Make it possible to run on the EO [Electric Objects] hardware

This conversation was originally posted on Github and moved here.

Original post by iangilman:

Now that Electric Objects has discontinued their hardware business, there are likely to be people with the existing devices who are interested in doing new things with them. Also, while Giphy is supporting the EO service, we shouldn’t assume they will do so forever. Also, it would be neat! :slight_smile:

@dariusk wrote up an article a while ago about hacking the EO1:

https://feeltrain.com/blog/hack-your-eo1/

… which may have some relevant information. Also, he’s indicated interest in working on this feature, but I’ll let him speak for himself on that front!

I probably can’t be of much help, but consider me an interested party!

@jerry:

I’m not sure about the effort to port Openframe to Android, nor do I know much about the Hardware of EO. But does it come with HDMI input? If not directly accessible maybe you could unscrew the back cover and find it there. In that case, it’s probably easiest to use a Raspberry Pi with Openframe and connect it to the screen.

iangilman:

Good point. There isn’t an HDMI input outside the case, but I haven’t opened it up to look. I probably won’t, either, as long as it still working as is. Anyway, thanks for the idea!

1 Like

Glad to see this thread alive. Would love to know the latest on people’s thoughts here, because I think this would be super useful for me. I’m tempted to open up my EO this weekend to peek inside. Will report back.

Welcome to the new forum @whatrocks.

I think the only way to figure it out is to open up the EO. If it has screws it should be relatively easy to do and normally safe to do without breaking anything.

Would be great to have a look inside. Please post some photos (including the electronic components and connectors) here. Hopefully we can then figure out what to do next. Thanks!

Okay, I tried to unscrew it, but couldn’t figure out how to expose the board. There were four little Allen screws, and then 4 phillips screws. I removed them all but all this did was make the back of the case slightly looser. I think it must be “snapped” into place somehow, but I didn’t see any latches or hinges to depress to remove it. On the front side, you can remove a magnetic strip around the edges of the case, but still didn’t see anything to get the board exposes. I didn’t want to pry it much harder for fear of breaking something.

If it helps, there are actually two ports on the back (1) power and (2) this little mini thing. I’m not sure what it is, but perhaps this is helpful photo:

2 Likes

I googled and found this article: http://www.5khz.com/2016/05/01/electric-objects-eo1-digital-art-display-teardown/ Haven’t fully read it, but I think this what we wanted to know.

2 Likes

Thanks for your update and unscrewing your EO.

I’ve just looked into all the information a bit more, and I can see three ways of running Openframe on the EO. Please be aware. I’ve not looked into any of the solutions in detail or tested it. If you try anything to make sure you read all sources carefully and double-check if my findings make sense.

30pin HDMI adaptor

This is really interesting. I don’t know much about hardware but did brief research, and this is what I found.

First of all, there is no HDMI connector. So you can’t replace the EO board and plug in a Raspberry Pi straight away. But the article mentions the display model is Samsung LTM230HL07. According to this website, the display has a 30pin connector. According to this forum post, you can use an adapter to connect a Raspberry Pi with a 30-pin eDP connector display. Maybe this video showing how to use such a connector can help too.

It seems like these adapters are not that hard to get and are moderately affordable. For example:


Apparently those 30pin connectors are quite common. If this works, it might be a more generic way to connect displays without HDMI port.

Installing Linux

This article shows that EO is running Android. It seems like there are guides available to install Linux on an Android device. Like this one: https://www.maketecheasier.com/install-ubuntu-on-android-linux-deploy/

Once you’ve got that it should not be too hard to install Openframe. But be aware some of the extensions for Openframe are developed specifically for the Raspberry Pi and are untested on standard Linux, as far as I know.

Using the built-in browser

The same article also mentions there is a browser installed on the EO. There has been some demand for a browser version of Openframe before and hopefully, in the near future it will be available. As far as I know, no one has started working on it yet. But I think it should not be too hard to create.

I’m looking forward to seeing in what direction you are going.

1 Like

Digging into this a bit, it appears that the board that runs the EO1 is made by Boundary Devices, and they have premade Linux builds here:

You’ll need to register, login and upon downloading an image, accept the terms & conditions, as these builds have proprietary content. They appear to have relatively comprehensive documentation, and I’ll be trying this out with my EO-1 today.

I’m going to give this one a go:

3 Likes

I flashed that image that I linked in my previous message to a thumbdrive, and put it on a hub with a keyboard and mouse, power it up, and my EO1 booted straight into Linux. No special keystrokes. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

That looks awesome. :clap: Did you have any luck installing Openframe?

I just want to say I’m delighted to see there’s action on this front! I’m helping to spread the word:

Someone responded saying they have an EO they are willing to give away for free (in the LA area) if that’s helpful at all…

2 Likes

There is an attempt to run Openframe on Ubuntu, in case someone likes to join the conversation: