PiFace Control and Display interface with a Google Coder project

I recently came across this contest from the makers of the PiFace Control and Display. The PiFace Control and Display is a stackable hardware board that comes with tactile switches, IR receiver for remote control applications and a small LCD.

I had less than a day to make something using the display. The theme of the contest is to countdown to a target date. I decided to use the Google coder image for the Raspberry Pi. The Google coder is a platform meant for beginners in web development and enables building our own website on a local network. A step-by-step instruction of the Google coder setup is available on the Google Coder page. The instructions are more or less similar to the Raspbian setup for the Raspberry Pi.

Accessing the Google coder platform from a Windows desktop requires the installation of the Bonjour drivers for Windows. The Google coder desktop can be accessed from a browser at the following address is http://coder.local. I downloaded the digital clock application from the Google Coder repository and modified the same to display the countdown timer on the PiFace Control and Display.

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I modified the clock such that it is possible to pick a date to count down. I used pickadate.js to pick a date from the calendar. for the countdown selection. The clock pings a web.py framework based webpage with the countdown data which is consequently displayed on the LCD.

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Countdown timer interfaced to the Google Coder application

I also wrote a couple of lines to control the LPD8806 LED strip lighting using a TV remote control. Based on the number pressed on the TV remote, the python script reading the PICAD’s IR receiver, sends a control word to the Arduino controlling the LED strip to switch the LED sequence.

Setup Instructions:

The Google Coder and the PiFace Control and Display setup instructions are available over the web. The modifications to the clock application and the python script are available from my github account.

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