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Learn how to transform an old iPad 1 screen and a Raspberry Pi Zero into a Magic Mirror with this step-by-step guide! Enhance your home with this unique, DIY upgrade.

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[0:00] There are plenty of instructions online on how to remove the screen from an iPad 1
[0:03] for some reason, I found this quite difficult.
[0:06] It didn’t help that the glass was already broken and seems to be very ready to splinter.
[0:10] Safety glasses are definitely recommended!
[0:13] After a bit of effort, I’ve got a nice screen and I’ve got a couple of speakers.
[0:17] I’ll save the speakers for anothe project.
[0:21] There’s not really much more that can be salvaged, the batteries are completely dead
[0:24] and that just leaves the motherboard which can’t really be used for much.
[0:28] This particular screen is an LP097X02.
[0:32] Looking on eBay we find plenty of driver boards that will run this LCD will and take an HDMI feed.
[0:38] I’ve purchased one of these boards and it comes with some buttons and an IR receiver - we probably won’t need these.
[0:44] It comes with a driver for the backlight
[0:46] and it comes with the main video board which has an HDMI, VGA and composite inputs
[0:52] Hooking this all together actually gives us a working display.
[0:55] I’m pretty pleased!
[0:57] I’ve got a project in mind for this display.
[0:59] But first I’d like to thank the PCBWay for sponsoring this video.
[1:03] PCBWay offer PCB Production, CNC and 3D Printing, PCB Assembly and much much more.
[1:09] They are great to deal with and offer excellent quality, service and value for money.
[1:13] Check out the link in the description.
[1:16] Onto the project
[1:17] I built this magic mirror some time ago and I used a Fire tablet for the display.
[1:22] I’d like to liberate the tablet and replace it with a Pi-Zero and my salvaged screen.
[1:27] My magic mirror software is actually pretty simple, it’s just a web page
[1:31] so I’m planning on running a web browser in kiosk mode
[1:35] I know there are lots of great options for magic-mirror software - leave your suggestions in the comments.
[1:41] I’ve got some interesting plans to do some fun stuff with the camera, but I think that’s for a later project.
[1:46] To setup the Zero I’ve burnt an SD Card with Raspberry PI OS.
[1:51] I haven’t got a keyboard or mouse to connect.
[1:53] so I’m going to enable SSH by creating an empty file on the SD Card called “ssh”.
[1:58] I’ll also get it to connect to WiFi by creating a wpa_supplicant.conf file and filling it with my WiFi details.
[2:06] Once it’s all wired up, it actually works!
[2:09] The Pi Zero is talking to my new screen.
[2:11] There’s a couple of steps to finish off.
[2:13] We’ll ssh onto the machine and start the config tool
[2:17] The first thing to do is to set the correct screen resolution.
[2:20] Currently, there’s a black border around the display. And I want it to fill the entire screen.
[2:26] I’ll also switch on VNC while I’m here so I can connect to the GUI.
[2:30] We’ll need to change the hostname - I’ve already got a Raspberry Pi in my network and at the moment they’ll be conflicting.
[2:37] And then the final thing I want to do is change the screen orientation to portrait.
[2:41] This is done in /boot/config.txt
[2:44] And we just add a line “display_rotate=1”
[2:48] A quick reboot and we’re now able to connect using VNC.
[2:52] I’ll finish up the setup and then I want to install some software to hide the mouse.
[2:56] The worst thing to do would be to have a magic mirror with a mouse cursor right in the middle of it.
[3:00] I’m going to use an app called unclutter - and I’m going to add this to my .bashrc file so it runs on startup.
[3:08] The final step of our setup is to auto start the chromium-browser in full screen mode.
[3:14] To do this we need to create an autostart file in .config/lxsession/LXDE-pi
[3:20] and we add the command to launch chromium-browser in kiosk mode and point it at our magic mirror URL.
[3:27] With this finished, we now boot straight into our magic mirror.
[3:30] Let’s move onto the actual mirror upgrade.
[3:33] I need a way to power the Pi.
[3:36] Initially, I was thinking that I could just tap off the 12 volt supply for the display
[3:39] board and feed that to the Zero’s regulator.
[3:42] But reading up on this we find that it actually has a very limited voltage range
[3:46] So it won’t work with 12 volts coming in. We’ll probably actually blow it up.
[3:50] My second plan was to take a feed from the video board
[3:53] unfortunately, this only has 3.3volts available.
[3:56] The Pi is pretty interesting - it actually needs 3.3v and 1.8v rail to work.
[4:03] So we can’t just feed in 3.3v.
[4:05] We need to give it 5v to its regulator so it can generate both the voltage rails
[4:11] Fortunately, I’ve got one of these buck converter boards.
[4:14] And the video board also has a handy 12 volt power output.
[4:17] So I’ve wired this up we can wire this up and we get a nice 5v.
[4:20] So it works pretty nicely. We’ve got a good supply for the Zero.
[4:24] Let’s get everything assembled.
[4:26] I’m taping over the edges and covering the rear of the LCD to prevent light leakage.
[4:37] To provide some structure I’ve got some craft cardboard and I’m cutting insets into this
[4:43] for the circuit boards so they don’t protrude too much.
[4:47] Glueing this onto some stiff card provides a bit more structure
[4:50] and also provides a nice dark background to make the two-way mirror work.
[5:04] Final assembly is a bit of a bodge job, there’s definitely scope for tidying this up with some 3D printing.
[5:33] I’ve added a bit of extra black card to the back to prevent any light from getting in around the edges of the screen.
[5:42] Initial impressions are that it works, but it’s not quite as good as the Fire Tablet screen
[5:47] I’ve turned the brightness down to zero and the screen is still visible.
[5:51] To fix this I’m sticking some tinted acetate sheets in front of the screen.
[5:56] This will decrease the amount of light being transmitted and should give us a better effect.
[6:00] It works!
[6:02] I’m pretty pleased with that.
[6:03] I’ve now got quite a flexible magic mirror.
[6:06] I’m looking forward to doing something fun with the camera and making the mirror more interactive.
[6:10] All in all a pretty successful project.
[6:13] I’m happy to have salvaged a bit of technology that would have been going to landfill.
[6:17] I hope you enjoyed the process - I certainly enjoyed making it
[6:20] let me know in the comments what you think.
[6:22] I’ll see you in the next video!

HELP SUPPORT MY WORK: If you're feeling flush then please stop by Patreon Or you can make a one off donation via ko-fi
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Chris Greening


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A collection of slightly mad projects, instructive/educational videos, and generally interesting stuff. Building projects around the Arduino and ESP32 platforms - we'll be exploring AI, Computer Vision, Audio, 3D Printing - it may get a bit eclectic...

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