Introduction: Lego Digital Photo Frame From Broken Tablet

Hi Everyone!

This instructable born from a 10" broken chinese tablet, that a friend gave to me.

The touchscreen was completly dead, and the replacement was around 30 USD. I allready have another fully functional tablet, so this one wasn't worth the money,.

Sadly It ends in the bottom of a drawer for around 2 years, till a few weeks when decide to give it some use.

First, I desolder the batery, and I been using it as a powerbank.

Also, I have plans to use the tablet motherboard, as an Android TV Box, cause the tablet has a mini HDMI output.

But after many days searching, I've been unable to find any video controller for the LCD and I can't stand the idea of throw away a perfectly functional display.

So, I search on Instructables for ideas and decide to build a Digital Photo Frame, based on the project:

Homemade Digital Picture Frame by JonG

I choose this option, because this kind of device, doesn't require any kind of interaction, just download the photos, get some app, and Done!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

All the materials and tools, you can easily found them around the house:

Materials:

  • A touchscreen broken cheap tablet
  • Old lego pieces
  • Micro USB Cable

Tools

  • Utility Knife
  • OTG Cable
  • USB Mouse
  • Super Glue

Step 2: Disassemble

With the touch screen broken, I decide to take the working pieces out cause the screen looks terrible.

Using a screw driver, I remove 4 screws for the back, and then, using a exacto knife, split the plastic enclosure.

Then, release the touchscreen ribbon cable, and take out the LCD, with the mother board and the battery.

Step 3: The Software

First, connect the OTG cable. and a mouse, to unlock the tablet.
Connect to your WIFI signal, and download the following apps:

To get content for the app, we need a local copy of the photos we want on the slideshow.

  • Google Photos, allows you to keep a folder inside Google Drive, with all the sincronized photos from your phone.
  • (See this step photos for reference) Just go to your Google Drive Settings, and check "Create a Googlephotos Folder"
  • You'll see a new folder called Google Photos, where all your sincronized files, are now available inside yearly folders.

Now, you can keep this folder sync with your Tablet, using Autosync Google Drive.
Once you choose a Photo Frame App, just open it, choose the photo source, and enjoy!

Also, you can use the tablet, as an externl monitor, with SpaceDesk and as webcam monitor. There are plenty alternatives to give it an extra use, and all my recomendations are free to download.

Step 4: Making the Lego Frame

Now the frame.

I spend many days, figuring out, some kind of frame, to gve the pieces a nice look.
I try cold porcelain clay but cannot get the right shape.
I don't want to use wood, cause it's a small device and it requires small pieces with small details and smoth edges, and i don't have propper woodworking tools. Also, just a wood frame seems kind of boring.

Suddenly, it came to me:

A Lego frame! It wil look playful, colorfull and it can be personalized as you want!
So first, I lay down the LCD, and begin to align 2 row pieces over the edge, to cover the front lcd metal, and to get a row to add pieces as "a wall", and get some deep.
Once the metal edge is covered, using some thick pieces, made"a wall" over the edge, to prevent the LCD to slide on the sides.
Then, I add some pieces on the back, to add support, and prevent the frame to fall.
It's realy important to leave the side with the buttons and ports, just covered with the front frame.

When your frame/design is complete, add some super glue between pieces, to give strength to the frame.

Step 5: Finished!

And, it is done!

The screen size is awesome for pictures, and personally, I love the frame.
Hope you guys like it, and give it a try, if you have a broken tablet as me.

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Bio: It all began with legos... And now, I'm a woodworking lover, and DIY passionate! -- Mackero por conviccion, Windowsero por obligacion, admirador de Unix, y ... More »
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