Turn Any HDMI or DVI Display into an Adafruit IO Dashboard with the Ruiz Brothers' Latest Guide

Programmed in the Arduino IDE, this clever Raspberry Pi Pico W project converts a monitor into an IoT dashboard.

If you're looking for a low-cost low-power way to turn any DVI or HDMI display into a dashboard for Internet of Things (IoT) sensors connected to the Adafruit IO platform, the Ruiz Brothers have just what you need — in the form of a tutorial on using the Pi CowBell DVI Output add-on with a 3D-printed VESA mount to do exactly that.

"We designed and 3D printed a mounting plate to house the [Adafruit] Proto Doubler [PiCowbell]," the Ruiz Brothers explain of their project guide. "We secured it to the back of our 7 inch HDMI display which has VESA compatible mounting holes. Using this Pico DVI AIO [All-In-One] project, we're able to display data from both of our sensor nodes on our HDMI monitor. This is a great way to display sensor data on any HDMI TV especially for workshops or educational office spaces."

Aside from the display, the project centres around the Raspberry Pi Pico W — a low-cost RP2040-based development board which includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios but that, as standard, lacks a video output. The Adafruit Pi CowBell DVI Output provides that missing feature in the form of an uncertified "DVI" mini-HDMI socket, compatible with any DVI or HDMI display.

The two boards are connected together using an Adafruit Proto Double PiCowbell, which is then mounted to a 3D-printable plate to adapt it for the VESA-standard mounting points available on the back of many TVs and monitors — including the 7" unit at the heart of the Ruiz Brothers' build. An Arduino program running on the Raspberry Pi Pico connects the board to the network and the Adafruit IO platform, turning four sensor feeds into readouts on an icon-based dashboard.

The full guide, including source code and STL files for printing the mount, is available on the Adafruit Learn platform.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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