I’ve got a broken iPad and I’ve got a Raspberry Pi Zero - it’s a shame to see these old bits of electronics go into the landfill. Let’s see what we can salvage and reuse.

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I made a magic mirror quite some time ago but just used a tablet for the display. I’ve been wanting to liberate the tablet and now’s my chance. The donor iPad has been around the family quite a few times and is now beyond use. The batteries don’t hold a charge and the screen is badly cracked.

Getting the LCD out should be straightforward, but I struggled quite a bit and bits of glass went everywhere. I’d recommend wearing safety goggles and also gloves for this procedure if your glass is already cracked.

With the LCD screen out we just need to do a quick trip to eBay for a driver card - the LCD in the iPad1 is model number LP097X02. There’s a lot of driver boards available for these LCDs so you should have no trouble.

Wiring it all up to the Raspberry Pi Zero is pretty simple. The only tricky bit is getting power to the Zero. The video board does have a 3v3 output available but the Pi Zero has a regulator that delivers both 3v3 and 1v8 power rails from the 5v supply so we can’t just feed in 3v3.

To solve this I used a small buck converter board that can take the 12v supply to the video board and convert it to 5v to power the Pi Zero. I hacked apart a USB cable to supply this to avoid having to solder some wires onto the Pi Zero.

All in all a pretty successful salvage project. The iPad screen works nicely and so far the Pi Zero is also working well.

I’ve got some plans to use the Pi Zero camera to make the mirror more interactive - so don’t forget to subscribe!

Parts (shop around for all these as you can get them much cheaper):

Pi Zero W: https://amzn.to/3vtPjc4 Two-way mirror: https://amzn.to/3t2HJUi Light Filter: https://amzn.to/3vu6tqg - you can get away with tinted acetate sheets if you can find them. Your local art shop may be able to help. Driver board: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001623726553.html

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