I recently found myself with a spare Raspberry Pi and I came across this awesome project – to turn your Pi in to a mirror with digital display. Super futuristic and very useful I thought.
My Magic Mirror is comprised of just a few components:
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, case and power supply. £43.03
An old flat screen monitor from eBay. £56.99
A sheet of pre cut two way acrylic mirror. £55
Wood to make frame from B&Q. £10
The most labour intensive part of the project was making the wooden frame (which my Dad expertly executed). We made the frame to fit the monitor I brought from eBay. I removed the plastic casing from the monitor and sat it in to the wooden frame.
Installing the Magic Mirror 2 software is very simple. I did it all through a terminal on my MacBook Pro using SSH.
I also set Magic Mirror 2 to auto start on boot using PM2.
I did have a few teething problems. The monitor I purchased didn’t have an HDMI port so I needed a converter to VGA. I foolishly brought the first one I found online. Big mistake. Turns out they are not all built to the same standard. The one I brought used too much power from the Pi and so I got the lightening bolt symbol a lot – which signifying the Pi was low on power. The problem persisted for quite a while and even affected the WiFi adapter which completely stopped working at one point! (See UPDATE below)
After a wipe, re install and a little bit of Googling I found another VGA adapter from the PiHut… which (touch wood) has given no such problems.
The Pi Hut HDMI to VGA Adapter
This was a great project… and an ongoing one! The Magic Mirror software is endlessly customisable with new modules and new layouts to download and try. Moving forwards I would love to write a module myself.
I’d recommend this project to anyone at any Pi skill level. As always I learnt a lot on the way – coding, JAVA, Unix and even about carpentry!
The VGA issue never really sorted it’s self out so I brought a new monitor WITH an HDMI port (ASUS VE VE228H). Fingers (and toes) crossed, it’s currently stable. I wouldn’t recommend using VGA with a Raspberry Pi 3.
My shopping list…
Two Way Acrylic Mirror
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
iBetter®Raspberry Pi 3 Case
NorthPada Power Supply