Build a DIY screen out of recycled parts for cheap

פורסם בתאריך 19 אוק 2016
Laptop users generally have to just put up with having a single main screen, but thanks to upcycling we can build a DIY portable secondary screen for laptops using recycled parts to keep the cost as low as $25! It not only performs really well, but it looks incredibly unique - it's a piece of solid industrial tech this one! Once you use two screens you can never go back!
eBay affiliate link for the control board; add the model number as shown in the video (be sure to include any suffixes like (sp) or (k1):
US buyers: rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-532...
UK buyers: rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-534...
If your screen isn't listed, most sellers of the control boards allow you to contact them directly and they will program a control board for your specific screen at no extra cost. Just send them the model number and you should be good to go.
Vinyl Wrap:
eBay US: rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-532...
eBay UK: rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-534...
This video is sponsored by Squarespace.
Want to build a website? Visit www.squarespace.com/diyperks for a free trial and 10% off.

תגובות: 4 982

  • Holy moley - it's only been up a few hours and we're nearly at 3k likes! Thanks guys!

  • new dilemma: should I make a secondary monitor or a lamp out of my old laptop's screen...

    • Definitely use a second monitor

    • Use the lamp as a screen

    • secondary monitor

    • Honestly!! A tip to getting a lot of spare parts, if you work for a company try talking to your IT department. Had my father talk to his IT department and they asked him how many old laptops he wanted.

    • it's been a year, what did you make?

  • It's strange to me that some startup hasn't done this for profit. The sheer amount of old laptops selling for $25 and under that have salvageable screens is immense. Add 3d printing to the mix and you could make cheap portable screens.

    • @dario belardi I could see it being plausible though, most of the electronics and components can be obtained wayyy cheaper in wholesale or by contacting the factories that produce the pcbs. But manual labor is gonna be the hard part to cut down on

    • Well... Thinking about it, you would work for hours to do a decent job, spending around 100 dollars or more considering you will buy an old laptop around 25, a control board around 40, a vinyl, cable protection, the wooden board, screws... To then get a screen that is not that thin, has not industrial levels of finishes and is probably not even high quality. It's just a cool DIY project.

    • only downside is just shipping time

    • I may snag this idea

  • I've a ton of old laptops kicking about, some I've fully refurbished, some I'd parked to strip for parts for to upgrade the refurb's. I'd suspected that it might be possible to drive all these spare LCDs panels and I can confirm I've now got one working with an inexpensive LDVS controller board, thanks to this video :)

  • Another happy customer here. Yes, I could have scoured ebay for a 2nd hand monitor, but doing this myself and rescuing something that would have been in landfill otherwise was a great experience. Suprisingly quick to do, especially as I used the screen casing from the laptop. Wall mounted above the desk in my workshop, which makes a great COVID work-from-home space. Thanks very much Matt!

  • As a high school teacher who constantly has to prepare exam papers, do grade analysis and a digital art hobbyist. .. this is the most useful DIY I've watched in a long time.

  • I'm studying masters in computer science, and I have a bit of a screen size issue on my y720, but I have 2 broken laptops, I can now make 3 screens working at the same time while studying, it's sooo helpful. thank you so much.

    • @Sam Download i wanna know too lmao

    • Did you make a setup of three screens?

    • @Alka Upadhyay Yeah I know that now Thanx 👍😁

    • @Gabruekq Bryh You can have as many screens as you want

    • That’s so cool I didn’t know u could have three screens!!!

  • I know this is an old video but it is at no point outdated, I came across this when looking for stuff to do during Covid and I remembered my mom having a very old laptop from 2008 that was fully dead, however in pretty good shape, obviously the specs we're nothing by today's standards but the retrieved parts we're certainly very interesting. I had always been looking for a second monitor, since I mostly use my gaming laptop, however it is very annoying to keep having to click of a game to check the chat or look something up. I saw this video and since the screen I had was also from "laptop format" it should sync with my current setup quite nicely. This meant ordering a controller board from Amazon and hooking it up, it worked fine. However, I wasn't really that much of a fan of the design of the outside used in this video, it certainly isn't bad but it wasn't really my style. Since I own a 3d-printer and have a good amount of experience in 3d design software I decided to 3d-print a whole outer casing for the screen. After many hours of printing it came out beautifully and I've been enjoying it for a couple days now, also really questioning how I ever lived without it ;). I went with the black and red theme since it fit my laptop and current setup. For those of you curious here are some screenshots of pictures of the finished product: gyazo.com/783252a9936f8ff03577770dc1cd27b4 gyazo.com/22d7b9e2e674ae8ebd1350d391d08c65 gyazo.com/48dafb1626fd1cdad8532a8ca3286753

    • nice one mate

    • Nice work.

