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CharredPC

CharredPC's Acer Extensa 5620 Hot Rod Project

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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... :)

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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

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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:

 

isight1.jpg

 

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...

 

isight2.jpg

 

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):

 

isight3.jpg

 

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?

 

isight4.jpg

 

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.

post-246992-1260249603_thumb.jpg

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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.

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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...

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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.fr/imgres?imgurl=http...v%3D2%26hl%3Dfr

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 :)

DSDT_v3.2.zip

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I've delved a bit deeper into this unit.

 

I've learned how to extract my Phoenix bios, do some editing, and reflash it. Thus far, I've simply changed the "acer" logo splash screen (now an Apple logo with "acertosh") as a proof-of-concept. I could easily modify the DSDT and flash that in too... and eventually may. I'll wait until I've truly finished the DSDT first. My point to this is getting the annoying video issue fixed, without having to resort to a Display Override.

 

The working theory is this: most laptops don't need the EDID reported properly, because the video bios reports some working resolutions anyway (called VESA modes). In some laptops, the VESA modes don't completely match up to all the resolutions the LCD is capable of; this is when folk can boot into OSX just fine, but don't have all their resolutions listed. Or when specifying resolutions to Chameleon fails- you can only use listed VESA resolutions. Once within OSX, injecting your EDID via a Display Override solves this.

 

Now, in certain laptops like my Acer, the idiot designers decided to shirk this responsibility completely. The available VESA modes seem to change on the fly- simply by using a different Chameleon theme, the available resolutions get bumped! With the default theme, I only have tiny 4:3 resolutions listed. Using my favorite higher resolution "true mac" one, I get 1280x800 and 1440x900 listed. In any case, when means when my EDID isn't automatically detected, OSX decides (perhaps based on the changeable available VESA modes) that I have a 4:3 CRT screen, and gives improper resolutions at various refresh rates.

 

Thus, the solution is either to embed the EDID into the bios, or alter the VESA modes to ones the LCD can actually display. To that end, I've extracted my bios and located my vbios (video bios) file. Now if I can just figure out how to properly edit it, the solution should be permanent and OS-agnostic. Me being me, I'm also tempted to do some editing elsewhere... but first things first ;)

 

Status update1: Managed to find a much newer vbios for the GM965 chipset! Now debating on actually flashing the new code... it might fix things without a manual edit. Guess I'll go try... wish me luck!

 

Status Update2: Yikes! That didn't work so well. I replaced the older vbios with the new one fine, and flashed the bios no problem... then got a blank screen! Lost all video. Luckily, I was smart enough to have the previous bios on bootable USB drive. The scary part was remembering how many of what keypresses it took to set my USB drive as the first boot device in the BIOS without being able to see it :rolleyes:

 

Status Update3: Looks like I either need a vbios from a similar widescreen laptop, or need to create a new vbios using the IEGD (Intel Embedded Graphic Drivers) kit. Without access to the first, I'm trying the second. I've tried simply opening the current vbios in a hex editor, but anything readable was useless. Now that I have the 'blind recovery' process down, maybe I'll try once or twice more with some vbios from other extracted bios's...

 

Blurry-eyed 4am Update: Well, partial success. I've now updated my system's bios from vbios 1471 to 1478 :D This seems like a small step, but bigger jumps caused a blank screen. I've also noticed that it handles the Chameleon bootloader differently (won't accept the 1600x1200 theme anymore on my 1440x900 LCD). Likely because Chameleon reports the available VESA resolutions all as 0x0x0. And unfortunately, the EDID issues still exists. I'll try some more tomorrow.

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Go me!

 

Setting the vbios updating aside for the moment, I decided to to some other much-needed bios work. I don't need to load my own DSDT anymore! My bios version is fully tested and works great with both Windows and OSX, but gives the added benefits to those running a Hackintosh:

 

-changed out USB code (to enable sleep)

-changed out all RP0x devices (better labeling)

-changed out _GPE (fixes wakeup issues)

-changed out LID0 (enables lid sleep)

-added Method DTGD (for Mac fixes)

-added duallink fix (enables WSXGA+ LCD's)

-added device PNLF (for Mac compatibility)

-added device PWRB (for Mac compatibility)

 

As well as:

 

-newer model Acer boot screen (white on black background)

-SLIC 2.1 (Acer Win7 offline activation, if certificate + valid key)

 

I still plan on updating the vbios, but it looks like I'll have to create my own, so that may take a little while. Once I'm happy with the final results, I'll post it up as v1.36, complete with flashing and recovery instructions. I'm almost looking forward to the next time I have to reinstall... things will be so much easier!

