thinkpads.com Support Community Forum Index Bill Morrow's thinkpads.com Open Forum - The Original Thinkpad Support Forum
Follow ThinkpadsForum on Twitter
 Support this forum, shop at newmodeus.com
  Support the forum, shop at newmodeus.com
Our oldest longest advertiser of parts for ThinkPads
Goodbye Lorita, wherever you've gone..

If you've found this forum useful, please consider donating a dollar or two

It is currently Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:39 am

All times are UTC-05:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:33 pm 
Offline
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:50 pm
Posts: 1122
Location: Meridian, ID & Oyer, Norway
So I finally have made it to the point where I want to share the project I have been working on for some months now. Between collecting parts and other projects in my life, the progress isn't that good. But it's after all a hobby. If I hurry, it feels too much like work, and not a hobby anymore.. If your attention span is short, you might want to skip this long story, but hopefully you guys can have some fun reading this story.

So, after some discussions in various threads here, and later the delay of the promised RetroThinkpad, I started working on my vision, which is a classic 4.3 Thinkpad with modern internals. I soon decided that the "frame" where I most likely would be able to fit custom components would be a 770. I also figured that the Raspberry Pi2 would be the best choice, as this has the most accessories available for it. To run the LCD, I would use a HDMI to VGA adapter board. And make no mistake; we're not looking into a computer with super specs here. The older Raspberry Pi was said to have the same processing power as a 300MHz PII CPU, while the Pi2 is supposed to be better. Still by no means on par with a modern laptop, but definitely able to do more than the standard 770.

So I purchased a non-functional but decent looking 770 from forum member Neil (Thanks Neil!) and ripped all the internals out. What I was left with was this:

Image

Then I cut and shaped a steel base plate for installing the components on:

Image

and securely attached it to the base with the original screws in the original screw holes:

Image

So far so good. Unfortunately I made a mistake when I purchased a 13.3" 770. My original plan was to install a T60 14.1" SXGA panel, which is easy to find and has a decent picture. But I found out that the 13.7" and 14.1" 770 units are different than the 13.3" ones. They have a bigger lid, hence the forward leaning front, and a 14.1 LCD could not be fitted in my unit without changing the whole case. To further complicate things, it turned out that no LCD adapter was available for the ancient type of LCD that the 770 had. So I had to purchase a 13.3" panel from a 600, which has different attachments than the original one. So I had to bring the hinges to work and do some drilling and TIG welding to make it work. Not the usual tools for your Thinkpad projects..

Image

The only part of this mod visible from the outside is two screws on the right hand side of the lid. Apart from that, it turned out to fit just perfect:

Image

So the time was finally there to do a full scale test of the components with the LCD panel installed. And it turned out to work, and Raspbian booted up and behaved just fine. I have later installed the LCD bezel, so it looks more complete than in the picture:

Image

Note that I use two DC converters; one 5V DC for the Raspberry and one 12V DC for the LCD adapter. To feed them, I use the standard IBM 16 volt adapter, and I have made a bracket so that the standard receptacle will be installed in it's correct location. I have also bought a main switch that hopefully can be used with the 770's sliding power switch, so it looks as standard as possible from the outside.

So the main task that's left is to position all the components on the base plate, and run cables between them. Components like the LCD adapter's button panel will probably go in the battery opening, while I'll probably just glue the CD-ROM faceplate in place. Speakers will be installed in their standard location. So some hours of work left still. Right now I'm in the US, so nothing much will be happening the next weeks, but hopefully it will be up and running sometime this (late) summer or fall. Maybe it'll even be finished before the official RetroThinkpad. :lol: I have actually started posting pictures on social media with the hashtag #HomemadeRetrothinkpad

'What about the keyboard?' you might ask. And here is the only thing I won't reveal quite yet. Thanks to member Ilakast, I got a spare keyboard with a bezel / palmrest unit, and I was able to make a working prototype of my idea for the full scale test. But the "production" version isn't ready yet, so that's for later.

Stay tuned!

_________________
Bjorn
THINKPAD collector. Only missing a 700C and a proper RetroThinkpad.


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:09 am 
Offline
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Posts: 600
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines
Nice to see your project coming along!

Is the 770 base tall enough for the dual-stack USB ports on the RPi 2? (My 560E's chassis isn't)

My own RetroThinkpad build is currently on hold though; still playing around with my Rpi 2, distro-hopping till I find one that ships a version of mpv that can use the RPi's video decode hardware. Compiling from source is a pain in the #@%.

I don't have a spare 12.1 inch LCD to put in, unless I decide to cannibalize the Samsung PVA panel on the X61T that serves as my backup machine. :D

_________________
Daily driver: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Just rebuilt: X61 7676-A27 C2D T8100 in X60 chassis

In reserve: X61 Tablet C2D L7500
In pieces: X60s CS U1300 [board only], X60 CD T2300 [board only]
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:10 am 
Offline
Freshman Member

Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:48 am
Posts: 55
Location: Perth Aus / Thailand
Nice work and I look forward to the finished article :thumbs-UP:

_________________
Active --- Love the X series
X301 SU9400 IDA Mod - Main Driver
X201 540M - Backup Driver
X61 T7500 - Nostalgia

Spares
X301, T43's, T42


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:01 am 
Offline
Junior Member
Junior Member

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:29 pm
Posts: 386
Location: Moscow, Russia
Cool! Nice work!
Yes TIG welding is one i haven't tried before ;)

Bad thing that LCD board eats more space than CPU (computer) board ;(
Good thing - LCD board should have stereo amplifier - so you can use it for free ;)

There are many SOC devices on the market even more powerfull than RPI2 (some can have SATA controller, some can be x86 based) but yes RPI is a gold middle to start experimentation.

