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CharredPC's Acer Extensa 5620 Hot Rod Project


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#41
CharredPC

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So, just to clarify, if i pulled the LCD cable out of my acer and sent it to you then you would perform the upgrade to it?

I would not enjoy that part of this project and my electrical skills are weak, but i was prepared to do it myself, however if you could out of the kindness of your hear or passion for this sort of thing that would be a lifesaver! so.. whadda say :^)


Yes, I would be happy to do that for you. Someone else here should attest to the nifty modification I created! Besides, what else would I use my extra wires for? You'd still have to acquire and install a higher resolution LCD to take advantage of it, but I'd be happy to mod the cable for you if you sent it to me. I'll PM you my address; USPS first class mail is cheapest, or a Priority Mail envelope is next best (if you want delivery confirmation tracking on it). Have you already figured out how to disassemble everything? If not, let me know, and I can give you some tips.

#42
dawntodon

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Yes, I would be happy to do that for you. Someone else here should attest to the nifty modification I created! Besides, what else would I use my extra wires for? You'd still have to acquire and install a higher resolution LCD to take advantage of it, but I'd be happy to mod the cable for you if you sent it to me. I'll PM you my address; USPS first class mail is cheapest, or a Priority Mail envelope is next best (if you want delivery confirmation tracking on it). Have you already figured out how to disassemble everything? If not, let me know, and I can give you some tips.


if you ever need a second witness, I could send over my lcd cable as well. Also, I was hoping to enlist your guys' help with finding a grape32 power supply that won't charge me an arm and a leg. I've just gotten my laptop's dc jack repaired and am finding also that my battery's toast. I'm using this as an opportunity to get a grape32 psu with a stronger battery and could use any help I can get to keep costs down. Thanks again and congrats on cracking that code, charredpc!

#43
CharredPC

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Great to see all the Extensa 5620 users here!

Dawntodon: I'm happy to take care of both your cable and AeonModder's, but as I let him know, I seem to be short on wires. I thought I had eight spare, but turns out I only have five. So if one of you could send a spare cable along with your own, that would give me plenty to modify both. If neither of you have a spare, perhaps you can split the cost of a used one off eBay or something...? I'm willing to do the work free, but not in a place financially to buy another spare cable, unfortunately.

As far as the charger goes, I used an Acer PA-1900-05. Taking a quick look on eBay, I see several of that model ending for pretty cheap... if you want an actual Acer branded one like I got, there are some new ones for $13.50 Buy It Now with free shipping.

For the Grape32 battery, still looking at eBay, you can either go with a new 4400mAh one (which is still slightly better than the original 4000mAh) for about $42 shipped, a 4800mAh one for $58 shipped, or the 5200mAh one for about $56. Not sure where you can find cheaper than that, unless you want to try a different model battery. Let me know if you have any questions or need more details.

Also, I finally wrote up a little guide that sums up the upgrades I did. You can view it here. If I end up modding someone's cable, I will add pictures of that. I'm simply too busy using my Acer to rip it apart and take pictures! :D

And never forget to install the generic speedstep kext when using OSX! All batteries die quick when the cpu is running at 100% all the time.

#44
dawntodon

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Great to see all the Extensa 5620 users here!

Dawntodon: I'm happy to take care of both your cable and AeonModder's, but as I let him know, I seem to be short on wires. I thought I had eight spare, but turns out I only have five. So if one of you could send a spare cable along with your own, that would give me plenty to modify both. If neither of you have a spare, perhaps you can split the cost of a used one off eBay or something...? I'm willing to do the work free, but not in a place financially to buy another spare cable, unfortunately.

As far as the charger goes, I used an Acer PA-1900-05. Taking a quick look on eBay, I see several of that model ending for pretty cheap... if you want an actual Acer branded one like I got, there are some new ones for $13.50 Buy It Now with free shipping.

For the Grape32 battery, still looking at eBay, you can either go with a new 4400mAh one (which is still slightly better than the original 4000mAh) for about $42 shipped, a 4800mAh one for $58 shipped, or the 5200mAh one for about $56. Not sure where you can find cheaper than that, unless you want to try a different model battery. Let me know if you have any questions or need more details.

Also, I finally wrote up a little guide that sums up the upgrades I did. You can view it here. If I end up modding someone's cable, I will add pictures of that. I'm simply too busy using my Acer to rip it apart and take pictures! :D

And never forget to install the generic speedstep kext when using OSX! All batteries die quick when the cpu is running at 100% all the time.


hi charredpc,

again, thanks for your help. a quick search on ebay for terms "5200mah acer" for items over $50 seemed to yield batteries that are compatible with acers but not with my 5620. I would be interested in taking the plunge for a 5200 mah one. I had tried contacting aeonmodder but it doesn't seem s/he is too interested in working together on making this happen. would you mind directing me in the way of a link to one of these wires so i have an idea visually what to look for? kudos for your hard work and i suppose i can partially thank acer for making this one extensa so repurposable!

