Reverse Engineering an LG Cell Phone Display


LG’s KF700 is a 2008 era cell phone — that’s about 300 years old in cell phone years. The phone was somewhat novel in that it used a 3” diagonal 2:1 480×240 widescreen format. While the phone itself may be a memory, its screen lives on through the magic of Ebay.

Obtaining the LCD is the easy part – the hard part is figuring out how to interface to it. LG is very helpful in that regard by publishing detailed service manuals and schematics on their cell phones. We’re not sure if these manuals are supposed to be public domain, but Google is your friend here. With the help of the service manual, [Andy] was able to determine the LCD has an on board controller (Himax HX8352), making it much easier to interface to. He was also able to find out information about the LCD connector pin out, and even a connector part number.

Connectors in hand, [Andy] set about building a board. His software of choice is Protel, former name of the software we now know as Atlium designer. Knowing that most people aren’t running the same software he is, [Andy] gives plenty of information on creating a footprint for the tiny LCD connector.

The last part of this hack was the software. [Andy] is fond of the STM32 series, so he started with drivers for those processors. The final product is quite impressive. [Andy] also ported his driver to the Arduino Mega, however a 5 volt to 3.3 volt adapter must be used between the Arduino and the LCD.  Software for both drivers are available on [Andy’s] github.

 

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