 

I also noticed that my flaky / jumpy trackpad had the same issues in Win7, pointing to a hardware, not driver issue. So I completely dismantled my Acer and checked how the trackpad is set up. I noticed two flaws- the main ground isn't actually connected, just touching the PCB; the entire board is open and uninsulated. From, I surmised that the random jumpiness might be due to static buildup. So I added a small ground wire from the touchpad PCB to the chassis, then covered it with electrical tape. So far, no more issues! Seems nice and stable. Only time will tell, of course, but the mods definitely couldn't hurt.

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Hello, I bought an isight module for modding my lappy, but I received it withouh the cable.

I'm pretty good at soldering, but I have to be absolutely sure WHAT I am soldering on!

 

Can you please confirm that, looking the rear of the module, from left to right, the cabling should be:

 

- two pins shorted together, should be GND

- two more pins shorted, should be +5v

- USB data -

- USB data +

- not used

- not used

 

I'm not crazy enough to solder everything on the base of the connector :)

I could easily solder GND and VCC on the couple shorted pins, then USB + and USB - on the back, near the black SMD.

I'm short sighted, so whitout my glasses I can easily follow traces ;)

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charred-pc> slightly off-topic, but I noticed in your signature that you have Snow Leopard installed on your 5620 and was wondering how it runs and if it has any significant limitations opposed to Leopard. Also, can I ask which distribution you use and if much fiddling is needed to set it up correctly? Thanks!

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charred-pc> slightly off-topic, but I noticed in your signature that you have Snow Leopard installed on your 5620 and was wondering how it runs and if it has any significant limitations opposed to Leopard. Also, can I ask which distribution you use and if much fiddling is needed to set it up correctly? Thanks!

 

I do have SL installed, but use 10.5.8 daily. The main limitations which stop me from switching over entirely is:

 

-no sleep!

-lousy (IMO) trackpad support

 

That said, I'm going to look into solutions for this when I get a chance. 10.5.8 + Win7 + Chameleon RC4 dualboot = nothing but problems (stuck on systemversion error).

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Hi Charred

 

I was so inspired by your hot rod project so much that i decided to start one myself, even though the objectives were pretty different since i wanted to maximize the battery life, reduce laptop weight and heat dissipated while increasing performance ( sounds like a tall order, but my project looks like child's play when compared to yours)

 

Anyway, i've read about your battery woes and actually manage to get a good deal from ebay. The seller provides 24month warranty, 30 day money back and free shipping. In fact i bought a 4400mAh grape32 but received a 4800mAh grape32 instead. Moreover, the battery was even under rated and i could squeeze 4831mAh out from the battery during real time usage.

 

He sells it lower for USD34.90 now (:rolleyes:''), when i bought it for USD38.80 just 2 weeks ago.

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/Laptop-Battery-Acer-Ex...=item27acb74812

 

As for my project, it is a very lengthy post, and you can find it here

http://forums.vr-zone.com/notebooks-netboo...sd-battery.html

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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:

 

isight1.jpg

 

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...

 

isight2.jpg

 

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.. :wacko::rolleyes:

 

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):

 

isight3.jpg

 

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?

 

isight4.jpg

 

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.

 

I was curious... does your webcam work if you plug it into a USB port? I am trying to add a webcam to my tablet fujitsu running SL and I bought a macbook isight cam just like yours and I cannot for the life of me get it to work. I was thinking of wiring usb lines up to the screen from the motherboard and hooking up like that. But for some reason they won't to each other. I think its getting power but I does not detect it at all. Theoretically, shouldn't it work if hooked up directly to a USB port or is there something i missed?

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Hi CharredPC!

 

Thanks for your quite impressive work you've done with your Acer! I upgraded my Acer Extensa 5220 (I think using the same motherboard like Acer 5620 with X3100 graphics) with a T6400 2x2.0Ghz CPU, a 5200 mAh (14.8V) battery pack, a BCM94311 wireless card and a 2.0 bluetooth module +cable. Everything worked like a charm with my 10.6.4 Snow Leopard. I even had a battery live of about 4! hours. Then I found this thread with your display mod and hell yeah - I wanted to reach 1920x1200 WUXGA resolution too :P

 

In the following I want to tell you my steps made and maybe we can point out why my project isn't working:

 

I've bought this original spare lcd connector at ebay (50.4T327.001 original replacement cable) and pulled out eight wires for my cable-mod

