thydzik’s MAME cabinet update

After over a decade and the MAME cabinet collecting dust, I decided to rejuvenate my MAME cabinet once again.

First to go was the 26″ KORTEK color monitor, which was roughly 30 years old. I stripped out all the legacy IPAC and JPAC harness and went with a basic USB arcade decoder, the USB to Xin-Mo Arcade 2 players with 30 inputs.

I found the Asus VW266 26” Widescreen LCD Monitor, which was the perfect width for the cabinet.thydzik-mame-cab-2016-update

thydzik’s MAME cab

Replace the hinges and LCD screen on an ASUS F3J laptop

Today I will be walking you through a laptop hinge replacement on an ASUS F3J laptop. As usual I purchased the replacement hinges from eBay for $11 including shipping to Australia. You can only buy a pair of left and right hinges, so you can choose to replace both.

The standard ASUS F3J replacement hinges

I also purchased a pair of plastic hinge covers from eBay for a relatively expensive $14 including shipping to Australia, I could have probably saved some money and used my existing ones with a bit of glue since the clips had broken.

First a photo of the damaged hinge, you can see the right hinge sheared off completely which is quite dangerous as the associate cables should easily be damaged further. Further, you will notice that there is no plastic hinge cover. The left hinge was fine and still holding the screen in place, but I suspected it may have been weakened by the rotational torque so replaced it as well.

The severed right hinge on the laptop

Replacing the hinges are fairly straight forward, first remove two sets of screws on the back of the back of the laptop as per the photo below.

Remove the two screws from the back rear of the laptop

Turn the laptop upside down and remove a screw holding the left hinge in place from the bottom.

Turn the laptop back to its normal position and open the screen to an obtuse angle exposing the plastic hinge covers. Remove these by slightly compressing them and pulling on the back side first.

Once these are removed the hinges are visible. This was already the case for my broken right hinge.

Remove the two screws holding the hinges to the laptop, once removed you should be able to remove the LCD screen from the laptops base completely, be careful though as the data cables would still be connected. You can easily disconnect these cables, this frees the LCD screen a little more except for a single pair of wires which doesn’t seem to look like it was easy to disconnect.

Disconnect the hinge and the cable plug

Now with the screen removed from the base, remove the eight rubber screw caps exposing the screws. With a Philips screwdriver remove the eight screws.

Remove the eight screw caps and screws around the LCD bezel

With the eight screws remove the surrounding plastic bezel can be removed exposing the LCD screen.

From here remove another set of four screws holding the LCD screen assembly on the plastic backing.

Remove the four screws holding the LCD to the plastic housing

Finally, remove four small screws from either side of the LCD screen.

Remove the four screws on each side of the LCD holding the hinges

You should now have the two hinges removed. This is the same procedure if you want to replace the LCD screen. Install the new hinges by following the above instructions in reverse.

The replaced broken right hinge

To reinstall those rubber screw caps a drop of glue may be required to hold them in place.

Once the hinges are installed, installed the plastic hinge covers and you’re done.

Pop the plastic cover on to cover the hinges

ComputerSphere – Installing the LCD electronics and testing

After a very long break, I’ve decided to complete this mod once and for all.

This update is mainly to make sure the LCD is still working after sitting around for a number of years, and confirm I still have all the parts.

Firstly, let’s make sure the LCD is still working.

A quick test of the LCD making sure it is still working

Now we need to create something to mount the various parts, which include LCD circuit board and motherboard. I thought of an easy solution, use the existing CRT mounting holes to create threaded stands that all the components can be suspended from.

I picked up some 65mm threads and matching bolts from the local hardware store, these were threaded into the original plastic bezel holes.

65mm bolts and nuts used as the main mounting supports
Screw the bolts into the existing CRT mounting holes
All bolts screwed in, but need to  remove the bolt heads

A Dremel solves the problem of the original bolt heads in the way.

A Dremel easily solves the removal of bolt heads

Mount all the LCD TV’s hardware on the first metal sheet.
Mount the LCD TVs electronics, insulating certain areas with tape

I give it a test run and notice a strange vertical white line running down the centre of the LCD, I thought some connection must be loose, but all the wiggling and playing around I was not able to resolve it.

Run another LCD test, for some reason there is a strange white line

I will just have to leave it for now and come back to it later.

Next step is working on the buttons and knobs.

Replacing a cracked Canon IXUS 55 / IXY 60 / SD450 LCD screen

Here’s a step by step guide on replacing the LCD screen on a Canon IXUS camera. Whilst, the model shown here the IXUS 55, it is fairly similar for other IXUS models.

The cheapest LCD I have found online is through The Foto Geeks for $55, however you can actually buy a cheaper whole (working) camera from eBay, and usually accessories are included with it. Note to make sure it is only the LCD which is cracked and not the backlight, in order to get the correct replacement parts.

