Just a quick build, adapted from some older ones…
For cars parked down the street/hill from the front of the house, waiting in line, they can see most of the lights, but can’t see our long Info Matrix under the carport, which has tune-to, song, and show information.
Kim asked me to put some kind of a Tune-To sign on the hill in that corner of the yard. She wanted me to use an old matrix from a couple of years ago, but it is very low resolution and frankly wouldn’t look good.
I had a small P10 matrix made from 3 panels that I used last year for show information in my office. The panels for it were recycled from another project I never completed.
This was replaced this year by a small touch-screen that runs off a Raspberry Pi with some custom software I wrote. It’s nothing fancy, but is easier to read at a glance than the scrolling P10 Matrix.
So- I decided to use it for the new Tune-To sign. I’m driving it using a Panel Pi-Hat attached to the back, with the whole thing wrapped in clear sign vinyl, exactly the same as our P10 columns, which have held up really-really well. I fastened it to stakes and rigged up a PSU for it, and here it is:
I’m just using a variation of my Info Matrix code to drive it. It’s autonomous and just plays the same text over and over again once powered up. Here are the FPP scripts I’m using on Github.
Well, it didn’t make it through two days of rain. Here’s the problem:
While I wrapped the panels and controller in sign vinyl similarly to the P10 Columns, the columns are partially protected under the roof, but more-importantly, they have drain channels in the bottom to allow any water that does get into them to drain out. I failed to provide any kind of drain holes at the bottom of this little tune-to sign. Water somehow got in and accumulated in the bottom (about 1/2″). This didn’t affect the controller or two of the three panels, but one of the panels stopped working. It was actually the older of the three, and a one-off with GRB signaling and color that didn’t quite match the other two. It took me about an hour to:
- Un-stake and drain out the water.
- Peel off the plastic.
- Dry the good panels out. (Towel and heat gun.)
- Replace the bad panel.
- Re-wrap. This time adding drain holes to the bottom of the vinyl!
- Update the controller.
So, it’s “good as new” again, and should survive rain and snow now. 😊