PS
IMHO - ThinkPad must be battery powered and this is hard work to do.

Any way i wish you good luck with this RetroThinkPad!


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:41 am 
Offline
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 14369
Location: Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
My hat's off to you.

I've done some fairly insane stuff in my days, but your "retro" is just...brave, shall we say... :thumbs-UP:

Have the thread boomarked for future updates and will be watching it closely.

The very best of luck with this most unusual "custom shop" as they would say in the guitar world.

_________________
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

Glorified typewriter collecting SSDI on The FlexView Farm: A31p

Abused daily: T50, T420i

Slaves of my wife & kids: R500F, R60F, T60


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:44 am 
Offline
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:50 pm
Posts: 1122
Location: Meridian, ID & Oyer, Norway
Thanks for the feedback!

axur-delmeria wrote:
Is the 770 base tall enough for the dual-stack USB ports on the RPi 2? (My 560E's chassis isn't)

It is actually tall enough, but it's a close fit. The 770 base is much taller than the 560's though, so I can see how you would run into problems there. Make sure to keep us posted about your project as well.

FryPpy wrote:
There are many SOC devices on the market even more powerfull than RPI2 (some can have SATA controller, some can be x86 based) but yes RPI is a gold middle to start experimentation.

PS
IMHO - ThinkPad must be battery powered and this is hard work to do.

In the preliminary component layout I made, I have created as much space as possible around the Raspberry. I became aware of a x86 Atom based board, so I made sure that a board of that size will physically fit. The limiting factor could be ports pointing in totally wrong directions. But there is definitely a possibility for upgrades, and I think the SOC concept will only be taken further and further performance-wise as time passes by.

To implement a battery did at one point cross my mind, but I chose to skip it due to the complexity. A friend has some interesting Li-Ion battery applications for use in his RC planes, and they could theoretically fit inside the HDD bay, but I would at that point probably be looking into a separate plug and adapter for charging the battery and a manual switchover between battery and AC. I rarely use batteries anyway, as I usually have power available where ever I am. For extended use in non-power environments, I use the Tablet.

_________________
Bjorn
THINKPAD collector. Only missing a 700C and a proper RetroThinkpad.


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:54 pm 
Offline
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:22 pm
Posts: 659
Location: San Diego, California
Awesome work!!!

_________________
Incompitent(sp?) Power User: caffeine addicted, techno blasting, ThinkPad hoarder.

DD's: W700DS, X61T
Current Interest: Chromebook Pixel
Still kicking: T30, A31p, iBook G4, 600X, T43p
Collected: PS/2 Note, 235, X300, 770X, 755CE, 365XD, 701C


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:40 pm 
Offline
Sophomore Member

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:33 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Arlington, VA
Excellent piece of work!!!
It was my dream to do something like that with 701C
Maybe some day... :)

_________________
5140,L40SX(3),PS/NOTE 425(2),PS/2 NOTE,700T,730T,700,700C(3),720C,701C(3),701CS(3),360P,360PE,750P,380,385,PC110,TRANSNOTE, Z50,240,240X,600,600E,600X(2),A31P,750C,755C,770,X40,X60,X61S,X61T,R50,R51E,R61I,T20,T21,T30,T42(2),T43,T60,T61(4),T500(2),W520,HP95LX,100LX,200LX,300,PSION II,3,NEWTON130


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:28 pm 
Offline
Sophomore Member

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:22 am
Posts: 130
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Is it going to be called the PiPad 770? :p

There is one way you could get a T6x keyboard working with the Pi, and that's using the special T6x to USB converter one guy made schematics for (although completed working PCBs have been discontinued). So it would be converting the ThinkPad keyboard and TrackPoint over USB communications. Although your method may differ from that, but that's the first thing that came to my mind.


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:44 pm 
Offline
Sophomore Member

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:33 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Arlington, VA
I would call it Thinkberry 770 ;)

_________________
5140,L40SX(3),PS/NOTE 425(2),PS/2 NOTE,700T,730T,700,700C(3),720C,701C(3),701CS(3),360P,360PE,750P,380,385,PC110,TRANSNOTE, Z50,240,240X,600,600E,600X(2),A31P,750C,755C,770,X40,X60,X61S,X61T,R50,R51E,R61I,T20,T21,T30,T42(2),T43,T60,T61(4),T500(2),W520,HP95LX,100LX,200LX,300,PSION II,3,NEWTON130


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:56 pm 
Offline
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:50 pm
Posts: 1122
Location: Meridian, ID & Oyer, Norway
micrex22 wrote:
There is one way you could get a T6x keyboard working with the Pi, and that's using the special T6x to USB converter one guy made schematics for (although completed working PCBs have been discontinued). So it would be converting the ThinkPad keyboard and TrackPoint over USB communications. Although your method may differ from that, but that's the first thing that came to my mind.

You are very close here. :wink: The solution is already tested with the Raspberry and is working 100%, what's left is to get components physically installed.

Unfortunately for this project, the weather is still amazing in Norway, with closer to 80F. So enjoying the summer and getting outside tasks done has priority, and I suspect that the Retrothinkpad project will be on hold for the next weeks.

_________________
Bjorn
THINKPAD collector. Only missing a 700C and a proper RetroThinkpad.


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC-05:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited