Reverse Engineering a 1.5 inch Photoframe

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

These little devices had a 1. 5 inch 128x128 colour TFT as well as USB, batteries and 16 Mbytes of storage for around 140 pictures. Best of all they were very cheap, so I purchased a few to see if they could be re-purposed into something useful. Looking on ebay it seems these devices are common-place and it wouldn`t surprise me if most are internally identical

Reverse Engineering a 1.5 inch Photoframe
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

Here is the box for one of the frames I bought: Out of the three I bought two had LCDs marked FTM144D01N and the other had the marking LC12802. 2, however both models looked functionally identical. The issue I found was that there was no available information on the display via Google, the only reference I found was that the FTM144D01N was based on the ILI9163 LCD driver IC from ILITEK. Since I had more that one, I decided to leave one photo frame intact and remove the screen from the other. This would allow me to analyse the working frame whilst attempting to control the other on the breadboard. Use a pair of side cutters to remove the Li-Po battery. Make sure you insulate the positive wire once cut so you don`t short the battery. The battery is a 3. 7V Li-ion 120mAh cell which is very useful for other projects. Next place the circuit board in a vice and use the wick to remove the excess solder. Simply heat the soldering iron to about 340C and then place the braid over the connector (partly on the board and partly on the ribbon) then apply the flat soldering tip for a short time to remove the solder. Once that`s done you hold the LCD in one hand and run the soldering iron across the ribbon whilst gently twisting the LCD free from the circuit. The ribbon should come away easily. The first step to reverse engineering the LCD connections is to simply look at the connector itself. As can be seen in the following picture the...

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