Web Enabled PIXEL on Raspberry Pi

The PIXEL kit from LED:ART consists of an RGB LED matrix, a IOIO Mint Bluetooth microcontroller to drive the matix, and some software to give instructions to the IOIO for what to display.

Originally, only an Android and PC based software was available.  Now, web based controls are available, via a Java application.  Web based controls means that platforms with a modern browser are supported; iStuff, Android, PC, Tablet, and others.  The Web applicaion is started from the command line.

Web Enabled PIXEL on Raspberry Pi

Being able to run from the command line allows for use as a background service/daemon.  This approch is also ideal for setting up headless envronments (no monitor attached to the mother board), where the hardware profile needs to be as slim as possible.

PIXEL comes pre-bundled with some still and animated images.  On first run, the images are extracted to pixel/ under the user’s home directory.

Once the hardware is assembled, and the software running, the PIXEL Web controls are availble to any computer on the same network as the Raspberry Pi.

Hardware

Required Hardware

Hardware for Networking (one or the other)

Optional Hardware for Wearables

To go wearable/portable, power the Raspberry Pi and Pixel board with two lipo batteries and two Adafruit PowerBoots and corresponding USB adaptors:

Note: The Pixel started off as a Kickstarter which is version 1 of the product.  Some version 1 Pixels were even in the Adafruit store.  The Pixel software used in this guide is compatible with both the version 1 and version 2 models.

Assembly

See the following links to get your Raspberry Pi and Pixel setup and connected to power, but don’t give them power just yet.

The last assembly step is to connect the Raspberry Pi to the Pixel, via a male-A to male-A USB cable.

Now power up the Raspberry Pi and Pixel.

Web Enabled PIXEL on Raspberry Pi

Although a custom user interface can use the following URLs or Web API to control Pixel.  Any programming language that can make HTTP requests can control the Pixel with the Web API.

http://rapberrypi:2007/text change to scrolling text mode
http://rapberrypi:2007/text?t=some text to scroll this will scroll ‘some text to scroll’ on the pixel
http://rapberrypi:2007/text/color/[hex-value]
example:

http://rapberrypi:2007/text/color/48301b

This sets the color of the scrolling text.  The ‘hex-value’ given is used as the color.
http://rapberrypi:2007/text/speed/[delay-in-milliseconds]

example:
http://rapberrypi:2007/text/speed/300

This sets the scroll delay in milliseconds.

 

 

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