Inspiration

2020 has changed a lot of things for many people, including myself. This year is when I started learning more about personal investments and I thought it would be interesting to build a small device that could help me see the trends in the stocks that I'm watching. I found that I didn't really like how standard online watchlists take up so much screen space if I wanted to keep them open all day, so I thought that having a completely separate piece of hardware to replace it would be ideal. I also found that other watchlists wouldn't give me enough real-time information in terms of notifications. From my third-party site I have my watchlist on, I would often get notifications like "Company Z was in the news more than usual today" or "Prices for Company Y increased by X% today" after the market closed. Often I find these notifications to be too late to be beneficial because I wanted more short-term information on trends. When I get the information as it is occurring I can at least think about either buying or selling at that time.

What it does

STOCKnote takes in real-time data from Yahoo Finance and reports key information on an OLED display. The display specifically details the stock ticker, price, if there has been a large change in the stock price in the past 60 iterations, if the price is increasing or decreasing, and if the price is accelerating or decelerating in value over time. There are also LEDs that correspond to the data on the display to make the information more eye-catching. The blue LED corresponds to a large change in stock price, green to increasing price and red to decreasing price. The frequency of blinking corresponds to the acceleration/deceleration of change in price where fast blinks show acceleration and slow show deceleration. There is also a button that allows you to skip through the different stocks you are watching.

How I built it

I physically built STOCKnote with a Raspberry Pi 4, an OLED display, some LEDs, a button and a bit of soldering. On the software side, I programmed the script in Python with libraries for Yahoo Finance data scraping and Raspberry Pi GPIO pins.

Accomplishments that I am proud of

I learned more about writing programs in Python, as I had never really written something in this language that used function definitions and classes.

What I learned

I learned how to program the GPIO pins on a Raspberry Pi and how to print to an OLED display. I also learn more about different libraries in Python and how to use it for more than plotting data or data processing.

What's next for STOCKnote

I hope to continue this project and build a better chassis for it so that it can comfortably sit on my desk. I also want to learn more about Python's data processing with threading, since I think it will run a lot faster with something like that.

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