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3 Weird and Wonderful Raspberry Pi Innovations

The Raspberry Pi is one of the most acclaimed inventions of our days – a credit card sized computer with the potential to improve our lives in an incredible variety of ways, and educate a whole new generation of hardware and software engineers. In honor of the recent Pi Day (March 14th, or 3/14) and the recent launch of Raspberry Pi 2, here are five of the most interesting (and sometimes weird) innovations we could find that were built using the microcomputer of the future. 1. Picrowave by Nathan Broadbent According to his website, Made by Nathan, the web and mobile developer Nathan Broadbent first thought of a smarter microwave after reading a post on Reddit about how food should come with QR codes that tells the microwave what to do with them. He built a better microwave using the Raspberry Pi, with better sounds and a redesigned keypad, automatically updated clock – with voice commands, a bar code scanner, and the possibility to control it remotely using a smartphone. Continue reading

Comparing GPIO speed between Raspberry Pi 1 and 2

Raspberry Pi version 2 has changed playing rules between Linux boards. With raspberry Pi 2 here came faster CPU with four cores, RAM jumped to 1GB, so naturally we would expect faster speeds everywhere including GPIO. Joonas have ran several benchmarks to show the increase in numerical values, so we could make conclusions. He run several common tests with available software libraries and GPIO access methods. Results actually look very promising as for almost all methods speed increased twice and more. For instance Python Rpi.GPIO based raw speed increased from 70kHz to 243kHz. Shell command driven IO became also 2.5 times faster. So this is great news for everyone who was struggling to the limits. For more info and benchmark tests go to GitHub. Continue reading

Another successful implementation of Raspberry Pi cellular phone

There are many implementations of DIY cell phones based on Arduino and Raspberry Pi, so if you want something different than market can offer, you can start working on tour own version. Tyler lately introduced pretty slim version of RasPi phone called tyfone. Here raspberry Pi interfaces FONA – cellular module and 3.5” touch LCD display. Feature list extends with RTC and 5MP camera which enables taking HD photos. Raspberry Pi interfaces LCD module via SPI interface so, there are plenty of GPIO left for other periphery. FONA talks to Raspberry Pi via UART. Since Pi is a Linux driven board it easily houses other standard interfaces like WiFi. By default it comes with USB, and other RasPi interfaces. Typhone is powered with 1200mah LiPo battery which can be charged from USB. 5V boost circuit ensures right voltage to power the phone. Phone software runs a custom python soft called TYOS which gives easy way to make calls, display info like battery level, time, cell connection status, send SMS, etc. Continue reading

Off grid weather station powered by Raspberry Pi

Raspberry is great board for building internet of things stuff. It is powerful and low power to be used with small solar panel anywhere in the field. PiJuice have been working on great solar powered weather station project. It is basically a fusion of two great projects – PiJuice which takes care of solar power management and AirPi, which carries tons of sensors. The problem he run in to was the sensor board, which connects directly to Pi header, but for outside use it is better to keep electronics sealed. So he build his own version of sensor board based on same AirPi. He used Raspberry Pi A+ for its low power consumption and for remote connection hes chosen EFCom Pro GPRS/GSM module which can send text directly to cell phone. Since most of sensors hace analog interface he used MCP3008 ADC converter which can take up to 8 analog sensors. So far there are only three sensors used – LDR, gas sensor (TGS2600) and LM35 temperature sensor. SO the list can be expanded later. Raspberry Pi communicates with GSM… Continue reading

Web based Temperature and Humidity Monitor

This project is based on raspberry Pi to monitor the temperature and humidity of a room. The project uses Python scripts to automate things including running the web server. For the project all you need is the Pi, An SD-Card (higher the class the better), a Temperature and Humidity sensor which are easily available online and obviously a power supply. A LAMP based web server has been used so as to display the data on the graph. the project uses a ready-made programming interface for the GPIO pins and therefore there won’t be much issues while programming . The thing that could take time in the project is The MySQL server which seems a little tough to learn in the beginning but basic tasks can be achieved easily. Due to a timing issue, the sensor is communicated using a C code instead of a Python code. In the end you could modify your php scripts to get data from multiple rooms on the web server. A simple project which will help you get started with the PI and introduce you… Continue reading

Raspberry Pi based RC car

There have been lot of products developed out of a Raspberry Pi ranging from Internet of things to FM transmitter. This particular product aims at controlling a commercially available RC car. Although the code along with the explanation on this project is available on the project website, I suggest you try out writing your own code if you are a beginner. This project also has implemented image processing in the initial stages to find out the correct frequency on which your RC car will work. Basically every car will have a different frequency and an available option is to brute force to find the correct radio frequency. If the radio receiver is a complex one, you would have no option but to use an oscilloscope. The entire code has been written in python which can be clone from github and is customizable to be compatible with your car. Initially, the program will find the correct frequency by using image processing to determine at which frequency the car moved. The next step will be to determine the PWM or frequency values… Continue reading