New Stacy Display

My STBook has been out for repairs for quite some time, so I started thinking about making some improvements to my Stacy.  The joy of the STbook is that it is truly small and portable, where the Stacy is more of a “luggable” computer.  The big problem with the STBook is the RAM limitation.  Less than 1 MB available.  My Stacy is a Stacy 2, but it has been upgraded to 4 MB of RAM.

My Stacy had two problems that I wanted to address.  The first was that the display was failing, and was also very dim.  There was a vertical line coming down from the top of the display, and the bottom of the display would sometimes “go crazy.”  It had an open circuit somewhere.  If I would squeeze near the speaker it would clear up.  Secondly, I wanted to increase the storage capacity.  It had a 40 MB hard drive.

Note that you can click on the photos in my blog to expand to a larger image.

If you try any of this, it is at your own risk!

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I did some searching on the web, and found the part number for the Epson LCD display.  It is an Epson P300031800 (the number printed on the actual circuit board.  This is a photo of the display I removed from my Stacy:

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Note the white sticker at the top right hand corner.  I learned that this must be the part number for the version needed to be the “exact fit” for the Stacy:  ECM-A0443.  I did not know this when I started searching for the part.  I did some searching on eBay and found an Epson P300031800 “Industrial” display in China.  It was listed as new, so I ordered it.  It took 18 days to arrive.  I wondered if it would be the right item, and if it would actually work.  There were three differences I noticed, the first being that white sticker with the part number:

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The new display was an Epson EG-8007B-HS-1, but it still had the same part number etched on the circuit board:  Epson P300031800.  The second difference was the mounting frame.  Here is the frame from my Stacy:

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Here is the frame from the new display:

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You will notice that the mounting locations differ.  It was no problem.  You just bend the little ears holding in the display and swap it out.

The second difference was the power connector.  This is the power connector for the original Stacy display:

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This is the power connector for the new display:

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This was also no problem.  I just removed the black connector from the blue and white display power wires and soldered the two wires to the solder pads on the new display.  Sorry, I neglected to take a photo with the wires soldered on.

A third problem was the ribbon cable.  On the original Stacy display the print and contacts were facing upward.  On the new display they were facing downward.  I neglected to take photos of this part, but I will be adding some new photos here when I can.  It was necessary to move the plastic insulator at the contact end of the ribbon cable on the new display to the other side, so that the contacts were on the correct side for the black display connector on the Stacy.  The picture below is the original board, but I have circled the part I changed in yellow:

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 Now, lets go back to the beginning.  I found this website very helpful in the disassembly of the stacy:

It is so important to know about the screws behind the Stacy label on the front of the display!

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Start by removing these screws, then the back cover of the display will snap away by gently prying with a flat screwdriver.  There are small catches around the cover that hold it on:

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When you have the back removed, you will see the display shielding.  I found the inside of mine had some notes about a previous display repair.  The yellow sticky was about the power wire polarity, and the “sharpie” writing was about a hinge repair.

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I doubt that the display wiring condition is stock!  To remove the display, just remove all the phillips screws holding the shielding, disconnect the black connector for the power, and the ribbon cable for the display data.  The connector for the ribbon cable has the typical “slip lock” that you can pull open gently and it will release the ribbon cable.  Do not force it out.  Make sure the lock is open and it will slide right out.  Remove the green grounding wire from the shielding.

Ribbon cable:

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Grounding wire:

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Display with shielding removed, showing ribbon cable connection and power connection:

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Once you have the display removed, just reverse the process to install a new display.  My result was quite impressive (at least to me!).  Here is before:

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Here is after:

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I never would have dreamed a Stacy display could be so bright in the daylight!  I was right by a window with the sun coming in through a curtain.  Here are a couple of examples with less light:

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I am very happy with the brightness and clarity of the new display.  The display is not perfect.  It has a few flaws in the back light material as you can see here (the black spots):

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This does not bother me, as the display is so bright and clear, and the black spots are in the background of the display and not the foreground where the text and graphics are displayed.  I would also note that the new display has more of a reflective finish, where the original was more of a matt finish.

While I was at it, I replaced the 40 MB hard drive with a 700 MB hard drive (Quantum ProDrive Lighting 730S).  I’ll write with the details of disassembly of the bottom case in my next post.  That is the difficult part.  The screen was actually quite easy.  

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