Prayer Times Display using Raspberry Pi

In the previous post, I showed how to make a Raspberry Pi powered Prayer times display using PiTFT. In this post I will show how to make a Raspberry Pi powered Prayer times display using a TV or a monitor as not everyone has PiTFT display.

This project is based on article by Jamie Jackson “Raspberry Pi PiTFT Weather Station” and “Turn your Raspberry Pi into an Azaan/Prayer clock”. You can refer to those for more information. I am just an integrator who puts works of other people together according to my requirement.

Disclaimer: Since the Islamic date and prayer times are based upon calculations, it is very well possible that it may differ from the actual date based on moon sighting. Also, the prayer time can vary from the actual prayer time of the location.

Prayer display monitor

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Prayer Times Display using Raspberry Pi and PiTFT

For so long I have wanted a mini display to go with my many Raspberry Pis and recently I got the PiTFT 3.5inch to go with the older Raspberry Pis I have and was searching for projects. I landed upon a project “Raspberry Pi PiTFT Weather Station” by Jamie Jackson and started implementing it. After using the weather display for few days, I did not find it much useful as maybe I am not that much into weather. At the same time when I was searching for projects for the PiTFT, I was also searching for ways to sound alarm at the 5 daily prayer times. This is when it clicked me to use the PiTFT to display prayer times. Since the timing for the 5 daily prayer changes every day and changes from location to location, I referred to “Turn your Raspberry Pi into an Azaan/Prayer clock” for the code. In this article, I will show you the procedure how I completed this project. There is lots of room for improvement in this project but I am limited to the knowledge I have of programming. For more information, you can refer to the links above.


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Snake Camera with Raspberry Pi

I love to quote this every time I write an article about Raspberry Pi camera. “Even with the best of camera hardware, we are still slave to its features. Thanks to the raspberry pi camera, we will make a camera do whatever our heart desires.” So I have done it again. The inspiration for the novel use of the camera this time was not so fancy. I had an issue with the toilet leakage and we called the plumber. The plumber was trying very hard to see behind the toilet using his phone flash light but there was not much space. I thought I should help him with my Raspberry Pi camera but the whole unit including the Raspberry Pi is big enough for it to go through to the back. I searched on the Internet for longer ribbon cables and I found one which was 1 meter in length. I procured it and made it into a snake camera. The technical name for a snake camera is borescope. In this article, I will not be giving all the configurations of the borescope but I will guide you to the right resources. As I always say “I am not an innovator, I am an Integrator”, so I will guide you to the resources of the innovators.Raspberry Pi Snake Camera Borescope Continue reading

Web Controlled Mobile Home Surveillance

This project is very close to my heart as since I was a child, I used to play with electronics. I used to open them up and desired that one day I would be able to understand it and make things like those. I remember making a torch light when I was a little child but since I didn’t know much about switches, my mother remembers that the torch remained on throughout the night until the battery drained away. I was born to be an engineer but when I graduated from engineering, I learnt nothing. Now 10 years after completing my engineering, I got inspired Aragon style “Become whom you are born to be” and I started to reignite my passion for electronics. I put all my expertise of electronics and robotics which I DIDN’T learn in college and came up with this Arduino and Rapberry Pi powered Web Controlled Home surveillance rover. I have burnt a lot of cash on procuring the components as many were not locally available and little less than equivalent amount on the shipping.10498567_699067163464425_3428803516225232023_o Continue reading

Wearable Camera with Raspberry Pi

Here I go, I quote it again “Even with the best of camera hardware, we are still slave to its features. Thanks to the raspberry pi camera, we will make a camera do whatever our heart desires.” Recently my friend got a kayak and we have been going out into the sea and the only thing which has been missing in our adventures was a wearable camera to record our adventures. My friend was interested in buying a GoPro and I thought why not make one using Raspberry Pi. The shortcoming with a Pi is the short camera cable which would mean that the whole unit has to be head mounted. So I searched for a longer cable and to my surprise, cables as long as 1m were available. I ordered one of the those and started building the wearable camera. The camera can also be used as an Action camera as it is 90fps capable but the resolution will be limited to 640×480. In this article, I will not be giving all the configurations of the camera but I will guide you to the right resources. As I always say “I am not an innovator, I am an Integrator”, so I will guide you to the resources of the innovators.wearable camera Continue reading

