Key chain LCD as screen for a Dockstar

[Peter Gunn] added an LCD screen to his Dockstar. Now that we think of it, this really shouldn’t be all that hard since the Dockstar can run a Linux kernel and it has USB ports. [Peter] took inspiration from [Sprite_TM's] key chain LCD4Linux hack that we looked at many moons ago. He used a cheap Coby DP182 digital picture frame that can be picked up for less than $5 used. A bit of firmware hacking and LCD4Linux has no problem pushing images to the device via USB. [Peter's] setup refreshes the screen at one frame per second, but if all you need is a bit of feedback from the otherwise headless system this is a great solution.

[Thanks Mikka]

Comments

  1. The Moogle says:

    neat!
    I’ve been looking into using a Didj or LX as a display for the dockstar using usb gadget modified

  2. thegoddamnedbatman says:

    Where might one source one of these keychains?

  3. MRC says:

    anyone got a source for cheap dockstars? can’t seem to find any, apparently I missed the initial rush.

  4. Just me says:

    Amazon and seagate.com, about $40.

  5. adam says:

    @batman
    Check the website link I’ve got, they list what’s supported. Try and go for something more name brand (the Coby ones). The real cheap ones can look the same but then have totally different boards/firmware and might require you to decompile the firmware and add support yourself. You can usually find these things on eBay although sometimes actual stores can carry the one you want.

    @MRC
    Check eBay or Amazon, should be able to score one for <$30.

  6. Mr Hacker says:

    #correction – key chain LCD4Linux hack that we looked at many moons ago.
    didnt you mean key chain LCD4Linux hack that we looked at many months ago.

  7. andres says:

    @ MR. Hacker

    many moons ago is just another way to say a long time ago, it’s still correct.

  8. MaxwellMudd says:

    Seriously Mr. Hacker, have you never heard the expression “Many moons ago”? It’s a reference to the way many of the older indigenous peoples(native americans, early europeans, pretty much all ancient peoples) used to track months, by the phases of the moon.
    Kids these days, I tell ya’, no historical perspective.

  9. MS3FGX says:

    This is a great use for a cheap piece of hardware. I’m tempted to buy a bunch on eBay now before sellers get wise and start bringing the prices up on the older ones which use the proper chipset.

  10. Kevin says:

    Ha, I knew I couldn’t be the only one to think of this. I actually just picked up a Coby DP151 to do the same thing, but I haven’t had time to properly set up my Dockstar yet.
    I didn’t see any specifics on the link, but I still need to check if it’s possible to flip the mini-B USB connector around and mount the keychain on that. It looked like it might be possible and still make a good enough connection with the keychain, or else I can just cut away some of the ledge on the front. Done correctly it might even look like it belongs there and you don’t lose a full size USB port.

  11. Jimbo says:

    Kevin: The connector can be flipped. I ended up ordering the Shift3 photokeychain instead because the usb plug is both on the bottom of the screen’s proper orientation AND with the wide end front. No modification needed.

  12. Kevin says:

    @Jimbo
    Good to know, most of the ones I’ve seen have the port on the short side with the wide end at the back. Once I get things set up I guess I’ll find out how big of an issue orientation is going to be. I haven’t gone much further than flashing my Coby as of yet. I managed to completely brick a generic Innovage frame just by plugging it in and not updating it with anything, but at least it was free!
    I should probably sign up over at doozan once I get things going.

  13. Jimbo says:

    @Kevin

    Unfortunately the pictures lied and the Shift3 I got is actually slightly different than what i thought i was getting… However, the picture frame fits pretty well by just putting it straight into the dock. http://i.imgur.com/ncJD5.jpg

    From my understanding, the Coby DP15*2*’s are similar in shape/thickness with the plug in the same spot.

    If you prefer to have the LCD screen facing the same side as the LCD… yeah, no problem. Pull the emi shielding tape off the underside of the shell, remove two screws and flip the plug, bend the cable in the other direction and you’re set.

    As far as the Shift3 goes, was able to hack it using Peter Gunn’s generate-hack.pl script. You can see in the thread how my experience went. ;) (Generating a hack is easy. Follow the directions, edit the offset in the spec file and reassemble, renaming directories if the process stops before it reaches your own)

    Like the Picframe wiki says, the battery icon stays on top, but a small area of the screen to work around.

    I also ordered the DP151SX after I found a guaranteed revision that I would be able to hack. I think you’ll be able to (after flipping the plug) just stand the Dockstar on its side for the screen orientation to be correct. If I’m guessing right, that means one USB plug will be accessible from top. I like this. ;)

  14. Ryan says:

    I’m having issues getting my usb rosewill docking station to sleep while plugged into my dockstar. Can any one help?? the hd is a wd 10ears 1tb.
    Thanks in advance.

  15. Just me says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hdparm or ‘man hdparm’ may help

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