Mike Metral‘s tutorial over at Medium.com grew out of his friend’s super-fan media set-up for viewing March Madness. The tutorial shows you how to build your own sports ticker using a raspberry pi and an LED sign!
I have a good friend named Eric. Eric is the definition of a sports fanatic. His love for sports goes so deep, that he has completely revamped his living room into a mini sports bar equipped with 5 TV’s that are constantly broadcasting a multitude of games across many sports leagues. His knowledge of sports is even more impressive than his setup — we once tested it by having him run through all of the NCAA March Madness champions from memory since 1979 and he only got stumped on 2 of them, earning him the nickname “The Sports Almanac…”
So the next day, I asked myself “how hard can building a sports ticker really be?” I knew that at the very least I wanted a few key pieces:
1.“Free” sporting information for the lowest barriers to entry in this project. This was an adventure in of itself best described in a programmatic sports stat blog post.
2. An LED sign for the novelty of displaying the game information.
3. And a Raspberry Pi for ultimate portability, minimal occupancy of space in a living room, and bonus brownie points in the homebrew / hacktivist community.
After perusing Google, I came across an interesting blog: SF Muni LED Sign at Home with Raspberry Pi — Bingo! Just what I was looking for. This blog described how one guy’s need for instant SF Muni information in his home led him to work through the pain points of writing to an LED sign and ultimately, open sourcing his code. There was just one “problem” for me in all of this, his code was all written in Ruby — I’m a Python guy. If you aren’t familiar with this proverbial coding war, feel free to start here.