June 3, 2005

Digital Photo Frame

I've been working on a Digital Picture Frame. This is take two for such an attempt. I made one two or three years years ago, however, it was on a laptop that had power issues. Such that it would go into power saving (which was hard coded into the bios), and was not fixable without a fully charged battery (which didn't exist). Anyway, it was a fun project, and worked passable for a while. However, of late, thanks to Andy, I've come into posession of another laptop, that is more suitable for the project. So, PhotoFrame V.2.0 has arrived.

     Starting out with a used laptop was step 1. I had done a photo frame project before that worked well, except the laptop required a button to be pushed to turn it on, and to turn it off (as the button power button was not linked to the OS, much like those old AT power supplies.     Anyway, so I have the photo frame left over from the previous project. It was a nice one i picked up at walmart. Removing the screen from the laptop was not a hard deal. It involved finding the proper screws to be removed on the plastic around the actual LCD frame. What ends up happening is tha tthe actual latop is wraped around on the back of the screen upsdie down, so that all the screen's connectors and power can reach it easily. It's essential just bending the screen onto the back of the laptop, though you want to unhook all the parts except the power and connector cable.     After having removed the screen from the laptop and secured it into a picture frame, i decided to add an external power button that could be affixed to the side of the photo frame. I already had mounted the screen into the matting. The matting needed to be widened a bit from the lst laptop, but no major problem there. I used a hot glue gun to mount the LCD ont the heavy card matting. This allowed me to tweak it in order that it would be mounted level in the matting. I actually had the LCD running when i did this so that i could see all the pixels and make sure it was just right.

I wanted to hook up an external power cable.
I unfastend the PCB board and did some testing with a volt meter to find out which circuit needed to bbe momentarily closed.
I cut out a notch around the power supply. It was a tight fit, until i decided to align the laptop differently.

The mounting brackets for the laptop's screen was soo strong it worked for a great stand for the whole project.
Here is the external power switch. It is a momentary switch i used from the previous project.

     I've since added a wireless card, and set up a secure Ad Hoc wireless network. I also changed the default login screen to use the photo slideshow screensaver, and set shared directory up that it pulls from. You can remote desktop into if you want to, and remotely play songs/sounds, etc. if your processor/videocard is fast enough, i recommend (though it doesn't recurse through subdirectories):iSlideshow

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