ThinkPad T430s WQHD Upgrade – Part 3

Hello and welcome back! As you may have followed my posts for the past few months, I apologize for not being too active in my posts.  Life had it’s downs and I’ve been playing catch-up with everything for a little bit now.   A few weeks ago, I decided to re-order a new WQHD screen for my ThinkPad T430s project.

I placed a new order with a seller I have not previously dealt with by the name of 9.hk443 off of eBay.  Based on my previous experiment and feedback, I decided that I liked the fitment of the AUO B140QAN01.5 display so I purchased it once more.

After a few patient weeks, the LCD panel arrived today at work.  I was pretty excited and had my T430s already with me in the office.

There is not much to show in terms of installation that can’t be referenced from the past posts.  The screen installed fine on the top two mount points. I will enlarge the bottom two screen points on the screen to fasten the panel to the display housing.  Two sided tape is not my kind of solution, unless it’s the only solution.

 

 

ThinkPad T430s WQHD Upgrade – Part 2.5

It feels like it’s been a while since my last post here.  A recap from the previous WQHD T430s post, the AUO screen that I received had a light bleed defect in it. It wasn’t a huge problem but for the cost of a new screen, I wanted a display with no defects. I returned the screen and decided to test my luck with the LG LP140QH1SPB1 display.

I was really excited that this time around everything would be smooth like butter.  I was wrong.

Let’s start off with the fitment of the LG LP140QH1 SPB1 compared to the AUO B140QAN01.5 panel.

The top mounting points on both panels fit perfectly. Both panels can utilize the factory top screw mounting points without issues.

The bottom two panel mount points on both displays don’t fit but the AUO display is much closer to fitting then the LG panel.  Unfortuinately I didn’t take pictures of the AUO display but take my word. With some precision and a dremel, you could slighly widen the AUO bottom mount holes and they should work fine.

The LG display required me to shave off some extra plastic that prevent the panel from sitting flush in the housing.

Let’s look at a few images I took while installing the LG panel.

The first image shows two things. All four mounting points on the bezel housing have two ways of securing the panel in place(see red arrow). The first method is the screw. The second method is a plastic nipple that is right beside the screw point. This nipple helps allign and seat the panel into it’s spot, allowing the screw to be threaded in properly.  The AUO panel, each mounting tab has two wholes.  The LG panel only has one hole per mount point.

The second issue shown in the first image is marked in the yellow arrow.  There was a tiny plastic piece that was used in securing the front display bezel. With that plastic clip, I was unable to lay the display down as it was pushing up against the panel circuit board. I had to remove it and with that out of the way, the circuit board didn’t have pressure on it.

The second image, with the yellow box shows the plastic clip that I had to break off.

The third image shows the usual mounting points (2 securing methods per mount).

The fourth image shows a better angle of the left mount point that was discussed in the first image.

 

The two images above are of the right side. The right side also presented almost the same problems with seating the panel into the display housing.

The image on the left shows outlined in a red box the plastic nipple that is used for the secondary securing method. This had to be removed also for the panel to sit as flush as possible.

The right image shows the panel sitting much closer to the mount point, with that plastic nipple removed.  Sorry about the low quality photos and angles. I do what I can with what I have.

Now that we have the panel sitting properly, I decided to turn on the T430s and see how the panel works.   Before we get further into this, I want to make a note that I did turn on the display initially before doing any modifications. The display looked fine but I didn’t test it with anything white open on the screen, which tends to show imperfections I find.

With that laptop loaded into Windows 10, I opened up This PC and was disappointed with my finding.

Looking at the panel with a white background, you can see white marks on the panel in multiple spots. This sucked bad.  I went over all the connections and made sure nothing was causing this. I even removed the front display bezel but it didn’t help.  This wasn’t an issue of the panel being sandwiched too tight in the housing. It was just another screen defect.

I use the factory Windows 10 dark blue/black background and upon loading up, you wouldn’t notice this instantly. Eventually it would become visible through regular operation.

Well that’s it for now. I shipped the panel back yet again to this other ebay seller. I had a complete refund of the screen (including return shipping fee) and now I’m back to where I started.

