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EliteBook NightLight mod

Discussion in 'HP Business Class Notebooks' started by Indrek, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Indrek

    Indrek Notebook Virtuoso

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    More of a simple hack than a mod, really, but it made the NightLight on my 6930p much more useful, so I thought I'd share.

    Basically, the diffusor in the NightLight assembly can be removed, which results in considerably better keyboard illumination. Possible downsides are increased chance of having it shine in your eye (which the diffusor is probably supposed to help prevent), and less protection for the LED inside. Personally I haven't had any problems with it for several months, but YMMV.

    While it's possible to remove the diffusor without dismantling the display assembly, I don't recommend it - it's much harder to apply the necessary pressure and you might damage the NightLight in the process. Instead, start by removing the display bezel and moving the display itself away from the back panel. Refer to your model's service guide for detailed instructions. There's no need to remove the display assembly from the rest of the notebook, and I even did it with the notebook running - there's no vital exposed electronic components in the display assembly, so as long as you're careful not to damage the display itself or any cables, you should be fine.

    Once you've opened up the display assembly, you should have the NightLight mechanism in plain sight. Here's what it looks like on my 6930p:

    [​IMG]

    It'll probably be different on xx40 series models, which have the NightLight and its release button combined into one. In any case, gently lift the assembly out, making sure not to pull on the cable too much. Then, remove the circuit board containing the LED and on/off switch from the housing (forgot to take a picture of this stage).

    The housing itself looks like this (propped up on a pair of tweezers to get a better angle):

    [​IMG]

    The translucent part in the front is the diffusor. To remove it, simply apply pressure to one of the tabs on either side, through slits in the housing. Be careful not to damage the housing itself, because the parts are pretty small. Also, try to aim it so that if the diffusor pops out, you'll be able to find it. I spent a good 5 minutes looking for it after it flew across the room.

    Here's the housing with the diffusor removed:

    [​IMG]

    After this, just reverse the steps above - pop the small PCB back into the housing; replace the NightLight in its position, making sure the spring is seated properly; and reassemble the display. Make sure to keep the diffusor in case you need/want to put it back in. You don't have to take the display apart for that - putting it in is much easier than taking it out.

    Here's the before and after shots with my 6930p. There's a tad more ambient light in the second picture which might exaggerate the difference slightly, but overall it's still quite an improvement.

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]

    Hope someone finds this useful.
     
  2. jke

    jke Notebook Enthusiast

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    I found this to be very useful, thx for this interesting hack!
     
  3. residualvoltage

    residualvoltage Notebook Deity

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    indrek thats a really cool mod congrats thats awesome
     
  4. thebranded

    thebranded Notebook Consultant

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    great idea and something i will be doing to my 2530p.

    Have you thought of instead of removing the difuser. replacing it instead with somethign not as soild? So you will end up with a bighter light but not as bright as without any difuser at all.
     
  5. Indrek

    Indrek Notebook Virtuoso

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    That's certainly something to try, if you can find something that's the right shape so it'll stay in there.

    Another thing to try would be to file down the diffusor a bit so it lets through more light. You'd probably need something like a jeweller's file or very fine sandpaper, though.
     
  6. thebranded

    thebranded Notebook Consultant

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    hmm looks like i cant do this for the 2530p

    [​IMG]

    The diffuser is a clear piece of plastic.
     
  7. przemke

    przemke Notebook Geek

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    Great work Indrek, awesome mod! :D
     
  8. DrDeLaScarE

    DrDeLaScarE Newbie

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    There is a much more convenient method of removing the diffuser if you are scared to disassemble the screen:

    ...Just pop the diffusercap open and grab yourself a small flat-head screwdriver. On the left and right sides of the cap you will see where the diffuser is tucked in. Just poke the screwdriver in the holes (Gently off course) and "pop" goes the diffuser.
    Took me around 10seconds to remove it.
     
  9. Indrek

    Indrek Notebook Virtuoso

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    Yep, I actually mentioned in the original post that it's possible to do this without disassembling the screen. However, at least on my model that method seemed much more likely to result in damage to the NightLight assembly, which is why I decided to remove it from the display first. YMMV, of course.
     
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