Living out of Kiev, Ukraine, maker and developer Dmytro Panin has become more than crafty with the Raspberry Pi. Panin has created quite a few projects that have helped make his and the lives of other's easier while living in a period of increasing levels of uncertainty. Today we’ve got another clever creation of his to share that uses a Pico to log and help predict rolling power blackouts.
Panin explains that rolling blackouts have been going on for a few weeks now in Ukraine as part of an effort to help stabilize the power grid. He wanted to find a way to determine how long power has been out for when returning home which can also help him determine when the next blackout might be. To make things easier, he decided to use a Raspberry Pi Pico to log the events.
It keeps track of when the blackouts start by logging an entry on an e-paper display which ensures data can be seen whether or not the power is currently on. It also logs when the blackout has ended so you can see the duration of the power outage. You can see the last few blackouts on the log, not just the most recent entry to get an idea of what the schedule has been like.
The hardware is housed inside of a custom, 3D-printed shell and includes a Raspberry Pi Pico, a Waveshare e-paper display made just for the Pico and a Precision RTX module (DS3231) to help accurately track time for the project. If you wanted to recreate this project, you could use a different display but we highly recommend implementing an e-paper panel of some sort to ensure the data is accessible the event of a power outage.
The code for the project was written by Panin and written in MicroPython version 1.19.1. As with most of his other projects, this one is completely open source so anyone interested in creating it at home can get a closer look at the source code over at GitHub.
If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project or just see how it works, check out the official project page over at GitHub and check out the video of it in action over at Twitter. Be sure to follow Panin for more creations and future Pi projects.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.