Cannibilizing Camera LCD

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by SirNotApearingOnThisForum, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. SirNotApearingOnThisForum

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2006
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    Hello everyone,

    I'm afraid I don't know a good deal about circuitry and electronics, so I apologize if this sounds stupid, but I couldn't seem to find any info about it online and figured if anyone you guys would probably know. So, that said, I was recently seized by an urge to dissect an old digital camera that was lying around, I guess partly because I figured it would be really cool if I could do something creative with the ccd and lcd. Well, heh, I suppose that's a lot easier to dream up than it is to actually do.

    I was most curious about the lcd; how could you hook something up to the ribbon cable (it has 18 contacts, if it's of any interest) so as to display something on it? Would/Could you use some sort of micrcontroller, or somehow plug it into your computer? Every site I came across about lcd screens (and microcontrollers) used the type that displays chars, and on top of that they were already completely assembled (this one's literally just the glass with a cable sticking out).

    Thanks for any insight
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Hi,

    It's going to take luck and experimenting. All LCD displays work pretty much the same way, so general material on the displays would be a starting point. The fun is in determining what function to assign to each contact pin. That's where the experimenting starts.

    Hint -it's not a data display (like 20 characters & four lines). It's more like an LCD monitor for a computer.
     
  3. SirNotApearingOnThisForum

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2006
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    Ok, so you reckon I should just sort of mess around with it a little and see what comes out of it? You wouldn't happen to know a good guide concerning lcds and their inner workings, would you?

    Thanks for your help
     
  4. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    A good place to start is the How Stuff Works article on LCDs.

    Can I ask what the make and model of the camera is?

    Dave
     
  5. SirNotApearingOnThisForum

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2006
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  6. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    As for knowing how you can control the lcd and how to interface to the LCD, you will need know what LCD controller is used by the camera, then you can source specific information from the web. As an example, for the Hitachi 44780 controller (a common controller) the following resources are available with the information you require:

    http://www.myke.com/lcd.htm

    http://home.iae.nl/users/pouweha/lcd/lcd0.shtml

    If you can be specific about the controller then we are in business.

    Dave
     
  7. SirNotApearingOnThisForum

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2006
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    Err, I'm afraid I wouldn't know what the controller was. Here's a list of the larger chips on the main board, if it's of any help:
    - spca5331-pb011
    - hy57v281620hct-h
    - 39vf080

    EDIT: now, does this mean that the way (color) lcd screens of this type communicate is not at least generally universal? Ie. will two lcd screens of the same resolution/color depth/contact # communicate in the same way, or can it differ amoung manufacturer? You'll have to excuse my ignorance, but would it be possible to use something like, say, one of these to control an lcd like this (probably around 160x128 resolution max)?
     
  8. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Thats the baby. Its a full IC design for digital cameras with a LCD interface and controller built-in. The datasheet is available from http://www.alldatasheet.com/view.jsp?Searchword=SPCA533A - although for the pruposes of giving you a deeper understanding of how you would go about controlling the LCD controller it is fairly useless. Having looked around other datasheets websites they only appear to have the above document.

    Dave
     
  9. SirNotApearingOnThisForum

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2006
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    Oh. I had stopped reading after that long list of sensors, guess I sort of missed something :p

    But surely that's not the only chip that can control the lcd? I mean, I'm sure the IC is able to be hooked up to a variety of different lcds, or at least it supports more than one type/brand of screen (seem sort of silly if it was restricted to one particular lcd). Shouldn't it be possible to find a controller that works with it, like the one I posted above?
     
  10. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Correct, this is a generic device for a certain function. According to the datasheet on the link above the SPCA533A provides digital TFT LCD output interfaces for Unipac, Epson, Casio, Prime view LCD modules, and digital STN LCD panel interface for GiantPlus panels. You will need to backwards verify its suitability for the specific LCD module you are looking at.

    I seem to have missed the controller you posted above, where is it?

    Dave
     
  11. SirNotApearingOnThisForum

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2006
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    In an edit I had mentioned it in a question about lcd compatibility. It wasn't very obvious though, I should have just reposted the link: http://w3.sunplus.com/products/lcdcontroller/spl13x.asp

    (sorry about the late reply, I seem to have missed that notification e-mail...)
     
  12. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Apologies I missed this one.

    I cannot be specific about the 4 LCD controllers you are refering to because I cannot gain access to the datasheets or any other information than is provided on the above link. Could you tell us the part number of the LCD display? (I should have asked that earlier).

    Dave
     
  13. SirNotApearingOnThisForum

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2006
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    Here's what the ribbon cable said on it, the lcd itself didn't appear to have any markings.

    one side, in a dot matrix style of print:
    gpm251a1 1104
    e-nb2a5604.10.21

    the other side, in a 'normal' font:
    made in taiwan
    307018021

    I couldn't find anything online with these, but perhaps these markings concern the wire and not the lcd (?)
     
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