Introduction: Time Lapse Living Picture Frame

About: my main interest is in photography, but i like to tinker and Arduino has opened many more options for creating electronics projects I could have not even imagined in my younger years. it also allows me to give…

Continuing with my time lapse theme, I wanted to create a way to display my time lapse video's without devoting to many resources to the activity. so i decided to disassemble an old 15" flat screen monitor and look at ways to hook up a Raspberry Pi (as i had two lying around looking for a use). The first hurdle was my donor screen only had a VGA input and as you maybe aware the raspberry pi only has an HDMI output.

taking a chance I purchased from eBay a cheap HDMI to VGA converter then to keep the cabling to a minimum i also purchased a 15 pin VGA gender changer (think of this as a very short VGA lead) this allowed me to connect the HDMI to VGA converter directly into the monitor. that got the display signals from the Pi to the monitor....

Now i wanted to just have the one power plug to power the whole unit. i removed the case of the monitor to access the internal boards. here it is easy to see which board is the power supply board and which is the logic board. The power supply board has the mains input and large components and the logic board has the small surface mount components, VGA input and data connections to the screen itself. looking at the connections between the power and logic boards it becomes clear that the power supply to the logic board is via the 6 pin JST connector. so i decided to probe around the power rails using a multi meter to see if i could find a 5v power rail. looking at the image above i discovered that there were two 5v rails a 3.3v rail and ground in the jumper lead between the power supply board and the logic board. the yellow lead i deduced was the standby rail so the soft power buttons could work to turn the main supply on and off i suspect this is not the best rail to use for supplying power to my Pi as it most likely has limited output the blue wire was the 3.3v probably for the logic or processor supply and the two red wires i found were the main 5v supply. here i cut the USB supply lead in two and separated the red and black wires checking to ensure the polarity was correct and connecting the red wire to the +5v and the black wire to a solid ground. I then secured the lead to the chassis with a tie wrap to add strain relief to the cable. I then refitted the back of the monitor before powering the monitor back up. (i chose to remove the front panel buttons and lights as they were not required for my build.

Step 1: Software

now the hard ware is working i went in search of a Raspberry Pi ISO image to use as an OS for my new picture frame, here i hit my first hurdle i tried a stock image of raspbian and VLC but this did not work at all the video's would only play for a few seconds and then broke up running the pi3 at max cpu with temperature warnings. i then chose a different tack and decided to look at media center software going with a stock image of OSMC

then you need to get win32diskimager to write the above image to an sd card for the raspberry pi

Here is a good guide to that process and a link to win32diskimager

the only change I had to make to the configuration was to turn on "play next video automatically" and on switch on i have to go to videos files select the folder where the files are and play the first file and the slideshow loops endlessly then from that point on.

now all you need to do is find a suitable frame to place the whole project in and hang it on the wall.