannon maybe it’s a hot take, but that’s my favorite combo on a laptop at the moment

Sadly “just moving the keyboard down” won’t be possible with the current prototype input modules mechanical layout, as far as I can tell.
See also: Input Modules: Bottom row connectivity?
They appear more flexible than they are on the current prototype.

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Here to chime in on this. Recently Linus Tech Tips did a video about a dual monitor system off of kickstarter and one point in it got me curious about it. How it connects to a device.
Apparently it uses a single USB 3 connectivity for both monitors. Apparently Apple didnt include support for DP Daisy Chaining which is why it uses a particular chip called a “Trigger VI” chip that enables the ability to have multiple displays over a single USB connection.
I did some looking into this and this is the site that Linus references: Magic Control Technology Corporation. (MCT) 茂傑國際股份有限公司 | Magic Control Technology Corporation
I believe that it would definitely be possible to add in a screen on the keyboard area using these trigger chips as they support HDMI display output from regular USB’s.
So, all that would be needed is a way of converting the hdmi/vga output into LVMS or any other particular display standard for LCD’s.

Looks similar to displaylink, though displaylink can do straight edp so you don’t need any hdmi to edp conversion to hook it up to a panel. LVDS is dead.