Acer Aspire TimelineX 3820TG mods/tweaks ONLY!

Discussion in 'Acer' started by prikolchik, Mar 16, 2011.

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  1. prikolchik

    prikolchik Notebook Evangelist

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    Manually set brightness on 3820T/3820TG/3820TZ/3820TGZ to ANY level. (by prikolchik)

    NOTE: The described method works ONLY on 3820xx. It is machine specific. Please DO NOT try it on any computer other than Acer Aspire 3820T/3820TG/3820TZ/3820TGZ.
    WARNING: As far as I can tell it is a safe hack. But if it damages your hardware, I will not be responsible. You have been warned!


    The described method might work on all 3820s other than 3820TG, i.e. 3820T/3820TZ/3820TGZ.

    Intro (you can skip this)
    On 3820TG, the lowest screen brightness setting (10%) is too bright for some people. It was really uncomfortable when using laptop in the dark, so I decided to find a way to set the brightness to any level I want.

    At first, I extracted ACPI DSDT table from the BIOS and examined it. I found the methods that are supposed to set the brightness by reading Intel ACPI specification. The methods involved were: _BCL(), _BCM(), _BQC(), along with any helper-methods. I have examined the DSDT table code and added extra brightness levels to the package returned by _BCL(). Then I created a modded BIOS (using Phoenix Tools) with my modded DSDT table. I flashed to my modded BIOS. Unfortunately, new brightness levels only worked on Windows with "Adjust brightness" slider in Power Options and in <Win>+X menu. They did not work on Linux. Further investigation was needed.

    I have spent more time examining DSDT table and realized that the brightness is controlled in this way: [0x83], [0x84] [0x87]


    (UNFINISHED YET!!!!!)
    ------ This method is for WINDOWS ONLY! -------------
    BIOS mod works great on Windows with the brightness-adjust slider.

    As for manual control... It can probably be done on Windows, but you need to find the right tools. For discrete ATI you can use RWEverything to write to Embedded Controller, but I couldn't find anything that would let me make ACPI calls for Intel/ATI and Intel-only brightness control. It seems like Windows doesn't allow direct ACPI calls. For information: How issue ACPI calls, Called ACPI method from Windows, MSDN: ACPI Control Method IOCTLs

    It may also be possible to write directly to the same place DSDT brightness method is writing to. It will require a lot of work, but it is possible.
    -------------------------------------------------------


    --------- This method is for LINUX ONLY! ---------------
    I have also been working on some Linux mods for 3820TG:
    - Yesterday, I figured out a way to manually set screen brightness. I can now set my brightness level to any level I want with no prior BIOS mod needed. All you need is acer_ec.pl (for writing to Embedded Controller, for ATI brightness) and acpi_call (for making calls to ACPI, when on Switchable (Intel/ATI) or Intel-only graphics)
    When on Discrete the brightness can be set to the desired level by writing to the [0x84] EC byte. You can set brightness to 0x00-0x64 (0-100 in hexadecimal)
     
  2. kubco2

    kubco2 Notebook Enthusiast

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    What about control of right fan? .... It's still spinning, even ATI card is turned off
     
  3. prikolchik

    prikolchik Notebook Evangelist

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    That is odd. If ATI is off, it doesn't spin for me. What operating system are you using? BIOS version?

    It is possible that your drivers are not working properly, so even when you are running on intel card your ATI card is still powered on (even though it is not in use) and therefore fan has to cool it.

    Yeah, I have figured out the EC bytes for right fan. It is in 2nd post of this thread. But like I said, right fan should not spin if ATI card is powered down.
     
  4. Just_a_Nick

    Just_a_Nick Notebook Deity

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    You have to disable the ATI fan too.

    It seems to be a secure function to switch on the right fan, if the left one doesn't run.

    I have seen, the same effect with a locked CPU fan with FF.
     
  5. kubco2

    kubco2 Notebook Enthusiast

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    windows 7 64b sp1
    newest drivers for ATI and Intel from acer.com

    I know that on right side is HDD too, but i dont know how to turn it off in windows to find out if it is hdd noise

    or

    Just a Nick: how to disable ati fan ?
     
  6. Just_a_Nick

    Just_a_Nick Notebook Deity

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    To check the fan, use the little fire of a candle.

    I'm using R&W everything, the registers are on the first page.
     
  7. kubco2

    kubco2 Notebook Enthusiast

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    OK i now checked it and VGA 0x98 FF ... its OFF ... then that horrible noise is hard disk .... is it time to buy SSD ? :D:D
     
  8. _InKr_

    _InKr_ Notebook Guru

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    Have downloaded ACFanControl (TPFanControl for Acer) from TPFanControl by troubadix.

    Modified ini file to support 3820 (attached it if anybody interested). Same shee-, pardon me, issue: it craps BatteryBar's EC reading same way my app does :(.

    I think, we need to change approach for FAN speed control, since correct working with EC from Windows looks a bit non-trivial (if entirely possible). On XP there was acpiec.sys driver but this is not working under Win 7.

    Another possibility is to modify BIOS FAN speed tables, so BIOS will start FAN on higher temps. I know one man who did this for Lenovo. I've already contacted him, maybe he knows how to handle it with 3820.
     

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  9. inteks

    inteks Notebook Evangelist

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    OVERCLOCK ATI VBIOS EDIT

    !!! TRY AT YOUR ON RISK !!!

    1. open PhoenixTool.exe
    2. open JM31119.WPH
    3. click Advanced and add check "Allow user to modify other modules" and "No SLIC" in the lower right box
    4. click go
    5. a messagebox apear "You can now make manual alterations to any module in the DUMP directoy" dont click ok.
    6. in RBE open %pathtoyourbios%\dump\OPROM01.ROM (HD5650=OPROM01.ROM HD6560=OPROM02.ROM)
    7. alter your bios
    8. click save (same name,overwrite)
    9. on the PhoenixTool messagebox click OK

    if you extract this new bios again you see that the settings are saved

    EDIT3:
    OK i flashed it and it seems to work :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
    my ATI HD5650 runs default on 650/850 now after reboot;)
    (beside that i set Tmin from default 45°C to 55°C but i dont know if it work)

    STILL AT YOUT OWN RISK

    howto flash: see first post under setion "Flash BIOS in DOS mode"
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/acer/480992-acer-laptop-phoenix-bios-bios-mod-request.html

    more to come ....


    Tool to Insert/Replace SLIC in Phoenix / Insyde / Dell / EFI BIOSes

    RBE - Radeon BIOS editor
     

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  10. Apex84

    Apex84 Notebook Consultant

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    Did you increase the voltage to 1.05V?
     
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