Digital photo frames provide a fun way to show off family and friends in a 21st century kind of way. These little digital masterpieces are typically made up of a super-sharp LCD screen and tiny computing device that allows you to upload and store photos in its internal hard drive. These devices can run a pretty penny; however, you can create one of your own for little to no cost.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- LCD monitor
- Measuring tape
- Small computer
- Power cables
Prepare your computer. You should do this by finding or buying an old computer and consolidating it into as small a case as possible. Laptops work wonderfully for this project because you have a screen and computer to use in one. Attach your computer to the screen you will be using.
Test that the screen works and install the operating system and any other programs you would like to use for your project. Screen-saver programs work well as they often have built-in slide shows and are designed to run for long periods of time.
Design your frame. You will want to build a large enough frame for your computing device as well as your monitor to fit inside. To create more space, you can disassemble your monitor, but this is not necessary. Also, design places for your power cords, keyboard, mouse and maybe even USB ports to be accessed. Make sure that you remember to keep a good portion of the computer's original chassis intact in your creation to prevent shorting from static electricity.
Prepare your frame. Cut the frame and sand, stain and lacquer your pieces. Drill holes for ventilation on the back of the frame where the computer's fans are located. Test it and make sure everything looks the way you like. Hold the pieces together with the back on the floor and be sure everything lines up nicely. Choose where you will put the screws and make sure there is plenty of space for them.
Build your frame. Mount the computer to the back first. When attaching the sides and back with the front, try to angle the screws; this will grip both pieces of wood more evenly. Try to work in a static-free environment and use a grounding strap if possible.
Tips and warnings
- Grounding straps are used to prevent you from transferring static electricity to the computer components.
- If you are going to use a laptop for this project, you will need to carefully disassemble it so that you can still connect the screen and computer before beginning.
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