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Install Instructions for PiClock (Clock Only)

This version of the instructions is for setting up just the clock itself, ignoring all the other options. It also assumes you have some OS already setup. So this is useful for setting up the clock on a desktop OS.

Prerequisites

The minium requirements for a PiClock is pretty simple

  • Python 2.7+ (but not 3)
  • Python Qt4, known as PyQt4
  • git (as an alternative to git, you can pull the zip file from git hub (download button on the right side of the github project) then unzip it onto your system )

Theses are available under Windows, Linux, and OSX OS's.

How to get these installed on your choice of system I'll leave as an excersise for the reader.

Get the PiClock software

git clone https://github.com/n0bel/PiClock.git

Alternatively, you can download a zip file of the github project.

https://github.com/n0bel/PiClock/archive/master.zip, then unzip it.

Configure the PiClock api keys

The first is to set API keys for DarkSky and Google Maps. These are both free, unless you have large volume. The PiClock usage is well below the maximums imposed by the no cost api keys.

DarkSky api keys

DarkSky api keys are created at this link: https://darksky.net/dev

Google Maps API key

A Google Maps api key is required. (Requires credit card which won't be charged unless usage is great.)

An intro to Google static maps api keys, and a link to creating your account and ApiKeys: https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/maps-static/intro You'll require a google user and password. It'll also require a credit card. The credit card should not be charged, because my reading of https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/pricing/sheet/ the $200.00 credit will apply, and your charges incurred will be for 31 map pulls per month will be $0.62 , if you reboot daily. You'll be required to create a "project" (maybe PiClock for a project name?) You need to then activate the key.

Protect your API keys. You'd be surprised how many pastebin's are out there with valid API keys, because of people not being careful. If you post your keys somewhere, your usage will skyrocket, and your bill as well. Google has the ability to add referer, device and ip requirements on your api key. It can also allow you to limit an api key to specific applications only (static-maps) in this case. Also you might consider disabling all the other APIs on your project dashboard. Under the Billing section of things you can set up budgets and alerts. (Set to like $1.00)

Now that you have your api keys...

cd PiClock
cd Clock
cp ApiKeys-example.py ApiKeys.py
[use your favorite editor] ApiKeys.py

Put your api keys in the file as indicated

#change this to your API keys
# DarkSky API key
dsapi = 'YOUR DARKSKY API KEY'
# Google Maps API key
googleapi = 'YOUR GOOGLE API KEY'

Configure your PiClock

here's were you tell PiClock where your weather should come from, and the radar map centers and markers.

cd PiClock
cd Clock
cp Config-example.py Config.py  (copy on windows)
[use your favorite editor] Config.py

This file is a python script, subject to python rules and syntax. The configuration is a set of variables, objects and arrays, set up in python syntax. The positioning of the {} and () and ',' are not arbitrary. If you're not familiar with python, use extra care not to disturb the format while changing the data.

The first thing is to change the Latitudes and Longitudes you see to yours. They occur in several places. The first one in the file is where your weather forecast comes from. The others are where your radar images are centered and where the markers appear on those images. Markers are those little red location pointers.

Run it!

cd PiClock
python PyQtPiClock.py

After a few seconds, your screen should be covered by the PiClock YAY!

There may be some output on the terminal screen as it executes. If everything works, it can be ignored. If for some reason the clock doesn't work, or maps are missing, etc the output may give a reason or reasons, which usually reference something to do with the config file (Config.py)

First Use

  • The space bar or right or left arrows will change the page.
  • F2 will start and stop the NOAA weather radio stream
  • F4 will close the clock

Updating to newer/updated versions

Since we pulled the software from github originally, it can be updated using git and github.

cd PiClock
git pull
python update.py

This will automatically update any part(s) of the software that has changed. The update.py program will then convert any config files as needed.

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