Building that thing I just built, but cheaper.
I recognize that my last post about a DIY Status Light the project had a total cost over $100 (and that wasn’t evening including SD cards, power supply, shipping & taxes). And that high cost wasn’t for core functionality, it was for aesthetics.
I wondered if I over did it, and how much it would cost and what we be involved, to build a status light for as cheap as possible. I quickly found the answer (from the store I frequent):
Building this out, you’ll notice in the images on this post, I’m using a breadboard instead of the Squid. I did this because I had all the parts of the Squid already from separate kits just not assembled. Note everything in the pictures used is the exact same as the Squid, the Squids just pre-assembled and the cheapest way to get exactly what is needed and nothing more.
Because there is no big led matrix panel, I found a normal phone charger or laptop can be used to power the Pi and light instead of a proper >2 amp power supply. This saved about $5-10.
This is a solder-less approach, so there’s some extra cost in getting the Zero WH instead of just the Zero W and the pre-wired RGB LED, if you know how to solder and have the equipment and can shop around for cheaper parts or cheaper shipping, you may further shave a few bucks off.Continue reading A Cheaper DIY Status Light