wolfgang ziegler

„make stuff and blog about it“

Office Dashboard in a Picture Frame

March 29, 2020

How it started

A while ago, I built this dashboard for our family that keeps our important appointments, birthdays, family photos and much more at a glance.

our family dashboard

I decided that I wanted a similar thing in my office where I can extend it later to also show e.g. work relevant information, tech news, Twitter feeds, ...

The Software

For that I used dashydash the project I had specifically developed for my family dashboard. It's based on Node.js and React and is simply a browser application running in Kiosk Mode.

The Hardware

The most important part here was obviously the display. I decided to go a cheaper route this time and simply harvested the panel of a broken laptop (similar to the Magic Mirror project I once did). Of course, using a laptop display panel meant having to buy a driver board for it, which was the only actual expense it had to make and I found one for 32€ on eBay.

Make sure to carefully check the model number of your display and get the correct driver board for it! Check the panel's model number

The rest of the hardware and parts I had readily available (including the Raspberry Pi 3).

Part List

Here’s the complete list of parts I used for this build:

  • Laptop Display Panel (some friend or family member always has a broken laptop you can harvest)
  • IKEA Ribba Frame (7€)
  • Display Driver Board (32€)
  • 12V Power Adapter for the Display Driver Board (~ 20€)
  • Raspberry Pi 3 (35€)
  • 5V Power Adapter for the Raspberry Pi (5€)
  • Short HDMI cable (6€)

Putting it together

The first step was making a cutout for the display panel which would fit nicely into the frame.

Cutout for the display panel

All the electronic components (display driver, Raspberry Pi, power adapter) I mounted on the back cover of the Ribba frame.

mounting all the electronics

Then I out both display panel and the back cover holding the electronics into the frame.

Assembling the frame

For wall-mounting I found and 3D printed these hooks that have been specifically designed for IKEA Ribba frames.

3D printed hook for wall mounting

Ribba frame with the 3D printed wall hook

Everything put together, I mounted it to the wall in my office.

finished office dashboard frame

Automated on/off with openHAB

In order to save energy and not have this dashboard running all the time, I connected it to a smart socket I can control via openHAB, the home automation platform I am using. I then created two openHAB rules for it.

  • The first rule monitors the office light switch (Licht_Buero) and if it is turned on after 7 PM (this is when I am usually working), the dashboard (PicturePi) is turned on as well.
rule "Office light on - dashboard on?"
    Item Licht_Buero received update
    if (Licht_Buero.state == ON)
      // Picture Pi
      if (now.getHourOfDay >= 19 || now.getHourOfDay < 3)
  • The second rule makes sure that the dashboard gets turned off again if lights are out (i.e. I am not working).
rule "Turn off dashboard?"
  Time cron "0 0 * ? * * *" // every hour
  if (PicturePi.state == ON && Licht_Buero.state == OFF)
    if (now.getHourOfDay >= 21 || now.getHourOfDay < 5)
        // turn off dashboard