Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Raspberry Pi Guinness Grotto!

This is a simple little project with a great back-story.

About 15 years ago, my late father David Walsh was having a pint in the Ormeau Arms, a.k.a. Fealty's, bar on High Street in Bangor.  This was his local and by then the only bar left in Bangor that you could take a dog into.  I remember seeing them put an ashtray on the floor with some beer in it for the dogs.  Anyway it was Christmas time and there was a big tree behind the bar with a string of these promotional Guinness Christmas lights on it.  My da pestered the barman until they gave him one of the Guinness glass shades and it became a family in-joke on the Christmas tree at my mother's house every year.

With my father and then my mother passing and clearing the house, the Guinness glass went missing until last week when I found it in amongst some spare bulbs for a long-gone string of lights.

It needed a 21st century upgrade!


The RaspberryPi is on the left, connected with my home-made GPIO connector to a breadboard, ULN2003 buffer chip and a whole heap of LEDs.  There are 3 LEDs inside the Guinness glass, one red, one orange and a bright white one.  The string of LEDs round the glass is set up to run on 5 volts.

The whole gizmo is programmed in Python and cycles through the 3 LEDs inside the glass to get a range of colours and then stuns you with the string of white lights coming on.

I tried to video it in action, but it was too dark for the 'phone camera, so I just took a few still shots of it and this is the best one.


So this is to you dad for giving me an acquiring mind and a love of anything electrical or mechanical and often both and for solving problems the lateral, interesting way.

"Made of more."

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