Custom Case Lends Retro Look to Smart TV

Refits of retro TVs and radios with the latest smart guts are a dime a dozen around Hackaday. And while a lot of these projects show a great deal of skill and respect for the original device, there’s something slightly sacrilegious about gutting an appliance that someone shelled out a huge portion of their paycheck to buy in the middle of the last century. That’s why this all-new retro-style case for a smart TV makes us smile.

GE 806 restored by Steve O'Bannon
1940s GE 806 restored by Steve O’Bannon

Another reason to smile is the attention to detail paid by [ThrowingChicken]. His inspiration came from a GE 806 TV from the 1940s, and while his build isn’t an exact replica, we think he captured the spirit of the original perfectly. From the curved top to the deep rectangular bezel, the details really make this a special build. One may quibble about not using brass for the grille like the original and going with oak rather than mahogany. In the end though, you need to work with the materials and tooling you have. Besides, we think the laser cut birch ply grille is pretty snazzy. Don’t forget the pressure-formed acrylic dome over the screen – here’s hoping that our recent piece on pressure-forming helped inspire that nice little touch.

This project was clearly a labor of love – witness the bloodshed after a tangle with a tablesaw while building the matching remote – and brought some life to an otherwise soulless chunk of mass-produced electronics.

[via r/DIY]

Digital picture frame reverse engineering


A few months ago [Jason] got his hands on a free Coby DP700WD digital picture frame and thought it would be fun to hack. After realizing that the frame did not run any sort of Linux-based OS he figured his options were pretty limited, but he gave it a shot anyways.

The frame came with a set of built in images, and his goal was to swap them out for pictures of his own. He started by trying to read data from the frame’s serial flash chip, but found that the processor was preventing him from doing so. He de-soldered the chip from the frame, mounted it on a makeshift breakout board, and started reading up on SPI.

He was eventually able to read the device’s flash chip and swapped out the built-in images with his own. After a bit of trial and error, he was able to replace the frame’s boot screen with his own custom image as well.

If you are looking to do something similar, be sure to swing by his site – all of the tools and code he used to hack his frame are available for the taking.

Continue reading to see his modified picture frame in action.

Continue reading “Digital picture frame reverse engineering”

Hacking a digital picture keychain


The Coby DP-151sx Digital picture frame keychain seems to be ripe for hacking. At roughly $9, you get a screen, and Li-Ion battery. That’s not bad considering a similar screen alone would cost $20 elsewhere even though it runs on a slower serial connection.  While they’ve only put a 3 color pattern on it so far, more can’t be far behind. If you don’t feel like actually tearing it apart, there are some projects that have managed to customize what it displays via the USB connection.