31 May 2015
I blogged previously about my Scratch project in this month's Magpi. I also have a Python project in this issue, which creates a text scroller for the Raspberry Pi's Unicorn HAT. You can use it to display any message, and I imagine it could be a useful building block for anyone needing to display output from a robot, Twitter or any other data-based project.
To get started with this project, download the June 2015 issue of The Magpi and read the tutorial there. This project requires two programs, one to make the font (which runs once only) and another to scroll messages (which you use each time you display a message). If you're having trouble getting them working, or just want to spare your fingers, you can download the font maker and download the scroller program. These are both text files - you can copy and paste from them, or you can download them and rename them from .txt to .py before loading into Python.
For this project, you'll need a Unicorn HAT and a diffuser layer from Pimoroni. The Unicorn HAT (pictured below) provides an 8x8 matrix of RGB LEDs that you can control the colour and brightness of. In my project, I've used some simple code to apply different red/purple shades across the message. I got my Unicorn HAT at the Raspberry Pi Third Birthday Party and my starting point for the project was to see how I could use the Unicorn HAT to output information from the Raspberry Pi, rather than purely as a colourful special effect.
The Magpi is published monthly and is the official magazine of the Raspberry Pi. It's available to download for free as a PDF, so get your copy now!
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