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Reuse LCD screens with the V56 Universal Controller

LCD panels of broken laptops or old TVs can easily be turned into multifunctional displays. You can give them analog and digital inputs and media player capabilities with a cheap universal controller board. As long as the panel itself is functional, you can use the V56 controller board to drive both the screen and the backlight. Reuse LCD screens as media players, video monitors or computer displays and save them from the garbage dump!

V56 Universal LCD TV Controller Driver Board PC VGA HD USB Interface Kit - Demo
V56 Universal LCD TV Controller Driver Board PC VGA HD USB Interface Kit – Demo

Reuse LCD screens: V56 Universal LCD TV Controller Driver Board

The easiest way to repurpose your LCD panel is by using a V56 controller kit that comes with all the parts that you need. I tested the V56 Universal LCD TV Controller Driver Board from Banggood It supports most LVDS panels with resolutions up to 1920 x 1080 pixels.  It comes with the following parts:

V56 Universal LCD TV Controller Driver Board PC VGA HD USB Interface Kit: Unboxing
V56 Universal LCD TV Controller Driver Board PC VGA HD USB Interface Kit: Unboxing
V56 Universal LCD TV Controller Driver Board PC VGA HD USB Interface Kit: The Parts
V56 Universal LCD TV Controller Driver Board PC VGA HD USB Interface Kit: The Parts
  1. V56 Controller Board
  2. CCFL Inverter + cable
  3. 1 Channel 6-Bit 30Pins LVDS Cable
  4. 7 Button control panel + IR sensor + LED
  5. IR Remote Control (batteries not included)
  6. Optional IR Sensor

You will also need:

  • 2 AAA batteries for the remote control;
  • A USB drive for uploading the firmware to the board;
  • 12-volt power supply, I used one from an old DSL router.
  • Optional stereo speakers

The board has the following connections:

V56 Universal LCD TV Controller Driver Board PC VGA HD USB Interface Kit: The Board
V56 Universal LCD TV Controller Driver Board PC VGA HD USB Interface Kit: The Board
  1. Power header
  2. 12-volt power in
  3. VGA in
  4. HDMI in
  5. Composite video in
  6. Stereo audio in
  7. Audio in
  8. Audio out/headphones
  9. USB
  10. RF in
  11. CCFL inverter power header
  12. 3.3/5/12 volt selection jumper
  13. Control panel/IR header
  14. LVDS header
  15. Speaker header
  16. I2C pads

Reuse LCD screens: Identifying the panel

First of all, remove the LCD screen from its housing. In my case, it was an old laptop screen, so I detached the lid from the laptop and removed the plastic housing from the screen.

Reuse LCD screens: Old laptop Screen of Acer Extensa 5210
Reuse LCD screens: Old laptop Screen of Acer Extensa 5210

Find the manufacturer name and model number on the back of the panel, it should look something like this:

Reuse LCD screens: Model Number
Reuse LCD screens: Model Number

Then go to http://www.panelook.com/ and look up your panel’s specifications. Take note of the resolution and, most importantly, the voltage:

Reuse LCD screens: Model Number Panel Specifications
Reuse LCD screens: Model Number Panel Specifications

Setting the voltage jumper

According to the specifications you looked up in the previous step, you need to set the voltage jumper on the controller board. There are 3 options: 3.3 volts, 5 volts and 12 volts. Make sure you set the right voltage, or else the magic smoke might escape!

Reuse LCD screens: Connecting the universal controller board

You will only need the bare panel, therefore remove all cables and the old inverter. Then make all the new connections:

  • Connect the LVDS cable to the LCD screen and the V56 board, make sure the red wires line op with pin number 1 (indicated by a ‘1’ or triangle)
  • Connect the new inverter to the LCD screen and the inverter power cable to the V56 board
  • Connect the button control panel/IR sensor cable to the V56 board
  • Connect the speakers to the V56 board
  • Connect the 12-volt power adapter (do not power it up just yet).
Reuse LCD screens:: All Connections
Reuse LCD screens:: All Connections

 

Reuse LCD screens: Controller Board Connections
Reuse LCD screens: Controller Board Connections

Installing the firmware

  1. Download the firmware from this page at Banggood or use this mirrored file:
  2. Extract the files to your computer
  3. Look for the file that matches your screen’s model number and resolution. If the model is not listed, then choose the “general” type for that resolution
  4. Copy the .bin file to the root folder of the USB drive
  5. Make sure the board is powered off, then insert the USB drive
  6. Power on the board
  7. The power LED should be blinking BLUE for a couple of times while it’s loading the new firmware. If it doesn’t upload the firmware, you should try renaming the file from “LAMV45R.bin” to “LAMV56.bin” (remove the R)
  8. The blue screensaver screen should now appear on the LCD panel.

Checking the active firmware version

  1. Power on the controller board
  2. Press “Menu”
  3. Enter the “Factory Setting” menu by pressing 1 1 4 7
  4. Select the “SW Information” menu
  5. See “Panel” for the uploaded firmware type (e.g. “GENERAL_1280X800_SI8L”) and “Name” for the appropriate file name (e.g. “LAMV56R.BIN”)
  6. Press exit.

Setting the screen language

  1. Power on the controller board
  2. Press “Menu”
  3. Press the right arrow 3 times until you reach the 4 squares symbol
  4. Press the down arrow once to select the first menu option
  5. Press enter to confirm
  6. Navigate the languages with the left or right arrow keys
  7. Press enter to confirm your choice.

When the color mapping seems off

  1. Power on the controller board
  2. Press “Menu”
  3. Enter the “Factory Setting” menu by pressing 1 1 4 7
  4. Select the “General Setting” menu
  5. Navigate to the “Lvds map” setting and press the left or right arrow until the colors look OK
  6. Press exit.
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