  • Hey Matt, would love to see a 2020 update of this with USB-C for power and input!

    • Its already there

    • It'd be the same process, just go to eBay or Aliexpress and find a controller board which has that I/O

  • Absolutely love it mate, I built one myself and I am VERY satisfied with it. Amazing creativity and great narration defitenly helps putting things together when you are actually told what to do and shown. Thanks mate keep up the amazing videos😇🙂

  • Great video, I have an observation question. Couldn't you use these techniques to just strip down an old monitor? The reason I say this is that it occurs to me that if I instead strip down an old monitor, it would already have the control board saving the hassle and ~$25 of ordering one. Of course, a monitor is already a monitor but A) I would like to break it down so that it is small enough to fit in my laptop bag and B) power it without the additional cord. Unless, of course, the power requirements so much and power supply too necessary in a traditional monitor to remove or compress. Portable monitors are hard to find and always in the 100+ range, which is silly IMO. I gathered all my nice monitors from thrift stores for

  • Thanks for all the videos you do phenomenal work and actually make videos that explain the components needed and how to install. Im a beginner and definitely appreciate the detailed information. I built a voice controlled nightstand drawer lock and drawer opener using wifi wireless smart switch relay module and dc motor but am not satisfied with the build. I would really love to see a video from you on that, I haven't seen any really good videos on using the smart relay module for that application. Keep up the good work!

  • Ficou muito bom, nível profissional, parabéns pelo vídeo

  • Thanks to your video I was able to turn my old laptop screen into a secondary screen for my pc. I didn't even have to build an enclosure, as I was able to reuse the screen casing of the laptop and just had to mount everything to a solid wooden board. However, the control board I bought is only able to produce a color depth of 6-bit, which leads to image artifacts. The seller didn't mention this on their page. The screen is sufficient for what I use it but it's still a bit of a bummer. I'm wondering if this is a common thing with these boards or if I just got unlucky.

  • I love your concise explanations. Its such a pleasant change from many videos that have about 10% content and 90% waffle. Congrats your whole series is fascinating.

  • Great video. I've been thinking about doing this with my old laptop since it's power source died but didn't know how to go about it. Your explanation was clear and easy to follow. I guess I have a project for a weekend once the parts arrive. Cheers.

  • Hi Matt, thanks for the interesting diy videos. I'm having issue with screen display, although power is working, so wondering if connection at screen is loose. Would that be the case here? That would happen only if power and display runs through different circuits. I am wondering if you could have any thoughts on that.

  • It looks better than proper monitors haha!

    • Yeah!

    • It has a control board just sticking out of the back... so proper

    • Pantelis Christidis wow

    • Pantelis Christidis

    • there are 2 ways to play a composite device, you can get a board with composite in or you can get a composite to hdmi scaler, i think the second is better because boards with composite doesn't usually have HDMI.

  • Hey diy perks! Thank you for great videos and projects. I do have a question do you know if there are any type of aftermarket cases for these type displays? Just curious if there's anything like that out there.

  • That's one of the videos that inspired me the most... I found this video during the COVID-19 lockdown in spring of 2020, to fight the boredom I built my own display using a 15" LCD scraped from an old laptop (MAXDATA ECO 4500IW). What is interesting, the controller I ordered for the display is able to upscale the video in HDMI mode to 1080p - although the physical resolution of the display is lower (1280x800), the picture is surprisingly well readable. I made an enclosure out of a back of an old kitchen cabinet - it was a wood-like material of 3 mm in thickness which I sliced and glued into three layers of appropriate shape. I modified the presented project by mounting the entire device on drawer guides attached to aluminium vertical L-shaped bars. This allowed me to move the display up and down, so that it can be placed precisely above the laptop screen. I also added a Raspberry Pi lying around at the back of the device and I added the small OLED display attached to it. The entire setup works well to this day and I constantly use it for my work.

