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Raspberry Pi model A+ had to come

Not long ago Raspberry Pi model B+ was announced. It had several great improvements in layout and GPIO. Other things like processor, RAM capacity remained same. So not long ago Raspberry Pi model A+ was announced and now you can get one for $20. As name implies, improvements are similar to model B+ just it remains without Ethernet and with less USB. Among improvements we can see a micro SD card slot instead of SD. This gives more compact look and feel. Video and audio now are integrated in to single 3.5mm jack. GPIO port also was expanded from 26 to 40-pin header. Camera and display interfaces remain same. Also there are convenient mounting holes. Its dimensions shrunk to 65 x 56 mm. So if you don’t need Ethernet connectivity but still want Linux powered machine for battery powered projects, Raspberry Pi model A++ is a great choice. Continue reading

How to build motion activated Raspberry Pi camera

Talk2bruce was curious about cats behavior when he’s not at home. So he started motion activated camera project based on Raspberry Pi. Setup consist of standard elements for such projects. Raspberry Pi already has camera module that is capable of making great pictures. USB WiFi stick enables it to be connected to web. Other components were connected to RasPi GPIO header. These are PIR motion module, low battery indicator, and switch. Python software keeps track of things. First of all it monitors motion sensor. Once motion is detected, camera takes picture or video which is automatically uploaded to Dropbox cloud storage. This way pictures can be seen from anywhere and form any smart device. Also there is a LED illuminated power button, which is also monitored by Python program. Once it detects that its off, software is schut down allowing to safely unplug power supply. Another LED is used to indicate power. Camera and all components are housed in to nice laser cut plywood enclosure. Continue reading

How to build mediabox with Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a great small computer module that can serve as prototyping platform, small computer or as media player. If you wish your Raspberry Pi to be used for media applications, then you need to set up Raspbmc interface. MrLeeh shares his built of steampunk style media box. He made it quite user friendly where it can be controlled via any IR remote, through web interface, smartphone using app. Media can be loaded through FTP or Samba. Mainly all components are used out of box including Raspberry Pi model B, 7” Display set, USB hub where IR remote USB dongle, USB soundcard and WLAN stick are attached. Special attention was paid to media box appearance. It was painted with brass spray, decorated with brass elements such as gears and corners. Continue reading

Raspberry Pi power supply with backup solution

Raspberry Pi basically runs on Linux which takes time to start once powered. If you have designed some hardware solution which controls valuable things, you probably don’t want it to fail on power failures. Like for desktop computers there UPS used, same technique can be applied to Raspbbery Pi. The only difference is scale of things. Juice4halt shares Raspberry backup power solution. He uses couple supercapacitors for energy storage. Since supercaps are low voltage like 2.7V there is step-up/down circuit needed to take care of charging and draining power. He made whole power board that sits on top of Raspberry Pi. It carries two independent Ds/Ds converters where on is used for charging supercaprs in step-down mode and powering board from them through step-up converter. Another DC/Dc converter is used as front end step-down converter which converts input voltage in to 5.1V. This is convenient for using any wall DC adapter. With two 25F 2.7V supercaps and 375mA constant current draw on Raspberry Pi it is capable to supply for about 61second. So it can withstand short power failures. If… Continue reading

RPi board for learning Python

Python is popular programming language used in Raspberry Pi. It is easy, intuitive and well documented. With Raspberry Pi hardware you can access physical pins and do lots of crazy things. Anyway like any new thing you need to learn it. TO make thing much easier, jechavarria introduced Rpi board which is dedicated for learning Python on Raspberry Pi. Rpi board has four 10mm diffused LEDs – each different color. Each is controlled through Mosfet transistor key. Then there are couple push buttons that are lined with LEDs and in the middle there is a buzzer which is also driven through transistor key. On top of it Rpi board carries 2×16 LCD. Additionally you can see I2C buss connector for future extensions and. Couple green LEDs on a side are just for indicating 3V and 5V power supply. Rpi board mounts on top of Raspberry Pi model B (or A) and should fit on B+ model. He also provides few Python code examples to get started with. Continue reading

Setting up WEB server on Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a Linux machine, so it meant to be web accessible. One thing is to connect to internet from it and another is to run web server on it. Depending on what WWW features you want there are many options to do so. But probably most common way of serving websites is with PHP and MySQL. To get all of this working, there are several preparations required on Raspberry Pi. Drcurzon have shared his experience on instructable. He thought that Raspberry Pi is low power device, so it can be turned on all time and serve as small webserver for non heavy loads. After initial RasPi setup he installed all component including Apache with PHP then MySQL and FTP for easy access and update web contents. phpMyAdmin for easy database managing. Each component requires user and password setups that are explained in instructable. If you follow all steps you should have your webserver up and running. Continue reading