Creating an always on Status Board
I have wanted my own always-on Status Board, ever since I installed Panic’s Status Board app on my iPad I decided it would be better to have a dedicated device to display the information.
Buying a new iPad just as a Status Board would be overkill, however I did have a spare cheap 7″ Android tablet which I bought a couple of years ago.
I set out to find a frame for the tablet. I gutted the tablet out from it’s original casing and removed the touch screen, with only the internal circuitry and screen left I placed the components into an unused digital photo frame case, though the plastic frame had to sanded down with a Dremel so the screen would fit.
Once the components were installed into the photo frame casing I attached a USB OTG cable to the Micro USB port so I could use keyboards and mice. These would only be needed when setting up the device because the touch screen has been removed.
The Status Board itself is running a PHP web app built using Twitter Bootstrap and LESS. I wrote custom PHP functions to retrieve information such as time, RSS feeds and weather data. The software runs an AJAX call every 9 seconds to refresh the screen with up-to-date data.
Because I was using a cheap Android Tablet, it meant the screen was a low resolution. It doesn’t look great but still functions well.
I’m using an Android app called Power Toggles which allows me to lock the screen rotation and set the display to always-on.