Raspberries-on-a-String is a new take on the classic cups-on-a-string communication form. This project was conceived when my desk was being moved a row or two away from some friends at work. We joked that we should set up cups-on-a-string to stay in touch while we were so very far away from each other but around that same time I had seen some cool displays on Adafruit and had a few Raspberry Pis sitting around. The idea became to put a Raspberry Pi (cup) on each end and connect them with an Ethernet cable (string) so it was very clear that the two were connected. Then figure out how and what we’d communicate back and forth.

After I thought of a cool way of packaging the communication device, I was off. The combination of the Pimeroni Unicorn Hat HD 16x16 LED matrix and the Pimeroni Button Shim allowed me to pretty cleanly pack signaling (buttons) with display (matrix). What resulted was each device having 5 buttons: the first 4 would send a message to the connected device to display a different animation and the 5th would allow you to reset your own device back to the twinkling stars default. The other 3 displays are a rainbow confetti-like fluorescence, a ghost that floats away, and cool-guy sunglasses that drop to the bottom. A short guide to setting this up on your own Pis can be found on the GitHub page below.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to embed the video below, so there’s only a low resolution gif. You should be able to view a video here.