Why I built a bangin’ Wall Street stock and crypto price scroller

And how you can too

(Turn up the volume)

Why

The first time I stepped foot inside of my undergraduate business building, I noticed the flashing strip of green and red numbers in the lobby. I was not sure what those numbers were or what the percentages meant. All I knew was that important and powerful people cared about them, and I wanted to know more.

As months went by studying in that building, I would find myself gazing up at the stock scroller for motivation. I wanted to do what the stocks do: move and grow. Having that mindset propelled me through college.

Once I graduated, I fell into a deep demotivational rut. Without the constant symbolic energy emanating from the scrolling stocks, I found myself withering away.

I needed to have my own personal stock scroller at home to keep me going. I couldn’t find any viable stock scrollers on traditional e-commerce sites. The few that I found had outdated LED screens that couldn’t display stock logos with the 4K “pop” that I desperately needed. So I teamed up with my brother to build our own.

How

We built the software from scratch. We ended up creating a modern web application that runs from the browser of any computer. Here is a link to the GitHub with all the software and instructions to build your own.

We wanted to build this on a Raspberry Pi to move and display anywhere as a decoration. Here are the items we used:

Notable Challenges

  • Working on a tiny screen — We didn’t have a micro-HDMI cable to connect the Raspberry Pi to a normal monitor. After we were blinded by trying to write code/troubleshoot on the 4 inch screen, we had to get creative…
(Using the iPhone’s Screen Mirroring…)
  • Finding the right APIs — There’s a lot of different free crypto and stock APIs out there, but none of them had enough daily refreshes to fit our needs. We finally found two that had essentially unlimited daily calls (more information on GitHub).
  • Getting the “marquee scroll” to work while appending the crypto/stock data horizontally — It took a lot of tinkering to get the data displayed how we wanted. Using jQuery’s animate and append functions, combined with using CSS containers that had flex display properties, auto width, and relative positioning eventually got the job done (more information on GitHub in the js/script.js and css/style.css files).

Thanks for reading!

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