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Author Topic: NJYtouch controllers  (Read 24325 times)
tpope
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« on: March 10, 2011, 10:35:06 PM »

I had some money come in from a freelance job, and decided to treat myself to a controller kit from NJY Touch.  I didn't bother to go through eBay at all, just emailed Christina direct from the address on the wiki.

Because I have 32 LCD panels of 17 different types from my laptop demolition program, I knew I needed not only the controller package but also the programmer.  After much confusing cross comparison of listings, I decided to go with RM5451, as it was the higher resolution driver (x4xx) with both DVI and VGA inputs (5xxx).  I also ordered the USB programmer and a power adapter just in case nothing I had here would work.

Christina answered my email pretty much as soon as the time difference would allow, and after a few emails back and forth my order was placed.  I asked for the controller to be programmed for one of the panels at random, and didn't object to the price for DHL shipping, since I was being impatient.  All told I spent US$127.48, with $28 being shipping.  I'm assuming I could have asked for "slow boat" and gotten it in a month.

Instead, with my last email and PayPal payment sent Friday afternoon, the order shipped Monday morning and I had the controller last night (Wednesday)!

Sadly the panel that I'd programmed (one of my nicest, a 15.4" 1920x1080) looks to be dead.  The backlight goes on for a minute showing a decidedly red-tinged screen, and then the light goes out.  You can still see the screen just barely, but I'm assuming the red is still there and it's basically shot.  :-(

So, I had to wait impatiently until I could bring it in to work where all of the other panels are stashed away.  Installing the programmer was a bit of a chore.  There are instructions, but they're not always perfectly clear.  Also, they do mean it when they say this is for XP only.  Even in compatibility mode I've had no luck getting it to work under Windows 7, though it may still be possible.

Instead, what I did was to install "XP Mode" which is a Microsoft-provided virtual machine running XP.  It takes a while to set up, but once that's done you have a nice clean XP machine for this kind of thing.  You have to use the meta-menu on the top left to basically push the USB device to the XP box, and installing drivers took a while, but after maybe an hour of somewhat frustrated tinkering I got it working.

One thing not noted in the instructions is that you need to "register" the software to use it.  I got a bit worried about this, but on a whim when I opened the registration application, I just pasted the "Request SN" into the "Activation SN" box.  Thankfully that worked.

The programmer itself feeds data to the controller over a VGA cable.  The software is not user friendly, but basically all you are doing is picking from a list of precompiled monitor specs and pushing that over the wire.  The biggest problem I found is that once I disconnected from the programmer to test on my panel, the only way (and I tried EVERY combination of plugging and unplugging) to get it to see the controller again was to unplug from USB, plug back in, grab the USB device from Windows 7, then grab the USB device again (there are two logical "devices" attached to this port, and both need drivers and pass-through) and then try again.  Frustrating, but now that I know what to do it's not a big deal.

There's also this black slider switch on the side.  They tell you to slide it towards the VGA connector (the programmer has DVI and 2 VGA ports) and that either port will work.  Well...  That's not entirely true.  It looks like it's actually a 3-way switch, and sliding all the way to the right means you need to use the VGA port on the end.  I haven't tested yet with the switch in the middle position and the other port, it's been a bit of black magic to get this working anyway, and I'm not wanting to mess with it yet in that way.


* programmer.jpg (83.71 KB. 800x600 - viewed 1376 times.)


With all the setup done, I've started to go through my stack of panels to see which ones work.  I already had a spreadsheet with their model numbers and resolutions, which helped.  For the first few, the included library had perfect matches, so no problem there.  Plug in the controller, push up the new code, unplug and plug in the monitor. 

One problem that I'm waiting to hear about is that every time so far it's ended with a warning that the CRC check failed.  The only noticeable effect of this error (or I presume due to this error) is that the on screen menu is completely munged up.

* osd-issue.jpg (88.72 KB. 800x600 - viewed 1342 times.)


This hasn't caused any real problem with screen performance or resolution or anything, but it's a bit annoying.  The menu still works, since I remembered the buttons to adjust the brightness, and could do that "blind" so it's just the display that's screwed up. But still annoying. 