  • Hey, Matt. I'm a big fan of your works and I appreciate the knowledge you spread for free. How do I know my screen type, for example, if it's a 4k screen or any other screen they have. Also make a video describing types of (computer) screens and how to identify them. Please.

  • I made mine and it's turned out very well. Thank you for inspiring! Keep up the good work

  • Dude... I already knew how to recycle these screens but I was puzzled about making an enclosure.. YOU NAILED IT!!!

    • same xD

    • @devicemodder Dude, that´s...crude. LOL.

    • @Bugside almighty why did i laugh at this so much xD

    • i just glue the control board to 4 pieces of plastic and then glue it to the bare panel. then i bend a wire coat hanger to make a stand. works well.

    • Nope, he SCREWED IT!

  • Hi, very inspirational video. I've taken the screen apart but was figuring out the power supply for the second monitor. I see that you use the DC power from the laptop to power the second monitor. I was concerned that this option used in the video would tie the portable monitor to the laptop due to the the step down board conversion you did I was hoping to use the usb port from the laptop to power the portable monitor but was not able to do it with a step up board. I also looked at usb to DC 12 volt cables from Amazon but was not sure if it would work. I want to have portability so that the screen doesn't rely on a DC power to the wall. Not sure if I am just doing it wrong or not. I would greatly appreciate any guidance you may be able to provide power to the a 12 volt power screen.

    • @George Petridis from what I can tell in the video, he uses a stepdown/step up board to create the power option to power the laptop and screen. Unfortunately I didn't want to do it this way as it meant the screen would only work with this laptop or laptops that uses the same power plug. I am still looking at options for power. Currently I am using a 12v power adaptor from a portable hard drive to power the screen. I tried the borrow power from the usb from the laptop option but it didn't have enough juice.

    • I just received my board for the respective screen. I’m puzzled about the dc supply because the laptops charger don’t fit. Have you been able to figure it out?

  • Thank you so much for this. I think this is exactly what I need to do to fix my flickering screen.

  • Sorry for my lateness. Is there a way to combine a few of these? I’d love to make a tabletop gaming table and it seems like these would work great due to their thin profile. I suppose it would depend on the graphic capabilities of the computer controlling them. Please let me know thanks!

  • This is an awesome build!!! Thank you so much for the idea.

  • Nice idea. I'm thinking about a foldable double-Monitors, for a transportable 3 monitor setup with my laptop.

    • the double monitors would be facing outward when folded, added ninja benefit, Hinge a clipboard over them as a screen protector when closed and a paper easel when open

    • hmm... I might do that :)

    • just buy usb monitors.

  • Great video! I will make my own one, but I find it looks cooler leaving bare plywood finish than vinyl cover.

  • Could I ask a question about the 4D vinyl wrap? I bought some from the US eBay link you gave, but I expected it to have a the kind of physical texture that would make it look subtly different from different angles. But in fact the sheet I have is smooth, glossy, and when looked at from different angles it just looks as if it has diagonal stripes. There is printed detail when you look at it close up, but unlike the sort of “3D” effect you see when these details have some physical structure in them, this just looks flat. Do I have something different than the stuff you use?

  • Thank you so much for posting this DIY video, this is exactly what I want to do with my broken laptop!

  • This is exactly what I need for a small, lightweight, 3rd monitor, for one of my computers.

  • I'm about to recycle the displays from two dead laptops, using one as my desktop monitor until I can scrape together $500 for a good monitor. Yours look classy! I'll probably roll with 3D printed parts, but that vinyl wrap you suggested is most likely going to be my finish.

  • love the simplicity of this, just wondering how the screen was powered when used with the desktop pc? im assuming just a usb to dc power lead from the tower...

