VTech Kidilook Digital Picture Frame Hacking

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
#1
This looks to be a very hackable display if you have a project requiring a small picture display controlled by a PICAXE; using the PICAXE to control the buttons to select which picture to display. I am thinking of a moon phase clock displaying photos of the phases of the moon and this should hopefully be ideal.

1.8" Colour LCD
Up to 100 images, 1MB of memory AFAIR.
2 x AAA batteries (3V)

The big advantage is that everything is modular, comes apart fairly easily, is easy to attach wires to and it should be possible to fit it into a wide variety of cases. It's nowhere near as awkward to modify as some keychain frames I've seen.

All buttons appear to be 'push to connect to a common line' which is marked SW3v3. That seems to carry a 3V3 voltage when measured on a meter. Shorting the battery +3V via 2K to each of the button lines effects the expected button push.

No guarantees that this is a safe means of control and won't cause damage but it seems to work and should make PICAXE control of buttons easy; HIGH to activate, INPUT otherwise. I'll add more details when I get round to trying that.

Other, safer techniques, of button control should also work; optos or CMOS analogue switches across the button and common line.

Once configured and powered, the Right button can be used to select the photos in a continuous cycle. The Shake button seems to be usable to keep the unit from powering-off.

Note the LCD is a portrait LCD but mounted in landscape mode. Viewing from the right is the worst angle.

User Manual

http://www.vtechkids.com/assets/dat...-9B8AF92A0544}/manuals/80-106500-Kidilook.pdf

Opening the unit

Remove the front silver bezel which surrounds the LCD. Lift from the bottom; there are two clips at bottom aligned above the Story and Clock buttons.

Lift upwards from the bottom and the bezel should come free at the top. Remove the screw exposed at the top right.

Remove the rear battery cover, then remove the two screws either side of where the battery compartment screw secures.

Prise the two hales apart from the bottom, slightly twist, and the two lugs at the top should come apart.

Innards

The LCD is in a plastic mount with a control board behind it and not screwed down. The main buttons and vibration sensor are on a separate PCB at the bottom. The two join via individual flying wires. There's a single screw for the button PCB.

Below the button board is the USB connector on its own PCB also connected via flying wires.

There are a couple of blobs of hot glue but, with care, everything should pull apart.

Software

You need the Kidilook software to put images onto the device. The device installed on XP without drivers as a removable disk but cannot be accessed without the software.

If you haven't got the software be careful of what you download from the internet. This seems to be the place for official software -

http://www.vtechkids.com/download

80-106500_Kidilook_PC_v3.zip (30MB)

It seems to remember the images downloaded even with power removed even though it forgets its language and clock settings.
 

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