This project makes it possible to keep an eye on the giant mass of nuclear fusion in our solar system with the Raspberry Pi Pico while staying indoors. It lays out a clean display of data, going as far as providing an estimation for what time sunrise and sunset will occur.
Keeping track of solar bodies is nothing new for Dr2mod. We previously covered his Pico-powered solar system tracker which uses a Pimoroni Display Pack to illustrate a graphic representation of each planet’s current location in our solar system. Dr2mod’s work is also known to stretch beyond the stars, reaching into other areas like AI with this automated flappy bird project.
Dr2mod’s Raspberry Pi Pico sun tracker uses a Li-Po battery and is completely portable. This battery poweres both the Pico and the e-paper display. Because the project relies on an e-paper display, power consumption is low as the screen refreshes periodically rather than constantly. According to Dr2mod, the sun’s location is calculated using the user’s longitude and latitude data.
The hardware is housed inside of a custom, 3D-printed shell and also includes a DS3231 Precision RTX module, Waveshare e-Paper 3.7, Li-Po 2000mAh 103450 battery, and a Pimoroni LiPo SHIM. It’s possible to recreate this project by swapping a few components for similar parts.
Dr2mod has shared the code in its current state to GitHub for anyone interested in how the software side comes together. This project is a work in progress, updates are planned for the future. At the moment, the tracker displays the suns location in a chart along with its relativity to the moon and Earth. When everything is ready, Dr2mod plans to release the 3D-printable case files on his official Thingiverse page.