Reverse Engineering a 1.5 inch Photoframe

Little, no name, 1.5 inch LCD photo key-chains are all over the place for practically nothing. Not too surprisingly these things do not vary much in the parts that they use, some flash ram, a little lipo battery and a 16 bit color LCD. Wanting to find a way to reuse that LCD [Simon] Has an excellent tutorial on how to reuse a FTM144D01N LCD with a ILITEK ILI9163 LCD driver for your electronic projects.

Two units were used, one was ripped apart and soldered to a home made breakout board, the other was kept intact so its logic could be sniffed out with an oscilloscope. A pin-out was quickly determined since these things typically use a 8 or 16 bit data bus. Then a driver library was put together for AVR micro controllers, which includes some basic shape drawing and a 5×8 font.

While you may not be lucky enough to get this exact LCD screen from your local bargain store, there are a lot of pointers in here to hopefully get you up and going. We will be trying our luck on a very similar screen this afternoon as these things do have a decent picture and fairly quick response times already packaged in a hand-held case.

Join us after the break for a quick video.

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Digital picture frame reverse engineering

coby_frame_hack

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.

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What to do with an old laptop?


Back in November we asked what you would do with an old unused laptop. If you have an old laptop that’s not doing much more than gathering dust, chances are you could put it to better use. You could sell it, but you probably wouldn’t get too much for it. Donating or recycling can also get it out your hair, but if you’d like to try something different, read on for some ideas.

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