SenseHAT Ehancements + Updates

If you are lucky enough to have a SenseHAT with your Raspberry Pi, I have updated the sensor software to allow the use of its JoyStick and LED grid! The following commands are

  • Up = Scroll IP address on the LED grid
  • Down = Display “Steve” on the LED grid OR Confirms Shutdown
  • Left = Scroll humidity
  • Right = Scroll Temperature
  • Push = Initiate Shutdown (Requires confirmation of Down JoyStick)

Due to the extra additions on the SenseHAT, it is a nice sensor to start with for trying things out, since you can just plug in power and be able to see readings right on the LED grid AND have it shut down with the button combo.  Other sensors you have to shutdown remotely with the Control Center or login directly and shut down, and of course, no other currently supported sensor has a display. 

I now have a working Gnu/Linux installer working for both SMB and HTTP, but customizing a file is required if you want the desktop shortcuts on a different user than pi (Menu shortcuts work just fine). 

In other news, a few new battery backup systems have come in for me to try out.  This time I decided to go with something a bit more expensive to help with the solar deployments.  To that end, I grabbed a “Goal Zero Yeti 150” and a “Goal Zero Sherpa 50”.  They both have hookups for solar panels and are pretty hefty.  I put a RP Zero + Garden HAT on the bigger 150 to see how long it lasts.  I’m going to put the smaller one outside with a solar panel and see how that goes.  Both units oddly enough cost me about $250 each.  If they work as fully self-sustaining units, they are worth the price.  O yeah, the manual for the Yeti was pretty useful! It says to help with using the battery in colder temperatures, put it in a cooler, as the ambient temperature it puts off would keep it warm enough inside the insulated container.  A very good idea, since it will be in the outdoors during winter and I have been thinking of ways to protect the battery units from the elements.  I look forward to testing results, but I suspect I’m going to have trouble keeping the snow off the solar panels … I might have to be a bit more creative for that.  

That’s it for tonight.  

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