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Home Buddy: Network Ad Blocker & Weather Station

Hi Folks!

Aren’t you fed up with web tracking and “personalized” ads ? Well… I am, so a few months ago, I decided to act. Fortunately, some people (who probably felt the same as me), hard coded a brilliant software to eradicate ads (thumbs up to Pi-hole). I won’t go into details regarding Pi-hole ins and outs as the subject has already been thoroughly documented by others. Nonetheless I will provide you with the links I used to set it up.

As it felt really cool to have an add blocker running on my home network, I decided to build a proper casing for the Pi and add a few extra features using push buttons and an E-Paper display. The first button connects to the Pi-hole API and sends server stats to the monitor. The second button connects to the OpenWeatherMap API and displays forecasts of user-specified locations. If your wondering “Why bother !”, well please give me credit for an easy to use tool that summarizes relevant information at the push of a button. The third and last button is used for a rather convenient feature, a power on / off switch (saving the need to SSH into the Pi via another device). When plugged in, the Pi will boot up by itself but will shutdown when the button is pressed. Pushing the button once again will power up the Pi. Please also note that the system will refresh itself periodically and display the network status.

Enough talking lets get cracking !

For this project you will need the following parts :

1 Raspberry Pi board. I used the Pi Zero WH for convenience.
1 micro-USB power lead.
1 E-Paper 1.54 inch black and white display. I got mine here.
3 normally open push buttons. I got some here.
A set of M2.5 brass standoffs. I purchased a kit on Amazon here.
1 transparent acrylic plexiglass (2 mm thick) to protect the E-Paper display.
1 black acrylic sheet (5 mm thick) for the Pi Box lid.
1 plywood sheet of 5 mm thick.
6 female to female jumper wires. I bought some on Adafruit website.”

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