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Justin T Laughlin

Page history last edited by Justin T Laughlin 13 years ago



So for my project I am going to create a mini video wall or video array using 1.5" LCD screens from digital photo key chains and accompanying sound from a modified Polk Audio Surroundbar. These will be housed in a floor cabinet made from reclaimed louvered doors imported from France and other reclaimed materials. The video array will be inset into a sheet metal bevel that will be slightly hammered out into a 1/2 sphere shape, the screens will run 4 wide by 4 tall for a total of 12 screens.


The video images will vary from separate images in all 12 screens, broken up into 4 video images (4 screens a piece) or 1 video image across all 12 screens. There will be music and sound that accompanies the images and transitions.  I have included the website that allows for the firmware of these key chain LCD screens to be updated to allow it to act as a 2nd monitor for a PC. It will only look at a specific 128x128 section of the screen to project on each LCD. I have purchase a netbook with a 1.66GHz chip 1GB DDR2 of RAM and  250GB hardrive to act as the "brain" for this project. I have also already purchased 2 LCD key chains to work with and modify before purchasing the rest. I will create a max patch that utilizes 512 x 512 of the monitor sending a specific 128x128 section to each screen via a USB connection and USB hub allowing 12 separate connections. It will control the video and sounds for the cabinet. The speakers will be modified so that they fit into the reclaimed speaker enclosures. 


I would like to include a power button and an audio switch button on the interior housing of the video array, one to turn on the power the other to allow for the audio to be switched from coming from the netbook (the accompanying audio to the imagery) to allow an MP3 player to be plugged in instead bypassing the programmed audio with the users own audio to utilize as a stereo system for the room. I would like these button to look "old fashioned" maybe something that lights up star trek style. 


Below I am including pictures, links, etc of all the separate parts I have either already ordered or purchased or already own, at the very bottom is a quick rendering of what the finished project should resemble upon completion. 








2nd one down photoframetest.zip written in C#


These will be inset in this sheet metal 4 screens across by 4 screens wide. So basically I will hammer this sheet metal into a dome and cut out 12 windows in it the size of each lcd screen.


The sheet metal dome with the 12 screens will then be inset into a larger frame seen below


Which will then be framed out inside the cabinet in sections of this particular board




Self-powered Speakers to be disassembled cut in half and put in enclosures below. Has a wireless subwoofer that can be plugged in anywhere with 50 feet of the cabinet.


Enclosures (will be covered with cloth of some sort on inside so you cannot see speakers inside): 

Front doors of the cabinet:


Side panels for cabinet:


Top and Bottom Panels:






So I have steadily been working on my project and have hit a few snags. The picture frame key chains I bought have incompatible chipset, after writing to the author of the hacks and working with my friend many hours of downloading software and updating firmware we have to get a photo lcd with sitronix chip set to make the hack work.  The ones I purchased are recognized a CD ROM after upgrading the firmware and not a USB memory device. Turns out the manufacturer began using BUILDWIN chipset which is incompatible with this hack., Here is the dmeg after plugging in the coby device:

usb 5-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 2
usb 5-1: New USB device found, idVendor=1908, idProduct=0102

usb 5-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=2, Product=3, SerialNumber=0
usb 5-1: Product: Digital Photo Frame
usb 5-1: Manufacturer: BUILDWIN
Initializing USB Mass Storage driver...
scsi2 : usb-storage 5-1:1.0
usbcore: registered new interface driver usb-storage
USB Mass Storage support registered.
scsi 2:0:0:0: CD-ROM               COBY   Photo Viewer    1.01 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
sr1: scsi3-mmc drive: 40x/40x writer cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray
sr 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr1
sr 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 5


So now we know how to update the firmware and are sure we can get the C# to work on windows 7 just have to find a compatible frame, My choices are to buy some directly from china and buy all 12 with the understanding that they are def based off a citronix chipset or to try and find a comparable product as a local store. I went to both best buy and walgreens today with no luck

I have however made a lot of progress on the cabinet all the pieces have been cut down and milled I will include pictures below. I have made a map of the window panes so I can get the broken glass replaced and I have decided to sandblast a graphic pattern on the glass rather than have it red. I also have cut the speaker in half, bought all of the wire so that I can extend them, and successfully tore down the speaker parts so that they can easily be reassembled with no damage, I will include some pics of that, all in all very busy week on the project putting in at least 12 hours worth of work. 


Here is the 5 panel door cut up in section and glued together for the sides of the cabinets 

Here are the doors of the cabinet cut down, old glass, glazing and nails removed.