#45
CharredPC

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hi charredpc,

again, thanks for your help. a quick search on ebay for terms "5200mah acer" for items over $50 seemed to yield batteries that are compatible with acers but not with my 5620. I would be interested in taking the plunge for a 5200 mah one. I had tried contacting aeonmodder but it doesn't seem s/he is too interested in working together on making this happen. would you mind directing me in the way of a link to one of these wires so i have an idea visually what to look for? kudos for your hard work and i suppose i can partially thank acer for making this one extensa so repurposable!


This battery is a 5200mAh one for $48.75, and will work with the 5620. Don't forget you'll need the 90w charger as well to make it work. Here's a cable similar to the one I bought (the cable I actually purchased was here). The important thing is it should be for an Acer Extensa, and look very similar to ours- same tape wrapping, same 40 pin plug. That way, the wires will be transferable.

#46
CharredPC

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My little how-to here grew into a full-on guide, so I posted it in the appropriate Guide section!

Visit it here.

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#47
CharredPC

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If anyone's still following this thread- I've run into a pretty major glitch with the battery upgrade. Turns out that the aftermarket 5200mAh batteries from eBay's masterdealalert are NOT a good candidate for serious upgrading. Sure, it fits fine, charges fine, and will run your laptop... somewhat.

After all my upgrades, running with the charger plugged in yields 100% stability. Unplugging the charger, everything seems fine. Right up until too much amperage is drawn- then it dies, usually requiring the battery to be physically removed for a few seconds before it can turn back on again. I can trigger it every time nearly instantly using a cpu stress test app.

It would appear that these knockoff replacement batteries simply can't output enough. They're probably good for low amperage over a longer time, but due to the way they're made, can't supply more power quickly as needed. The only other battery I have here to test is the really-sad-shape original, of which even OSX's System Profiler says "Condition: Check battery" and expects a full charge to hold only 1200mAh. But even that doesn't shut off when I max out the cpu (it dies about two minutes later when the power runs out), so it's definitely a shoddy China workmanship issue. -_-

Maybe a middle-ground 4400mAh, 4800mAh, or just a higher quality battery is the way to go. As I said, as long as I'm only casually web browsing with everything off, the battery works fine, which is why I haven't noticed anything up till now. But obviously I'm not satisfied with that. It probably supplies just enough for the original hd and cpu. Anyone want to purchase it from me for $25 and find out? In the meantime, now I've got to find a proper replacement...

The original battery is Model TM00741. Supposedly compatible models to this are: TM00751, GRAPE32, GRAPE34, LC.BTP00.005, CONIS71, CONIS72, LC.BTP00.006, BT.00603.024, BT.00604.011, BT.00604.015, LIP6219VPC, LIP6219VPC SY6, and LIP6232CPC. I guess now I'm looking for something sold within the USA, by decent people who speak English and stand behind what they sell >_>

Everything on the web looks really dang expensive, so I guess we're stuck shopping at eBay. This one looks like a likely 4400mAh candidate, for $42 shipped. All the 4800mAh ones (like this) I can find currently are both from China and have an alternate voltage- 14.8v instead of 11.1v... sounds like a big risk to take for $50. Options for 5200mAh ones are this one (auction full of broken images doesn't inspire confidence, IMO) for $63; this one and this one, each for $60; the rest are China ones or more junk from masterdealalert. So which option to choose?

I think I've got to try for another 5200mAh, though I get a feeling that the 4400mAh one would work just fine, and looks like it's from a reputable company. The point of all this is to max out everything, not just nudge it up 400mAh. Give me a little while to gather funds again :D I've written to the sellers I listed above, asking about their quality vs what I previously ordered. Really bad financial time for this to occur, but I'll need a working battery for school come January. Plus I might as well finish being the guinea pig for everyone, so you can learn from it!

On a different note, I've ordered a supposedly Mac-compatible v2.0 A2DP capable mini USB Bluetooth module for $3 shipped which I will install inside my Extensa after modding it to fit. I'll try and get some pinouts, pictures, etc up when I do it. This was planned ages back, but the module I got wasn't Mac compatible.

#48
Detosx

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Hi Charred, I am stalking you from the stalled Acer thread over at

http://www.insanelym...showtopic=77396

and have to say you are pretty much my hero on insanelymac, or certainly one of them! The battery thing sounds annoying, sounds like you had bad luck. I will be tuning in to see how that goes. Probably I will end up going for an HP 311 netbook with Nvidia ION to get decent battery life and improved HD playback, unless I can find an ultra cheap graphics co-processor like some Netbook buyers seem to go for. I need to research that one. Battery life on my 5620 with Windows 7 went up by a quarter for me over Vista. I am keen to try Snow Leopard on it, especially with 10.6.2.

Anyway, keep up the great work, strength to you! :) I'm going to pop up on the Mac Mini thread, now, too!! Similar obsessions.

