Are you still writing notes on paper and sticking them to the fridge like it’s the ’80s? Well, if you are, and you read this site, you’d probably like to upgrade to something a bit more 21st century. And, thanks to robot maker [James Bruton], you can leave your old, last century, message taking behind as he has a tutorial up showing you how to build an internet connected e-paper message display board. And, if you have a Raspberry Pi, an e-paper display and adapters just lying around doing nothing, then this project will cost you less than the buck that paper and a magnet will cost you.
Sarcasm aside, this is a pretty nice project. As mentioned, the base of this is a Raspberry Pi – [James] uses a Pi 4, but you could get away with an older, lower powered model as well. This powers the cheap(-ish) e-paper display he found online, which comes with the necessary adapters for the Pi, as well as a python library to write to the display. [James] uses a Google Sheet as the cloud storage for the message board, and there is some python code to access the cells in the Sheet and print them on the display if anything has changed. A cron job runs the script every 5 minutes to catch changes in the messages.
As with most of the projects that [James] does, he gives a good overview in the video and goes over the process of finding the hardware and writing and updating the script. He’s put the script and details as well as the CAD file for the frame he created for the project up on GitHub. [James] has been featured several times on the site before, check out some of his projects.
16 thoughts on “Internet Connected E-Paper Message Board”
You do not need a raspberry pi for this. Use a simple ESP32 (see waveshare esp32 hat) with a battery, and you can last a year without charging.
Kids, don’t throw data at Google. They feed on it and become overweight!
And do know that overweight is a serious problem
Data without the key to turn it into information is useless.
e-ink get small power
and always e-ink project if wired to wall
“The house is on fire, and the cat is stuck in the drier!”
Now if there were an device that would sample a frame every half second from hdmi and put it out to spi then we’d be in business for affordable OS and platform agnostic rapper displays for the likes of this. Kudos to waveshare for making epaper displays more hackable though! Rooting a kindle ain’t the same.
I just had a need for an always on message board – It’s strange that this is not a widely available product.
I used an old unused iPAD 2 but since it had an old iOS – It wouldn’t run google docs or any other modern app.
I ended up using an unknown browser app named ‘slide’ which has an auto refresh function. I set it to view the document and refersh every 5min. It works like a charm (most of the time).
My Dad is deaf and can’t use technology – just isn’t smart enough and elderly. This would be awesome because I could send him messages to read through the day to let him know I’m thinking about him or to have him get ready for me to pick him up for a doctor’s appointment.
Ah that is nice, very real world, and a great idea.
Instructions not clear, do I telephone bill or pay the telephone bill?
Do it immediately!
Neither, that’s the continuation of the previous line, the speedboat is named “Telephone Bill”
I suppose this also could be don with those hacked eReaders, like certain models of Kindle?
I think ive got an idea. How about a little pad that you can carry in your pocket. This pad can have near unlimited uses and you just make these separate things ive called apps, and one of them lets you message another person, or a group of people. or add something to a calendar app? i think im onto something here. Im going to call it a mobile telephone. SOMEONE GET ME AN INVESTOR NOW!
Yes. RPi Zero W at a push but and ESP module would be more convenient to assemble as it can be made into a single chassis.
For those who don’t know you can get E-ink displays to refresh quicker but caution as this could reduce the life of your device. For more in depth explanation watch this video.
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