Here are the other doors cut to size that will be the top and bottom of the cabinet

Internal supports for video wall and bevel

Here us the paper map so I can both buy glass panes for the pieces that need replacing and to work on the graphic design for the sandblast. I also had to do this because the openings are all different sizes so the glass size is not uniform.

Here is the speaker deconstructed and with the housing cut in half., I spent sometime getting the wired to extend the runs to the internal amp but had trouble finding a type of multiwire tape usually found in computers I am going to work on reconsructing tomorrow in class and I hope the guys will have what I need to lengthen that particular part.



Well I have gotten the speakers partially reconstructed I hope to finish them tonight in class. I also purchased two more LCD keychains this time the brand name Innovage which is supposed to be compatible with the hack. 

They should be here Tuesday, lets hope these ones work!!!!





After many tries the above frames DO NOT WORK, they come back with the same dmesg but they will NOT allow the firmware to be updated. This sux because the very first frame I got of this manufacturer worked (well at least let me update the firmware) the others did not. I do not know why but when I popped them open the inside circuit board configuration is VERY different meaning it must be different hardware. 


I have spent hours writing the people involved in the hacking wiki to no avail and finally ordered new frames based on this recent update by the guy who started this hack and maintains the wiki. "


Your best bets right now (November 2010) are probably the:

  • Coby DP151SX provided that you can absolutely confirm you're getting the correct version of this model with the packaging information on that page (read: eBay and talking to the seller, not Amazon which may be using dated stock pictures),
  • The Coby DP152 as it does not appear to have (m/any?) hardware revisions yet,
  • and the Innovage Shift3 Fat because it is easily identifiable and common... if you don't mind the battery icon.

Folks, if you have any recent experiences, please update the device pages and/or this list. This project is seeing a little bit of a resurgence due to the Seagate Dockstar hacking group over at http://forum.doozan.com/ and we'd like to ensure information here is also up to date."


So I ordered the DP 152's ( the third frames I will have ordered and tried for this project) which are sure to arrive this morning and I will promptly bring one over to my friend who is working on the programming to see if he can get the firmware upgrade to take. There was another problem with the frames I ordered above which i did not realize until I ordered 14 (which I now dont need wast of $$)of them is that the way the USB adapter is on the circuit board it would have needed to be removed and resoldered on the board to integrate into my design. 


The USB connection is parallell with the back of the frame which means it would have been impossible to mount them frame to frame in the bezel. I am hoping the new ones much like the DP151's that didnt work are at least in a hardware configuration that will be easy to disassemble and put into the bezel.


The cabinet base is coming along great. After cutting down the initial pieces I used the domino hand tool to do the joinery and it is very sturdy.


I then put in the cabinet back where you will be able to see the back anyway.


I then built out the LCD bezel and interior to hold button, computer, LCD's etc, I have not cut the square holes into the metal dome until I can get an actual set of frames to work.


Here is a close up of he LCD bezel (front and back) it is an actual separate piece so that it can come out of the cabinet have its components installed and be placed back in the cabinet.


I learned a new photo sensitive sandblasting technique for the doors that basically lets you take anything you print on the printer and make it into a sandblast resist. Here are some of the pics for resist for the glass panes in the doors before they were applied to the glass.


The glass turned out great and they have been installed into the cabinet doors:


I have all of the hinges and hardware for the cabinet all that is left is to hang the doors, add the lock and the crown and toe moldings and the cabinet will be good to hold its electronic parts.


The speakers are modified, in the above metal speaker encloses and sounds awesome, they are also good to go once the cabinet it complete. 


Things left to do:


  • Get LCD screens to accept firmware
  • Work with my friend that is a C# expert to modify program once we get firmware working on LCD frames
  • Collect and modify videos per Barney's instructions so that hopefully the netbook has enough memory and processing power to run all of the videos simultaneously. 
  • Cut square holes in dome metal bezel and epoxy lcd frames into it, connect all frames to two LCD hubs I have in my possession and then connect those to netbook 
  • Insert speaker system into cabinet including adding a audio in jack on from of LCD interface and by pass button to switch from video and accompanying music program to personal music
  • Put cabinet doors on, finish off trim molding, epoxy ball feet on cabinet



Cabinet doors are on, square holes are cut and filed into bezel, and speakers are secured into speaker enclosures. 

*** Need to find someone who is a Linux expert to finish programming finally have correct LCD's just cannot get the firmware upgraded***





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