After making a project on Pi Zero Mod, Frederick Vandenbosch thought of working on a more useful product utilizing the Pi Zero. So, after a lot of efforts, he succeeded to build a compact device serving as an information display. It could display any data related to time, date, weather, social status, etc. The one developed by Frederick gave out information like date, time, internet network details and other data like the number of subscribers on various social media platforms.
The device contains two push buttons for navigation. When pressed, these buttons trigger certain actions. It also has an LED light that keeps blinking denoting the status and activity. The mechanism allows the device to fetch data from the internet by going through web pages and then based on that, the required information is displayed on the screen. One can program it in Python to add other details like emails and tweets, depending upon their requirements.
The hardware part of this DIY project includes components like Raspberry Pi Zero, Edimax wifi dongle, Adafruit OLED and two push buttons. The OLED used by Fredrick contains 128X64 individual pixels which are turned on and off by a microcontroller. Since it makes its own light, there is no need for a backlight and hence it requires very less power.
First and foremost, he placed the Wi-Fi dongle on the Raspberry Pi Zero and connected it straight to the USB’s OTG Port. Then he secured it with a yellow tape to keep it intact. After that, he wired the OLED to the GPIO pins of the Pi Zero followed by the two push buttons which were also connected to the GPIO pins. It makes use of an internal pull-up and on being pressed, it’s connected to the GND triggering low signal which can be detected through coding.
Later all the circuit part was enclosed in a case such that the dongle was positioned at the top for ensuring better connectivity and the micro USB port was exposed on the side.
Moving on to the software part, he created a microSD card and booted it from Pi Zero and connected it with keyboard and wifi dongle. Then he configured wifi and tested the connectivity. With the help of this network connection, he was able to work on the script to display the desired information. Then using Python library and some custom code, he programmed 3 different displays namely date & time, network settings, and social media followers/subscribers.
Finally, the end product could display the required information and could function as per the customized codes. The left button on the device was meant for shuffling through the screens while the right button would trigger some desired action. In case of time, it switched between 12 hours and 24 hours while for the network, it would reconnect to the wifi.
Here is the video where you can see this DIY information display in action displaying all the information along with the configured IP settings. For other details, refer to the link given below.
Filed Under: Reviews