Ikea Digital Video/Picture Frame

Ikea Digital Video/Picture Frame

In this Instructable I want to share with you my second Raspberry Pi Build from my Blog (makerblog.ch)

Also like the Fairytale Phone I have already published this on my Blog, but like with the Fairytale Phone I wanted to make the process of creating the frame so easy, everyone could give it a try. Have Fun 🙂

Step 1: The Parts

For the frame you will need:

  • RaspberryPi (A,A+,B,B+ are all fine)
  • SD Card
  • HDMI Cable and DVI-HDMI Adapter
    (If you have a DVI only Monitor)
  • Old Computer Monitor (21-24 Inch, dependable on the frame you choose)
    (I have a DVI Version, but you can of course use a HDMI Version, but VGA will NOT work!)
  • Ikea Ribba Frame (http://www.ikea.com/ch/de/catalog/products/6013252…
    (Of course you can choose a different frame, but the Ikea Ribba Frame 40×50 cm IMHO fits perfectly)
  • Some Kick Plates (rounded on one side, same color as frame)
  • Soldering EquipmentWires (5V)
  • A4 or larger wooden plate (Thickness : 5mm or similar)
  • Hot Glue Pistol with hot glue
  • A Multimeter

Please bear in mind, that I will use hot glue to mount several parts in the frame. I usually build these frames to keep them and not reuse the parts. But I often do not glue the Raspberry Pi in place, since if something breaks on the frame I can reuse the Raspberry Pi.

Step 2: Dismantle the Monitor and mount the screen in the Frame

Dismantle the Monitor by stripping away all the plastics and the frames. Take care not to damage the cables while dismantling until you are left with :

  • Power Board (The one where the power cord goes in 🙂 )
  • Logic/Controller Board (The one where the Monitor cable goes in 🙂 )
  • Panel (The big one, where the picture appears 🙂 )

Place the panel in the frame over the photo mount and glue the panel in place.

Step 3: Mount the Raspberry Pi and solder on the power wires

Place the wooden plate (or plates) over the LCD Panel and glue the wood in place. The wood seperates the PCB Boards from the panel. Glue the Power and the Logic PCB on the wood.

I usually mount the Raspberry Pi with some distance screws in place, since IMHO it is better to access the SD Card slot if its not glued down. Most of the Logic Boards do have a 5V lane with around 600-700 mA so we can use the lane to power the Raspberry Pi directly from the Logic Board. But of course you will have to check this with a multimeter. You can solder the 5V directly to the 5V Power Pin and the Ground to one of the Ground Pins of the GPIO Outlet of the Raspberry Pi. I have done around 6 Frames until today and have had no problems. Of course now don’t forget to also connect the Raspberry Pi with a HDMI Cable. Insert a SD Card with the Linux Distro of your choice and give it a try.


Step 4: The Back Cover

For the Ikea Ribba Frame I developed a nifty way to maintain the Airflow and make the cover replaceable at any time.

Cut to kick boards to the length of the side and glue (nail) them to the side of your frame. Now you can slide the back panel easily under the sides while bending it lightly in the middle when it lays over the AC Parts and it will hold fine and you will protect you from the current. Due to the deep frame, the Picture Frame will easy stand on it’s side, so you can place it anywhere.

Step 5: Software

Now its completly up to you what you do with your screen. I have done several versions:

One Version is showing playtroughs of old computer games (Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Discworld…) here I simply created a FAT Partition to copy the Movies on an I use the Omxplayer in rc.local to autoplay all Movies in the mounted directory.

I also have made a Picture frame Mode where I simply display all Images from a directory with fbi

There is plenty of information about this out there in the Internet. Just google it 😉

But one last tip: Since the frame most likely will be smaller than the LCD Panel on the sides you will have to setup an Overscan for the sides. On Raspbian you do this in /boot/config.txt with :

# Make display smaller to stop text spilling off the screen

Of course you will have to play with the numbers to find your sweet spot. Hope you like it and I can’t wait to see what you will do with your picture frames!


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