Juicebox Retro Phone Picture Frame Hack

Yes, I know the title is a bit of a mouthfull, but how else can I explain what I did here.

Whilst looking at various Blogs on Juicebox hacks (Like Joevennix’s one), I decided to have a go myself.

Armed with a Juicebox + MP3/Picture kit (bought on eBay for £2.99!!!) off I went with the idea of a nice wooden picture frame. However, as I was leaving the office, I noticed an old telephone sitting near my desk, and thought… “I wonder…”

Anyway, this is how I modded my Phone and Juicebox.

Please note: This is my 1st ‘Mod’, and I know it ain’t perfect, so hold back on the flaming, okay people?

Step 1.

Buy a Matel Juicebox – you can get these on eBay for a couple of quid, but make sure you get the MP3 kit (its a special adapter that lets you use a standard SD card in the Juicebox). Download Juicebox Image Converter for creating your Gallery, and locate an old Telephone (I suggest any old Dial-phone from the 70’s or 80’s for this project as they are cheap-as-chips to get hold of)


Step 2.

Open up both the Juicebox and Telephone.

Inside the Telephone, remove all the unnesserary stuff like the Dial, wiring (keep these, we will use them later), Bell’s, Bell Solenoid’s and ‘Recall’ Switch. Once you have done this, you can see that the Juicebox fits easily into the space left behind.


Step 3.

Disconnect the speaker from the Juicebox main board as we will be using the handset as a speaker! You can wire the handset direct to the board, or (as I did) use some of those spare wires to connect it to a couple of spare connectors at the back of the phone, and then connect the handset to those same screw-connectors. You can see the speaker prongs (at the snap-on connector I pulled off the board) just below the power switch.


Step 4.

Find a simple push on/off switch and connect in-line with the battery pack. Leave the switch on the side of the Juicebox board in the ‘On’ position. Hot-Glue this in place where the ‘Recall’ switch was (or should be). I pushed one of the old Juicebox ‘play’ buttons onto the top of the switch to give it more surface area for the ‘Recall’ button to touch.


Step 5.

Dismantle the SD Card converter and hot-glue it to the Juicebox board (so it doesn’t move around!) – Notice my nice and tidy gluing here ;o)


At this point, I would also cut all the superfluous black ‘earth’ wires off as they seem to serve no purpose at all (made no difference in operation to my Juicebox)

Step 6.

Check everything still works! You can just see the top of the power switch (with a Juicebox Play button on top) hiding behind the metal frame where the receiver hangup ‘hook’ is.


Step 7.

Work out where to cut a hole for the SD slot. To be honest, I just held it up inside the phone, and made a ‘guesstimate’ – it worked for me :o)


I marked the side of the phone, and then used a 5mm drill bit to make a series of holes in a line, and then joined them up and tidied it with a small file. At the same time, I drilled a 5mm hole just behind the ‘Recall’ switch so that I could mount a power LED there (I used a multi-color flashing LED that I got out of some keyring before!)

Step 8.

Tidying up; Basically, cut out a piece of black cardboard and make an appropriate sized hole in it. Use the original plastic cover off the from of the Juicebox as a ‘surround’ for the LCD display and hot-glue the whole assembly into the phone.


You will notice that there is a little hole on the dial-surround. In order to start playing the image slideshow you need to press the ‘Play’ button. I didn’t have anything handy at the time, so a hole is there at present, but I will add a spring-loaded button (something nice and red I think!) there to ‘start’ the slide-show.

Other things to note:

The images are all stored in the Root of the SD card in jbm (juicebox bitmap) format. This is a 240×160 12bit RGB headerless raw format. There is a link at the top of this page for a tool that lets you convert the images easily. You can also use this as an MP3 player, but at a maximum bitrate of 128kbs (and there may be some other limitations as well)

The other thing I will do at some point, is add an external 4.5vdc power supply. I simply didn’t add one at this stage as I couldn’t find one in my pile of junk with a high-enough milliamps output.

Well I hope you all enjoyed this mod, and please keep your comments fair (it was my first mod… honest!)

Here are a few interesting links for the Juicebox



Update: 14th June 2007: The nice people over at Engadget have featured my Mod in their Blog. You can read it [Here]. It is also featured on MakeZine.

4 thoughts on “Juicebox Retro Phone Picture Frame Hack

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.