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Scraptop - an attempt at a fairer laptop

For a long time I wished to do something in fair trade electronics. Today I finished a big part in an attempt to creating a fairer laptop. It looks like this from the inside:

And like this from the outside:

Used hardware:

  • Old laptop that can’t run newer windows versions and also not graphical linux => scrap?
  • A used USB OTG hub
  • A used USB to DVI adapter
  • A used 5V adapter
  • A used USB to PS/2 adapter
  • A new M.NT68676.2A TFT driver board (the least fair component…)
  • Some new hand-soldered components (microcontroller, resistors, etc.)
  • Some wire

What can it do now:

  • Connect to the USB port of the fairphone (or most other smartphones)
  • Type, mouse, display the screen etc, at a resolution of 1200x800 with density 160 (which means: proper scaling for this display). The ‘shift’ key just failed, so I’ll need to fix it…

What are my wishes:

  • A working shift key :wink:
  • Connect to the back USB connector (but it doesn’t work currently in LineageOS) and be able to shift in the phone in the old CD-ROM drive position
  • Perhaps a power bank inside for portability
  • Dimmable screen :slight_smile: (currently it’s always at 100% brightness)
  • Open source driver for Display Link IC (graphics)
  • And finally a long shot: a conversion kit for old laptops, with fully fairly sourced components

For the last two points I don’t have enough experience. Perhaps someone here likes the idea and has more experience?

See here for the build log and some old sources. I plan to put them on github when I cleaned them up a bit.

12 Likes

What an awesome work!
Take this message as my order for “one of the first” batch production =)

3 Likes

Haha, thanks! :slight_smile: I hope it will come that far… if anyone knows a batch of v5535/v5515’s for cheap…
BTW for people wanting to build their own, currently there’s a faulty v5535 in Netherlands on marktplaats.nl for €25 and one on eBay for €19 in Germany, excluding shipping. They seem fit enough for this task. I’m tempted to buy them myself, but the project is too immature to convert one in less than, say, 10-20 hours, and that’s a little too much to enjoy building and selling them.

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I can offer my solder skills and do some soldering for you. That may save some timeconsuming work for you.

3 Likes

Hmm, other question: what would you, or someone else with solder skills, need to build one yourself? Would the project need to be more mature? Better schematics? At this point I think that’s more doable than batch production.

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