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Can an Apple IIc Flat Panel Display be used on any other computer?


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Again, no. The IIc's display port is *seriously* not-kidding unique to it. It taps directly into pre-output-stage portions of the Apple II's video generation system at TTL signal levels and is completely 100% incompatible with the DB-15 plug on any other Apple machine including the Macintosh and IIgs.

 

(Okay, in principle you can tap composite video on the same pins in the IIc and the IIgs, so *if* the LCD panel was composite you could use it on both machines. But the Apple knowledge base article specifically says the FPD is *not* compatible with the IIgs, which at least implies it uses the TTL-level signals to work.)

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Geez, okay. Just asking since the portable port is also very unique as I am sure you know.

 

It wasn't actually on my radar, but what do you know it's certainly unique and completely different from all of the above.

 

Anyway, didn't mean to sound like I was "snapping", just reiterating the FPD is "special". Of course, electrical incompatibility aside I'm not sure what use it would be attached to a Portable; it has less than half the vertical resolution. (560x192 vs. 640x400.)

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How much did you snag that LCD for? I know they're somewhat rare...

 

I managed to pick it up for $200 shipped but it has some yellowing and no box or manuals.  I'm glad to even have found it.  It's funny that the previous owner tried to warn me that it's not a very good display because of the contrast.  I replied that I knew about that being an issue and it was okay :)  He sent me a picture of the display in direct sunlight so that I would not be surprised at the quality.  I thought it was pretty good for the technology of that time.  

 

Here's the pic:

post-2105-0-41969600-1424740921_thumb.jpg

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I'm wondering why you would want to use it on any other machine, considering how terrible they are.

Conversely, the pinout for the IIc video port somewhat suggests it might be possible to roll a new display with a better panel.

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Of course, if you did have an Apple IIc and wanted a portable monitor for it a small LCD TV with composite input would probably do the job just fine. Adapting the signals from the IIc's output port to directly drive an arbitrary panel would probably be... non-trivial. How non-trivial would probably depend on exactly how forgiving your targeted panel is when it comes to clock speed/etc. (The resolution of the Apple panel is nonstandard by any measure and may well have been made specifically for the application.) If you wanted to *improve* on it it's probably worth noting that the port doesn't really support color; to drive a color display with that port you need to drive an "encoder" that turn the Apple II graphic dot-patterns into a color... like a DAC, but more complicated because it has to emulate the Apple II's weird NTSC color generation system. They did make RGB adapters that plugged into it but they were rare.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...

One of the things I've seen people talking about is the Night Owl LCD display. They are small-ish color displays originally meantfor surveillance, and there are intermittently a lot available on eBay. They work well with 8-bit Apple II video output (and IIgs if you're using it as a fast IIe) and they're small.

 

I believe but I'm not 100% sure that this is the one.

 

Here is a blog post from Quinn Dunki from when she first discovered the Night Owl: http://quinndunki.com/blondihacks/?p=1998

 

Those monitors should work for other systems that use composite output. Some people said they were pleased with how it looks on the IIgs running GS/OS, but I haven't seen it myself, nor do I have any links to photos off hand.

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  • 3 years later...

Here's my Apple //c with the Prairie Portable System and power back and C-Vue LCD screen sold by Roger Coates in 1987 (recently restored and upgraded with the BMOW Floppy EMU).  I used this in 1988 at the Cannes Film Festival with a 1200 baud pocket modem to keep in touch with the home office in Los Angeles and swap files:

 

 

Apple ::c Portable.jpg

 

 

Apple :c Prairie Portable ad.png

Edited by MichaelLAX
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