LCD replacement for Sharp EL-5100 pocket computer

LCD replacement for Sharp EL-5100

Sold by The Half-Baked Maker


No tax for United States [change]
Stock available: 1472

What is it?

This is a pin-for-pin compatible nearly exact replacement for the LCD module in the Sharp EL-5100 pocket computer released in 1979. I am not certain at this time whether this LCD will also fit the EL-5100S.

Why did you make it?

Many EL-5100 pocket computers suffer from LCD degradation to the point where they are no longer useful. Apparently the seal around the LCD was of poor quality, and over the years moisture gets in and ruins the liquid crystal. The result is a display ranging from a few splotches to complete failure.

LCD showing complete degradation

I decided that it was important to bring all these dead EL-5100 computers back to life by reverse-engineering the LCD and remanufacturing them.

What makes it special?

These LCDs were custom manufactured by Sharp for the EL-5100. Replacement LCDs were never available, and finding a working LCD is problematic, given the systematic failure of the seal.

I tried as much as possible to make the fonts and positions used for the indicators as identical to the original as possible.

Replacement LCD

Instructions for replacement

The instructions are the same as for the Sharp PC-1211. I've made a video showing how to replace one of those LCDs. There are a few crucial things you have to be aware of:

  • Be sure to remove the plastic protective sheet on the top before installation.
  • After removing the bezel+LCD assembly from the original computer, you'll need to soak the assembly in acetone for 2 to 3 hours to get the old LCD unstuck from the bezel. Alternatively, I've heard about successes by putting the assembly on a hotplate set to 100C for about three minutes -- be very careful that you don't burn yourself!
  • Wipe the contacts on the new LCD and clean the elastomeric strips from your existing computer with isopropyl alcohol -- preferably the 99.9% purity kind.
  • You should not have to adjust the contrast or remove any potentiometer.
  • Replacing the LCD will not guarantee a working computer! There could be other faults.
  • Getting the positioning right is crucial. You should be okay by pushing the end of the LCD *without * the bump against the side of the bezel.

Links to code and documentation

No additional links provided for this product.

Product HS Code: 85241100

Shipping policy

I ship via the United States Postal Service, every Monday (US Pacific time) except on USPS holidays, when I ship on the next open day. US destinations usually take a few days after that, EU/JP about 2 weeks, and South and Central American destinations can take up to 6 weeks.

I CANNOT SHIP TO THE UK. Too many packages to the UK have been tracked as ENTERING THE UK, but after that the package disappears. Because of the unusually low rate of successful delivery, I no longer ship to the UK.

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The seller

The Half-Baked Maker

Morgan Hill, California, United States
38 orders since Nov 14, 2022
I make all kinds of stuff. Sometimes the stuff can be useful to others. It's always Open Hardware, but I make some for sale if you want.