I set up my Raspberry Pi to listen for Amazon Dash Button presses recently.
Raspberry Pis are excellent devices for monitoring Dash button presses because they use very little electricity, so can be left running.
I spent some time getting it working so I’m adding the steps I took here.
1. The easiest way to get a Dash button’s MAC address:
Follow the steps in this post to find your Dash button’s MAC address.
2. Install the required dependencies:
# Update your software sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade # Install pydhcplib sudo apt-get install python-pip sudo pip install pydhcplib
3. Copy this script to your Raspberry Pi
The easiest way is to use wget:
Here’s the script:
4. Replace the script’s MAC address with yours
# Replace "50:f4:de:f1:3b:a0" with the MAC address you found in step 1 # It needs to be lowercase, with a colon after every two characters dashbuttons.register("50:f4:de:f1:3b:a0", do_something)
5. Make your Python script executable
sudo chmod +x /home/pi/dashbutton.py
7. Test the script
Your Python script should now be able to detect your Amazon Dash button presses. Test the Python script by running:
sudo python /home/pi/dashbutton.py
Press your button and you should see the message, “button has been pressed”.
8. Update the do_something function to make it do something useful
I’m using mine to track toilet roll changes. When I get down to two or less I send an email reminder.
I’m using another Dash button as a “digital habit tracker”.
I’m logging morning Meditation to a habits.txt text file on my Raspberry Pi. I’ve ordered four more to track other habits.
Analogue is so trendy.
8. Set the Python script to run on startup
sudo vim /etc/rc.local
Add the following to the end of /etc/rc.local (before exit 0
# Wait for an Internet connection # If you connect using an Ethernet cable, change 'wlan0' to 'eth0' while ! /sbin/ifconfig wlan0 | grep -q 'inet addr:[0-9]'; do sleep 3 done # Network connection now exists: run Dash listener # Change /home/pi/dashbutton.py to the path you copied the script to # Send errors to rclocal.log <-- Useful for debugging sudo /usr/bin/python /home/pi/dashbutton.py 2>&1 /home/pi/rclocal.log & # Make sure exit 0 is the last line of rclocal exit 0
9. Reboot and test your script
sudo shutdown -r now
You should have the dashbutton.py process running in the background, listening for presses.
To verify your Python script is running type:
ps wafux | grep dash
You should see something like:
root 2490 0.0 0.6 3756 2296 ? S May21 0:00 sudo /usr/bin/python /home/pi/dashbutton.py /home/pi/rclocal.log root 2499 0.0 1.8 8904 6924 ? S May21 0:00 \_ /usr/bin/python /home/pi/dashbutton.py /home/pi/rclocal.log
This means the Python script is running and listening for your presses.