loading
Picture of Raspberry Pi Wall Mounted Google Calendar
Recently I purchased my first home. In the kitchen there was a small TV wall mounted however the TV itself was faulty so I was wondering, what should I do with this wall bracket since I didn’t really want a TV in the kitchen area. Then it dawned on me, instead of using a paper calendar with tiny little boxes to write things in I want my Google calendar on the wall.

To tackle this instructable you should have a general understanding of home networking and computing, some linux experience wouldn’t go astray but is not really necessary. If you run into something you don't understand just remember google search is your friend.

Equipment you will need
  • Home network (wireless if you can't run a cable to the Pi)
  • Raspberry Pi (I've used the model B)
  • SD card 2GB or larger
  • AC Adaptor (I used a USB wall charger for mobile phones check here http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals#Power_adapters)
  • Micro USB cable
  • USB keyboard and mouse
  • USB wireless adaptor (MAKE SURE IT IS COMPATIBLE OUT OF THE BOX http://elinux.org/RPi_USB_Wi-Fi_Adapters)
  • HDMI cable
  • Wall mountable HDMI capable monitor or any monitor with some kind of HDMI converter
  • Wall bracket for your monitor

*I will not be showing how to wall mount your monitor as the bracket was already on my wall*
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Raspberry Pi Setup

Picture of Raspberry Pi Setup
step2-2.png
First we'll setup the Raspberry Pi, to do this you'll need to have Raspbian installed. You can buy a Pi with Raspbian pre-installed or you can use a 2GB or larger SD card that you already have.

I am using an SD card I already have. Plug the SD card into your computer and download the latest Raspbian http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian_latest

I'm using windows so I unzipped the file and used win32diskimager (http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager) to write the Raspbian image to the SD card. 

If you are still not sure there is a tutorial here http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup

Ok now we have Raspbian installed it's time to get our Pi up and running, plug in your SD card, Wi-Fi dongle, USB keyboard, Ethernet cable to your router, HDMI to your monitor and lastly the micro USB cable to the power socket. The first time you boot up you'll end up with the configuration screen.

The changes you need to make are:
  • Expand the filesystem so Raspbian utilises the entire SD card
  • Change your password
  • Enable boot to desktop
  • Set your language, region and time zone
Go into advanced options
  • Change your hostname so you can recognise your Pi on the network.
  • Enable SSH so you can access your PI from a computer on your network.
  • Select finish which should restart your Pi.

Step 2: Keyboard and updates

Picture of Keyboard and updates
If you are in the US or Australia like me you will want to change the keyboard layout to US.
To do this you’ll need to change a file by opening your terminal and entering the command:

sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard

Use the arrow keys to move the cursor and change the gb to us.
Now save the file by pressing ctrl + X and Y to save changes

Now to update your Pi, type the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade


Press y and hit enter to download updates (this will take ages so go have a coffee/beer).

Step 3: Wireless Setup

If you just want to use Ethernet you can skip this step.

To get your Wi-Fi dongle working you may need to edit the wpa_supplicant.conf file by typing

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Then make it look like this:

ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
network={
    proto=RSN
    scan_ssid=1
    key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
    pairwise=CCMP TKIP
    group=CCMP TKIP
    ssid="your network ID in quote marks"
    psk="your network password in quote marks"
}
update_config=1


To save the file press ctrl + x then Y and enter to save

Restart the Pi by entering:

sudo reboot

You should be able to see if your Wi-Fi dongle has an IP address with the command

sudo ifconfig

You should get something like this

wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 64:66:b3:06:43:1b
          inet addr:10.0.0.75  Bcast:10.0.0.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:912384 errors:0 dropped:121692 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:706463 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:694114055 (661.9 MiB)  TX bytes:71017681 (67.7 MiB)

Step 4: Iceweasel

Picture of Iceweasel
start-gcal.jpg
start-gcal2.jpg
full-screen-gcal.jpg
crash-gcal.jpg
Now we’ll install a browser that actually displays your google calendar properly. Iceweasel is a derivative of Mozilla’s Firefox, to install enter the following command.

sudo apt-get install iceweasel

Type y and hit enter to complete download and install.

Once complete Iceweasel should pop up in the menu under internet, open it so we can start configuring. First open up your google calendar and save the password in case you get logged out at some point. Now set google calendar as your start page.

Now we need to disable restore pages after crash in case of power outage google calendar might not show up by itself which is annoying if you have no KB/Mouse connected.

Type in about:config in the address field and hit enter.
Now find the "browser.sessionstore.resume_from_crash" line and double click to change it to false.

Hit the F11 key to go fullscreen and hover your mouse at the very top of the screen then close the browser once the x appears in the top right corner.
Re-open the browser and it should open to your google calendar and still be full screen.