My poor camera with cracked LCD screen:
Canon IXUS 55 / IXY 60 / SD450 with cracked LCD screen

Tools required:

  • small Philips head screwdriver
  • small flat head screwdriver

First remove the 6 Philips screws on the edges of the metal case, location defined by the arrows in the photo below:
Remove the 6 small Philips screws from the case

Remove the front half of the metal case by starting at the camera’s base, at the top there is a metal clip which connects the front and back halves. Removing the front half free form this clip requires a bit of manipulating . The clip is circled in the photo below:
Metal clip connecting the front and back halves

Once the front half of the metal housing is removed, the back half can be removed extremely easily. You will be presented with the LCD screen, remove the single Philips screw which holds the LCD in place as per the photo below:
Remove the screw which holds the LCD screen in place

Slide the LCD screen to the left, and this will release the screen from a little clip. Once the screen is free, remove a Philips screen holding the tripod mount is place:
The clip holding the LCD in place and the screw holding the tripod mount

Turn the camera over, and remove the front screw which holds the tripod mount. You can then remove the tripod mount which will allow the removal of the main LCD ribbon cable. The ribbon cable is disconnected by lifting up the brown tab on the connector:
The screw holding the tripod mount at the front and the main ribbon cable connector

Once the main ribbon cable is removed, the backlight’s ribbon cable can then be accessed easier. It is removed by simply pulling the cable away from the socket perpendicular to the PCB:
Remove the backlight's ribbon cable

The LCD can now be removed from the camera. The below photo is the replacement LCD screen:
Removed LCD screen

To connect the replacement LCD and reassemble the camera, perform the above instructions in reverse. It is a good idea to test the replacement LCD before assembling, to make sure everything works fine.

Finishing the bezel and mounting the LCD

A small update to keep things rolling.

I finished sanding the bezel to a state I was quite happy with. The hole was then trimmed as it was slightly too big and the sides were uneven.

Pictures below just before painting.
Computersphere bezel after sanding and trimming
Computersphere bezel after sanding and trimming

First a white undercoat, 2 layers.
White undercoat applied to bezel

Coat of matt black, 2 layers.
Matt black applied to bezel

Final photos of the Videosphere shell with new bezel.
Completed Computersphere bezel
Completed Computersphere bezel

The LCD screen, after having the corners trimmed.
Trimmed LCD corners to fit in the Videosphere
Trimmed LCD corners to fit in the Videosphere

The LCD screen was glued in place, will be cleaned of glue smudges as the end.
LCD screen glued into place, inside of Videosphere
LCD screen glued into place, front of Videosphere

Next, I am looking at connecting the LCD circuitry.

Integrating an LCD TV with the Videosphere

As I previously posted, I purchased a 8.4″ LCD TV for around $150.

Here is the last update for the year, going on holidays and won’t be back till mid January.

I have started to try to mount the LCD TV into the Videosphere. Firstly removed the LCD from the plastic housing
Removing the LCD from the plastic housing

This is a photo of the back of the LCD
Underside of the LCD

First fit test. You would not believe how close this panel is to not fitting. When choosing the TV I only was concerned about the LCD size fitting the hole, I did not think about the housing. Being a cheap quality LCD the housing protrudes a fair bit. You can observe that the housing isn’t quite flush and this is for two reasons, the LCD is slightly too big, and the hole is actually curved due to the curved screen of the original CRT.
Fit testing the LCD to the Videosphere

The way I solved the LCD size problem was grinding the corners down. This was fairly dangerous as it was easy to damage the LCD, I still haven’t tested the LCD to see if it still works. Before grinding I disassembled the metal housing, this was so that I could see where the glass was as you do not want to be grinding that.
Removing the metal housing from the LCD

Here is a photo of the ground corners of the metal housing; I will explain what the cardboard is for next.
Metal housing with corners ground down

This now solved the LCD not fitting problem. The next problem was the gaps caused by the curved hole. This was solved by using car body filler. First I made a cardboard template with the exact same size hole as the Videosphere.
You can observe the LCD metal housing on top of the cardboard below.
Cardboard template created from the metal housing

It was secured to the Videosphere with some tape.
Cardboard template secured with tape
Front of Videosphere with cardboard in place

Car body filler was applied liberally over the cardboard.
Car body filler applied to Videosphere hole

And the sanding process began.
Initial first phase of sanding

I decided to buy myself an early Christmas present to speed things up. $125 from Bunnings, includes the Flex Shaft and 55 accessories.
Dremel 300 boxed

This was the finished results after another layer of car body filler. It took me a while to get used to the Dremel as I was taking too much out of some areas and leaving indents.
Finished result after sanding

I am quite happy with the results so far. This will be painted black making any imperfections harder to see. Below is a photo of the LCD metal housing over the hole. The hole is slightly uneven and small and that will be fixed up next year.
Back of Videosphere with metal housing used for comparison

Cleaning the Videosphere

I should mention prices, and note it will all be in Australian dollars.

I picked up the Videosphere about 3 years ago of eBay for about $200.

I will also mention, I am going to try and include everything, even the mundane stuff. So with that said.
Here are some pictures of me washing it. Basically I removed everything that could be removed and scrubbed it with a bit of detergent and brush. The condition is actually quite good, few scratches but nothing major.

Videosphere being soaked
Videosphere nice a clean

This is the colour LCD TV I purchased ofabout a year ago for $150. I spent a while looking for one that could fit the nicest in the existing hole. The actual tube is specified as 9″.

8.4 inch LCD colour TV box
8.4 inch LCD colour TV

I also picked up a few sheets of various grade wet and dry for $1.30 each.

Wet and Dry (sand) paper