How do I run multiple digital picture frames from one power source?


I want to take a large picture frame and mount 6 or 7 digital picture frames inside it  behind mounting card - almost like a collage.  What I'm wondering though is if there is a way I can use a single power supply to run all of the frames?  It's not necessarily a problem if I can't but I was thinking it would be much more tidy if I have one power supply and 8 cables rather than 7 power supplies and 14 cables.

I can make it so there is only one cable coming out of the back of the picture frame by using a multi socket extension inside but again this is going to add to the size of the enclosure on the back of the frame.

So does anyone have any suggestions they can offer please?

Thank you in advance.


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pr0n1x7 years ago
I think it's a bad idea. Firstly how much this device will consume electricity, and secondly it does not fire safety. It is best to get the standard collage picture frames
frollard7 years ago
So long as they all work on the same voltage its easy - just get one with enough voltage, and especially amperage to run them all.

I wouldn't recommend running them in series and using a higher voltage - rather just get a beefy supply for the correct voltage.

Doing a quick search online I see that 'a typical' one uses about 300 mA of power...multiply by 7 and add some headroom, you need a 7-12 volt supply capable of sourcing 2-3 amps, and suitable wiring to carry 40+ watts.
Really its just a matter of getting the power to the frame, then splicing a connector for each frame.
blainerenegadewoyer (author)  frollard7 years ago
This is my first question and I couldn't see how to reply to everyone, so rather than repeat myself...Thank you everyone for your help.  I'll give it a go and post back what I find!


lemonie7 years ago
Add up your total power requirement. jeff-o may well be right with the PC-PSU, but know what you need and find a supply that fits.
Wiring them all to the same supply is pretty easy, make sure your supply will cope. You connect the like-to-like and to the same supply.

jeff-o7 years ago
A small computer power supply could be used, as long as the picture frames are all expecting 12V or 5V.  It would have more than enough current to run them.  It could be tucked away in a corner somewhere, hidden in a custom-made box.

You would probably need to make custom power plugs for each frame, which would be wired together (in parallel) and connected to the power supply by a single, thicker pair of wires.

I'd recommend using all the same picture frames so that the power requirements are the same for each one, and so that they all use the same size DC jack.

An alternate suggestion is similar to brandegor's:  If the picture frames can run from a USB port only (some can, some can't) then all you'd need is a powered 7-port hub.  This method is especially good because when it comes time to load new pictures on the frames, you only need to plug in the hub to access all 6 or 7 picture frames at the same time.
brandegor7 years ago
Could you use a USB hub with power going to one of those universal USB power supplies (like the kind for an iPOD)? I don't know if that would work, but it's my first thought.