 

post-260924-1282344747_thumb.jpg

 

Then I placed those eight wires as shown in your diagram - and I hope I put them in at the right holes... (below picture is from your tutorial)

 

post-260924-1282344820_thumb.jpg

post-260924-1282344897_thumb.jpg

 

I realized that your cable configuration is slightly different to mine. I think our "ground" configuration differs. I have two ground wires that don't exist in your LCD-connector. On the other side your configuration shows two "ground" wires that aren't present in my cable. Hope you understand the following picture :P (below picture is from your tutorial)

 

post-260924-1282344924_thumb.jpg

post-260924-1282345126_thumb.jpg

 

Could it be that our previously installed displays differ and though the wirings? Following picture shows my original LCD. It is an AU Optronics B154EW08 V.1 Display.

 

post-260924-1282348698_thumb.jpg

 

I bought a Samsung LTN154CT02 Display

 

post-260924-1282349600_thumb.jpg

 

Unfortunately it has two CCFTs. Our Acer only supports one. Anyhow - I couldn't wait and attached my modded cable and one of the two CCFTs. I booted with an Ubuntu Live CD (OSX shows me a black screen after the rotating beachball). Ubuntu recognized the resolution of 1920x1200 but the picture looked like it was only running with 256 colors (next picture is an example of the web). I didn't see any vertical lines!

 

post-260924-1282349471_thumb.jpg

 

Any ideas what I made wrong? Could the replacement of the "ground" wires be a solution? Should I place my wires 1:1 to yours? I'm looking forward to any suggestion :) It would be great to know how you get to your pin configuration because I personally don't think the 30pin dual channel LCD pinout is standardized? Did you try until you got a good picture? Did you make better experiences with LG displays? If this screen mod will ever work - do I have to use an edited dsdt to get higher resolutions?

 

I know - lots of questions and I hope someone can help me ;)

 

good night!

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Hi CharredPC!

 

Thanks for your quite impressive work you've done with your Acer!

 

...

 

good night!

 

Glad it was helpful! I'll take a look at what you've done tonight- sorry I've been away for a bit. Offhand, I wanted to say a few things first:

 

-The 30-pin LCD pinout configuration is -technically- standardized. Between our two (very similar) Acer models, the pinout should be exactly the same. After studying my original cable, and the standard WSXGA pinout, I came to the conclusion that half the data channels were simply missing- luckily, no need for much trial and error!

 

-The blank screen is normal! No need to panic. In order to get higher resolutions in Mac on OSX using the X3100, yes, you have to add the "dual-link" DSDT mod. I've put mine into the BIOS itself, to make things more permanent ;) I can even explain how to do that too, if the LCD project works out. It can be really helpful when installing retail OSX (otherwise, no DSDT patch is loaded, and the setup goes 'blank screen' as well).

 

-That picture may indicate a few things. You might just need more ground wires, or (if we're really lucky) it's simply a Ubuntu driver issue. I haven't tried it, but it may very well be that Ubuntu needs a "dual link" type fix as well. The important thing is that it DOES have picture! Was it just the images that looked poor, or was the text fuzzy as well?

 

Sounds like a good game plan would be to do the dual-link DSDT mod with things "stock" (it should have no effect on your original screen, so no harm in adding it). Then put the new screen on and boot into OSX. And troubleshoot from there.

 

These days I triple boot between 10.5.8, 10.6.x, and Windows 7. I'm usually in Leopard, though, since sleep remains broken in SL and I prefer my old drivers. It's worth mentioning that Win7 had no problem seeing and using the new LCD / resolutions.

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Thanks for your quick reply - nothing to apologize :(

 

I am looking forward to getting your opinion about my wirings. Pointing out a mistake in this step could make it easier for me. I personally made a greeeat idiocy and completed the missing four ground wires #10, 16, 22 and 28 (left #5 because I thought that wire isn't used) and attached them to the four empty holes of the 40pin jack. My thought was: If there are four ground wires missing in my 30pin jack... it must be the ones missing in the 40pin. Well... my green power supply LED went on and off! I turned off my Acer via the power button and pulled out the 40pin jack - a little spark appeared and till that moment my notebook was kind of dead... I'll never make that again. So my next idea (but a bit too late) was to complete those ground wires at the 30pin jack and connect them to the already bared blank wires right next to them. I'd love to use the WUXGA resolution - my feelings tell me im really close :( Would you propose to change my wirings 1:1 to yours? Could you send me an up-to-date dsdt with dual-link injected? I've read through this thread. I wouldn't mind to know the true promise of your work made over the last months :) First thing I have to do is waiting for my "new" used mainboard from ebay and reproduce the status quo I've had before my chort circuit mistake. Hope no other hardware took damage... I'll post all my findings the next days. Thanks for the Windows 7 advice!