#49
dawntodon

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If anyone's still following this thread- I've run into a pretty major glitch with the battery upgrade. Turns out that the aftermarket 5200mAh batteries from eBay's masterdealalert are NOT a good candidate for serious upgrading. Sure, it fits fine, charges fine, and will run your laptop... somewhat.


now I thought you warned against masterdealalert, but when I was battery shopping and referring back to your old post, the name masterdealalert disappeared. Well, I ended up buying from them anyway and the issue you mention doesn't seem to be something I ought to be concerned about? I say this because I'm assuming that the type of stuff I do while on battery -- ie surf the web -- is presumably not as power hungry as the stuff I do while plugged in (e.g. record audio).

taking a look at the cost of getting a new lcd panel AND an extra cable, I'm not so sure if I'm prepared to go into upswapping my LCD just yet. thanks again for this valuable information and for blazing the trails for extensa hot rodders to come.

#50
CharredPC

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now I thought you warned against masterdealalert, but when I was battery shopping and referring back to your old post, the name masterdealalert disappeared. Well, I ended up buying from them anyway and the issue you mention doesn't seem to be something I ought to be concerned about? I say this because I'm assuming that the type of stuff I do while on battery -- ie surf the web -- is presumably not as power hungry as the stuff I do while plugged in (e.g. record audio).

taking a look at the cost of getting a new lcd panel AND an extra cable, I'm not so sure if I'm prepared to go into upswapping my LCD just yet. thanks again for this valuable information and for blazing the trails for extensa hot rodders to come.


More confusion, hooray! ...my apologies, dawntodon.

Initially I thought masterdealalert's battery was to blame when it refused to charge. He gave me no real information, other than saying it "should work." It obviously didn't, so I quickly reported the issue here to save others from the problem. Some time later, from my own troubleshooting and research, I determined that the charger needed to be a higher amperage. Once I acquired a 90W charger and another of masterdealalert's batteries, it did indeed charge properly. I therefore edited previous posts so as not to slander an innocent seller.

Then came the shutdown issue while on battery. I was 100% certain that this was in fact his product's fault, due to the following facts:

1. It only happens while on battery power, not with the charger.
2. It only happens when cpu use is heavy, drawing more power.
3. A single test with my near-useless original battery appeared to work OK.

However, just to throw some more confusion into the mix (though perhaps good news), I'm revising my opinion once again. Recently I managed to do a true full retail installation that appears to handle things quite differently than previous attempts. The ACPI seems healthier- sleep worked immediately, for instance, and also the turn-off-using-battery issue has changed. The laptop still shut off when maxing out the cpu for too long, but it could be immediately turned back on without removing the battery. The BIOS isn't reset either.

I'm also now able to run iStat to monitor cpu temps, and this pointed me toward a very serious problem. Under full load, temps shot up to 80C! It appears that this is causing the instant shutdown, simply a BIOS-triggered safety measure. I dismantled the unit, and noted that I was apparently asleep when I installed the cpu... there was essentially no thermal paste applied. More shocking than my forgetfulness is the fact that it ran happily like this (with ~34C idle) for so long! The old hot 65nm T5250 could never have handled it.

This begs the question of why it isn't restarting itself while using the charger. I still haven't figured that one out. I suppose there could be some odd code in the BIOS allowing for higher temps while on direct power, though that makes no sense to me. Maybe I'll never know, but the thing to do now is to apply some AS5 or IC7 thermal paste and retest everything. The only problem there is I appear to be completely out, so have to order more. After reading all the good reviews, I'd like to try IC7, especially now that it can be had for about $7 shipped. It would be really nice if this fixes it- much cheaper than a new battery.

I'll leave the previous posts as they stand until I know for sure. I'm still not 100% pleased with this battery's quality, though. I can now run Coconut Battery, and it reports that it's already down to 79% capacity- closer to 4100mAh than 5200mAh. I'm betting it showed up at less than full capacity; I was just unable to test it within OSX, and didn't think to under XP. Since there's a choice, I'd recommend buying from one of the other sellers I mentioned. In the meantime, I've carefully cleaned the cpu / heatsink and put the laptop aside until the paste arrives. Hopefully it doesn't take long ;) I will of course post back as soon as I know more.

On a side note, I'm in the process of redoing my guide (linked earlier and in my sig). As part of that, I've collected all the proper apps and best drivers for this model laptop, putting them into a single downloadable package. I even did up some installers / uninstallers, so everything can be done with double-clicking. Some of the previously described links or methods did not in fact work properly when I tested them on my vanilla retail installation; I apologize. That's what I get for trying to write a guide after the work is already done. The new collection has been better tested. I've posted a link to it in the guide. A full retail walkthrough will be finished once my hardware's ready again :)

#51
CharredPC

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Bluetooth!

Yeah, I finally got around to doing this. I've purchased Bluetooth modules before, but always ended up using them for something else. So, tonight, while I was bored, I decided to finally make that internal Bluetooth module. Here's how to do it:


1. Purchase a cheap USB Bluetooth module. I bought this one for $2.99 shipped! It took 3-4 weeks to arrive, but how can you beat the price?