I got through about four panels that way, lining up model numbers to match exactly.  For the next two, I picked, mostly at random, what looked like close matches based only on model number and resolution.  One worked perfectly that way, and one had some nasty looking random static (but still worked) until I switched to another guess.

At this point I'm down to the panels that have no close analogues in their database.  However, all is not lost.  Apparently as long as you're looking at a LVDS connector, there aren't actually that many different ways of sending signals to a display.  What the documentation suggests is that you find a datasheet for the panel in question and find out how it's sending data (there are only a few choices, 6 or 8 bit and single or dual channel IIRC).  Then it's just a matter of picking another file that happens to match that spec and resolution and trying it.

So that's where I am now.  I've already done one that way successfully, and am starting on the others now.  When I'm done I'll try to share more of my experiences, as well as the resources I've found.


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GwenLP
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 11:09:03 PM »

This is interesting.
Do some of the panels you have use LEDs backlight ? Maybe you could provide us with the list of the panels that works fine: that would be invaluable data to us !
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bernard
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 08:00:51 AM »

Nice post!

What about the connection going to the LCD Panels? They are all the same and matched? I thought there is some variety out there, no?
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tpope
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 04:12:30 PM »

Do some of the panels you have use LEDs backlight ? Maybe you could provide us with the list of the panels that works fine: that would be invaluable data to us !

I'm afraid all of the panels I use are CCFL, which is fairly standardized across the LCD industry.  I've attached a photo of the controller attached to one of the panels, though I'm sure you've seen these before. 

On the left the the controller itself, with the VGA and power cables connected, and wires to the button panel, backlight inverter and LCD.

Note that the button panel for the 3xxx and 5xxx series has only 5 buttons.  The 6xxx series has 7 buttons because that includes audio controls as well.  They are all on the same PCB, and you can see on the board where some components (notably 4 medium sized capacitors and a IC) are missing on mine because it's not the audio version.  This is relevant because the header for the button panel is 10 pins on the board, and the connector for the button panel I'm using is only 9 pins, with 8 used.  They shipped it assembled, but be careful to note this if you ever unplug the panel, as it aligns onto the leftmost 7 pins of the header. 

The inverter in the photograph is of course the narrow PCB assembly on the bottom.  Every single laptop LCD I've seen has the exact same 2-prong CCFL connection and single bulb setup, always along the bottom edge, so that's an easy one.  Desktop monitors tend to use 3-pin connectors and run in pairs or in sometimes in quads for larger screens.  This board can drive them all I think, but I only got the laptop version. 

So, the backlight header on the main controller board has 6 pins.  12V, 12V, EN, ADJ, GND, GND.  The header on the inverter I have only has 5 pins, +12V, GND, ADJ, [blank], ENA.  EN/ENA is defined in their datasheet as "Backlight Control" while ADJ is defined as "Luminance Adjustment."  All that said, on my board, there are only three wires between those two headers, +12V, GND and ENA.  Unless brightness and contrast settings are completely controlled by the color of the pixels in the LCD (which is possible, I honestly don't know) I'm thinking that with the ENA lead must be more than juston or off. 

But maybe not.  I could probably test this with one of my spare backlights from a disassembled panel.  I'll be hampered by the fact that the OSD is both broken AND I'd be running the main panel without a backlight for the experiment, but if I can test I will.

Anyway, the key point here is that the board itself appears to be able to supply a pretty standard voltage, on two rails if necessary, and couples that with at least an enable signal if not actual control over brightness.  While I'm not sure you'll get any "out of the box" compatibility with a LED backlight, this doesn't sound like it's outside the realm of possibility either.


* controller.jpg (86.57 KB, 800x600 - viewed 1503 times.)
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tpope
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 04:32:11 PM »

What about the connection going to the LCD Panels? They are all the same and matched? I thought there is some variety out there, no?

Of all of the laptops I tore apart (nearly 60) only a couple of the really old ones had a completely different style of connector.  I'm afraid I cant' give any more details than that because I tossed them immediately.

The 12" panels I had (which I also tossed) used what I *think* might called TTL, which looks a lot like LVDS but with a shorter connector.  NJYtouch does make a controller that can push to that kind of panel, but it's a different model.

