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Pimoroni make a range of LED matrix displays with Pi Pico W’s built in – previously we have used the large scale Pimoroni Galatic Unicorn and added a series of scripts on GitHub to allow it to scroll MQTT messages. Pimoroni have just released two new versions, the Cosmic Unicorn at 32 x 32 pixels and the Stellar Unicorn at 16 x 16 pixels, both of these are also pefect for scrolling information and as such we have updated our scripts and provided laser cut templates, firstly for the Stellar.

The code is set up around our THE: Time, Headlines and Envivronmental Information stream, this links in feeds from our own MQTT server, providing details on the time, news, weather and earthquake information. You can choose to leave this in place (good for a first test) or add your own MQTT feed. The code uses different coloured backgrounds for different text in feeds – ie News, Weather, Time, you can edit these accordingly to match your own feed. Our feed updates every couple of minutes, for a constant stream of information.

To set it all, all you need do it copy all the files to your Stellar Unicon using Thonny – edit to add your Wifi and MQTT broker credentials.

Headover to our GitHub Repository to download the files.

The Case

Three files are provided to laser cut:

  1. The laser cut front as pictured with Etching (THE: Time, Headlines, Environmental)
  2. The laser cut front, minus text
  3. Front cut for the clear acrylic

The work has been created as part of work at the Connected Environments Group at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, the GitHub page has its own discussion forum if you would like to ask any questions or request changes to the code.

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