2. Locate a four-pin mini plug. I wish I could give a source to buy one, but I don't know what they are officially called. If you find one, tell me! I got mine from an old Pismo Powerbook- the internal speaker connector was perfect for this. Saving / scouring junk electronics has always saved me heartache and grief (except maybe when the wife sees it...).

3. Carefully pry the metal casing off the USB module. You'll see where it is joined, just apply some pressure, and it will come off. Make sure not to pry against the circuitry! Once that's off, the plastic covering should pretty much fall apart as well. Now you should just have a tiny circuit board.

4. Remove the four screws from the bottom front of your laptop (under the speaker jacks, etc). If you're carefully, this is all you should need to remove! You can do a complete dismantling if you want to, but I find this is easiest.

5. Gently pry the two front halves apart. It will only open about an inch, do not force it any further. I plugged in my module using a normal pair of tweezers- there isn't room for your fingers, and there doesn't need to be. If you're clever you could probably just click it in using a small screwdriver or even a pen.

6. Before we solder the plug onto the module, let me make sure my numbering explanations are understood:

Peering into your laptop's crevice, the Bluetooth plug is just right of center, and very obvious. If you have good eyes, you can see it's even labeled. The pin closest to you (the front) is Pin #1. Pin #4 is furthest away from you. The plug will insert so that holes are very close to the bottom.

If you hold your Bluetooth module so the USB plug contacts are visible and pointing towards you (as though you were going to plug it in your face), they go right to left; the furthest to your right is #1, lefthand one is #4. Got that? I know, it's confusing. But it's important. If we do it backwards, we'll toast the module.

7. Now to connect the two. Here's the wiring diagram:

Acer plug Pin#1 = Bluetooth module Pin#1 (5v+)
Acer plug Pin#2 = Bluetooth module Pin#4 (5v-)
Acer plug Pin#3 = Bluetooth module Pin#3 (Data+)
Acer plug Pin#4 = Bluetooth module Pin#2 (Data-)

Remember our soldering rules: momentary touches, just long enough to melt the solder. Holding it more than three seconds on the joint is a great way to ruin things. There's no need to use three feet of solder doing this, only what we need to make a good connections. If you have a gloppy, ugly thick gun... for heaven's sakes, buy a new fine tip, or at least clean it!

8. Once that's soldered together, use some electrical tape to wrap the Bluetooth circuit board and connections. Don't go crazy, just make sure everything is insulated. Now you're ready to plug in the module! There's a nice empty space to the left of the trackpad where it can sit. Just make sure none of the wires get pinched anywhere.


And you're done! The most awesome part is, not only does it work perfectly in OSX, but the useless-until-now front Bluetooth on / off switch even works flawlessly! Now I can transfer files or tether my phone with nary a cable. Plus, I've never said no to a nice blue LED... :)

#52
CharredPC

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Unfortunately, my negative review of masterdealalert's product stands: DO NOT BUY FROM HIM!

On the plus side, I'm now a huge fan of IC7 thermal paste. It simply works awesome. Under full load, my T9500 tops out at 49C. It idles between 22 and 28C. The fan barely has to kick on, and has yet to go into "high" mode where it sounds like a vacuum ;)

The good news is this stopped the heat-related shutdowns where I could turn the laptop immediately back on. The bad news is that the original problem remained, hidden by the first- while on battery power, large energy usage kills everything. Only removing the battery for five seconds will reset it so the laptop can be turned back on. I'm very disappointed, and will have to purchase a different battery as soon as I have the funds.

Hopefully the new iSight webcam product will distract me when it arrives Monday :P

#53
CharredPC

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iSight project - 100% successful!

Yes, I actually remembered to snap some pictures this time while doing it. The project took me less than two hours, with most of that just trying to work slowly and be cautious. I'll skip the part about taking the plastic rectangle molding off the screen (it's covered previously from when I replaced the LCD) and jump right to the meat of things.

I purchased a used Macbook A1181 internal iSight module, complete with all flex cables and microphone, off eBay for $9.95 shipped. It arrived in just four days (weekend included), so I highly recommend the seller. We don't actually need anything but the module itself and its USB plug. Ignore the microphone wire- we'll remove the entire mic eventually.

The Acer Crystal Eye suck-cam uses a 5-pin USB plug. After some deliberation, I decided to unsolder the plug socket off the old module, and use it to fashion a sort of adapter. I don't recommend you do this. It's totally uneeded, and more hassle than its worth. I left mine that way, but might someday go back and remove it. Surprisingly, this mod is easiest if you never go near a solder gun.

