We’ve seen makers integrate hundreds of applications with various Raspberry Pi projects but not too many use the instant messaging platform Discord. So today, we’re sharing a project from Reddit user Android2771 (opens in new tab), who has created an easy way to look at the latest post of a given Discord server using a simple Pi-powered e-ink display setup.
E-ink displays are limited as far as refresh rates go but excel at providing low-power display options for projects using text and images. In addition, some of them provide multiple color options, but in this case, Android 2771 uses a small, 2.7-inch e-ink display with just black and white support. These screens are standard in e-readers but work well for homemade Pi projects like this digital calendar and can quickly adapt to a wider variety of applications using tools like PaperPi.
This project relies on a Raspberry Pi as the central controller. First, it’s responsible for checking Discord for the most recent text posts and images. Then, it processes the data into a format that fits the tiny e-ink display parameters. The result is an e-ink display that regularly updates with posts from any Discord server you like.
It doesn’t take too much hardware to recreate this project as it’s mainly just a Raspberry Pi with an e-ink screen using a network connection to retrieve the chat log data. In this project, Android2771 is using a Raspberry Pi 4, but there’s no reason an older model like a Raspberry Pi 3B+ wouldn’t work in its place. The e-ink screen used in this project is a 2.7-inch model from Waveshare, but you could use any e-ink screen, including larger ones with more color options.
In the original post, Android2771 explains that he used a custom Discord bot to interface with a local API in charge of the e-ink display output. Python Pillow (opens in new tab) was responsible for handling the image processing, turning them into black and white images with a small enough resolution to appear fully on the small e-ink screen.
Unfortunately, the code used in this project is not open source, but Android2771 left a trail for makers to follow who are interested in creating a similar system of their own. If you want to make this Raspberry Pi project yourself, check out the original thread shared to Reddit (opens in new tab) for sources, links, and plenty of details to get you started in the right direction.