I'm trying to use a photo frame as a LCD monitor to a Raspberry Pi 2. The logic board in the photo frame connects to the LCD with a AWM 80c 60v 20624 VW-1 ribbon cable.

Is there any way I could connect this ribbon to a Raspberry Pi instead? HDMI?

  • I think in this situation - Adding the model number of the LCD would be more helpful. Who knows... maybe it is DSI compatible...?
    – Piotr Kula
    Dec 6, 2016 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


The Raspberry Pi DSI (Digital Serial Interface) connection. The problem is that not all LCD/TFT screens use the same implementation. DSI is a simple interface but the LCD/TFT controller needs to work with that protocol.

enter image description here

The Raspberry Pi DPI (Parallel Display Interface) is another way to communicate with RGB type displays and can be configured as documented on the Pi site. It does not have a dedicated port but instead uses the GPIO's and needs to be configured but it is driven by the GPU and works well. The pin outs look very similar to well known VGA interface. enter image description here

You have just provided a part number to cable. The cable can transmit any kind of data, even just pure voltage if you wanted to or Ethernet. SO unless you know exactly what protocol the screen uses you will have a difficult time reusing it.

For example, most laptop screens use LVDS and the other hand, Apple - use their own propretory technology on every single product which makes recycling their LCD's practically impossible. Shown is the most common plug used for LVDS but they can also be ZIF or LIF type cables. (Like the one you mentioned)

enter image description here

It is possible that your picture frame uses DSI or maybe some form of DSI but it may as well use a completely unknown protocol, direct memory access or some mental other variations.

Then you go down the route that there must, absolutely must be a way to reuse your LCD screen. You can find all sorts of conversion kits from VGA/HDMI to LVDS/DSI or other lesser known protocols but you end up spending more money on gadgets in the end where just buying a nice screen would have been easier.

enter image description here

Recycling LCD's is a very popular topic that always ends with disappointment. Sorry.

  • Thanks for your help. Can you recommend some further reading on the topic of Display protocols? Dec 7, 2016 at 0:37
  • I am sorry nothing specific, like a book or a protocol bible jump to mind. Most of my knowledge on these is by fixing stuff or trying to recycle LCD screens from broken stuff. Mostly the high level abstract is well documented on Wikipedia but the protocol implementation is usually firmware based 8082/8086 firmware code ... as event type software will not be able to keep up. Did you get the model number of the screen?
    – Piotr Kula
    Dec 7, 2016 at 7:56
  • -1 This answer is misleading. The DSI interface is worse than the DPI interface for interfacing random displays. The use of the DPI interface is somewhat documented , proven and encouraged but the situation with the DSI port is much worse since it is under GPU control.
    – flakeshake
    Dec 12, 2016 at 6:16
  • I have updated my answer. Honestly, I did not know about this. Is this just a VGA interface? The first Pi's had VGA DIN's on them so is this the way to do it now a days? I hope you would reconsider your vote now. Thanks for sharing
    – Piotr Kula
    Dec 13, 2016 at 8:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.