Looking at it pointing right as though installed, the 5-pin Acer plug has the following pinout:

1. (Top pin) 5v+
2. USB Data+
3. USB Data-
4. Ground
5. (Bottom) ??? not needed

The iSight has what looks like an eight-pin connector, but don't worry about. There's only four wires (looks like three) coming off the USB plug. The pinout of the connector itself is:

Pin 3 (light blue outside, white conductor): USB Data+
Pin 4 (light blue outside, purple conductor): USB Data-
Pin 5/6 (orange): USB 5v+
Pin 7/8 (orange): USB GND

That seems too confusing though. To clear things up, the orange cable all the way to one side is Ground. The next one over is 5v+. That last light blue one has the other two wires inside (white, purple). To make this more fun, inside each of these wires is a smaller internal wire surrounded by a common shield. This is tough to do if you don't have good eyes...

I snipped the cable a few inches away from the plug- leaving extra, thinking I may have to redo it a couple times. Then I lightly scored the outside of each wire with some scissors, so I could strip the plastic insulation off. The loose shield wire has to be pulled back, preferably lower than where you scored, to make sure there's no short. You can then cut the shielding off. This leaves the actual "live" wire showing, but we still need to strip the insulation of a bit of that. I was able to do the 5v+ and Ground the same way, carefully with scissors.

The Data line is a different story. These wires are even thinner. I scraped the insulation off those using a razor blade and some patience. Once I had bare wire showing on all four, I used my meter make sure nothing was shorted out anywhere. Now, as ranmasaotome510 predicted, these wires are way too small to solder well. Even if you can do it, they can't stand any tension. I ended up soldering slightly higher gauge wires to the old Acer webcam's plug, then wrapping those with with the iSight's micro-thin cable wires. Since we're going to be wrapping wires anyway, why not just cut and wrap straight from the iSight cable to the Acer cable?

In any case, here's the results so far:

Posted Image

Much longer than needed, but it's a theoretically functional adapter cable between the iSight and the Acer! The question is, will it work? Time to fire up the laptop and try it out...

Posted Image

Hooray! It works! ...yes, that's me with the camera taking a picture of the iSight camera taking a picture of me taking a picture.. :D :)

Now to slim things down. The iSight module came mounted to a piece of aluminum framework, which we'll remove. After taking out all four screws, the iSight pops in half so it can be freed. By pulling on the microphone cable, the unneeded microphone pops right out as well. Here's a shot of the iSight module beneath the original Acer Crystal Eye one (minus its plug, of course):

Posted Image

That circular hole is where the mic was. The iSight module is actually smaller, so I bet it can fit as a replacement for pretty much any laptop's webcam. Speaking of which, time to mount it!

My original module wasn't held in place with any screws, but a single strip of double sided adhesive tape and some plastic guidepoints. I debated how to secure the iSight- glue, maybe? Finally I decided that if tape worked to start with, why not for the replacement?

Posted Image

It turns out I didn't have much to worry about- the height is perfect, so when the screen was closed up it holds everything in place quite well. Probably why Acer simply used tape. It took me a try or two to fit my way-overly-long wiring properly (again, why I suggest just cutting, twisting, and wrapping) but now everything's just perfect! Looks like I never touched it. Anyone need a slightly used Acer webcam sans plug?

To be honest, I'm not even sure how much I'll use the webcam. But I can't argue with an under $10 mod that puts my little Acertosh so much closer to being a native Mac ;)

Edit: Decided to do things the right/easy way. Last night I removed the long homemade adapter deal, snipped off the plug, then trimmed and wired the iSight plug directly to the LCD/USB cable. Much simpler. I was even able to cover each of the twisted wires with a dab of solder to make it truly permanent, though it worked fine without it. If anyone else has this model laptop, the color code for the Acer / iSight wiring is:

Purple (Acer) = Outside orange (iSight) = Ground
Brown (Acer) = Middle orange (iSight) = 5v+ (3.3v)
White (part of twisted pair, Acer) = Purple (inside light blue, iSight) = Data-
Brown (part of twisted pair, Acer) = White (inside light blue, iSight) = Data+
Grey (Acer) = n/c

I snapped some more pictures while (re-) doing it, if anyone wants them. Really think this will be the way to go for incompatible webcams in the future.

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#54
CharredPC

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I think I've finally got my laptop ready for school next month.

After a lot of trial and error, I have the stock drivers giving full QI/QE and all resolutions on my WSXGA+ LCD. Some DSDT and Boot.plist edits make sure the display and its EDID are always recognized. The long standing die-on-battery issue I decided to work around. I may never know if it is the battery itself, or VoodooPower (if not loaded, battery is never an issue), or the fact that my system bus is detected wrong (740Mhz vs actual 800Mhz), or a combination of all of them. I finally just edited the Info.plist of VoodooPower, limiting the top P-state while running on battery power to about 1.5Ghz. Not only does this solve the dying issue, but it extends battery life to over two hours, while still giving plenty of oomph, say, to run my WinTV-HVR-950Q TV tuner.