All of the rest (mostly in the 14" to 15" range) have been LVDS.  I'm afraid that while I've ripped apart a lot of dead desktop monitors for their buttons, and the nice tiny wires they use, I haven't paid a lot of attention to their connectors.  They all looked similar, but might have not been identical.  What I think will be the difference for some of the larger monitors is that it's the same style of connector, just longer with more pins.  But I'm not even sure about that.  The connector they supplied is 30 pins (some were empty) but their header on the controller board is only 28 pins.  I know the controller board I bought can drive up to 1920x1080 or maybe higher, for TV-sized screens, so it might be that this one cable is pretty much universal.

Anyway, at least all of the laptop screens I've tried used the same physical connector, but they often ran different signals over that connector.  The two differentiating factors that the controller files seem to look for are the number of signals and whether you are running them in singles or doubles.

While not comprehensive, there's a nice large selection of LCD datasheets here:
http://www.beyondinfinite.com/library.html

I used that for a couple of the problem children of my stack of panels.  From there, what you're looking for is whether you have 3 or 4 pairs of data signals with a single clock pair, or 6 or 8 pairs of data signals with two clock pairs.  3 and 4 they call singles, while 6 and 8 they call doubles, which has something to to do with that they call "Odd and Even" data input.

Anyway, while their documentation is a bit murky at times, the end result is that you count the pairs, and count the clock signals.  If there is one clock signal, you're a SI6L if you have 3 pairs or a SI8L if you have 4 pairs (3 pairs is Red, Green and Blue, I do not know what the 4th is but none of my panels used that signal type).  If there are two clock signals, then you're looking at DO6L or DO8L for six and eight pairs respectively.  I *think* that the single or double has much to do with resolution.  All of the 1024x768 panels I tested (though I threw some out at the end because I have way more than I need) were SI6L and all of the 1400x1050 and higher panels were DO6L.

Anyway, those four types of signals seem to be pretty much a standard in LCD panels.  All you need to do at that point is find a panel in their list (and the program files all include that data in the filename) that has the same signal type and the same resolution.  From there, you keep trying them until one works, though they recommend if one is by the same company, use that first.

For reference, here are all of the panels I tried, their size, resolution and the driver that ended up working for them:
AU Optronics   B141XG09   14.1"   1024x768   B140XG10_SI6L_1024_768_5KEY_ENG_NA_R_RM5X51
HannStar   HSD150PX14   15"   1024x768   HSD150PX1A_A02_SI6L_1024_768_5KEY_ENG_NA_R_RM5X51
LG.Phillips   LP150E02   15"   1400x1050   LP150E06_DO6L_1400_1050_5KEY_ENG_NA_R_RM5X51
Sharp   LQ150U1LW22   15"   1600x1200   LQ150U1LW22_DO6L_1600_1200_5KEY_ENG_NA_R_RM5X51
LG.Phillips   LP150x05 (A2)   15"   1024x768   LQ150X1LGN7_SI6L_1024_768_5KEY_ENG_NA_R_RM5X51
Samsung   LTN154P1-L04   15.4"   1680x1050   LTN154U2_L04_DO6L_1920_1200_5KEY_ENG_NA_R_RM5X51
BOE Hydis   HT14P12-100   14.1"   1400x1050   LP141E2_B1_DO6L_1400_1050_5KEY_ENG_NA_R_RM5X51
Samsung   LTN141P4-L01   14.1"   1400x1050   LP141E2_B1_DO6L_1400_1050_5KEY_ENG_NA_R_RM5X51
Samsung   LTN141P4-L02   14.1"   1400x1050   LP141E2_B1_DO6L_1400_1050_5KEY_ENG_NA_R_RM5X51
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bernard
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 04:40:00 PM »

Wow! Good info tpope!

My guess is that EN/ENA is a simple on/off Enable signal (true that it could be a PWM signal too, but I suspect not, "Enable" pins are very common in electronics and they always work the same way: ON/OFF switches. (most of them are active-low -- meaning you need to ground it to ENable, but either way, it is a ON/OFF switch).  If you see a start * next to or a line over or under the letters "EN" -- that means "Active-Low". If you play with the OSD, is there a feature of brightness/color control that does not seem to work?  If you are able to see the CCFL light going out of seams/small openings of the LCD Panel case, do you see it dimming when playing with the brightness (or whatever that would control the backlight luminance/brightness) on the OSD?

