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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

MyPiFi Cheerlight Christmas Decor



I decided a while back that after doing my Christmas tree last year in NeoPixel lights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoGk0M8YdMA and using Penguin Tutors excellent DJ lights program https://github.com/penguintutor/neopixel-gui that this year I wanted a Cheerlight item (cheerlights.com) like I had run on the Unicorn Hat by ForToffee https://github.com/ForToffee/UnicornHAT Cheerlights is an internet of things where people use twitter and the hashtag #cheerlights and a colour and all items running cheerlights around the world will change colour to the current tweeted colour.

So the hunt was on for something I could use and low and behold I came across this laser cut house that had a battery pack running some plain leds inside.  Once it arrived it was time to strip out the lights and add 13 neopixels inside on a long strip, but to be able to get inside i needed to use a craft knife to carefully remove the roofs and one building.



I originally tried neopixel buttons but everytime i had these in place a wire would snap so from 5 buttons the amount of pixels would go up.

Once in place I soldered the pixels to a MyPiFi neopixel controller board and attached to one of my pi's http://smstextblog.blogspot.com/2015/03/afirstly-thank-you-for-purchasing-this.html .  I then glued everything back together and then followed Tonys great NeoPixel how to guide off of adafruit https://learn.adafruit.com/neopixels-on-raspberry-pi/overview Once all the software was in place I ran the first test and all seemed fine it worked.  However when I tried to run the Cheerlight code from David Bradway https://github.com/davidbradway/cheerlights I just couldnt get it to work.  I asked about and was told two different things to try so tried both at the same time, the first was to use an old pi with 26 pin header and second was to use Raspbian Wheezy and not Jessie which I tried and bingo, it worked I couldnt believe it.



I have since glued the Pi and the display to some thin mdf word to keep it all together and stop the wires being pulled and this is the finished result.




There is still some coding bits to fiddle around with but apart from that this is now ready for the christmas festivities and perhaps after christmas i could remove the christmasy figures off the front and just have this as an everyday cheerlight display for my desk.

Thank you for reading and please share.