    • I think he was powered with a regular DC Power supply. USB 1.0/1.1 can only deliver 0,5 W. USB 2.0 2,5 Watt. USB 3.0/3.1/3.2 up to 4,5 Watt and USB C can deliver 15 W. So you'd need something like USB-PD and a Step Up - Step - Down converter...and I have never seen a PC with USB-PD... Most displays need 30-60 Watts.

  • Bravo. The Build Instructions was concise, well thought out script, simple elegant design. Thank you !

  • Hi, I recently bought the control board and wondering which power adapter will be suitable for it, as it was not mentioned on the specs of the control board. But after researching a bit, I am confused between "12V 3a" and "12V 4a" power adapter. Which one would you recommend?

  • I wish there was also some DIY perks for recycling graphics cards from old laptops.. :)

  • Love your channel. Your projects are not only brilliant...it helps me recycle my old dead devices. I am a big fan.

  • I'm in the process of making something like this and I was wondering what size screws and standoffs you are using?

  • Wow. Wow. Wow. I liked, commented, and Subbed! You are thorough. You explain mostly everything in the most understandable detail!! I am very impressed by your Channel. Seriously! You are so credible within these home made videos that I feel you should just put them all out of business with the amount of Professionalism you so kindly given to us!! The Laptop screens... WOW!! I would of never have thought!! And I have a butch of them that was ready for disposal. NOT after seeing these videos!! I would absolutely love one of them HOME MADE monitors, I need one for my workload, but I'm no where near as smart as ''how simple you make it look''... Put it simply, I would be very interested in purchasing one from you?! I would gracefully pay! Keep making these videos... You are a ILaward Asset.

  • I've done something like this before, with a dead netbook screen. However, something I don't quite understand is "Most laptops are restricted to just the single built in display". You can also just add a monitor like you can with a desktop... that's essentially all you did here... That said, good tutorial for those who may not have known. It's a great way to save a little money if you've already got a laptop screen from a laptop that's otherwise not usable.

    • yeah, there are some concept laptops with 3 built-in screens lol. I see this as a cool DIY and re-using parts instead of throwing them away.

    • if you have an iPad, the app "Duet Display" will allow you to hook it up to your laptop via USB and run it as a second monitor.

    • Yeah, I honestly wouldn't want to use the screens I have in my old laptops... they're all ugly TN panels. If anything, I'd rather swap out my laptop's screen for an IPS panel with the same size and resolution... don't know if that's possible, though. The reason I'd do this is because there are a lot of loose LCD panels you can buy of various sizes and resolutions. You can even get 4:3 aspect ratio if you want it. But they don't put them in monitors. I would only do a DIY like this if I had a specific LCD panel I wanted to use that doesn't come in a monitor.

    • To clarify, those that don't require a power brick all tend to lag a lot. I like the idea of connecting it to the laptops existing power brick though. My monitor is of a 5 year old computer and has 0 lag for non-gaming purposes. I still have to test it on gaming. Cheers.

  • I thought about doing this with an old laptop but after considering the cost of the controller, power supply and materials it really was a lot cheaper/easier to just buy a (full size) second-hand screen. It's a shame these days that just throwing things away seems to be the better option.

  • Amazing work 👏 I will use this video to make one of mine from my old laptop. Thanks!!!

  • This should be an actual shelf product!! I always feel the need of a portable second screen.

  • I've tried thism. Unfortunately the monitor itself broken. Thank you very much for the knowledge. Really grateful know this channel.

  • Love this video. Again, how is a three-year old video only just making its way to me?? How did I not see this ages ago!! Will be doing this with my *other* laptop lol

    • ​@Ariel 9977 i would like to do this project but i was asking my self...how can i be shure to buy the right power adapter?

    • Ikr I saw it ages ago then when I got a free monitor it all of a sudden popped up on my recommended

    • ikr

    • I thought the same thing. I should have learned about this years ago

  • I did it! But made it battery operated instead. Its sooooo cool. Thanks for the project!