Since adding in the Bluetooth module, I'm trying to nab a cheap BT mouse off eBay. In all likelihood I'll end up getting an Apple one, just because. I've also been fine tuning the drivers I use, trying to get all I can into EFI/Extra/Extensions instead of S/L/E. Since adding the iSight (had my old webcam disconnected) I've needed to add VoodooUSBEHCI.kext, otherwise EHC1 prevents sleep. I'm sure there's a DSDT fix for it, but I haven't found one yet. It irritates me that I had to edit the otherwise stock IOUSBFamily to get it to load, too. I suppose I should just be pleased that the majority of fixes and drivers reside in EFI.

One random point of interest- who knew that there was an extra full-sized SATA connector in this laptop? It's not self-powered, but there's also a (non-standard) power connector right next to it. There's not quite enough room for a full second hard drive, but there is a largish empty spot inside... I'm not desperate enough for space that I'd seriously consider this mod yet. Nice to know it's there, though. With a little ingenuity, a spare SATA cable could be connected and left coiled inside the bottom cover. Or a SSD could be added.

I need to get around to finishing my new retail install guide. I'm having trouble deciding what needs to be included- most of my issues stemmed from having replaced the LCD, which most people wouldn't have done. I guess it depends on if I'm writing just for my model, or for all X3100 / GMA965 laptops. If I can resist the urge to tweak and fiddle, this unit is now rock solid and "all done." The only non-working bits are the 56k modem (don't care), the memory card reader (will keep trying, but don't expect much, as it's a TI), the PC Card slot (works if I swap out IOPCIFamily, just don't care enough to), and likely the TV/VGA out (removed them in DSDT). Ethernet works on demand (manual driver loading), sound works 100% (even internal mic, autosensing jacks, etc), and everything else works stock out-of-the-box as long as the EFI fixes are in place.

#55
CharredPC

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Small update:

I've gotten halfway decent at DSDT modding. I've been able to stop using the EHCI sleep enabler kext, having patched everything in the DSDT. Now both the iSight and Bluetooth can be plugged in / activated, and it still sleeps fine. Very pleased with that! Deep sleep would work if Chameleon RC4 implemented it right :D

I've been playing around with the FN keys. Some work perfectly, others not so much. Such as:

FN+F4 = Sleep (works fine, initiates OSX sleep)
FN+F6 = Backlight off (turns on again with mouse/keyboard)
FN+F7 = Turn touchpad off (works but can't be re-enabled!)
FN+F8 = Mute (with OSX on screen display icon)
FN+F11 = Hides the mouse until moved again (?)
FN+F12 = Dim display (with OSX on screen display ico); non-function due to IG: Invalid firmware max backlight error at startup.
FN+Up = Raise volume (with OSX on screen display icon)
FN+Down = Lower volume (with OSX on screen display icon)
FN+Left = Dim display (no icons, manual DSDT control)
FN+Right = Brighten display (no icons, manual DSDT control)
FN+various = 10-key entry (*987 etc, labeled in blue on kb)

What's mildly irritating to me is that the Volume controls are matched up perfectly, but the brightness controls are not. I guess I can't complain too much- they do WORK, which is more than a lot of people have. Though without OSX having any control, there's no auto-dim on battery power. Which would be nice, seeing as I always forget, and dimming the display nearly doubles the battery life.

Another little thing I did was re-brand my Dell 1505 wireless card as an authentic Mac Airport Extreme. It works exactly the same, so the difference is just cosmetic. For those interested, I followed the instructions here. If you read carefully, it works perfectly. I had a faint hope that it would stop the card from turning off everytime it slept. It didn't. For some reason I'm resisting using Sleepwatcher as a solution, and keep looking for a DSDT or Info.plist alternative. Maybe because if I want the card off, my Wifi switch works perfectly as a kill-switch. All I need is OSX to keep it always on, or even just turn it on when network traffic requires it...

#56
MarioMac

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I CharredPC, you have a great work here !
Lot hours of work I think€

Do you have pictures of your mod, with the lcd screen and the isight completly integrated ?

Just one suggestion€ Paint your laptop in metalgun grey, and why not a retro lighted apple on the back of lcd -_-

The perfect false mac€

Like this : http://images.google...ttp...v=2&hl=fr

#57
supermx3

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Might wanna try the tape trick on the card. You'll have to look up the pin out for your wireless card but here is what i did for my gf's laptop that fixed the wireless turning off and not coming on after sleep. There is a pin that is hooked to the switch. I just covered the contact pad for that pin with tape and there we go. The switch doesn't work anymore but who cares.

#58
CharredPC

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I CharredPC, you have a great work here !
Lot hours of work I think�€�

Do you have pictures of your mod, with the lcd screen and the isight completly integrated ?


Thanks. Yeah, it's taken a while. Would have been much quicker, but there was a tight budget. I haven't really taken an "after" picture, because... well... it looks exactly the same ;) You can't really tell I swapped the LCD or webcam.

