DIY laptop help

denon02

Estimable
Feb 24, 2014
6
0
4,510
0
Hello again. I am trying to build my own laptop. I know it is very hard and very limited and in most cases it would be better to just buy one but I have some spare time and would like to do it as a side project.
To make it a bit simpler, I would like to use an aluminum hard case. It provides loads of space where i can fit everything.
I would like to hear some concepts and ideas from you if possible (possible parts and powers supply).
Thank you for your time:)

Added: Everything is still open for debate. I would prefer a 17 inch laptop with stereo speakers and an I3 though (that is how far I got). If anyone has a better Idea please let me hear it.
Also, I am able to do a custom frame/chassis if necessary (later on).
 
The reason this is "very hard" is because laptop components are proprietary. You can't build one the way you build a desktop, where there's a standard that components follow. The most building you can do is to order a barebones system that already has the chassis with the board, screen, and possibly a couple of other components. From there, you can source the remainder of the parts.

MSI and Clevo offer barebones systems through various resellers. You can start there, if you're still interested.
 

denon02

Estimable
Feb 24, 2014
6
0
4,510
0


Thanks for your reply. What you said is completely true and thank you again for the information but I would like to try and build it this way.

Don't get me wrong, I do not want to try to re-invent the wheel I would just like to try and build a working laptop out of whatever parts i can find.

I also understand that the possibilities are very limited as the components are usually onboard and addons are usually just MXM gpus and minipcie components.

Right now I am only looking for interesting ideas that I can look into and may implement (which motherboard to use with their possible cpus up to inbuild amplifiers, extended batteries etc)

Also, I am in the lucky position that I can machine my own frame so space is not a problem. :)
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
If you really want to build your own case, then I'd buy a laptop with a dead screen, take it out of the case, build a case for it, replace the screen with another of the same model and there you go.

At the core if you want to really part it out, motherboard and screen connections with the screen. The CPU, RAM, hard drive, video card if it's a standard laptop plug can be gotten outside of the shell.

Even if you can build the shell, can you make all the parts that hold the motherboard to that shell? And without shorting it out?
 

denon02

Estimable
Feb 24, 2014
6
0
4,510
0


Had the same idea and have been checking ebay regularly for some good/cheap damaged yet still functional parts but have not bought anything yet.
As for the shell, I think I should be able to model one in cad to the final sizes but I would require the parts first. After that the machining of the parts would be done by the computer. Also I think I can get some insulator lining between the parts so shorting it out would not be a problem
 
That's quite a task! If you can machine your own chassis, then heck: you can select just about any laptop board you like and build around it. Mind you that you'll need to construct screw standoffs where appropriate to secure the board, as well as take into account the thermal dynamics and how to address heat dissipation. Since laptop cooling systems are also generally proprietary, you'll have to build the chassis with the cooling system's size and function in mind as well (i.e. ventilation and headroom).
 

denon02

Estimable
Feb 24, 2014
6
0
4,510
0


I will try to consider that when I get to that stage thanks :)
For the cooling system would It be a good idea to hook it up to the chassis if it were to be made out of aluminium? It could be combined with the traditional ventilation system but I read somewhere that the load on the fan would be reduced by doing so.
 
Aluminum is a good option for its weight and heat transferring ability, and is a cut above plastic in both respects. Another option is carbon fiber, though while this is more durable than plastic or aluminum, I don't know how it fares with heat. Be sure to use a good TIM if you're going to use a high-end CPU, also (Gelid GC-Extreme or IC Diamond are great and non conductive, while coollaboratory's liquid ultra is great but conductive).
 

denon02

Estimable
Feb 24, 2014
6
0
4,510
0


This is exactly the kind of input that I am looking for :) thank you. I do not think that I can get a carbonfibre chassis machined so aluminium might be the better choice.
But before I think about that, I have some questions.
1)When choosing the screen, is the size reflected in the adapter that connects to the motherboard? so if I use a motherboard that is usually used with a 15 inch screen, can I use a 17 inch screen without having to use the vga or hdmi adapter?

2)Since the laptop will have more space I am considering a larger battery capacity. How can the capacity be extended without increasing either voltage or amp supply. I only know the basics and do not know if this kind of management is done on the motherboard or within the battery assembly.

3)Normally the on-board audio-jack switches from speaker to headphones when connected but because of the increased space I have to extend it. How can I keep the auto switch ability?

4)Also wanted to implement stereo front facing speakers with a small amplifier that can be adjusted with a potentiometer. I know the circuit layout for the amplifier but I lack knowledge about good speaker selection and how to power it.
 
1) The screen has no bearing on the adapter. The adapter's size and electrical specifications should be determined by the hardware, e.g., if you have a board with an i7 4710MQ and a 970M video card, you'll want a good adapter that supplies around 180 W or more.

2) Battery capacity (if by capacity, you mean life) is determined by the material used and how many cells it has and watt hours the battery is rated for. There are really only two types of batteries used in laptops these days: Li-Ion and Li-Polymer. There's more info on batteries here: http://batteryuniversity.com/

3) "Extend it" how?

4) Dynaudio makes great laptop speakers, but finding laptop speakers standalone is difficult. When it comes to rigging the laptop for speakers, however, that's where the scope of my advice hits a wall. Doing this sort of thing will take trial and error, and how you do it and the difficulty of it will depend on both you and the motherboard you end up with.
 

denon02

Estimable
Feb 24, 2014
6
0
4,510
0


So theoretically, I could use any laptop screen within a given wattage range?
As for the battery capacity, probably have to make a battery pack with a current and voltage controller then.
I solved the extension problem by just desoldering the audio jack and placing a few wires between it to reach the chassis. (tried it on a friend's project)
 
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