Simple Remote Wake on Lan with Raspberry Pi Zero W

As part of my drive to help the planet, I am trying to use less electricity. We have a Windows machine in the lounge that acts as a Plex media server. This works very well but I realised that it was only being used at certain times of the day, usually in the evenings, meaning that it was running for hours on end unnecessarily. Therefore, the plan was to have the machine automatically turn off each night at midnight when I knew we would definitely not be using it, but what about turning it on?

If I was at home … Read the rest

Untethering a Raspberry Pico from your Computer

In my series on the PiHut Maker Advent Calendar, I posed a couple of questions:

  1. how do you move from a wobbly breadboard to something more permanent?
  2. How do you run code without having the Pico tethered to a laptop running Thonny?

I have, at least, now worked out how you do the latter of these two and I will explain how below.

In order to get a script to run on start-up you need to save a file called “” to your Pico device. To do that I have included steps for this using Thonny. Firstly, make sure … Read the rest

PiHut’s Maker Advent Calendar – Day Twelve Project

The final project and this one feels a little bit Christmasy. Making use of the led light strip from the last box we opened yesterday I have created a slightly extended video showing not only the project itself but also a longer and silent(ish) demo at the end.

Take a look at the video below:

That’s it for 2022 and the very enjoyable PiHut Maker Advent Calendar. Would I do it again in 2023? Certainly I would providing the componts were going to be different which might be hard to achieve. What I will do is look to make use … Read the rest

PiHut’s Maker Advent Calendar – Day Twelve

I seem to have got my days wrong and am posting this a day early but who cares! It’s nearly Christmas and you want to see what’s in the last box don’t you?

Where here it is the last opening video which the thumbnail conveniently gives away what’s in the contents. Take a look anyway as it’s pretty cool.

Day twelve included the following:

  • 1x Custom 50cm WS2812 RGB LED strip with jumper wire ends

That’s the last box done and just the final project to go. I have greatly enjoyed both the box itself, which contained some well thought out contents, … Read the rest

PiHut’s Maker Advent Calendar – Day Eleven Project

SPOILER ALERT! I have never been so disappointed during this opening of the PiHut Maker Advent Calendar when I couldn’t get the OLED screen to work.

Watch the very quick video below and then read on for more thoughts.

I have no idea why this didn’t work. I tried several things to try and coax it in to life stripping it right back to basics. The project includes a switch and the potentiometer but I removed all that just to try and get the screen to work. However, no matter what I did I just always ended up with this … Read the rest

PiHut’s Maker Advent Calendar – Day Eleven

Here we go with the penultimate box. I’d wondered all along whether the boxes would include this as a component. What is it? Have a look at the video below and then read the rest underneath.

A neat little OLED display which I can imagine using for displaying the current temperature using the sensor from the day eight box. Tomorrow I will run up the project and see how well it performs.

Day eleven included the following:

  • 1x Mini OLED display with pre-soldered headers
  • 4x jumper wires
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PiHut’s Maker Advent Calendar – Day Ten Project

Getting perilously close to the end of the advent set now with just a couple more boxes to open. Meanwhile we have the day ten project to savour. This one makes of the infrared beam sensors that were in yesterday’s box.

Watch today’s video to see it all hangs together:

As I say i the video these IR sensors have to be reasonably close together which means the projects that they can be used in are limited. You couldn’t use them to detect when someone walks through a hallway, for example. However, they do give you an idea of what … Read the rest

PiHut’s Maker Advent Calendar – Day Ten

Another box opening where I didn’t know what it was when it was sat in my hand. Watch the video below and see if you recognise what it is. Answer below (and, actually, in the video).

Day ten included the following:

  • 1x Custom IR break beam sensors with jumper wire ends
  • 1x 10k resistor
  • 4x Jumper wires
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PiHut’s Maker Advent Calendar – Day Nine Project

Another day, another project to dip in to. In day nine’s box was a ball tilt switch which, as the name implies, has a ball bearing in it that when rolled to the botton completes the circuit sending a notification to the Pico. You can imagine using this in a number of scenarios such as detecting when an object has been lifted.

Watch today’s video to see how it works:

This one was incredibly simple to wire up and in use which is what we like.… Read the rest