If you aren’t familiar with Hi5, it’s a web app that lets you give your teammates virtual Hi-Fives (aka Kudos) in a really fun and easy way. I recently published a longer writeup about Hi5 and my experience implementing it with my team.
One of the things I wanted to accomplish with Hi5 was to have a wallboard in my office that could display the Hi5’s publicly and easily. After some trial and error I came up with a solution that works great, and this tutorial will walk you through how to set it up. You could simply plug in an extra PC and load up the wallboard page – but if you don’t have an extra PC laying around and/or you want a more elegant solution (i.e. mount a TV on the wall to show the stream) this tutorial will guide you through setting up a Raspberry Pi to run the wallboard.
- Hi5 account (basic level is free and feature-rich)
- Raspberry Pi 3 or higher, with an appropriate power supply
- Raspberry Pi Case with Fan and Heatsinks – this is critical (explanation below)
- Spare TV or monitor, whatever you have laying around, and whatever cable/adapter you might need to plug it into the HDMI out port of the Raspberry Pi
- MicroSD card and the correct adapter/USB reader to mount it to your computer
Prepare the Image
The first thing you need to do is flash an image to your micro SD card. I prefer using Etcher to write images.
- Download the latest Chilipie Kiosk image file from https://github.com/futurice/chilipie-kiosk/releases and uncompress the file. You should end up with a file named something similar to chilipie-kiosk-2.0.0.img (if you need software to expand .gz files, I can recommend 7zip).
- Open up Etcher and click “Select image” – in the popup, navigate to and select the .img file from step 1.
- Now insert your SD card into your computer/card reader. Etcher should recognize the drive and mount it – after which your screen should look something like this:
- Finally, click “Flash” and Etcher will write the image to your SD card.
- When Etcher is done, remove the SD card and set it aside.
Prep the Raspberry Pi
As noted above in the requirements list, you’ll want to put your Raspberry Pi in a case that has a fan and heatsinks. The reason for this is that the Chromium (the Raspberry Pi browser) is fairly resource intensive and the Hi5 wallboard page itself is also resource intensive (Hi5 support has acknowledged this issue and informed me they are working on a more lightweight solution for the wallboard page). When I tried to run the wallboard on a Raspberry Pi with just heatsinks and no fan, it overheated after running the wallboard for a few minutes. When I switched to a case with fan, I no longer received any overheating warnings. Do yourself the favor and get the case with the fan.
If you buy the case I link in the requirements, it will come with instructions for “low speed” and “high speed” fan connections. I used the low speed option and that seems to be enough to keep my Raspberry pi cool.
Follow the instructions that came with your case to connect the fan, mount the heatsinks, and mount the Raspberry Pi into the case.
Boot Up the Raspberry Pi and Configure the Image
- If you haven’t already done so, insert the freshly flashed SD card into the Raspberry Pi.
- Plug the Raspberry Pi into your monitor/tv and power, which will start the boot process.
- Once the Chilipie Kiosk image boots up, it should take you to an instruction screen that will give you details on how to use the kiosk. The TL;DR of the instruction page is: whatever URL you navigate to, Chilipie will continue to show that URL until you change it – even if you reboot the Raspberry Pi. Nice!
- Before we can really do anything, though, we need to be connected to the internet. If you are connected via the ethernet port and using DHCP, you shouldn’t have to do anything and can proceed to step 5. Otherwise:
- Press Ctrl + Alt + F2 to get into the Raspbian config utility.
- Navigate through the menu and follow the instructions to connect to your wired/Wifi network.
- When you are finished, press Ctrl + Alt + F1 to return back to the browser.
- To set this as our wallboard, we need to get our public TV stream URL. On your regular computer (not the Raspberry Pi) log into Hi5 and navigate to the Wall of Fame page.
- On the bottom-right of the Wall of Fame page, click the TV icon to access the TV view.
- On the bottom of the TV view there is a button labeled “Public Stream Link” – click this button and the public stream URL will be copied into your clipboard. You’ll need to paste this somewhere (in Notepad, for example) to read the URL so you can type it into your Raspberry Pi.
- Now back at the Raspberry Pi, press F11 to exit fullscreen mode.
- If you don’t have a mouse connected, you can press Ctrl + L to focus on the address bar, otherwise click into the address bar and now type in the public stream URL you copied in step 6. It should be something like this: https://app.get5.io/#/watch?tv=1a2bc
- Press Enter and after a minute or so the Hi5 TV page should load up on the Raspberry Pi.
- At this point you can press F11 again to go back into fullscreen mode and you are done. The Raspberry Pi will always display your TV Wallboard page until you either navigate away from it or change the address like we did in step 8.
Optional Additional Configuration
You can configure some additional settings in the Crontab to do things like:
- Reboot the Raspberry Pi every night
- Reload the page once per hour
- Turn off the display at night
To do any of those items, follow the steps outlined in the Chilipie Instructions using crontab. It’s fairly easy to do. I set the first two options, so my Raspberry Pi will reload the wallboard once per hour, and reboot every night.