Broken Black Magic Mirror

Every now and then I go through the process of making sure that all the devices in the house are up-to-date and running the latest software. It takes a while, especially some of the more esoteric devices I have, but by the end of it I am happy in the knowledge that everything should be working on the latest standards.

I recently did this with the two Raspberry Pis that I have in the house. One is in the loft and it runs a simple ADS-B receiver sending data to an aggregation site where I am able to track aircraft. The other Pi is in the dining room and was running some Magic Mirror software which took a long time to sort out. I wrote some communications about it. It was good fun doing that coding and trying to get it working how I wanted.

The update I performed on the Pi in the dining room failed. I don’t know why. When I performed a restart the Pi gave me its equivalent of the Blue Screen Of Death and then asked which version of OS I would like to install. Somehow the update screwed up the Pi enough for it to decide to reinstall its OS. This wiped out all the MagicMirror programming I had completed and now I’m lost.

Do I go through the process of the MM again? Do I try to search for a back-up [which I can’t remember doing] and then just install that again or should I start from scratch? Maybe I should try to find something else for the Pi to do? The MM project was fun but not something that I really used a lot. The TV in the dining room is rarely turned on. Maybe I’ll try and find another data aggregation program to install. I don’t know. I just know I want to do something.

Globe Master

This morning I was watching my MagicMirror and up popped a RRR callsign on the aircraft near me section. Well, it wasn’t near me but it was close because there aren’t really any aircraft out there at the moment as the world has gone to shit. I checked with 360 Radar and it looked as though this RAF Cargo flight would pass quite close. So I got the camera and headed out to the garden to see what I could get.


Here’s a cropped view, which looks a little better.

RAF C17 passing over Kent
RAF C17 passing over Kent

Also, because the weather’s been nice here’s a photo of one of the plants in the garden. It was taken by son #1 and is a pretty good shot.


Done For Now – A Better Image

I forgot that I can output the Magic Mirror to a browser as long as I open that IP within the config file. So I can have on my TV using that built in browser, but it looks terrible. I can also run it on my PC in full screen mode and it looks pretty awesome. I wonder if someone has written a screensaver for it??

Magic Mirror HQ
Magic Mirror HQ

To see what the different modules are visit the previous communication.

Done – For Now

I think this is it for the next while. I have done some final messing around and think I’ve got a format I like. It’s a 47″ display, so quite large and looks lovely. I’ve added a remote plug control for the Magic Mirror Pi so I can turn off an on easier than just unplugging it.

Magic Mirror - Resting Set Up
Magic Mirror – Resting Set Up

So, finally [for now], the modules are:

top_left – current date and time.

top_left – current weather followed by weather forecast.

bottom_left – state of lights in the house.

top_right – what music is playing in the house.

top_right aircraft near to the house listed in order of ascending distance with direction [assumes ADS-B transmitter and sending lat/long details].

top_center – Conway’s Game Of Life cellular automata.

center – picture of view of Earth from the sun-side. Animates over a period of a few minutes.

bottom_center – new headlines from chosen sources.

Overall, I’m pleased. The next thing would be to add a rotating module that switches between different views or maybe even a gesture controller so that you could swipe through different screens to see what you want. Whether I will get to these is another matter.

I Like It – I Think

I have been playing around with the modules on screen in my Magic Mirror display and so far I have settled on this layout:

Nice MagicMirror Set Up
Nice MagicMirror Set Up

On the left there are “things happening now”. On the right is my list of local aircraft and the Sonos display although that’s not visible here. In the centre I have news at the bottom and a Game Of Life simulation at the top. It means the picture animates at 1 frame per second and once it reaches an alternating state it restarts.

I think I’m going to look into having the modules rotate through a sequence in each area. This will mean a more changing display and maybe some moon-phase and tide modules!