I’m concerned about buying the AUO B140QAN01.5 screen and I won’t buy the LG one anymore.  I’ve contacted the seller of the AUO screen that I purchased before, asking if they got a new shipment of panels. The response I received:

Hi,
We’re sorry to tell you that this model screen is new,all have a little light leakage on the middle of the left and right side.
We asked many of our suplier,they all said this screen have this problem.
Thanks for your time and patience.
Have a good day!
Tina

Bummer 🙁

Looking at this post here, I may just purchase the AUO B140QAN01.1 and give that a whirl.

Back to the drawing board.

ThinkPad T430s WQHD Upgrade – Part 2

HURRAH! My WQHD AUO B140QAN01.5 screen from china arrived and way before the late May 2018 delivery date!

 

So it was time to start the T430s WQHD mod.  I already have received the RMSMajestic board a few weeks back and I briefly wrote about this planned upgrade in this post.

Before I continue, I want to clarify one thing about the seller.  RMSMajestic is a user apparently located in Washington D.C., USA and is a frequent poster on the thinkpads.com site. RMSMajestic is working with a person by the name of Javi-Jie from China and they have come up with this solution.  It seems by past post history that this isn’t their first project together.

I gathered the required tools and items and went off to a friend’s place to do this mod.

We started off with stripping the laptop apart.  The process that I followed was from the Lenovo Hardware Maintenance guide for the T430s. RMSMajestic also provides instructions to the people that purchased the mod.

The AUO panel arrived extremely well packaged and within a reasonable time frame. I would rate the seller with 10/10 so far.  The panel looks to be authentic and not some kind of knock off, that I can tell.

When I was researching panels, I found some AUO panels that had slightly different sticks on the back.  Using google images as references and trying to find as much as I can on the AUO B140QAN01.5 panel, I believe I have received an authentic screen.

Next, I’ll show off the actual WQHD mod kit.  The reason this kit appealed to me (besides the WQHD upgrade, duh) was due to it being really basic to install and required no soldering at all!!!  My x230 ThinkPad with the NitroCaster mod required precise soldering onto the motherboard, something I couldn’t do myself.

Before you do any installing, make sure you apply Kapton tape to the bottom of the WQHD circuit board kit.  As this circuit board will rest on top of the motherboard, you want the Kapton tape to help protect the components from any electrostatic charge.

Electronics manufacturing

Due to its large range of temperature stability, and its electrical isolation ability, Kapton tape is usually used in electronic manufacturing as an insulation and protection layer on electrostatic sensitive and fragile components

With the goodies out of the way and installed, we started testing.

CAUTION: DO NOT HAVE ANY POWER SOURCE (BATTERY, POWER ADAPTER) ATTACHED TO THE LAPTOP WHILE WORKING ON THIS MOD. MAKE SURE ALL CONNECTIONS ARE SECURED AND FIRMLY SEATED BEFORE TURNING ON THE LAPTOP.  FAILURE TO DO SO CAN CAUSE THE SCREEN, FUSE, MOD BOARD TO GET DAMAGED AND FAIL.

I needed to write that in case anybody actually reads this post and thinks about doing this.  ANYTIME you are working on electronics, you should disconnect the power from the adapter/battery and press down the power button a few times. This will allow the circuit board to drain the power from the capacitors.

The panel that I received has four mounting points.  When installing the screen, only the top two holes lined up perfectly with the T430s display housing.  The bottom two holes are 75% visible.  Some patience, a dremel and careful work should allow the hole to be slightly widened so that the screws could make their way into the threads.  This may not be a huge issue but I prefer for my screen to not flex or move any more then it has to. I’d also like the panel to be fully secured to the housing for a piece of mind.

We made sure to install the new screen panel into the display housing.  The screen panel is only being held up by two screws at the top of the case and the front bezel fascia, which snaps in and keeps the screen relatively secure.

Sorry for the poor quality photos, it was dark and lighting was inadequate but we managed!  The first photo was a test to make sure the screen, the cabling and everything was properly fastened and working.   The second image is with Windows 10 loaded up and the resolution now at 2560×1440! What a friggen improvement over 1600×900!!!

