Making a YouTube counter with NO knowledge
Embarking on the adventure of creating a clock that displays my YouTube and Twitch subscriber counts was initially overwhelming, especially as a beginner. However, I’ll break down the process step by step, making it easy for you to understand and follow along.
The Secret Weapon:
Problem Solving Diving into complex problems can be intimidating, but problem-solving is my secret weapon. By breaking down the challenge into smaller, solvable components, I can work my way towards a successful project. Solving one problem at a time eventually leads me home to my finished clock.
Defining the Features The first problem I needed to solve was deciding on the clock’s features. I wanted it to connect to the internet, display the time accurately, show my YouTube channel subscriber count, my Twitch channel follower count, and my Twitch subscriber count, indicating any changes. These features set the project’s goals.
Choosing the Hardware To bring my clock to life, I needed specific hardware components. I required a controller, a display, a power supply, and a case. For the controller, options like the ESP8266 and ESP32 worked well. They can be programmed using the Arduino IDE and have the necessary libraries to drive my chosen display.
Tackling Power Consumption Power consumption was a significant challenge, especially when using LEDs. With careful planning and adjustments like reducing display brightness, I could manage power consumption effectively. Remember, practicality is key when selecting a power supply.
Gathering the Necessary Tools Before building the clock prototype, I gathered the tools I needed: a breadboard, ESP32 dev kit, jumper wires, soldering iron, programming tools, CAD software for designing the case, and a 3D printer to create the case.
Programming My Controller If you’re not an experienced programmer, don’t worry. I found examples and tutorials on YouTube and GitHub to guide me through setting up my controller. For Wi-Fi connectivity, I considered using a Wi-Fi manager to make changing network credentials more flexible.
Keeping Accurate Time The ESP8266 and ESP32 don’t have built-in real-time clocks. To maintain accurate time, I used Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers to synchronize my clock. The “ezTime” library simplified this process and allowed me to display time in my preferred format.
Interacting with YouTube and Twitch Both YouTube and Twitch provide APIs that allow me to access data like subscriber and follower counts. I used libraries and examples to communicate with these APIs and retrieve the data I needed. With my credentials and coding skills, I could get the necessary information.
Displaying Data on the LEDs To showcase my subscriber counts on the NeoPixel display, I used the Adafruit NeoPixel and Matrix libraries. These libraries made it easy to display text and numbers on the LED matrix. Once I connected everything, I could start seeing my subscriber counts on the LED array.
Creating a Unique Enclosure To make my clock aesthetically pleasing, I designed a custom enclosure. Using a 3D printer, I printed a diffuser that enhanced the appearance of the LED matrix. I considered colour changes and diffusion to make my clock look appealing.
Assembly and Completion Assembling my project was the final step. I connected the ESP32 Dev Kit, added PCB standoffs, and secured the display. I powered it up, and my YouTube and Twitch subscriber count clock was ready to hang on my studio wall.
Conclusion: Building a clock that displays my YouTube and Twitch subscriber counts initially seemed like a complex challenge. However, with the right tools, resources, and a step-by-step approach, it became an achievable project, even for me as a beginner. The key was breaking the task into manageable parts and tackling each one systematically. This clock not only serves a functional purpose but also stands as a testament to my problem-solving and DIY skills. If you’re interested in more projects and how to use the tools mentioned here, consider subscribing for more illuminating guides.