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Digital Photo Frame from Laptop

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
A few weeks ago I finished my custom digital photo frame computer.. and I thought I would share it here since technically it's a case mod. smile.gif

I was given a free laptop with 14" 4:3 screen. It's old, usb 1.1, and bulky.. but fits the bill to show photos off. Almost any laptop would work, but some things to consider are:
  • Power consumption - it will hopefully be on most of the time.
  • Heat (related to power consumption) - will the fan turn on often?
  • Size
  • Screen dimensions (I prefer 4:3 for photos)
  • Can it boot from USB?
  • Wireless?

This ancient laptop happened to be great in these regards (except it can't boot from USB and the wifi is broke). Here is a summary of my process:

I disassembled the laptop, tested to make sure it still worked, and prototyped how I would lay it out on in the frame. I tested to ensure it booted without a keyboard or mouse attached, or the hard drive and motherboard extension attached to it. Removed the battery and all case parts I didn't need.

20110514163423.jpg

I bought a generic wooden frame with a deep back that I would be able to fit the case in. I measured the screen size and had a custom matte made. I bought 3/16" thick balsa plywood from an arts and craft store, and I had some screws and hanging hardware around.

Using cardboard cutouts as spacers I got the screen exactly where I wanted it. With a table saw I cut out the plywood to fit between the screen and the motherboard. I glued blocks of wood to the plywood, and mounted the motherboard to it with screws. Everything is now secure and stable, and should I need to I can easily disassemble it all.

downloadrk.jpg

I installed a hanger on the back for hanging on a wall, and a strip of aluminum stock attached to a hinge for sitting it up on a desk.

As for software, for the time being it still runs XP.. but I disabled everything I didn't need for startup, set the power button switch to shut down in settings, and attached a flash drive with the drive letter manually assigned so it won't change.

On the flash drive, I installed Irfanview with a directory for photos. I ran a batch process to save a text file listing all the 200+ files in the directory. I created a shortcut for Irfanview with settings to automatically go into slideshow mode, hide the mouse cursor, and continually fade through all the photos at maximum size. I plugged in a wireless mouse and the flash drive, added that shortcut to the startup menu, and voilà! A 14" digital photo frame was born for under $40. The fan rarely runs so it is essentially silent, and looks fantastic in my opinion. smile.gif

All done:
20110517104848.jpg

Still on my todo list:
  • Clean up the duct taped USB wiring.
  • Acquire a 2GB Compact Flash Drive to boot from using my IDE/CF adapter, install linux (this will save weight and power and heat from hard drive)
  • Fix the wifi or install bluetooth for control over Android phone
  • Maybe add media center functions
  • Potentially add a microphone for live sound visualization
Core i7 for free!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 2600K ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) Radeon HD 5770 1GB 2x4GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardPower
120GB Vertex2, 4TB Raid0 Win7 x64 Pro Logitech illuminated ultra thin 700W OCZ GameXstream 
CaseMouse Pad
old Clear and black Wow!pad 
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Core i7 for free!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 2600K ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) Radeon HD 5770 1GB 2x4GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardPower
120GB Vertex2, 4TB Raid0 Win7 x64 Pro Logitech illuminated ultra thin 700W OCZ GameXstream 
CaseMouse Pad
old Clear and black Wow!pad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 2
Amazing recycling job.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k P8P67M-Pro Rev 3 5770 XMS3 
Hard DrivePower
SSD X650 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k P8P67M-Pro Rev 3 5770 XMS3 
Hard DrivePower
SSD X650 
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