Driving LED-based LCD Panels is, to me, a very important topic as more and more LED-based LCD Panels will become available on the after-market.
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tpope
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 05:01:22 PM »

My guess is that EN/ENA is a simple on/off Enable signal (true that it could be a PWM signal too, but I suspect not, "Enable" pins are very common in electronics and they always work the same way: ON/OFF switches. (most of them are active-low -- meaning you need to ground it to ENable, but either way, it is a ON/OFF switch).  If you see a start * next to or a line over or under the letters "EN" -- that means "Active-Low". If you play with the OSD, is there a feature of brightness/color control that does not seem to work?  If you are able to see the CCFL light going out of seams/small openings of the LCD Panel case, do you see it dimming when playing with the brightness (or whatever that would control the backlight luminance/brightness) on the OSD?

That was the test I needed to perform, and I've just done it.  None of these let me see the backlight through any seams, but I just plugged in a spare CCFL tube and adjusted the brightness on the OSD on the dark LCD panel. Between the corrupt OSD text and the darkness of the panel I can't be 100% certain, but I'm fairly convinced that the only brightness and contrast settings the OSD can affect are all in the tint of the individual pixels. The CCFL remained the same brightness throughout.

Between that anecdotal evidence and your knowledge of what ENABLE means in terms of electronics (plus their separate, unused, "ADJ" lead) I'm willing to bet that it's just a on/off like you say.  That bodes well for certain kinds of LED backlights I think, simply because that makes the connections easier.

Quote
Driving LED-based LCD Panels is, to me, a very important topic as more and more LED-based LCD Panels will become available on the after-market.

Agreed.  The closest I got to having one to play with was a dead Macbook, and they use so much double sided tape that I damaged the panel getting it out (it was also quite likely dead).  We're on a 3-5 year cycle here for computers, but they normally only get to me via friends in the IT group after 5 or more, so it'll be a while before I have a whole stack of LED backlit panels to play with.  But anything I do manage to find, I'll post here.
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bernard
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 05:47:39 PM »

Now the question remains -- that ADJ signal -- what is it? Can the OSD control it? Is it a PWM signal or a voltage-level thingy?

When I get a chance, I will look at mine (not a NYJTouch board, but a similar one -- main chip from novatek or something like that).

I had a close-but-incomplete photo of the controller in another post (http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index.php?topic=1509.msg9818#msg9818) -- I wrote the following text about it:

Quote
The cable going to the Inverter has only 3 wires:  Ground, +12v and "ena" (named "blo" on the main board -- probably "Back Light On") --  both boards have an extra pin that is not wired to each other, called "adj" ("ADJust" I assume, to control brightness?). BTW, the 12v is always on -- it is directly wired to the output of the power brick. The inverter connector on the main board has quite a few unconnected 12v and 5v pins.

So since the name is also "ADJ" -- there is a really good chance we are talking the same type of signal here. I might be able to put the oscilloscope on this and see if I get anything interesting.  -- A PWM signal I hope...

EDIT: I did not test this, but I think now that ADJ implicitely mean "voltage level brightness adjustment".  For a PWM-style of adjustment, the pin is typically named "PWM" (instead of ADJ)
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tpope
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 07:25:00 PM »

Yeah.  ADJ is defined in their datasheet as "Luminance Adjustment" but unfortunately there's no further information about how the signal works in the documentation I have.  I couldn't tell you if the OSD controlled it I'm afraid, because of the corruption.  The only reason I knew where the brightness control was at all is that before I reprogrammed the board to test the next panel in my stack, it was working for that first one.  That said, since mine wasn't even wired to use the ADJ signal, there's no real way I can test it.

However, while the controller you are using isn't the same as mine (which has a Realtek chip) it does sound like the inverter is pretty close to identical between the two of them, which bodes well for whatever that signal might be.

