The SRDC picture fram

The SRDC is a piece of legendary hamfest crap that came to symbolize my earlier pursuits at picking up things that we perceived as being "cool". The SRDC is actualy a 186-based military surplus touch-screen computer that showed up at Hamfests for years.

Throughout junior high and high school, I attended hamfests often with my brother and one of his friends in attendance. At one point, we all got SRDC's because we thought they were neat. Well, years passed, and one of these Hamfesters got out of computers all together and went into forestry instead, most likely a very good life choice.

Maintaining the tradition of building presents demonstrated by the fish , my brother and I decided to modify this remaining piece of Hamfest Crap into a digital picture frame as a present.

The SRDC with it's waterproof plastic cover. The device is about 10 inches square and five inches deep. Removing the catches on the four sides of the supposedly weather tight lid reveals the display panel of the SRDC.

That's a monochrome LCD panel with an early transparent touch-panel over the top. It wasn't a full-resolution touch panel, but more like a transparent keyboard. The front ofthe device proudly says SRDC, which apparently stands for System Research and Development Corporation. When operating, it boots to DOS from ROM, and has a floppy disk drive accessible via a cover at the back. In ham radio parlance, I would suggest that this would be 'great for Packet', which is a standard hamfest justification for selling odd old computing devices which are equipped with serial ports.

Before we can install the new picture frame guts, the old SRDC needs to give up its precious insides. Not shown in the photo is the 186-based single board computer that came out of this. It was pretty high tech in 1986 when it was made. What is visible is part of the power supply and LCD backlight circuit. At right is a chamber which originally held a battery pack consisting of 4 D-cell nicad batteries. This battery hole was re-fashioned as a fold-out stand, as is shown later.

The new full color LCD panel from the LCD picture frame mounted in the SRDC's ex-touch panel. We decided to put it in the middle, to retain operation of some of the SRDC's front panel controls, notably the power light and power switch. The screen was held in with a band of adhesive against a tightly cut hole in the old touch panel.

The back view of the handiwork, showing the LCD panel and the picture frame's PCB laying against the pack. The traces of the original touch screen can still be seen in the yellow plastic of the touch screen at the bottom. The ribbon cable attached to the PCB goes to the new front panel operations to allow operation of the photo frame's features from outside the SRDC chassis.

The finished SRDC-picture frame. The LCD panel doesn't fill the entire front of the display space, but the idea comes across. At the back, the battery doory can be seen performing it's new function as a fold-out stand. The side of the SRDC was cut away to allow the card slots of the picture frame's PCB, which was fastened to the back of the front face via the screws visible. The front lid still can re-attach, making for a bomb-proof looking piece of portable picture-displaying goodness.

The Linder Brothers: Dan and Greg, holding up the completed SRDC picture frame.