  • @DIY Perks, I’m interested in making the screen even thinner by detaching the controller board from the screen when not in use. Basically what I want to do is to build a box around the controller board, attach a power supply to it (battery or wall plug), then attach an hdmi/usb type c, or any pin cable connection that is strong enough to be plugged and unplugged repeatedly to the end of the ribbon cable (FCC cable). I then want to have a female side of the cable be behind the screen. That part will be attached to the ribbon cable going into the back of the screen. To sum things up, I want to convert the 30 or 50 pin ribbon cable on the controller board to some other more durable connection method that will connect into each other. But it has to be able to convert from 30/40 pin connection then back to a 30/40 pin connection. Does that make sense? And can it be done? If so can you show us how to do it? If that can be. Done, then the control board can be part of some charging mechanism and would allow the screen to be much slimmer when being carried.

  • 5:55 Son unos de los Topgirls.Uno 15:55 Sun: ''Hotter'' 15:55 Hopi: ''Sweeter'' 15:55 Joonie: ''Cooler'' 15:55 Yoongi: ''Butter'' 15:55 Son unos de los mejores conciertos , , no puede ir pero de tan solo verlos desde pantalla, se que estuvo sorprendente...

  • Love your work Mat... inspiring indeed.

  • I've had a dead 19inch laptop for like 5 years, I'm so glad I found this video as I would have never thought of this!

    • Had a dead laptop for 5 years huh? Why? Does it feel good to be a hoarder? Probably. Either way, if you're the type that you have so much free space that a 5-year dead laptop can just keep existing, then I doubt you'd EVER need to skimp so much as to make it into a monitor? Sure it's cool, but like really is it any different than any other monitors? I'm still glad to this day that I chose a 27" 1440p 144hz monitor. Sure, it cost a few hundred dollars alone. But it's extremely worth it if you have the hardware to deliver the experience.

    • 19 ??? u mean 17 ?

    • @potato potato potato potato potato potato potato Exactly. xd

    • whete did u find a 19 inch laptop lmao

    • James Clayton yeah right

  • Awesome video mate, you're a great content creator! I may or may not be brave enough to attempt this!

  • Loved it. I would love to show you what I did with my Raspberry Pi 3B and a shadow box.

  • I'd love to see this build using only a USB-C cable instead of the HDMI and the 12V.

    • that is what i was thinking. did you ever find an answer?

  • You can give the two hinges some layers of heat shrink tubing in order to protect the table from scratches.

  • That 1.1k dislike are those monitor companies blowing their fuses

    • @3C 273 Your needs and budget are your own business, but they are different from other people's. In most cases it's all around worth it if you need a _portable_ monitor. They're lightweight and can fit in more places. Also keep in mind that the DIY route may have various better qualities (such as higher color range, contrast, response time, and viewing angle) for it's price depending on what model the screen is. All image qualities except the viewing angle matters a lot for media editing.

    • nah man it's not worth it you can just buy a cheap $20 monitor these days

    • TRUE

    • Or just people with different opinions than yours.

    • Or maybe by people who realize it can be cheaper and way faster to just buy a used "regular" monitor. Nice video, but not worth building this diy.

  • It would be cool to connect 4 or 8 of these recycled monitors to make a huge screen!

  • Love your stuff! I know this is an oldy, but its still relevant today. Would like to see an updated connection though... what about USB3 as the data source...or usbc as the combined data/power source. So many options Id love to see incorporated.

  • This is awesome! but I wonder how much does it weight? Is it practical to carry it around your laptop case?

  • This would have to be one of the most useful channels I have stumbled across. We live in a tiny place and got rid of our secondary monitors due to space issues. Yes, it's that small. But this DIY monitor takes up such little space that I might look into it, especially since so much is done via programs like zoom, it would be super helpful to have a secondary monitor for my laptop, Many thanks for your ideas.

  • Tightly epoxying the vinyl to the front side will also prevent ingress of cleaning fluids that would otherwise dissolve the standard adhesive. If you use a laptop screen the same height of your laptop you are going to use it with, you should make the stand/base so that it neatly lines up. One word of warning for the power supply thing though. Often the PSU of a laptop is at the bare minimum of what the laptop needs when it charges its battery and runs doing something power intensive. Thus by drawing away even more power, it might not be healthy, so run some numbers for the wattage that is needed (assuming 80% efficiency of the regulator).