We also want Iceweasel to start automatically so we’ll need to change the autostart options.

sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart

add @iceweasel to the list
now press ctrl+x the Y and enter to save the changes

Step 5: Cursor and powersave

The next step is to get rid of that pesky mouse cursor and stop the screen from going to powersave/sleep mode.
First we’ll install Unclutter to get rid of the cursor when it’s not in use.

sudo apt-get install unclutter

Now we need to edit the /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf file to prevent powersave/sleep mode

sudo nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Move down to: [SeatDefaults]
Change this line:
#xserver-command=X

to this:
xserver-command=X -s 0 –dpms

now press ctrl+x then Y and enter to save the changes

Step 6: You're done :D

Now it’s all setup you can plug it in to your wall mounted monitor and turn it all on.
If something stops working just unplug the pi then plug it back in, hey presto she starts again.
Unfortunately my spare HDMI monitor does not have the screw holes for a wall mount bracket.
I have decided to use an old VGA monitor I had laying around, just have to wait for the HDMI to VGA converter.
1-40 of 108Next »
posborne11 year ago
Will the same thing work with iCloud calendars, or will iCloud require you to keep entering your password again any time the computer restarts?
Personally, i have my iphone calendar automatically synced up to my Google calendar so that by default any new events i make on my phone are synced there. Consider that.
Usually, iCloud does not require my password when i restart my PC.
Just mark "remember me" and you're good to go.

But, sometimes, it does require my password while i'm using it.

And i saw somewhere someone syncing iCloud with GCalendar. Can't remember where.
Piney (author)  posborne11 year ago
I don't have icloud, it should behave exactly as it does of your computer.
This would be awesome if done with a touch screen, not that it already isn't!
Agreed! It would be so much easier to add events! I wonder, how easy is it to get a touch screen to work with Raspberry Pi?
A lot of ELO's touchmonitors have open source drivers, I assume one could work them into working with the pi's ARM CPU.
Piney (author)  Muniosi1 year ago
Definitely doable but pricey and I didn't see if any screens had mounting holes.
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-playscreen/
sudo apt-get install matchbox-keyboard
You could use a touch screen adapter.
I don't know where you can buy outside my country (Brazil), but i found this: http://www.magictouch.com/addon.html

Maybe you can get the idea.
Piney (author)  downeysyndrome1 year ago
I agree a touch screen would be awesome. You can just add events with your phone, tablet or computer and they pop up on the screen after several minutes.
GarethT17 months ago

This is fab. I run a group who meets twice a week and uses google calendar to record what we're doing each week. The regular calendar view is therefore quite empty. Is there a way to list just the next few events in a large font so it's more like an airport departure board?

If you go to the mobile version of google calendar, its just a list of events and the ability to add new ones.

PwnPower23 days ago
brianfroelund made it!5 months ago

Great guide! Here are some of the things I did differently:

- Used chromeium which has support for command line args so that i could do:

@chromium --noerrdialogs --kiosk --homepage 'https://www.google.com/calendar/render#h%7Cmonth'

- Wrote css to make the calendar take up the entire screen. I have no mouse or keyboard connected so I don't need the controls. I use the custom view feature of google calendar to always show the this week and the 3 next.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15611034/calen...

- Bought a relay and a PIR sensor and wrote a small python script to make the monitor motion activated with a timeout of 5 minutes. Relay is not strictly necessary but I save a little standby power that way.

I still need to create a frame for it as i stripped the old casing of the monitor as it was quite ugly :)

2015-02-15 10.45.37.jpg

Hi Brian, I build it too, but I would love to get ride of the google stuff around the calendar. Unfortunately I don't know how to use your css file. I made a calendar.css file out of the code, but how to activate....

Hope you are still looking at these pages

rivery2 months ago

Sorry to post on an old instructable. This is a great idea especially with all the parts I have lying around. I just can't seem to get Iceweasel to start on boot. Tried several things but no joy. Any ideas?

PatrickW12 rivery2 months ago
Use this code at the autostart section
sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart
Notice the -pi
PatrickW122 months ago
I have made this wonderfully without flaws. Thanks a lot. But two questions though, is this project considered an IOT project and why. Thanks again.
noneil2 months ago

What can I do to modify this if I only have access to older computer monitors with VGA and don't want to buy the adapter?

AndersL made it!2 months ago

Done! Nice tutorial! However, with step 5b, I got some problems. When rebooting, the Pi never started the GUI (could not see the OS). I only got a blank screen with a blinking cursor. To fix this issue, I skipped step 5b, i.e. I never edited the lightdm.conf with the "xserver-command=X -s 0 –dpms". Instead, I installed xscreensaver, and rebooted:

sudo apt-get install xscreensaver

sudo reboot

Then, I opened the xscreensaver settings via the GUI (top right corner menu button > Preferences > Screensaver) and disabled the screensaver. I added some pictures to show the steps.

