Times Square in Your Living Room! Turn Your Sense Hat LED Into a News Ticker.

Introduction: Times Square in Your Living Room! Turn Your Sense Hat LED Into a News Ticker.

Bring Times Square home with streaming news headlines straight from the New York Times.

In a few easy steps you can turn your Sense Hat into an RSS news feed!

This tutorial will feature one of the capabilities of the Sense Hat: A built in command that scrolls messages across the 8x8 LED screen.

Step 1: Gather Components

The following components are used for this project:

Raspberry Pi 3

Sense Hat

Sense Hat case New! See-through enclosure protects your LED screen without obstructing visibility.

HDMI Cable




Looking for a great introduction to Raspberry Pi? Try the Zagros Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit which has everything you need to begin discovering Raspberry Pi.

Step 2: Update and Upgrade

Make sure your system is updated and upgraded with the latest version by running the following commands in the Terminal. (Click the computer icon on the Raspberry Pi menu bar)

1.) Type this command and press enter.

sudo apt-get update

2.) Type this command and press enter.

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Step 3: Install Feedparser Module

Type into Terminal:

sudo pip install feedparser

You can check to make sure your feedparser module is installed by typing:

pip list

Step 4: Open Python Editor.

1.) Press Menu button.

2.) Navigate to Programming >> Python-3 (IDLE).

You have now opened the Python Shell.

3.) Click File.

4.) Click New File.

Step 5: Import Modules for Your Project.

Type or copy into editor:

import feedparser

from sense_hat import SenseHat

Step 6: Set Variables.

sense = SenseHat()

d = feedparser.parse("http://rss.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/World.xml")

Step 7: Print Title Test.

Test your path by printing the RSS feed title to the Shell:

print d.feed.title

This should print NYT > World to the Shell.

If it doesn't, make sure the link is typed exactly as it is in the last step.

Step 8: Display Streaming News!

Loop through the latest New York Times World headlines:

for post in d.entries:

print post.title


To run your program, press F5.

That was easy!

There are many RSS feeds available to you. You can display jokes, fun facts, weather, or create your own unique messages for your family and friends.

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    5 years ago

    Looks like a very interesting project. Thanks for sharing this. But can you provide some introduction about what this actually does. And the purpose of the components used in this project, especially the Sense HAT. The photo of Times Square doesn't elude to what this will do. From your title, I was expecting some text of headlines to scroll across that hdmi screen. Where the text is long enough to read the whole sentence, just as if you were really downtown in NYC [I grew up there so I have a fondness for these things]. But now I think it scrolls along the LED matrix on the Sense HAT. A simple youtube video of the project showing everything really helps too.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thank for your comments Ragooman! That is correct, this tutorial shows off the scroll feature of the LED matrix on the Sense HAT. Per your feedback we added some clarity to the introduction. We appreciate your input and will be adding a video of our news ticker soon.