 

Have a nice day!

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I see no harm in trying a 1:1 match of my cable (since it works well- no shorts here!). I was pretty nervous the first time I tried new wiring too. Just triple-check everything, keep notes, and take your time. Not included in the pictures, I also decided to add the missing ground wires to my cable as well, back when I was trying to pin down the EDID issue. As far as I can tell, it made no difference either way... but the specs call for it, so it couldn't hurt. As long as you go strictly by the standard wiring code map, there shouldn't be any more sparks ;)

 

I'll try and dig up my latest DSDT tonight (one that isn't embedded in my BIOS!). I also highly recommend the latest Chameleon RC5 rev428 build package- it solved a few important glitches here (fixes dual boot RC4 problem; enables native speedstep- so no more need for Coolbook- yay!; recognizes ram & cpu properly; a few other random little things).

 

Not sure how closely your hardware matches mine, but I'd be happy to post my current driver selection as well. As I said, I prefer Leopard on this machine because sleep is important to me. To be honest, once things were 100% stable and "just worked," I started using my 'Acertosh' instead of tweaking and fixing it! Which I guess means it was a success... ;)

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I don't know if things are getting better or worse... Today i received my replacement motherboard. Fantastic! On the face of it it looked identical to my previous one. I wanted to assemble it to my Acer's body and realized a DVI output... ;)

 

After some research i found out that it does fit to my notebook (the boards have the same id) but is equipped with an extra mxm port for mobile graphic cards without shared memory like the 8800m gt and so on...

 

post-260924-1282879689_thumb.jpg

post-260924-1282879878_thumb.jpg

 

Bah! I really don't know what to do now. On the one hand I could buy an extra GPU for more graphics power (with x64 support). On the other hand I'm scared my WUXGA project won't work due to the fact the wirings could be totally different? Do you know if this project can be done with other GPUs? Otherwise I would return that board and search for an identical one with x3100 graphics :unsure:

 

Sorry for bothering you ;)

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I don't know if things are getting better or worse... Today i received my replacement motherboard. Fantastic! On the face of it it looked identical to my previous one. I wanted to assemble it to my Acer's body and realized a DVI output... ;)

 

After some research i found out that it does fit to my notebook (the boards have the same id) but is equipped with an extra mxm port for mobile graphic cards without shared memory like the 8800m gt and so on...

 

Bah! I really don't know what to do now. On the one hand I could buy an extra GPU for more graphics power (with x64 support). On the other hand I'm scared my WUXGA project won't work due to the fact the wirings could be totally different? Do you know if this project can be done with other GPUs? Otherwise I would return that board and search for an identical one with x3100 graphics :unsure:

 

Sorry for bothering you ;)

 

Never a bother!

 

I'd consider myself lucky, and view this as a happy accident. Our boards were designed to have MXM slots (even my 5620 has a space for one), but they didn't implement it. I even considered buying one! In theory, it should be a drop-in replacement... make sure the LCD connector is the same, and I say run with it. You'll have a seriously pimped out Acer, and nearly any MXM card you toss in there will probably run circles around an onboard X3100 :)

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I came to the conclusion to sell my new mainboard. I would need an additional heatsink for CPU/GPU and a new graphics card. Altogether too much money in my opinion. The X3100 will be a better choice for me. Working oob, QE, QI support and nothing to think about. Looking for an appropriate GPU with OSX support took me some hours - not to mention that this card couldn't work with my motherboard. Too risky in my opinion. I'd be glad getting your driver selection! Don't hurry - don't know if my Acer will ever work again :wacko: Any idea if two CCFTs will effect a better LCD illumination? I thought about changing my inverter board with two CCFT connectors...

 

Best greetings from Bavaria!

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Well, good to hear that I have some time. Today I'm reinstalling Snow Leopard from scratch, and will make it work no matter what it takes. By the time you get your laptop revived, I should have instructions and a new set of drivers. Already done some tests, and I have working sleep, deep sleep (hibernate), and native video and speed step support under 10.6.4 with all updates. I think I'll finally make the move from 10.5.8 to 10.6.4 now that all that is solved... it's a much faster OS :)

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