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Make your own Trophy

Written by in Build, TroPi - Build on .

Using the trophy lid add on, we can turn our Raspberry Pi into a glowing trophy to show everyone how amazing you are at building blinky monuments!

This tutorial will help you turn your Raspberry Pi into a glowing Trophy.

You will need:

  • One TroPi Trophy kit, which contains:
    • 1 x TroPi add on board
    • 8 x M2.5 by 6mm nylon posts
    • 4 x M2.5 black nylon screws
    • 4 x M2.5 black nylon nuts
    • 1 x black perspex TroPi trophy mount
    • 1 x TroPi trophy plate
  • A Raspberry Pi Zero or Zero WH
  • An SD card with Raspbian (or your favourite OS)
  • A small Phillips head screwdriver
  • A dremel (or similar) to carve onto the perspex

Add the TroPi to the Raspberry Pi.

1) Take four of the posts and the four screws and attach them to the Raspberry Pi so the posts are facing upwards and the nuts are on the back of the Pi.

2) Take the TroPi board and place it over the 40 pins on the Raspberry Pi so that the four posts are lined up with the holes on the TroPi.

3) Screw the remaining four spacers into the corners of the TroPi.

4) Using the four M2.5 screws, screw the black perspex mount into place on the stand offs.


Designing your Trophy Plate

Inside the TroPi kit there is a clear perspex trophy plate which fits into the slot in the black perspex mounting plate. This is the place for you to begin your masterpiece and create a trophy design which will be lit up by the LEDs.

Start by peeling the protective film off both sides of the perspex:



The LEDs in the TroPi will pick up any cut or scratch on the perspex and glow in that colour, so we need to cut a design into the clear perspex board.

Using a Dremel to cut a design

By taking a good old fashioned Dremel, we can cut any freehand design we like into the Trophy plate. Tim is a big fan of his cat Moo, so decided to build a monument to the Greatest Cat on Earth (TM).

Tim took the perspex plate and drew a picture of his beloved Moo freehand straight onto the perspex using a routing tip.


For an artiste of Tim's caliber, this is easy, but for us mere mortals sketching or printing your design onto a piece of paper and then blu-tacking it to the back of the plate gives a nice way of guiding your dremel strokes.

Download the DWG outline here, add your own design using CAD (QCAD, Autodesk etc.) and then print it out ready to use. Once you've printed out the design, apply 4 small pieces of blu-tak to the corners and apply some pressure.


Once your design is secured, run the Dremel over each of the lines in the design with a little bit of pressure to scratch the plastic.

Then take off your paper guide (if using one) and insert the side with the tab into the gap in the black mount.

Setting up the software

It would be really cool to set up this Raspberry Pi so that as soon as it's turned on, the Trophy glows with all the colours of the rainbow. For this we need to first grab a pre-written script from GitHub and then set up the script to run on boot.

1) Plug in and power on your Raspberry Pi Zero connecting it to a screen, keyboard and mouse. (You may want to remove the clear perspex plate so you can wiggle the Pi about to get the cables attached).

2) Open a terminal session and type:

git clone https://github.com/piborg/tropi

This will clone the GitHub TroPi repository to a local folder called "tropi".

3) We should then test that the script works on our TroPi by firstly navigating into the TroPi folder:

cd tropi

Then running the colourwave.py script by typing:

python colourwave.py

At this point, all the LEDs on the TroPi should light up and slowly change colour...

4) Now we need to get that script to start as soon as the Pi boots up. For this we can use Gnome Schedule.

In the terminal window type:

sudo apt-get install gnome-schedule

5) Click on the Raspberry Pi menu button in the top left of the screen and go to"System Tools" and then "Scheduled Tasks".

6) Select "New" and then "Add a task that launches recurrently".

7) Add "TroPi" as the Description, and for Command enter the following:

sudo python3 /home/pi/tropi/colourwave.py

Make sure the second part of this command is the full and exact location of the script on your Pi.

Also select "Default Behaviour" and "Basic" should have "At reboot". Click "Apply".


8) Reboot your Pi by typing in the terminal:

sudo reboot

or by clicking on the Raspberry Pi menu and clicking "Shutdown" and then "Reboot"

9) Your Pi should reboot and automatically start the colourwave.py script.

Display your Trophy with pride!

You're done! Place the perspex plate back in the slot (if you removed it for cabling). You can take your Pi and pop it on the mantle piece and show the world how amazing your cat is (or whatever it is you happen to be celebrating!).


Last update: Nov 20, 2018

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