2 years ago

Building a Display Sign from a Raspberry Pi

This hand-built Raspberry Pi display acts as a warning sign outside a workshop

Raspberry Pi Display Sign 

Bob Clagett runs I Like to Make Stuff, a blog where he demonstrates making skills and builds quirky items.

His workshop is at home, so he recently built this display sign made from a Raspberry Pi, a 32×32 RGB LED matrix and four four arcade buttons. It warns his family when he’s recording video, or doing something dangerous (like welding) in his workshop.

“This is the first project I’ve ever programmed on the Raspberry Pi,” says Bob, “I used Python and it was actually a lot easier than I expected it to be.” The Python code on GitHub, and it’s pretty straightforward. He also has a separate code walkthrough on a different video.

Building the Raspberry Pi display sign

The build itself is more detailed than the code used to run the LED matrix. It consists of two parts, the display and a control box.

Bob built the control box using half-inch plywood, glued together. This holds an aluminum board drilled out to contain four arcade buttons (pressing these switches the display on the sign).

Raspberry Pi Display Sign

The Raspberry Pi is used to control the LED display

“The box for the display was made in just the same way with the same material,” says Bob, “But it was larger so i could use the corner clamps all on one side this just made it easier to put together when the glue is dry on the control box. I just used some blue tape to hold the cover in place while I drilled holes and all the corners and drilling screws.”

It’s easier to watch the video to see the build process in action. We think the end result looks fantastic.

“You could build a much bigger more complex project on if you wanted to,” says Bob. “You could check Twitter and scroll tweets across the sign; you can show animated gifs. The possibilities are endless once you have something like a Raspberry Pi, that’s pretty powerful, and connected as the brain of a project.”