Shooting Slow Motion Videos using Raspberry Pi Camera

There was a time when I said “Even with the best of camera hardware, we are still slave to its features. Thanks to the raspberry pi camera, we will make a camera do whatever our heart desires.” This quote has been proven more true by the Team at Broadcom who released new camera modes for Raspberry Pi camera. One of the new modes is the ability to shoot videos at 90 fps albeit at a lower resolution. Just look around you, even with the best of hardware on Flagship smartphones and most of the high end DSLRs, there is no option to capture 90fps. Even Peter Jackson was able to shoot The Hobbit at just 60 fps HFR (although that was Full HD or maybe even higher). The point here is that now we have the capability to shoot videos in High frame rates but it is of no use as our eyes cannot perceive the differences with the higher frame rates. The way we can utilise the higher frame rates is for slowing it down for cool slow motion effects. The reason I thought of writing this article is because I thought achieving slow motion using Raspberry Pi would be difficult as it would involve capturing the video at 90 fps in H264 format, converting it to MP4 at the same fps and then slowing it down to run at 30fps. After trying it myself, I found out that it can be done pretty easily.

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Power Saving Tips for Raspberry Pi

Since the time I got my Raspberry Pi camera, I have been so impressed with its versatility that I have done almost all experiments that can be done with it. The thing which impressed me the most was making time lapse videos. As I made more and more Time Lapse videos, I was limited by the time I could do it as I was powering the Pi via battery banks as the setup was at remote locations. This caused me to research more ways by which I could maximize the time a Pi is ON on limited battery capacity. The first thing I did was take a battery which had a solar panel on it so that it could charge in sunlight at the same time as deliver power to the Pi. This did increase the Pi run time but it was still not enough. Following are the tips I can give for increasing the run time of the Pi based on my journey. Also, the various run times under various situations are documented in this post.

Raspberry Pi on Battery Uptime Compilation Continue reading

Raspberry Pi on Battery Uptime Compilation

One of the main reasons why the Raspberry Pi is so popular these days is because of the size. The Raspberry Pi is so powerful in its size that desktops were required to do those tasks some 10 years back. The small size gives portability to the Pi and that is what drives us to find new applications for it. The major factor in hindering the portability of the Pi is the power supply. Since the Pi is driven by a 5V supply which is obtained from USB chargers connected to mains, the Pi cannot be truly mobile. In order to take it mobile, people are using it with Power banks and batteries. There are few people on the Internet who have posted the current drawn by the Pi under different circumstances and which could be helpful but it doesn’t give an estimate of how much a Pi will run on a particular batteries with a particular project. In this post I will try to compile the run time of Raspberry Pi  running under different circumstances using Power Banks. Although I am an Electronics engineer but I don’t work on Electronics, so I will not concentrate on current drawn but rather run time in hours. Continue reading

Build your own Cisco Terminal Server with Raspberry Pi

I have been working in Computer networking for more than 8 years now and the biggest fear I still harbor is losing access to a router by misconfiguration. During my first stint with Service Provider networks, losing access to a router or switch would mean running to the Data Centre and taking console to a router and revert the changes and this because we didn’t have console servers in our Data Centre. Our Data centre was just across the NOC so it would take less than a minute to reach the equipments. During my second stint, the Data centre was the largest in India and going to the Data Centre would take minimum of 15 minutes from the NOC. Although we had a management network connecting all networked equipments, this did not help when a router or switch was malfunctioning and the only option left was taking console. My third stint with Service Provider network had no option of running to the router as many of the PoPs were international. Few of the larger PoPs had Terminal Servers but not all had this. A question would run through anyones mind as to why someone would not provision a console server on a remote site? The primary reason is the cost. The second reason is that it does not make business sense to have a console server for a couple of routers. Continue reading