With the taste of 2k resolution, I was now eager to re-assemble the laptop slowly and carefully, being cautious to not damage any of the critical components for the display. One of the challenges with doing mods, is keeping everything looking and feeling as OEM as possible.

Now with everything hooked up, I started figuring out a proper way to run the WWAN and Wireless antenna cables through the magnesium cage. Below are the final photos before re-assembly.

…and that’s about it.  I know I didn’t go in depth regarding the actual process to install these components. I figure that if you are wanting to do the WQHD and are into modifying your ThinkPad, you probably should research this as much as you can and feel confident enough to do the work.  As mentioned before, the Lenovo Hardware Maintenance Manual is excellent and RMSMajestic/Javi-Jie provide clear enough instructions to help you through this.

Here she is in regular business fashion.

 

Now if you have a keen eye, you may also notice that on the left side of my screen, towards the bottom portion there appears to be screen light leak.

I’ve informed the eBay seller and hopefully we can get this issue solved.  The screen was %100 brand new and if this is a defect, I’d love a replacement.  It’s not a huge problem, but my eyes tend to gravitate towards the issue.  I have tried to adjust the bezel, thinking it was the problem but it didn’t help. I event went as far as removing the bezel and slightly lifting the screen and the light leak was still there.  I would say this is for sure a screen defect.

I will keep this post updated with whatever we determine to do with this issue and screen.

Insert Edit: March 28th 2018: The seller has agreed to ship me a new screen. As they were in the process of testing another AUO 1.5 screen prior to shipping, they discovered their batch of displays all had these kind of defects.  So my only option is to ship it back and try to buy from another seller, hoping they didn’t received a defective panel from AUO.

 

As we close off this post..for now, I’ll upload a few screenshots of windows showing the resolution and the different variations of scaling in Windows 10.

I am currently set at 125% scaling but I could do 100% also.  The screenshots go from 100% all the way to Windows 10 recommended, 200%!!!

 

I hope this helped anybody looking or considering this mod.  I think it’s fantastic and I thank RMSMajestic and Javi-Jie for their work and dedication to this project.

If you are interested and want to read further, please see the purchase thread here or the support thread here.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

ThinkPad T430s WQHD Upgrade – Part 1

ThinkPad T430s WQHD Upgrade – Part 1:

I’m a huge ThinkPad supporter. Ever since the purchase of my X220, I’ve fallen in love with these black, basic looking laptops with their red trackpoint.

What’s so great about them? well, let me give you a quick rundown…

  • Durable
  • Professional looking
  • Business grade
  • Excellent hardware maintenance manuals and support
  • Easily upgradeable and serviceable

Now they do have some cons about them, but in my opinion the worst one being screen resolution.
I’m writing this in 2018 and some laptops are still deigned and sold with 1366×768 resolution.

I have a few ThinkPads but we will focus on my T430s for the purpose of this post.

The T430s doesn’t have a terrible resolution, being 1600×900 but it could be better. A well known user on ThinkPads.com forum, by the name of RMSMajestic and a partner (Javi-Jie) created a WQHD upgrade kit for the T420s/T430s ThinkPad model.

This upgrade kit does not require any soldering, which is fantastic news and one of the main reasons I was sold on it.  The kit arrived a few weeks ago and I’ve been on the hunt for a reasonably priced screen to use.

Just a few nights ago, I pulled the trigger on a AUO B140QAN01.5 display panel.  This is the same panel that was sold on the ThinkPad T470s line not long ago.  The review’s were pretty good for the WQHD display  and based on the panel specs, seems to be a bit better than the LG LP140QH1-SPB1 panel.

The LG panel uses IPS technology while the AUO uses AHVA and the brightness is a bit better on the AUO panel but will use slightly more power (5.49W vs 3.76W).

IPS (In Plance Switching) are generally considered the best overall LCD Technology for image quality, color accuracy and viewing angles.

AHVA (Developed by AUO, Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle) also considered one of the best all around panel type.

Regardless of that, either panel would be a complete upgrade over what was planned and installed by Lenovo initially.

The panel is on it’s way and I’m eagerly waiting to get it and install it. I can’t wait for the laptop to be transformed and have a much better display and resolution to experience.

Stay tuned.