Daily triggers for automation are simple in theory, unless it needs to keep track of the calendar that humans actually live by. Seasonal changes, shifting public holidays, or just being on vacation are all exceptions you may need to account for. [Jeremy Rode] likes using Google Calendar to stay on top of events, so he created CalendarScraper, a simple script to make his machines use it too.
While curbside pickup of recyclables is convenient, it does require you to keep track of which type of waste is picked up when: miss the biweekly paper pickup and you’ll soon find yourself stockpiling four weeks’ worth of boxes and newspapers. When [Dominic Buchstaller]’s stack of cardboard began to reach his ceiling, he decided to take action by building himself BinPal: a fridge magnet that helps you remember when to take out which bin.
At heart of the simple but effective BinPal is an ESP32 board that connects to Google Apps Script and retrieves the pickup schedule from Google Calendar. If one of four categories of waste is due for pickup, its icon is highlighted on an LCD screen. The user can press a touch-sensitive button to confirm the bin has been brought out for pickup; if that hasn’t been done by 8 pm, the display’s backlight starts flashing as an additional reminder.
The outer shell of the device is made from laser-cut plywood, with a few strong magnets glued inside to ensure the BinPal stays firmly attached to the fridge. In the true spirit of recycling, [Dominic] used only components that he had in his parts bin to make the BinPal. However, these parts are all easily available online, and with the full schematics and code available on the project’s Hackaday.io page it should be easy to adapt the design to different hardware platforms as well.
The design is simple, using WS2812 LEDs to backlight numbers to indicate whether they are weekdays, weekends, anniversaries, holidays, or any other dates of importance. The numerical layout is a nifty perpetual design allowing the display to easily accommodate the structure of any month, even those neat and tidy ones that start on Monday.
The design relies on an ESP-01 to communicate with Google Calendar and display the relevant data. It’s all wrapped up in a 3D printed case, with the printed paper template backlit from behind some smoked acrylic giving a surprisingly professional-looking finish.
If you’re tired of picking up your phone for every last thing, this design could be just what you’re after for keeping track of your appointments. Alternatively, you could always go the hard copy route. Video after the break.
The device uses an ESP32 to connect to WiFi, and then query Google Apps for a given user’s calendar details on a daily basis. After grabbing the data, it’s fed out to a thermal printer connected over serial at 9600 baud. As a twist, [lokthelok] has produced two versions of firmware for the project. The master version simply scrapes calendar data and outputs it neatly. The Useless version goes further, jumbling up appointments and printing them out of order. If you’ve got nothing on for the day, it will instead spool out the remainder of the thermal paper on the roll.
Now that most of what we do revolves around our phones and/or the internet, it’s nearly impossible to take a short break from work to check the ol’ calendar without being lured by the sirens on the shore of social media. Well, [samvanhook] was tired of being drawn in when all he really needs is a vague idea of what’s coming up for him in the next 12 hours. Enter the CalClock.
Thanks to color-coded segments, [sam] can tell at a glance if he has something coming up soon in Google Calendar, or if he can dive back into work. When nothing is scheduled, the segments are simply unlit.
We love the mid-century minimal look and craftsmanship of CalClock. This beauty runs on a Raspi Zero W, which fetches the 411 through the gooCal API and lights up the appropriate NeoPixels arrayed behind standard clock movement-driven hands. [sam] could have diffused the NeoPixels with a single sheet of acrylic, but he went the extra mile to route and sand little acrylic ice cubes for all 24 segments.
If you live somewhere where summers are hot and dry, you can instantly tell which homes don’t have automatic sprinklers installed. Or they may have them installed, but like the blinking “12:00” on that VCR of yore, the owners may not have mastered the art of programming the controller. To be fair, the UI on most residential irrigation controllers is a bit wanting, which is the rationale behind letting Google Calendar tell your sprinklers when it’s time to water.
Granted, someone who is mystified by setting a digital clock is not likely to pull off [ClemRz]’s build. It’s still pretty simple stuff, though, centered around an ESP8266 as it is. And calling the result an “irrigation system” is a little bit of a stretch, given that it could only support a single zone with a solenoid valve harvested from a defunct sprinkler timer. But as a proof-of-concept, or to water a small area, it hits all the marks. The ESP8266 drives the latching solenoid valve through an H-bridge chip after reading your Google Calendar and looking for upcoming events to open or close the valve. The Google Script and the ESP8266 code default to failsafe so that a mistake doesn’t leave the valve open and run up your water bill or drain your well.
Do you let Google know every aspect of your personal and social life? Do you have a spare LCD monitor kicking around? Why not make your own Raspberry Pi Wall Calendar?
[Alex] recently bought his first home (congratulations!), which happened to have a TV wall mount in the kitchen. Personally, we don’t think TVs belong in the kitchen, and neither did [Alex]. Not wanting to tear the mount out of the wall (and thus require home renovations too soon), he devised a clever solution: why not make a digital calendar?
[Alex] connected a Raspberry Pi model B to the LCD monitor, which provides convenient access to his Google Calendar. His Instructable is both meticulous and approachable, so novice hackers should have no trouble replicating this build. The only improvement we can think to suggest is substituting a touchscreen LCD, which would allow him to interact with the schedule.
Whether you “let” Google know about your life— or it just knows—this is certainly a handy hack for the 21st century home!