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Welcome to the website of Stewart Watkiss.

I’m a Data Centre Manager, a STEM Ambassador, an author, a first aider, an assistant Cub Scout Leader and most importantly a husband and father of two children.

You can find out a bit more about Stewart Watkiss.
Any comments or suggestions contact me using my email form.

Click here to visit my blog

Latest Blog Entry

Raspberry Pi controlled Christmas Lighting including NeoPixels and RGB Matrix LED display

This video explains about the Christmas lighting display I have at my house and how it’s controlled using 3 Raspberry Pi computers. Two of these are automated, but one does require manual intervention to turn it on and off.

There are outdoor Christmas lights including Christmas Tree lights and light-up animals using LED lighting. These are run off mains electricity so needed a safe method to turn them on and off. I achieved this using the Energenie remote control sockets with a Pi-mote. See more about this in my Raspberry Pi home automation project

Christmas tree with decorations and Raspberry Pi controlled lights

There are also NeoPixels / addressable RGB LEDs which are controlled using my NeoPixel GUI application.
See video of the Raspberry Pi controlled RGB PixelStrip / NeoPixel LEDs and the Raspberry Pi NeoPixel LED GUI application.

Finally there is an RGB matrix LED display which I have programmed to play animations which are stored as a series of png files.
See more details on the video Raspberry Pi RGB LED Matrix display.

The animation shown is an animated advent calendar for the 1st of December. This is created manually by creating the individual frames in LibreOffice draw and then exporting them as individual PNG files. I also plan to create some more animations using Blender 2.9 using the 2D animation mode.
I’ve also created a video tutorial on 2D animation in Blender 2.8 and 2.9.

These are just some of the projects I’ve done using a Raspberry Pi.
You can find more on the PenguinTutor project page.

View more Blog Entries


UK days out, children and holiday information is also available on the Days Out Diary web site
Linux, LPI and the Quiz / Test Program posts are also available on the Penguin Tutor website
First Aid Information, first aid games and first aid practice test / quiz entries are also available on the First Aid Quiz Web site