It’s no secret that I love LEDs, so when I saw the Piglow on Adafruit.com, for a relatively cheap price I snatched it right up. And as usual, the same thing happened that always happens after I buy neat looking hardware that doesn’t have a bunch of pre-written software packages out there. I ask myself, “What can I do with this cool stuff?”. The answer this time was, let’s have it monitor and display the functioning of my XBMC. I decided to go all in and develop an XBMC plugin to make it easy for other folks to have the same setup, too!
So, after installing my Addon, you can dynamically choose to monitor 7 different criteria (3 at a time). Check out the video to see it in action.
Putting together a cheap, beautiful and effective media center has never been so easy! Here’s what you’ll need to use my Addon
- Raspberry Pi: http://www.adafruit.com/products/998 $39.95
- Piglow: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1488 $14.95
- Beefy (important!) ac adapter: http://www.adafruit.com/products/501 $5.95
- A case: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1037 $19.95
- A TV: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-UN85S9-85-Inch-Ultra-120Hz/dp/B00CMEN95U/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1383760219&sr=1-1&keywords=tv $39,997.99
The first step is putting all the hardware together. I won’t cover this here directly but I will mention a couple things specific to this setup. Be sure that you have a power supply with sufficient wattage. Many of the problems that people have with their Pi’s are from low wattage 5volt usb power adapters and the problem would be exacerbated with the PiGlow’s LEDs. Next, find yourself a clear case, leaving the Pi naked is asking for trouble. (Probably best if you keep your clothes on while working with electronics, too.) Just be sure your Piglow will not only fit inside the case that you find, but can be seen through it! Getting a Pibow will guarantee both.
After that, there’s two dependencies to install –
- Rpi.GPIO (Thanks to Tony in the comments for the updated method!):
1234567sudo initctl stop xbmcsudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgradesudo apt-get install python-devsudo apt-get install python-pipsudo easy_install -U distributesudo pip install RPi.GPIOsudo reboot -h
- The piGlow Python library. Check out the installation instructions at GitHub. Be sure to run the test.py at the end of the instuctions, if that’s not working for you, neither will my plugin.
Finally, just download my .zip addon to the raspberry pi SD card and install with these steps:
- Download the zip from falldeaf.com ( service.piglowinfo-0.0.1.zip ) to your Raspberry Pi
- Install from zip file
- Enter the path to the downloaded file and select OK
- Open the add-on settings dialog and choose which conditions to monitor (or leave the default of volume, playmarker and mem)
That’s it! You should be up and running :) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need some extra help or for corrections to my instructions.
There are four different choices to make in the addon setup, What each of the three arms will monitor and the brightness of the display.
There are seven different choices of things to monitor:
- Volume (current system volume)
- Playmarker (How much time is left in the show or song)
- Cache (How much local cache is used)
- Temp (How hot is your Pi)
- Space (How much HD space is left)
- MEM (How much memory is being used)
- battery (How much battery is left)
If you got an idea for a new feature, let me know. Alternatively if there’s any impatient coders out there reading, drop by my github repo and add the features your dang self! :)