Replacing Powerbook Backlight

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    Is it possible to replace the display backlight on a Powerbook independently of the LCD panel?

    Specifically, I'm asking about a 15" A1138 "DLSD." Even at maximum brightness, I find the display uncomfortably dim to the point where it's difficult to read in a bright room. The panel is fine aside from this issue.

    Specifically, I see this listing on Amazon

    And am wondering what backlight replacement entails.
  2. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland

    The actual backlight is within the LCD screen. For pointers on removing the display you can have a look at iFixit's guide or my guide on tightening the LCD hinges as I put some pointers in there on the disassembly process. Most people elect to replace the whole panel.
  3. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Unless you are really patient and good with tricky things, I'd just suggest replacing the entire LCD. They can be had, used on eBay, often complete with hinges for less than $100.

    The back panel of the LCD is held on by a series of small and very sharp hooks. You have to work a device between the two halves without damaging the Airport cable or the bezel. It takes a practiced hand, because the metal hooks are attached to thin metal strips that are glued to the inside of the back LCD panel. Pull or twist too hard and you can rip the strips off the panel. You'll never get it back on right after that.

    The one time I replaced an LVDS cable my PB took it's pint of blood from my hand and I could never get the damn cover back on right.

    So, just a caution. Not saying don't do it, just pointing out what is involved.
  4. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    Thanks for the responses.

    My fear with replacing the panel is that most likely the replacement is going to be used also and thus there's no guarantee that it won't have or develop the same symptoms.

    I do have some experience as a watchmaker(I spend most of Saturday morning disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling a movement out of a lady's wristwatch that's about the diameter of a dime) so am no adverse to fiddly tasks that require a fine touch.

    Maybe I'll find a replacement panel, as well as buy the replacement backlights so that I can try both options...
  5. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    I cannot remember seeing a backlight assembly sold separately recently. You are much more likely to find the whole lid assembly sold as a part. You might even find it cheaper to buy an entire non-booting A1138 sold as spares/repairs and pull the lid from that.

    Mine was an ex-company unit and was sold as such. It cost me all of £15 as a buy-it-now. It had a filthy keyboard, was scuffed to hell on the underside and has two non-functioning keys due to a soft drink spill but is otherwise perfectly serviceable. Not to mention all the software left on it (Adobe CS, Final Cut Pro, Macromedia, MS Office etc). Just widen your search horizons a tad and you are bound to come up trumps.

Share This Page