I think I need to find another desktop monitor to tear down, just so I can see how they feed to the inverter boards...
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2011, 02:56:51 PM »

I'm not particularly tech savvy, but njytouch had some new listings that seemed interesting: controllers for LED panels.

http://cgi.ebay.com/LCD-controller-kit-AUO-B089AW01-LED-display-Screen-/280715454075?pt=COMP_EN_Networking_Components&hash=item415bf1e67b
Controller for an 8.9” AUO B089AW01 V.1 panel at 1024x600, or panels with similar specification.

http://cgi.ebay.com/LVDS-VGA-controller-board-DIY-1024-600-LED-LCD-screen-/270782577094?pt=COMP_EN_Networking_Components&hash=item3f0be639c6Controller for 10.2” CLAA102NA0ACW, HSD100IFW1-A00 panels at 1024x600, or similar

Most interesting, or so I think, is this LED converter:
http://cgi.ebay.com/LCD-panel-display-LED-board-converter-controller-/270797904663?pt=COMP_EN_Networking_Components&hash=item3f0cd01b17
According to the listing it can be used for a variety of panels, ranging from 6.4” to 25”.

Two of these recommended panels are 15”, perhaps of use for Intuos3 owners. Though they are quite low resolution.

Another is the B154PW01, which is NOT a LED panel. It appears this listing isn’t very accurate?

I'm not sure how useful any of this is. Does it include a LED driver?

Still, being able to see LED LCD controllers up on eBay feels like a step in the right direction.

I’m also feeding Christina of njytouch with datasheets for various LED panels, hoping for something concrete.
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bernard
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2011, 05:49:10 AM »

This LED thingy appears interesting. But does the "constant current" thingy normally required to drive led.  So yes, this is a led driver running off 12V + ADJ + EN + GND source.  One thing here: not all panels use the same type of LED connection (both the connector itself and the actual signals) -- there is still a wide variety -- so this will only work for some panels and certainly not all.

For example, the 9.7" inches IPad LCD connector exposes the "anode" and "cathode" of 6 LED "strings" (composed of 6 leds each).  I am not sure if this can work if you connect all the strings together. I am afraid not all "strings" will have the same light output. 

In anyways, this is good news: that also means we are (slowly) getting some led driver in the aftermarket/DIY scene.
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« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2011, 11:12:12 AM »

Yup, definately some encouraging progression. I'm currently in the planning stages of a DIY Cintiq, based on a Intuos4 Large and using a shell solution. There's a very narrow range of decent panels if you want to use the express keys and don't want to take apart your tablet - essentially, meaning you have to find a snug 15.4" fit. If you also want high resolution, you're basically limited to the LP154WU1 series. Which is a fairly good bunch of screens, all things considered (the inherent limitations of TN technology).

I do a lot of work in sRGB color space, so I spent some time looking for a 15.4" panel with above-avarage gamut. There are a few, but they're mostly LED ones, and quite recent to boot.

I did find a couple of 72% and above panels that were CCFL back-lit; the problem there was a matter of very low resolution and having to bother with two CCFL lamps (probably a lot of heat and interferance).

So now I'm building a tablet shell to fit a LP154WU1 panel, but also making sure it'll be easy to switch the screen when something better becomes available.

How about those new HP DreamColor panels, eh? Wink
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mykol
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2012, 08:44:30 PM »

Hi tpope,

How much was the programmer? I think that may be the way to go for me as the screen I have is from an old PowerBook G4 (Titanium) that uses the screen LP152W1-A1AP. That screen is not supported by any of NJYTouch's controllers (I asked), nor is it in the library link of LCDs you posted, but I figure some trial and error could get it working.

Also, do you know NJYTouch's website to order it from? They do not have one available on their eBay store.
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mykol
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2012, 08:48:31 PM »

To follow up, NJYTouch siad they could not support that screen because the resolution was too few (I think that means too small), but I doubt 1152x768 is really too small of a resolution.
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ohusby
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2013, 02:33:24 PM »

Hello, I have a LP154WP4-TLA1 snagged from a Macbook Pro 15.4" computer. I am looking for a controller for this panel to build my own Cintiq with a Intuos 4 Large. The panel is LED backlid with a LDVS interface. Does anyone have any experience with this? Alibaba is full of these controllers, but it's a huge undertaking to find the right one.

Does anyone have any advice for me?

Kind regards,
Øystein
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