Introduction: Sunrise Alarm Clock (Improve Morning Wakefulness)

About: 3D printing and designing RaspberryPI projects for a few years now

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Step 1: Flashing RaspberriPi Hard Disk / Install Required Software (Using Ubuntu Linux)


Create your new hard disk for DashboardPI

Insert the microSD to your computer via USB adapter and create the disk image using the dd command

Locate your inserted microSD card via the df -h command, unmount it and create the disk image with the disk copy dd command

$ df -h /dev/sdb1 7.4G 32K 7.4G 1% /media/XXX/1234-5678 a

$ umount /dev/sdb1

Caution: be sure the command is completely accurate, you can damage other disks with this command

if=location of RASPBIAN JESSIE LITE image file of=location of your microSD card

$ sudo dd bs=4M if=/path/to/raspbian-jessie-lite.img of=/dev/sdb

(note: in this case, it's /dev/sdb, /dev/sdb1 was an existing factory partition on the microSD)

Setting up your RaspberriPi

Insert your new microSD card to the raspberrypi and power it on with a monitor connected to the HDMI port


user: pi pass: raspberry

Change your account password for security

sudo passwd pi

Enable RaspberriPi Advanced Options

sudo raspi-config

Choose: 1 Expand File System

9 Advanced Options

A2 Hostname change it to "SOLARLAMP"

A4 SSH Enable SSH Server

A7 I2C Enable i2c interface

P4 SPI Enable/Disable automatic loading of SPI kernel module

Enable the English/US Keyboard

sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard

Change the following line: XKBLAYOUT="us"

Reboot PI for Keyboard layout changes / file system resizing to take effect

$ sudo shutdown -r now

Auto-Connect to your WiFi

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Add the following lines to have your raspberrypi automatically connect to your home WiFi (if your wireless network is named "linksys" for example, in the following example)

network={ ssid="linksys" psk="WIRELESS PASSWORD HERE" } Reboot PI to connect to WiFi network

$ sudo shutdown -r now

Now that your PI is finally on the local network, you can login remotely to it via SSH. But first you need to get the IP address it currently has.

$ ifconfig Look for "inet addr: 192.168.XXX.XXX" in the following command's output for your PI's IP Address

Go to another machine and login to your raspberrypi via ssh

$ ssh pi@192.168.XXX.XXX

Start Installing required packages

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get upgrade

$ sudo apt-get install memcached vim git python-gpiozero python-smbus i2c-tools python-imaging python-smbus build-essential python-dev rpi.gpio python3 python3-pip python-memcache python3-spidev python-spidev

Update local timezone settings

$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

select your timezone using the interface

Setup the simple directory l command [optional]

vi ~/.bashrc

add the following line:

alias l='ls -lh'

source ~/.bashrc

Fix VIM default syntax highlighting [optional]

sudo vi /etc/vim/vimrc

uncomment the following line:

syntax on

Install i2c Python Drivers

Install the NeoPixel Driver as follows

sudo apt-get install build-essential python-dev git scons swig

sudo pip3 install --upgrade setuptools

sudo pip3 install rpi_ws281x

cd rpi_ws281x


cd python

sudo python install

cd examples/

sudo python

Step 2: Supplies Needed

5V Power Supply


Microchip MCP3008

Momentary Tactile Tact Push Button Switch [x5]


Logarithmic Slide Potentiometer

WS2812B Individually Addressable RGB LED Strip [x4]

Thin Plexi Glass Sheet

Frosted Spray Paint

Step 3: 3D Print the Controller Panel

Using the .x3g files included in the "3D Print/" folder print the main control panel cover, which will house the slider, buttons, LED and 7 Segment display

Step 4: Building the Lamp

Build Wood Frame

I've built a wooden frame for the LED strips to be enclosed in and painted it black.

Paint Plexi Glass

With some frosted spray paint, paint the glass so that it defuses the light from the strips.

Mount Strips

Using simple tape and the stickiness of the backside of the LED strips, mount the 4 strips to the wooden base

Step 5: Mount Buttons

Mount the buttons and the yellow LED, I've used hot glue to hold the buttons and LED in place.

Step 6: Mount Chip on the Slider

Following the provided schematic, solder the chip wiring in place and connect to the logarithmic slider, glue the chip with solder connections to the back of the slider.

Step 7: Wiring the Components

Use the following Schematic to connect all the components to have the lamp work properly.

Step 8: Wire Panel

Connect all wiring to the components glued on the panel to connect to the raspberrypi.

Step 9: Wire Pi

Finally attach the PiZero to the back board of the LED wooden case with tape or glue and then connect the wiring according the provided schematic.

Step 10: Mount Panel

Fasten the control panel on the bottom of the LED case.

Step 11: Apply Plexi Glass

Attach cut and painted plexi glass to the LED case with screws

Step 12: Mount on the Wall

Step 13: Finished!

Set pi user crontab

Enter the following line for a minute by minute crontab

$ crontab -e

0 3 * * * python /home/pi/SolarBar/ > /dev/null 2>&1

@reboot python /home/pi/SolarBar/ > /dev/null 2>&1

@reboot python /home/pi/SolarBar/ > /dev/null 2>&1

@reboot python /home/pi/SolarBar/ > /dev/null 2>&1

Set root user crontab (this library requires root access) Set "on reboot" to run the candle python script forever

$ sudo su

$ crontab -e

@reboot python /home/pi/SolarBar/ > /dev/null 2>&1