Might wanna try the tape trick on the card. You'll have to look up the pin out for your wireless card but here is what i did for my gf's laptop that fixed the wireless turning off and not coming on after sleep. There is a pin that is hooked to the switch. I just covered the contact pad for that pin with tape and there we go. The switch doesn't work anymore but who cares.


That's an idea, but I don't think it would work. In my laptop, it doesn't seem to be a switch issue. After sleep, the Wifi light is still on, so the card is getting power. I never need to press the switch, actually, though it does work to disable the wifi. I just have to use an older BCM43xx driver and turn it via the Airport icon after sleep or re-enabling with the switch. I just wish the software would stick it "on."

In other news, I stopped using VoodooPower.kext and switched to Coolbook. Coolbook sees the proper stepping and actual FSB, plus lets me undervolt should I ever want to. I can also easily change my max speed while on battery. Very pleased with it. Interestingly enough, it shows an extra step above my actual rated speed- 2.8Ghz, and with a lower voltage than the actual top-end of 2.6Ghz. I'm wondering if this is what caused VoodooPower to trigger a system crash when maxing out the cpu. If so, it's likely a misreported BIOS or DSDT problem, not technically VoodooPower's (or Masterdealalert's) problem. Coolbook at least lets me remove this invalid step so it isn't used.

I've also completely reorganized my Acer's DSDT to better match a Macbook Pro 4,1's layout. Mostly a cosmetic change, but it really helps me compare the two. They are surprisingly similar. I'm also still working on coming up with a DSDT-only display fix. I think I can actually explain WHY some laptops require a AAPL "dual-link" line in the DSDT in order to use the internal LCD:

See, in a normal Macbook, the address for both the X3100 videocard (GFX) and the display devices are the same (0x00100000). But in some laptops, like my Acer, the displays (PEGP) are at 0x00100000, while the videocard (GFX0) is over at 0x00200000. The "dual-link" term is likely enabling that secondary hardware address so the internal LCD can be used. I've noticed that the entire PEGP display section of the ACER DSDT can be removed, without making any difference. It's simply not using the LCD or VGA data there. Also, GFX0 can be trimmed down to that single method of "dual-link", and it works fine. Anything display-related (such as trying to inject AAPL01, EDID data) is ignored, possibly because the display isn't at that hardware address.

It's an interesting trial and error, but having the actual Macbook4,1 DSDT has helped. I'm using that as it's the closest Macbook to this Acer (same cpu family, X3100 video). My biggest challenge now is the EDID issue. Sometimes OSX sees it fine, sometimes not. When it does- full video. When it doesn't, I get a black screen, because it is using incorrect 4:3 default display settings. Yes, I can pop a Display Override in place and it always boots showing display, but it's not a clean solution. The biggest challenge I'm facing is forcing an EDID onto a display which is autodetected, so not referenced in the DSDT at all. The LCD ends up being "display0" (AppleBacklightDisplay), located at GFX0@2. There's also simply "display@2,1" , perhaps because of the double addressing I mentioned previously. That has no display device attached to it.

As if that wasn't hard enough, I've found that what things are called in the DSDT rarely match up to what OSX calls it. A good example is when I spent an hour trying to enable sleep capability on EHC1 (where the iSight is located) within the DSDT. I finally figured out that OSX's EHC1 is the DSDT's EHC2 ;) The USB numbering is also just as wacky. I'll continue to work on it, though. The good news is that the "dual-link" line should fix everyone's double addressing issue. The bad news is, when combined with spotty or nonexistent EDID detection, it's an incomplete solution.

#59
CharredPC

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Idle rambling:

I was fairly productive yesterday on my Acertosh. With retail EFI Leopard /Chameleon already installed, I repartitioned the hard drive, and installed Windows 7. For a while I had trouble gettting both functional at the same time, but finally hit on the magic mix. The long and short of it seems to be (when starting with OSX installed):

1. Add a FAT partition using OSX's disk utility.
2. Install Win7 to that partition (reformatting it to NTFS).
3. Windows7 should now be working fully, but no OSX.
4. Use Windows' diskpart to set the OSX partition active.
5. Use a boot cd to get back into OSX.
6. Reinstall Chameleon2 RC3, using MBR (NOT EFI).
7. Reboot and cross your fingers!

I had many extra steps of trial and error, but the above should work. The big thing is not to panic. You can always repair Win7 using the install DVD, and you can always boot into OSX using a boot cd. You can even repair OSX's MBR in terminal. For a while I was going back and forth, getting either one working. Now Chameleon happily boots both!

I mostly installed it to try and do some detective work on the display's hardware addresses. If I could just properly define them in the DSDT, I could inject EDID info there for an Override-free fix. I've figured out what should be added to the LCD device if it were properly defined... now just have to wait for a place to put it.

I also added one more partition, so I can try out SL. It seems to have so many issues I didn't want to trade my working 10.5.8 install for it, but this way I can experiment without losing my daily used OS. It's hard for me to imagine that Apple released an OS that doesn't have full driver support for all their hardware (64-bit X3100, for example). What are they, Microsoft, beta testing via customers? Apple's whole thing is that the OS runs perfectly on their hardware.

