Cassette Scroller in @HackSpaceMag

With everything else going on in the world I almost missed this, my Cassette Pi IoT scroller has a really nice feature in this months HackSpace magazine (issue 29).

I provided a dump of all the images and coincidentally they chose my favourite shot. It’s a big pic! Makes me glad I didn’t scratch the case up too much, and also relieved I cleaned the underside of my kitchen tablecloth, which is the background 🙂

Rather than make the traditional trip to Sainsburys to get the hard copy, I ordered it online (I should really just give in and get a subscription) and I’ve been enjoying dipping into it in breaks from work.

It’s a really cracking read this month, I especially enjoyed learning more about the Men’s Sheds movement (p62-69) and their focus on improving mental health, almost by stealth. Inspiring words from Charlie Bethel and I hope the sheds can re-open as soon as possible to continue their good work.

I’m also loving the “Get Started in Wood Working” (p34-49) feature – I work with wood fairly often, but it’s one of those skills you never completely learn, and it’s fascinating to fill in gaps in my knowledge.

You don’t need to venture out to grab a copy, as usual the .pdf version is available free from https://hackspace.raspberrypi.org/issues/29

I should have a new Raspberry Pi project ready to publish in a couple of weeks, I’m just waiting for paint to harden and putting the video together at the moment – I’m taking it slowly though and really valuing the brief moments of escapism this brings of an evening. In the meantime here’s a gif of the “menu”.

 

New Project! The Cassette Pi IoT Scroller

The Cassette Pi is a self-contained real-time notification scroller, all housed neatly inside a transparent cassette tape. A Raspberry Pi Zero is sandwiched between the two tape reels, retrieving Internet of Things notifications from the fabulous IFTTT service, delivered almost instantly to the Pi via an Adafruit.IO feed and a Python script. The whole cassette vibrates to alert you to the incoming notification, and the text is then scrolled clearly across a Pimoroni 11×7 LED display.

The between notifications animation represents tape movement.

Everything is powered by a 150mAh LiPo battery, connected to the Pi via a LiPo Shim – also within the cassette is an Adafruit Micro Lipo so when the battery runs low it can be plugged directly into a Micro USB power source to grab some juice.

The most fun part is that thanks to some trimming of the Pi itself, the cassette can still fit inside any vintage tape player, turning that old ornament into a functional and classy Internet of Things device.

I couldn’t resist making a tape box for it.

The Cassette Pi is perfect for use as a conference badge too, dangling from a lanyard and scrolling your name or a custom message – I hope to wear it to a Pi event or jam later this year.

“Ask me about Old Tech”

This is probably my favourite Pi project to date, everything went smoothly for once and I love the final result, it’s a very tactile little thing. It was built in a bit of a hurry so that I could enter the Instructables Raspberry Pi contest 2020 – at the time of writing the results haven’t been published but I’m hopeful of winning at least a T-shirt prize pack.

The write-up for the Cassette Pi project can be found on Hackster and Instructables, the video is on YouTube and the (questionable as ever) python script is on GitHub.

I have a feeling I may do more of these in the future!