Thursday, 13 November 2014

New alerter

While I was rummaging around the cheaper end of Ebay (as one does), I found a 1280 by 1024 LCD monitor for only £25. And it does HDMI!

I thought about the little three inch screen I currently have my alerts on, and I thought, this is what I need.

It arrived today, and I have it in action now.

To use it, I set the framebuffer


And the HDMI mode

The information displayed comes from my external temperature sensor, my mail server, and the Pi's clock.

I'm using Imagemagick to create the bmp file with the information, Then I convert that to a framebuffer format using ffmpeg. I have no idea why I needed to do that, but I couldn't see how to make Imagemagick create framebuffer formats. Then I copy the file to /dev/fb0.


The alerts thing goes yellow if it's looking bad, and red if it's very bad. Red means that a server is definitely playing up, and needs to be checked out.


  1. I see that the monitor has speakers.. colours are good, but would beeps be helpful as well? I wonder if you can make the Pi connected to it play Chopin..

  2. Actually, I've been thinking of using a voice synthesiser to speak the alerts when they get more than a couple of hundred. But there's downsides to that idea ...

    But I have interspersed the info display, with a view from a webcam over the front gate, except that is suppressed at night, using a program that calculates the times of sunset and sunrise.

    Because I can :-)