Raspberry Pi Adds Magic to Harry Potter Newspaper

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Whitney Knitter)

If you’re a maker with a soft spot for Harry Potter, you’re sure to enjoy this beautiful creation put together by developer Whitney Knitter. Using our favorite SBC, the Raspberry Pi, she’s created a Harry Potter-styled newspaper PCB. The project was made entirely from scratch by Knitter and, in our opinion, is absolutely gorgeous to look at.

The PCB is in the shape of a rectangle. Printed on the top layer is a collage of made-up articles that Knitter created just for the project. These articles are placed around the board leaving space for a small eInk panel and a Raspberry Pi Zero on the back. The end result is a PCB that has changing pictures much like you’ll find in the Harry Potter universe.

If you aren’t familiar with the franchise, photographs in the magical world don’t capture still images but rather move about as if a video snapshot of time were captured. In this case, the eInk panel changes the photograph on the newspaper giving a similar effect. It’s also worth noting that this is a black and white eInk panel which more strongly resembles a newspaper.

Knitter built the project around a Raspberry Pi Zero W with mounting holes on the custom PCB to hold it in place. The same can be said for an Adafruit 2.9-inch flexible eInk display. This little eInk screen has a resolution of 296 x 128px. You can find details about the PCB schematic, which was designed with KiCad, over on the official project page at Hackster.

The Raspberry Pi Zero W is running Raspberry Pi OS. It’s responsible for operating the e-Ink display by telling it when to change the image and to what. Knitter programmed a custom script to handle these functions using Python. An in-depth look at the software used in this project is also available on the project page.

If you want to get a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project, check out the guide put together by Knitter over at Hackster and be sure to follow her for more cool projects as well as any future updates to this one.

Ash Hill
Contributing Writer

Ash Hill is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.