WR703N – 1.5inch Digital Photo Frame (DPF)

Please be aware this guide has incomplete information, and is very generalized.

Ok, now I’ve got a reliable testing unit up and running – tested it for over a week. During that time I wanted to know if it had kernel panic’d or if the GPS had dropped out etc… So I looked into a few options:

  • The easiest was to use telnet on from a laptop and just leave the screen open, this has other problems like battery life, bulky, heavy, and is over kill because you might as well just use the laptop.
  • 16×2 character display LCD module, would work ok, although you’d have to convert it to use serial USB input. Total cost would be over $30 AUD or so.
  • Possibly use bluetooth and connect to a tty through a virtual serial connection. I may use that in future but currently it’s buggy and very long winded
  • The winner was found here, I’d bought a 1.5inch KaiserBass keychain DPF a few years ago and figured I’d give it a go.

Firstly dont blinbly follow the guide above, research it. To use the screen you need a program to interface with it, I used LCD4Linux because it has plugins and there are base files that have been patched to work with Openwrt.

Compiling LCD4Linux

I used the file in the guide above (openwrt-dpf_r1184-2.tar.bz2) to provide the feeds required for a trunk svn Openwrt install . Eventually I had to edit the Makefile to make sure the required plugins where compiled into the package:

–with-drivers=”DPF” \
#       –with-plugins=”$(LCD4LINUX_CUSTOM_PLUGINS)” \
        –with-plugins=’cpuinfo, diskstats, exec, event, file, fifo, iconv, imon, isdn, loadavg, meminfo, netdev, netinfo, proc_stat, sample, statfs, uname, uptime, wireless’

Other info: This patch patches the net info plugin(trunk/package/feeds/packages/lcd4linux-dpf/patches), libusb feed is required (./scripts/feeds install libusb), libtool needs to be installed on your base system (apt-get install libtool). There will also be many other problems, but these are the main issues I found.

This is the compiled package I’m using on my WR703N: lcd4linux-dpf_r1184-2_ar71xx.ipk (opkg install lcd4linux-dpf_r1184-2_ar71xx.ipk)

Flash the DPF

NOTE: ALWAYS backup the original firmware!

This is complicated and took the longest time and only through desperation did I get mine to flash semi-correctly, you see in the images in this post there is a small line of gibberish down the right-hand-side. After spending a weekend and a few late nights, I’m accepting this. I also didn’t backup the original firmware so my options were limited. Cheers to mrlinux for posting his modified firmware.

I have purchase an aditional model: Zipp DP605 and I will try to make a more thorough guide next time (weather permitting).

Again, research your model first and make a backup of your firmware as soon as you can.

Get Kismet Data

Rather than grepping the logs and only getting data every time kismet dumps it’s info, I wanted to interrogate Kismet-server for live information. I used Paul McMillan’s source to obtain the GPS stats and discovered devices, then directed them to a file that lcd4linux can display. Download them here.

UPDATE: 10-Jan-2013

Updated the IPK to include MPD (Music Player Daemon) plugin and the image class for images: lcd4linux-dpf_r1184-2_ar71xx_MPD2.ipk




Add a comment »16 comments to this article

  1. WR703N – 1.5inch Digital Photo Frame (DPF) x2 | modlog.net
  2. WR703N Project Box’s | modlog.net
  3. I found your post because I’d like to have a dpf on my tl-mr3020. It’s working with your ipk but I need also the mpd plugin for lcd4linux. I never compiled packages so I wonder if you can compile me the lcd4linux-dpf package with all your plugins and additional mpd plugin. this would be great! thanks J


    • Hi J, Please try this version http://www.modlog.net/files/lcd4linux-dpf_r1184-2_ar71xx_MPD.zip
      I have added libmpd and libmpdclient ipk’s to the zip file, I haven’t tried it or know if they are required as well. It did compile fine, so please give it a go :-)


      • Thanks a lot for your fast response. I installed your new package and it works in general. But the image widget is missing, I get this error: “widget ‘mpd-cover’: class ‘Image’ not supported”
        Is the image-widget an option you can choose before compiling? Can you add this and compile it again? This would be perfect… Jan


        • I’ve tried it myself and also got:
          widget ‘mpd-cover’: class ‘Image’ not supported
          lcd4linux.c: starting main loop
          plugin_mpd.c: [MPD] initialize connect to []:[6600]
          plugin_mpd.c: [MPD] connection fixed…
          But I looked here: http://ssl.bulix.org/projects/lcd4linux/ticket/161
          “…check that libgd-dev is available on your system…”
          I also installed libgd but it made no difference. The textual graphics work ok, but no images apparently.
          Added the libgd and recompiled: http://www.modlog.net/files/lcd4linux-dpf_r1184-2_ar71xx_MPD2.ipk
          AND now after fixing my Config it’s ALL good :-) Enojoy!

          Widget mpd-cover {
          class ‘Image’
          file ‘/usr/share/image.png’
          update 2000

          Layer 2{
          X1.Y1 ‘mpd-cover’


          • this version is working fine, thanks a lot for your help!
            see here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vdhr4d9tpuez96l/IMAG0191.jpg

            btw: probably you have a hint for me again:
            if lcd4linux is running I get some noise through the usb sound card (at the same usb hub). additionaly if there are some scrolling text on the dpf the noise is worse. any idea of this?


            • Excellent! Nice repurpose of the old radio. Re: The noise… I would say try better shielded audio cables, maybe try a different sound card, or maybe try using a powered hub if your not already? Depending on the noise it might be that the CPU is under powered for playing music and running LCD4Linux (hopefully not).


  4. Hey, just want to say thanks for your effort.
    I indirectly got your build and used it to success on a Coby DP180 1.8 inch dpf.

    This is over at the openwrt forum hardware.

    Many links on post below.




  5. Can you compile a working package of the current lcd4linx trunk which includes the DPF driver based on the current trunk of OpenWrt? The package feed seems to be broken.


    • HI, have you tried the one listed above, you may need to install some dependencies.



      • The version you posted doesn’t seem to support the “orientation” option. Can you confirm that?

        Also, it would be nice to have a working copy merged back into the OpenWrt sources, which still seems to be broken.


        • Hi sorry for the late response, I also couldn’t get the screen to rotate, I figured it was a limitation of the screens firmware. I got the source files from (I think) here: https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=34133
          All I did was compile it. Google “lcd4linux DPF”.


      • Are you going to release the sources needed to build the binary? lcd4linux is licensed under GPLv2, so you should provide the sources needed to build the binary you are offering.

        And it would be a great contribution to OpenWrt, as there is a package that just isn’t working at the moment.


        • I got the sources from else where (think it was http://tech.section5.ch/files/dpfhack-0.12devel.tgz), but i do remember it being pretty difficult to work properly with openwrt’s ‘feeds’. Thats why when I need it installed on a different system I look to ones that have been pre-compiled first, then try to compile from scratch.



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