Taking A Peek Inside The Newest Echo Show 10

When Amazon released the original Echo, it was a pretty simple affair. Cylinder, some LEDs on top, done. Then they came out with the Echo Dot, which was basically the same thing, but shorter. It seemed like there was a pretty clear theme for awhile, but then at some point Amazon decided it would be a good idea to start producing Echo devices in every form factor imaginable, from wall plugs to literal sunglasses, and things got a lot more complicated. As a perfect example, take a look at this teardown of the third generation Echo Show 10 by [txyzinfo].

Granted the base still looks a bit like the Echos of old, but the family resemblance stops there. As you can probably gather from the name, the Show features a high resolution 10.1 inch LCD panel, greatly improving the number and type of advertisements Amazon is able to force on the user. In true Black Mirror fashion, there’s even a brushless motor in the base that allows the machine to rotate the display towards the user no matter how hard they try to escape.

A salvageable part if there ever was one.

The teardown is presented with no commentary; in both the video below and on the Hackaday.IO page, all you’ll find are clear and well-lit images of the device’s internals. But for those who are just interested in what the inside of one of these $250 USD gadgets looks like, that’s all you really need.

At this point, it doesn’t seem like [txyzinfo] is trying to reverse engineer the Show or figure out how it all works, and looking at the complexity of that main board, we’re not surprised. Still, it’s a marvel to look at all the hardware they packed into such a relatively small device.

If you’re looking for a more technical examination at the newer Echo devices, [Brian Dorey] did some impressive poking around on the third generation Dot in 2019 and [electronupdate] went as far as decapping a few of the chips inside the Flex. On the software side of things, check out the recent efforts to craft an open source firmware for the original Echo.

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Cloning The Echo Show With A Fabric Wrapped Pi

After seeing an Echo Show in the flesh plastic, [anonteapot] was inspired to create his own take on Amazon’s latest on-ramp to their ecosystem. He had the Raspberry Pi and a touch screen, but not much else. He doesn’t even have a dedicated work area at home, much less something as exotic as a 3D printer to run off a custom case. For this decidedly low-tech build, all that was required tool-wise was a razor blade knife and a screwdriver.

The majority of the device, which he refers to as the PiShow, is made of hand-cut pieces of MDF. In fact, the whole build relied on his ability to neatly cut pieces of MDF with hand tools on his bedroom floor. We wouldn’t suggest such a setup as a general rule, but respect for pushing ahead without so much as a table to work on.

To connect the pieces of MDF, he used angle brackets from the hardware store. These were originally 90 degrees, but he bent them by hand to achieve the angles seen in the final device. He notes that there was no specific angles he was aiming for when putting the box together; he simply wanted something that looked cool and was large enough internally to hold his electronics.

Covering the PiShow is some jersey material that [anonteapot] bought at a local fabric store. It has a little stretch to it so he was able to pull it tight over the MDF frame and keep the wrinkles out. As a general rule we don’t see many projects here at Hackaday that are wrapped in fabric, but we’ve got to admit, it makes for a nice final look.

The trickiest part of the build ended up being the side panels. While the rest of the frame was relatively simple, the sides needed to precisely conform to some fairly complex geometry. Luckily the side panels aren’t actually holding any weight, so he decided to just cut them out of cardboard. There’s a bit of a gap at the top, but he’s going to try and rectify that with a visit from his glue gun soon.

Internally things are sort of just hanging around inside the case, but since this device is never going to move off of the nightstand, it probably doesn’t need to be terribly secure. In truth, getting all the hardware mounted up cleanly with the construction methods available to [anonteapot] would have been a bit tricky anyway.

This is the first time we’ve seen somebody take a swing at replicating the Echo Show, usually we just see people trying to cram the Echo Dot into something else. If the software side is more your thing, be sure to check out this excellent guide on Alexa Skills development by our very own [Al Williams].