Laptop into Single Board Computer Station, Part 2

So I’m still waiting for my LCD controller board (this one for my model laptop,) but I thought I’d do a little work on the project. It’s becoming a bit more of a task than I thought, but I’m excited about it.

I’ve taken out the hard drive and main board, and now what’s left is just the LCD panel, and the innards, looks like this:

2016-03-15 00.57.58

I decide that since I’m waiting for the LCD controller, I’d think about how to power a single board computer (like the Raspberry Pi) from the power input.

First, I looked at the adapter for the computer – it’s 20V! Way too much for the Pi. Then I thought, OK, I can take a power supply I have that can deliver 5V/2A (the Pi’s input) and use that, then figure out how to make an internal power connection to the Pi via a little USB cable inside.

But then (after some soldering, and a successful adapter, got 5V to come out of that little power wire you can see toward the top of the innards) I realized that the LCD needs power too! And guess what? It’s 12V. Sigh.

But, the cool thing about the power wire coming into the laptop is that it has two wires carrying voltage. Yay! So I decided I’d ditch the idea of using my little power adapter, and go back to using the laptop’s adapter. Except I’ll need two little circuits between the power and the Pi with a voltage regulator each (I know which one I’ll need for the Pi, but I’m waiting to hear back about the amp input needs of the LCD controller.  I’ll need to add some capacitors and a heat sink (I learned that here, even though it’s not the right voltage regulator,) and I’ll be good to go. And, I’ll have power to the LCD panel to boot!

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