IMG_20150516_155957.jpgIMG_20150516_160102.jpg
AndersL AndersL2 months ago

ooops... I meant the top LEFT corner menu button. Sorry. :)

DavidR277 months ago

Step 5(b) has torpedoed this project for me three times now (what's the definition of insanity, again?). Upon reboot, I get a blank screen with a flashing cursor in the upper left-hand corner. Any help would be *greatly* appreciated!

AndersL DavidR272 months ago

Same here! The Raspberry Pi starts, gives some code as it use to do (code flashing by on the screen) but instead of loading the GUI, I get a blank screen with cursor. I have tried via HDMI and via s-video and I get the same results. What kind of Pi do you have, and have you sorted it out? Mine is the old rev 2 model (i.e. not the new 1 gb version). It's the third time I'm trying this now, and I have created a backup of my SD-card where I've done all the steps except 5b. Saves some time anyway... :P I'll continue trying till I get rid of that damn blank screen with the blinking cursor!

EricC183 months ago

I have been searching for a way to get iceweasel to either pause and wait for an internet connection or continually retry to obtain an internet connection when rebooting and have been unsuccessful. Anyone know of a good way to do this?

jliberman3 months ago
I'm having a problem when I try to download ice weasel it gives me a bunch of 404 messages. I'd love some help!:)
JoeT93 months ago

This appears to be working great.

But how often does it refresh? and can i control that in iceweasel?

bobdub194 months ago
I followee the steps and everything works fine apart from the iceweasel browser does not start when the pi boots up. I have to manually open it from the desktop. Any help?
JoeT9 bobdub193 months ago

This happened to me too.

There are two places where you may have to put it into autostart.

the one listed and also

sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

notice the "-pi", this fixed it for me.

cmurzanski5 months ago

How are you running the wires behind the wall for the raspberry pi? Where are you tapping for 5v dc? I'm looking to do a clean wall mount like the first picture and need some ideas on how to power everything.

Piney (author)  cmurzanski5 months ago
its actually an illusion. The monitor is powered by a kettle plug that was already in the wall. The pi was plugged into a wall socket below but I used photoshop to remove the cables :D. Now that you mention it the monitor has a lot of room in it's housing. I think I'll open it up and try to tap power from it and pit the pi in there too.
AndyPoms made it!1 year ago

Thanks for this, it was really helpful. I adapted it to display Google Analytics on a large display in our office (by simply changing the IceWeasel start page).

Pi_Google-1.jpgPi_Google-2.jpgPi_Google-3.jpg

So, apparently IceWeasel doesn't play nice with Google Analytics... I switched to Chromium today. It was an easy change, set the start page in Chromium and instead of putting "@iceweasel" in /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart, put in "@chromium --kiosk" (to force full screen at startup).

how is the CPU utilization in Chromium? I am currently doing the same thing with Midori but it is constantly maxing out the CPU.

I had some time this week to work on this... I changed to the new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B & due the better processor & more RAM, the system runs much smoother & with more headroom on the resources.

I kept the CRON Job in there for the reboot, because - well, why not?

There is one big change, the LXDE settings move to /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

The other thing I noticed is that there is a warning on boot about cgroups (easy fix if you Google the error, but not necessary), and an intermittent error when starting LXDE (again, easy fix if you Google the error).

It was pretty high... High enough were I setup a CRON Job to reboot the system each night.

Ran into a problem where the Pi driving the system won't connect to the network (wired) - tried to re-flash the card (I took an image once it was working), tried a different physical Pi... Haven't had a lot of time to troubleshoot it (several much more important projects at work).

wridley6 months ago

Location for autostart on the newer Raspbian image is:

/etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

shtorm1 wridley5 months ago

Thanks for a tip. It works now :)

Tkdwn made it!6 months ago

Tnx, well this was one quickly compleated project, and works like a charm. Thumbs up for you!

rpicalendar.jpg
psavas1 year ago

Piney,

I've been gathering all the parts to put one of these together for my household (it'll be my first RPi project) and have run into a small problem I'm hoping you, or someone else here, can give me some guidance/advice with:

I picked up a Pyle PHR105B 10.2" car headrest monitor for $50 on Amazon to use instead of a larger computer monitor, thinking I could find an AC/DC converter to power the LCD. Unfortunately, the documentation is very sparse, as are the specifications in the 8-page manual (no installation instructions provided). I have found a couple of potential adapters on eBay and Amazon, but they all list amperage, which I don't have. :( How can I find that out?

Also, there is an additional power-type wire (#7 in the attached diagram) labled "Blue Resverse lamp." Does anyone know what that might be, and do I need to hook it up?

Thanks in advance for the help!

pete

specifications.jpg
admiller1 psavas6 months ago

You will need a wall plug that is 12VDC 500 millamps or better. They blue reverse lamp is intended for car installation. When it gets power from the reverse lamp, it switches to the reverse camera input. You can ignore this cable.

1-40 of 108Next »