Amazon Dash Reboots Your Pi

We all know feature creep can be a problem in almost any project. A simple idea can often become unusable if a project’s scope isn’t clearly defined in the beginning. However, the opposite problem sometimes presents itself: forgetting to include a key feature. [Zach] had this problem when he built a Raspberry Pi magic mirror and forgot to build a physical reset/shutoff switch. Luckily he had a spare Amazon Dash button and re-purposed it for use with his Pi.

The Raspberry Pi doesn’t include its own on/off switch. Without installing one yourself, the only way to turn off the device (without access to the terminal) is to unplug it, which can easily corrupt data on the SD card. Since [Zach]’s mirror was already complete, he didn’t want to take the entire thing apart just to install a button. There’s already a whole host of applications for the Dash button, so with a little Node.js work on the Raspberry Pi he was able to configure a remote-reset button for his mirror.

This is a similar problem for most Raspberry Pi owners, so if you want to follow [Zach]’s work he has done a great job detailing his process on his project site. If you’re looking for other uses for these convenient network-enabled buttons, he also links to a Github site with lots of other projects. This pizza button is probably our favorite, though.

15 thoughts on “Amazon Dash Reboots Your Pi

    1. It is a real button. I guess for Amazon, it is easy to make lots of weird variants because is just the label that changes. Maybe there is a vast untapped market for quick Nerf refills… Makes as much sense as the button for Playdoh anyway.

          1. Ah. Yes. Thanks. The NEC guy does mention 16GB for a NEC version of the CM3. The question reader says 16GB RAM but that can’t be true. The memory controller in the BCM2837 can only go up to 1GB and they’ve mentioned that any more would require significant redesign of the SoC so it has to be 16GB flash. The NEC guy specifically mentions improved performance and storage so that confirms it is flash not RAM.

            I’m wondering if it is actually a special NEC version CM3 with 16GB flash or whether it is actually a CM3L which has no flash but the daughterboard the CM3L fits into has 16GB flash on there. Improved performance is going to be a clockspeed bump I guess since the CM3 datasheet is mysteriously silent on clockspeed.

            If this is only going to be available from NEC for their digital signage displays then it’ll be expensive. The regular CM3 is going to only have 4GB as mentioned in the datasheet.

  1. With the amount of hacks for these dash buttons, its going to make for an amusing future of improperly labelled buttons to do stuff around the house.

    “How do I close these blinds?”
    “Oh just press the nerf button. no NOT THAT ONE.”

    1. The button is used to run a script to reboot/shutdown as Zach doesn’t want to connect via SSH to do a controlled restart/shutdown. Zach still has the ability to cut power to the mirror as well so it is easy enough to force a cold start still. WoL won’t help for either of those cases.

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