Flames recently asked me why I haven't added speedstep to my DSDT. I almost did it, but decided I like Coolbook better. A DSDT edit wouldn't let me limit stepping on battery power. 1.6Ghz is plenty for the websurfing I do while unplugged... heck, the stock T5250 cpu was only 1.5Ghz, and had a third of the cache. And it's so nice to have 2-3 hours of battery power again (or more, when I remember to dim the display). I hope we get the backlight issue solved soon; it irritated me a bit when Win7 showed its auto-dim functionality. I've taken a quick stab at injecting values into the PNLF device through DSDT, but no luck.

It has occurred to me that maybe addressing the display itself is so difficult because it's the AppleIntelFramebuffer driver which 'finds' it, not the OS. The path in IOReg ends up being GFX@2 (videocard at address 0x00020000) -> AppleIntelFramebuffer -> Display0 (empty) -> AppleBacklightDisplay (the laptop screen). The IODeviceTree looks fine (PCI0/PEGP@10000/GFX0@0/LCD@110) but this isn't being used. I'm going to try some experiments today to see if I can change how things are seen in IOReg. Hopefully it will help me understand the situation.

#60
CharredPC

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Been fairly busy, but thought this might be useful to someone...


Acer Extensa 5620-6830 DSDT v3.2 (12/29/2009)

Presenting a DSDT heavily modified by CharredPC, specifically for the Acer Extensa 5620 GMA965 / X3100 laptop line. However, many similar laptops can use the majority of this code (any Acer with the GMA chipset, several other brands using the X3100). While DSDT cannot fix everything in OSX86, it allows lower-level solutions to many annoying OS problems. This laptop originally shared over 60% exact DSDT code with the Macbook4,1 (same chipset & CPU family). I have attempted to close the gap further, while fixing any OSX problems I've encountered.


The benefits of this DSDT version include:

1. Codebase has been reorganized per Macbook4,1 for authenticity and easy comparison.

2. Excess / unused code has been removed (AMW0, etc- now 6023 lines total vs original 8854).

3. Method _WAK uses a hybrid code, resulting in fully working lid sleep (no clamshell kext), working adapter detection (with VoodooBattery), and working wifi after sleep (no need to press switch or turn Airport back on).

4. Dual link code has been added to GFX0, enabling use of WSXGA+ and higher LCD's (above 1280x800). For the Extensa line, this is only an issue if you've modded the LCD cable and upgraded the screen as I have.

5. Common USB / EHCI sleep issues are fixed (webcam etc prevented sleep). USB mouse or keyboard can also be left in, and cause wake from sleep.



Negatives / ongoing work:

1. Lid wake does not work; power button (or USB mouse / keyboard) must be pressed to wake. This appears to be an Acer hardware switch issue (since Linux exhibits the same behavior), and a workaround has yet to be found. Interestingly enough, the keyboard is a Wake device under linux, but not OSX. Perhaps if nothing else, that could be added somehow.

2. Speedstep is not implemented in this DSDT; I use CoolBook, for adjustable lower throttle limits while on battery. VoodooPower can cause system lockups while on battery power, requiring complete power resets. T9500-specific code probably wouldn't be useful to many others anyway.

3. HDEF device (ALC268) is not pin-config'd; excellent OSX drivers are available for both Leopard and SL. Since a driver has to be modded or added anyway, the DSDT mod seems pointless. I already have 100% functional audio from a single kext in /E/E.

4. No known method of injecting EDID data; this unit has a known issue of random EDID pickup in OSX. Currently solved with a Display Override. If anyone knows a DSDT or /E/E method, please share. This is the only fix left outside of /E/E; without it, there's a 50% of booting to a black screen.



All differences between MB4,1 code and v3.2, in order of occurrence:

GNVS (address & values- different hardware)
GPIO (address- different hardware)
_L01 (RP03 vs RP02- Acer's Airport is at RP02)
_L09 (RP01,02,03,06 vs RP03,05,06- different hardware)
HDEF.PMES wakeup call (lets audio work after sleeping)
ADP1 (Changes break AC power detection)
_LID0 (Changes trigger instant sleep)
_PRT (Changes break hd detection at boot)
PEGP/GFX0 (Dual channel hardware differences)
HDEF (MB has only address, no data)
RP02 (Added- Acer Wifi Airport address)
RP01 (vs MB RP05- different hardware)
SMC (Not present in Acer)
EC
BAT0
KBD0 (PS2 keyboard, not present in MB)
PS2M (PS2 mouse, not present in MB)
NS38 (Directional scroll button? not present in MB)
WPC8 (Shortcut buttons? not present in MB)
RTC (Edited value for BIOS reset fix in SL)
MSMI, PHSR, KEY, RBEC: Acer-specific code


I welcome input, suggestions, and submissions on this DSDT. Enjoy :)

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