Introduction: Laptop Smartphone Dock From Broken Macbook or Any Other Laptop…
This project was made because it can be handy to use all the power of the actual smartphones as a regular computer.
Step 1: Materials
laptop (you only need the LCD screen and the housing)
Thin EVA foam
LCD screen control board
USB-C to HDMI connector (depends on the port on the smartphone)
Bluetooth keyboard (optionally a mouse??)
Step 2: Tools
3D printer or something to make the housing for the phone, could be even cardboard or some kind of foam.
Step 3: Methods
First of all, we start with the laptop.
In this case I used a Macbook pro from a friend, which its battery swelled and broke the trackpad and something else inside so it was not turning on anymore, even that you can’t change the battery by yourself apple refused to fix it and wanted him to pay 600€ for the total fix, a total SCAM. He is never getting an apple ever again, this is planned obsolescence from this company so you get a new one :(
We have to open the laptop and basically empty it.
For the screen part, we have to be very careful and locate the model of screen that we have, this is usually on a sticker at the back of the screen, so you need to take it out from the frame that is holding it, for some laptops it will be easier than for others, in this case, for the Macbook we have to use a trick.
There is a glass in front of the screen, so with a hairdryer, we have to heat up the sides of the screen (be careful you don’t overheat it and damage the screen) when the side is hot, we insert a guitar pick from the side (attention on the side rubber not to damage it) and we slide the pick across the side so we detach the glass.
Now we have access to the screen and we can see the numbers we need.
I bought the board and the power supply on ebay from e-qstore guys, just email them with the kind of LCD you have and they will tell you which controller to get.
Step 4: Meanwhile We Wait for the Controller Board to Arrive, We Have to Trim the Housing of the Laptop.
Were the trackpad was, we will put our smartphone, so measure and cut the hole you need, for a better fitting of the phone is a good idea to make some kind of support, in my case, I 3D printed a support for my phone (Huawei p20) you can download the file here.
But you can make this support almost with anything you have at home.
Also since this laptop case is metallic, and we want to avoid a short-circuit between our controller board and the frame, we need to cover the inner parts of it with something insulating. In this case a thin layer of EVA foam.
Once the controller has arrived, we only have to put everything together.
Connect the controller to the screen (be careful since the connector is quite delicate) and test it before reassembling the screen.
Then like a puzzle, just put all the parts inside the laptop’s housing.
Connect the board with the HDMI cable to the HDMI to USB-C connector and if you want, you can orient the controller board in a way that you reach the other image ports of the board easy to reach so you can use it as a second monitor too.
Place the phone support and you can close the laptop’s housing.
Finally. You can add the Bluetooth keyboard on top, or you can put it inside… that depends on how you like it, also, the power supply could go inside or just make the cable go through one of the lateral holes of the housing.
And like this, we are all set, just connect the phone and time to play.
Step 6: Some Considerations and Further Developments of the Prototype.
In this case, the Huawei phone has the possibility to cast the image like a desktop computer which I think is really convenient and it becomes the trackpad. If not you have a second mini-screen on the phone that can be used as a trackpad too.