  • Hi Matt, I saw this video a while ago, I had when I saw an HS laptop but the screen was not really great, suddenly I had not tested this reuse . A few months ago I recovered a newer laptop, I did not manage to restore it to working order (HS motherboard) but I took care to dismantle everything that was recoverable and in particular the 'screen which is more recent (I even made sure to keep the frame of the screen to be able to reuse it in this project). Last month, after some hesitation (I was afraid of not taking the right module and thinking of money unnecessarily) I finally decided, I took the back of the screen in photo and contacted different sellers of this smodules by sending them the photo to be sure to take the right module that I received ill there two days ago and yesterday I connected it and I was super happy to see that it worked immediately without any difficulties. I would certainly do the same again in the future on even more recent screens, in any case thank you for this video, it's really very satisfying to be able to give a second life to what would have ended up in the trash when it can be reused . A French follower.

  • Very nice video, I always wondered why people weren't customizing laptops

  • Thanks for this. I have an old laptop but I don't know if the LCD works properly. Buying the needed materials would be risking some money since I dont know if it will work or not. Would there be a way to determine whether my LCD works or not before I buy the needed materials for it to be converted into a monitor? Thank you in advance for any ideas.

  • Very nice. Could also be interesting to put a small one (like from a defective netbook) INTO a desktop computer with a side-window as a screen for hardware monitoring. That might be an interesting try. There it would be nice to power it via USB though (like using the mainboard's USB headers).

  • love your videos. you give great ideas and way to implement them in my own projects. was wondering if you could answer most likely simple question for me. i already have a controller board, but need to know if the letters after the model# matter. i had a b156xtn02.1 h/w3 lcd. will a b156xtn02.1 h/w4 or h/w2 work with my same controller board?.theyre all 40pin and same resolution.

  • Nice project. I might try this and the one for the "fake window". I have quite a few bad laptops stacked up for parts and the screens are good as far as I know.

  • amazing. this video inspired me to give some use to my broken laptop. I wish I had watched it long before. thank you very much!

  • Great vid! Got my inspired! I was wondering if you think the power supply is possible through USB-C/Thunderbolt 3? Ideally the hdmi signal could go in there as well, but combining both seems pretty impossible for a DIY project ...

  • This is really awesome. And I will definitely try for Surface RT. There is another good use of older / recycled screens - making them as Digital photo frame.

    • Which control board did you buy for the Surface RT?

  • I'm actually going to use this because i'm planning to make a desktop inside of a laptop. Yes it will be quite hard but this helped me out already!

  • Hey, this is awesome. I'm in the process of getting parts to do this. I was wondering if you found the wood board to be heavy?

    • He said it was light in the video

  • Amazing, I was wondering if i could use my old portable dvd player for the same...is it possible?

  • You can also use one screen like this in the backseat of a car for playing some videogames with a raspberry pi or something like that.

  • I'm so glad I found your channel, your content is very straight forward, which I really like alot when it comes to diy projects, Liked

  • I would love to make this but don't know anything about soldering, voltage, hardware etc. I would probably end up braking it or setting something on fire. 😅. Tho this is a really cool project! Maybe I could ask someone with more experience to make it for me. Btw does anyone know what laptop he got the 1080p HD screen from 😍

    • LittleGameDev it’s a Samsung I don’t know what model though

  • Hi Matt, I have an outdated surface RT. Wondering if it can be recycled for an external monitor like this too

  • This is why I love your channel man, you make some really cool stuff that I don't see everyday, and your videos are really entertaining and with really high quality, and the stuff that you make is awesome as always, keep doing more :)

  • Thankyou so very much for this, I had an old ASUS Netbook which went dead on me, and I was going to throw it all out, but because of you showing me this, I decided to take it apart, and grab the screen and hard disk, and I have ordered a controller board and plastic case, just waiting for them to come now so I can use the screen as a 2nd monitor for my PC

  • Hi, thanks for this very inspiring video :). Do you think I could power a controller board from a molex by customing an adaptater molex/6 pin (or directly plugging connectors into a molex). I need 2 Amp at least and I can't figure what to do with the 2 grounds... Oh and I'm a noob in electronics in case you havn't noticed yet :D. Thanks