Thread: Recycle laptop for Digital Picture Frame

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  1. #1 Recycle laptop for Digital Picture Frame 
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker sinphaltimus's Avatar
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    This is beginner rated difficulty as it really doesn't require any special tech skills.
    It is not step by step because the mod was not documented along the way but I will do my best to explain. It's really easy. I listed this under linux because in the end it is running Puppy Linux Live CD. I'll explain.

    Time: A few hours.
    Tools and material needed: Laptop, screw driver, hot glue gun w/ glue, velco tape, foam blocks, drill with various size wood cutting bits, shadow box big enough to house laptop. Mouse, Operating system, USB HDD or NIC and foamcore board.

    Basically, I have several old laptops. One I used for parts so I admit, the original laptop I used was not nearly as good as the one shown in the before pic. It was missing many covers, a keyboard and had a cracked case.

    First, here's the before and after:


    I will try to explain what I did without pics then follow up with some pics of the final. Hopefully it all makes sense.

    1. Prep the laptop - This means that the laptop should be able to boot up without a keyboard to an operating system that has a picture slide show installed. My laptop was too old and didn't have enough memory to load anything good. Basically the only OS I could get running on it was puppy linux. I could not even get it to work off the HDD, I could only get it to work off the live CD. So I formatted the 4GB HDD with a linux swap partition and an ext2 partition. The live CD finds the partitions, uses the swap for better performance loading and unloading images. The ext2 FS partition is for storage only of the pictures.

    2. Puppy linux comes with a built in slide show utility that allows control over transitions, and display time. I like the display time feature because I could set it for mere seconds, all the way up to 24hrs per pic. I chose 4 hours.

    3. Before taking it apart I tested eveything to make sure it would work. I booted to linux with no keyboard, just a mouse plugged in, I ran the slide show, I inserted a usb hdd to copy files to the internal HDD (If I can find a wireless USB adaptor that works with Puppy Linux, I will install that instead so I can access my pictures directly off my media server). Ran the slide show, disconnected the mouse. It all runs fine.

    4. Next I power off and begin taking it all apart. Seperate the monitor from the rest of the body and remove everything from the screen (all housing). I had to make sure I could fold the screen 180 degrees backwards so that the back of the screen would rest up against the bottom of the laptop.

    5. Once that was confirmed, I used a pen and xacto knife to measure the inside of the shadow box and the outer circumference of the VGA LCD screen so I can cut out a frame for the LCD screen from foamcore board. This is used to fill in the gap between the LCD and the shadowbox that is visible through the front glass.

    6. I placed the foamboard frame in to the shadow box and confirmed the lcd screen fit fine. Then I made rough marks on the inside of the shadow box where the USB port is and the PS2 port.

    7. Remove the laptop then drill holes of appropriate size through the sides of the shadow box for USB and PS2 port access.

    8. I used hot glue to affix the foam board to the shadow box, I used velcro tape to fasten the lcd screen to the bottom of the laptop. I varied the use of hot glue and velcro tape to affix Foam blocks to the laptop (for weight support and cushioning). Basically, I had to imagine something going wrong and having to take the picture frame apart in the future to do hardware work on the laptop so anything I needed to access could not be perminantly sealed, hence the use of velcro tape.

    9. I put all of the innards in and secured in place. I then affixed the power supply in place with velcro tape and routed the power wires accordingly. Lastly, I drilled vent holes in the backboard of the shadow box. I aligned one of them so I could access the power button on the laptop. Then I made a notch for the power cord.


    I plugged in a mouse then fired it up sealed and ran my tests, the usb access was perfect, the mouse removal and insertion access was perfect and everything worked great.

    I spent about 35 bux on the parts and currently have a 15" Digital Picture frame with over 700 Hi Res pictures loaded. It's been up and running non-stop since Christmass 07.

    Now for the pics -

    USB Port Access -


    PS2 port access for mouse - on bottom of frame, not seen when in use.


    Rear of enclosure with notch for power cord, vent holes and power button access.


    The ugly inside.


    A close up of the LCD signal and power inverter/ribbon cables. No Hinge.


    Feel free to ask questions, hope this is useful to somebody, just a way to recycle old computer equipment at low cost for a great gift. 15" digital picture frames sell for well over a hundred bux, of some time and a $35 cost, this is a great bargain and another easy mod.
    Last edited by sinphaltimus; 06-02-2008 at 02:51 AM.

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  2. #2  
    Super Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker Pirate-M.Lifnen's Avatar
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    I can't think of anything useful to say, but that's a very nice job man.
    Looks like the results were great.
    +1 dude.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker The_Mechanix's Avatar
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    lol thats fricken awesome im going to do it. i think i have some old laptops lying around somewhere.

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  4. #4  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker sinphaltimus's Avatar
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    Thanks both of you. I just wish I'd have taken pics along the way. I never seem to think about that until I'm done. Oh, and sorry for all the typos, I shoulda checked before posting. There just ran through and fixed all the ones I could find, shoulda just ran firefox.. I'm tired.
    Last edited by sinphaltimus; 06-02-2008 at 02:52 AM.

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  5. #5  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker The_Mechanix's Avatar
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    same here i get done project then im like ahhh crap how am i going to show them this lol.

    Google is your friend
    INTERGALACTIC PROTON POWERED ELECTRICAL TENTACLED ADVERTISING DROIDS
    psp halo constantly updated
    http://www.pspmod.com/forums/sony-ps...-psp-halo.html

    my theme
    http://www.pspmod.com/forums/digital...rst-theme.html

    awesome dog
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daPcCfhE_JQ&NR=1

    Opened a new DIY Store! Cheap!

    ------------>www.diydevices.com<------------
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  6. #6  
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    looks good. it dosent overheat in therE?
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker sinphaltimus's Avatar
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    Nope, no overheat issues. the vents on the back suffice. It's only a PIII 350MHz with 64MBs I believe. Doesn't even get warm.

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  8. #8  
    Senior Member I Modded My PSP
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    wow i will never be able to do that lol
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker sinphaltimus's Avatar
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    Of Course you can.

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  10. #10  
    Member PSP User Nategotskillz's Avatar
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    Yea, old laptops are good, just not newer ones.
    Firmware History: 3.70 -> 3.73 -> 1.50 ->*Bricked* -> 3.80 M33-5 -> 3.90 M33-3 -> 5.00 M33-3


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  11. #11  
    Member PSP User kelvin2056's Avatar
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    lol nice job there and i was amaze for u!!
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  12. #12  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker sinphaltimus's Avatar
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    Thanks. I'm thinking of making 2 more. I have two old laptops that aint sellin', maybe they will as Digital Picture frames.

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  13. #13 Which slideshow in Puppy? 
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    Hi

    just found your project - very good.

    Which slideshow app did you use - just installed puppy but can't seem to find it - did you have to install an extra PET or two?

    Thanks

    John
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  14. #14  
    Financially Raped PSP Elite Hacker thesexyone's Avatar
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    this thread was not touched for 2 years before you posted.
    TRY PSP HACKING FOR DUMMIES!
    http://www.pspmod.com/forums/sony-ps...tml#post514825

    ...even a noob like you can click the link...

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  15. #15 Yep! 
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    Just thought the author might still be around.

    J.
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