Christmas themed projects


Only 11 days till Christmas :christmas_tree:, do you have any projects fitting for the holidays? Would love to hear about it! Would be great sharing the holiday spirit, and give inspiration to the other makers out there! :slight_smile:

Here are some ideas that I had, though haven’t made any of them yet, and some might be very silly:

  • a handful of hidden RPis with speakers to simulate Santa’s coming :santa:
  • Christmas light control with a web (or Alexa) interface (similar to this video by Alex Ellis just larger scale)
  • robot Santa sledge to drive around the house
  • automated advent calendar that unlocks goodies for each day :door:
  • Christmas countdown clock, similar to these word clocks
  • RPi camera to watch for snow, and alert the house when it is snowing

Do you have any project ideas or in-progress or finished projects? Drop it in this thread! :tada:

Barcelona Hackathon projects and inspiration

Looks like projects are kicking off in the office as we are getting closer to Christmas!

LED Matrix Display

One ongoing project is @cameron’s LED matrix display driver. I think he had made some pretty cool tooling improvements this week (using cross-compiling for the Raspberry Pi and resin sync to quickly iterate the code on the device. Because of this, he made quite a bit of progress, and in the afternoon he was showing us an animated Christmas tree:

Here it is in action as well (link to YouTube):

It’s very much work in progress, but we still have a week till Christmas.

Yule Log Video Display

Who doesn’t like a nice little log fire? That’s why yule log videos are so popular on Youtube, for example. To “heat up” our office, we’ve used resin-electronjs the project by @curcuz, which is probably the easiest way you can get a kiosk-style app started.

We have a wall mounted screen, with a Raspberry Pi connected over HDMI, deployed with the resin-electronjs:

The Youtube video is set up to go full screen, auto play, and loop, which can be achieved by adding ?rel=0&autoplay=1&loop=1&playlist=<VIDEOID> to the video’s URL, where the <VIDEOID> is the video’s unique ID (this is required for loop=1 to work, according to this changelog. So for example ours is, that’s the value set as the URL_LAUNCHER_URL environment variable for the device. Of course there are a lot of other nice yule log videos to choose from.

It definitely spiced up our weekly video meeting, people spotting the log fire on the wall behind. :slight_smile:

x x x

How are you doing? Are you in the holiday spirits yet? :christmas_tree:


(Only two days till Christmas! Here’s another project for the holidays! It’s a mash-up of some components I’ve used before, and some new tools mixed in.

Alexa, trigger Merry Christmas!

It’s a Raspberry Pi + SenseHAT + Amazon Echo Dot / Alexa + IFTTT combo. Use voice commands on the Echo Dot to trigger a display of a Christmas tree (on 8x8 pixels…), and also adding candles to it (randomly fading lights).

The photos and video don’t do justice to it, should figure out how to have better recording of LED lights without saturating the sensors (@curcuz gave some advice that I need to try)

The voice commands are set up through IFTTT Alexa triggers and the very versatile IFTTT Maker endpoint to ping a device’s Public Device URL (enabled in the dashboard for the device).

The code is written in Node.js at the moment, and using the the sense-hat-led library for hardware control, and a very simple Express server for the HTTP endpoints. I choose this one because another project was using Python already.

Here’s the code repo if you want to try it out, will need to add more readme to it in the next couple of days, as well as a more complete writeup:



Merry Christmas! :sparkle:

What are we working on? The Balena Notes