Re: [NTLK] OMP / MP100 with backlight

From: Sonny Hung <>
Date: Tue Mar 24 2009 - 22:30:49 EDT

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 11:37 AM, Frank Gruendel <>wrote:
> For a working Newton backlight you need two
> things:
> 1) A display with an integrated backlight foil. To
> the best of my knowledge a display like this never
> existed for the OMP and MP100 models. For the
> MP110/120/130 you could either use a MP130 display
> or one that was made especially for the MP120
> models.

Greetings All,

I should be resting more as I've again hurt my back, but I'm bored after
working the whole day, sitting through a two hour class at the campus and I
also know that I need to get some Newton Stuff for someone... so I'm reading
this and keeping my mind off my back ;-P

So here is my thoughts after doing a quick search.

1) I think it maybe possible to put a backlight into an OMP/MP100.
Though it is a very slim chance.
It would be my belief that if anyone could do it it would be Frank.
Of course I am a bit on the crazy dreamer side of the road and if taunted
long enough I may give it a try if I ever get enough time and the right

So here is what I found which give me the slightest hope - if what Frank
indicated might leave any chance of anything though his description say
no... :(

This is a DIY guide to EL backlight installation on a small scale. If the
Newton's LCD panel is of similar construction to the smaller example then
there maybe a slim chance it can be done.

> 2) The inverter, which is the hardware that
> produces the relative high voltage AC signal
> required to drive a backlight. There used to be
> solutions, as Sonny pointed out, that lived where
> normally the collapsible pen lives.

In my search today this company offered various drivers/inverters that were
powered by various battery setups.

A little more research could pull up an appropriate unit to power this. One
version used two 3v button cells but only powered 50cm of EL :/

They had a small push button that protuded slightly from the
> case. Pressing the push button switched the
> backlight on for a fixed time. Around 10...20
> seconds, if I remember correctly. It was not
> possible to switch it off during this time, not
> even if the Newton was powered down. It had, so to
> say, a life of its own.

Actually the SuperTech 2000 I think is based on a MP120 and has a backlight
and also a control button on the front lower bout that allows for it to be
turned on and off at the user's pleasure. And I suggest Frank look at the
SuperTech 2000 when he get a chance if he hasn't that I sent him ;-P to
verify that.

> I would probably be able to build one or two of
> these 120s from the parts I have. Just in case you
> haven't a clue what to do with all your money, and
> only if you promise by the life of your mother
> that it will not end up at eBay or be in any other
> way used to make a big profit. But I doubt that
> you'd even find the room for the inverter hardware
> in an OMP, let alone a display with an integrated
> backlight.

What I wonder is if the drivers/inverters that are available commercially
could be driven by a 5v+ from the OMP/MP100. We have the schematic and could
possibly there be an available free 5v+ source on the PCB? Maybe the PCMCIA

> Unfortunately it is not possible, as it is with
> the 2x00 and the eMate, to add or replace a
> backlight foil. You would have to destroy the
> connection between the LCD and the thin flexible
> printed circuit board that drives it. A couple of
> years ago I completely ruined two slightly
> defective MP130 displays trying to figure out a
> way to replace such a backlight. I haven't a clue
> how the 120 displays with backlight ever came so
> see the light of the day. I consider it hardly
> likely that Apple was involved here, given the
> relatively small number of potential customers and
> the fact that it wasn't Apple who was selling
> them.

My thoughts are that going by the info from the PDF I linked to above that
the LCDs for the OMP/MP100, the MP110 and MP120 have a similar setup as the
example LCD. That there is a thin reflective material/film attached to
another transparent film which backs the LCDs. In the example you separate
the reflective film from the transparent film (this film actually makes the
image more visible in the example LCD) In anycase if the Flexible PCB which
contains the electronics for the LCD is attached in a way that prevents the
backside of the LCD from having the reflective film removed then this is
pointless. But in the case that it does not then there might be hope.

I wish I had a spare LCD for the OMP/MP100 to test this out with. I do have
LCD iirc for the MP110 which I could check this out with by examining it and
then if it is possible to do place the MP2000 backlight behind it to test it
out... hm... I just I too crazy or is it just the lack of sleep
and the back pain all going at once...???? hmm.....

I trust Frank's assessment. However if I have the time I'd give this a try.
 Ryan if you had the time and a spare LCD you could give it a try anyway to
first see if the backlight could be placed in. If it were to be possible
then we'd have to look further about the driver/inverter then ;-P I thin I
sound crazy now... hehehe.

Excuse the ranting of a over zealous Newton User...

God bless,
Sonny Hung
the Hung Family
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Received on Tue Mar 24 22:30:59 2009

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