The Raspberry Pi Matrix Dashboard is Filled with Features and Applications


Although it is possible to run your Raspberry pie headless (without monitor), half the fun is using the little PC to drive a display for videos, games, and an endless array of visual possibilities. However, one of the best screen options has to be RGB matrices. Today we have a fantastic matrix project put together by Allen from Allen’s lab, which has created an impressive set dashboard for its 64 x 32 matrix.

As of this writing, this is the only project on Allen’s Lab’s YouTube channel. However, the channel’s description indicates plans to upload more projects in the future, ranging from robotics and 3D printing to coding projects from scratch.

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Raspberry pie

(Image credit: Allen’s Lab)
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Raspberry pie

(Image credit: Allen’s Lab)

If future projects are as feature-rich as this one, we’re definitely in for a treat. This dashboard includes many tools, including basics such as time and weather display and integration with external applications such as Notion, a system used to track to-do lists, and Spotify.

A closer look at the hardware inside indicates that a Raspberry Pi 3B+ is the primary controller, but there’s no reason you can’t use a Raspberry Pi 4 in its place. You can drive a matrix using something smaller like a peak, but you’ll need something a bit beefier to take advantage of Allen’s feature pack. The deal is 3d printed with PETG and designed with a solid panel covering the die thin enough for the LEDs to shine through. The case also has a swivel function and a tilt switch that changes the orientation of the screen when activated.

Allen programmed the dashboard with Python in conjunction with Hzeller’s RGB matrix library found at GitHub. Weather updates are taken from Open weather map, while Pushbullet handles phone notifications. Dashboard app selection is via a rotary encoder that includes a GIF player, game of life, and even a YouTube subscriber counter.

If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project yourself, watch the demo video shared on Youtube by Allen’s Lab, and be sure to visit the project’s official site GitHub page.

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