Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 2

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020)

On this blog, I present solutions for a variety of features that you can include in your digital picture frame project.

Often I get asked for recommendations, so in this article, I will show which hard- and software I am personally using for my living room photo frame.

I will update this article whenever there is a change (relatively often) and provide the links to my posts with the step-by-step instructions.

Hardware

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 3

I use a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ with a 64GB Samsung micro SD card. A 32GB SD card would be plenty, but the 64GB model is often the same price.

Read about the advantages of the Raspberry Pi for digital picture frame projects.

An overview of the various Raspberry Pi Models is here.

The display is a 24 inches ASUS VS24AH monitor in 16:10 format with 1920 x 1200 pixels. This model is no longer available, but here are three good alternatives.

I had a black anodized aluminum frame custom-made in a frame shop. More about this project is here.

I am also experimenting with 4K monitors and the Raspberry Pi 4. But I still need to find a beautiful frame for the 4K display before I will replace the current one.

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 4

The Amazon echo dot is not something I have bought especially for this project, but I found it easy and most convenient to use it to voice-control my digital frame. And often, these devices are heavily discounted.

Operating system

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 5

When you have a Raspberry Pi, you choose the Raspberry Pi OS unless you have some special use cases that require an alternative.

Read about setting up your system in less than sixty minutes.

Networking

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 6

I use SAMBA for network sharing with a config file customized for macOS computers. But you can use the same config for Microsoft Windows.

Photo Management

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 7

I have used Resilio, Syncthing, and now I am using rclone to connect the Raspberry Pi to Dropbox.

This dropbox folder is shared across several computers so that everyone can add or remove images on their regular system.

Image viewer

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 8

No surprise here, I use Pi3D with the Pictureframe2020 script written by Paddy Gaunt with crossfading transitions, set to a fade delay of 10 seconds and an image duration of 200 seconds.

I am processing my photos in Adobe Lightroom and export them in the pixel dimensions of the screen (1920 x 1200).

Home Automation

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 9

I have a Raspberry Pi 4 running exclusively Home Assistant with the Nabu Casa service connecting it with Amazon Echo.

This enables me to set up Routines in the Alexa app, that are activated by voice commands and trigger a Home Assistant script which sends MQTT messages picked up by the picture frame.

Nabu Casa is the only service that is not free with US$5 per month, but it also supports the ongoing development of Home Assistant, which is outstanding software. And I need Nabu Casa for the Alexa interface.

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 10

The Node-Red solution is a free alternative but has some issues with the latest generation of Amazon Echos and needs a software update.

I also have many automations in Home Assistant that, e.g. turn the frame off when no one is home.

Also, in the Home Assistant dashboard, I get the number of images on my picture frame, and I can trigger any of the scripts if I don’t want to talk to Alexa.

MQTT

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 11

I had some reliability issues with external cloud-based MQTT providers, so I installed Mosquitto on the picture frame.

Remote control

Discover the complete hard- and software setup of my Raspberry Pi digital picture frame (June 2020) 12

I have PiHelper set up with frequent commands or MQTT messages as a backup for Home Assistant.

If you are using Android, use DashMQTT.

Conclusion

This is my current mix of hard- and software for the digital picture frame in our living room that enjoys a high WAF – a key issue for any electronic device!

It requires little or no maintenance.. unless, of course, I find new things to add and to experiment with!

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