E-ink display for Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a powerful but small Linux based computer board that gained its popularity in the hobby world. It has everything you need to build a computer except display. Since there are no DSI based display modules available, people try to solve this problem in several ways. They use HDMI based displays, composite video, serial monitors. Probably most of small projects rely on GPIO where they plug in their custom boards with various types of LCDs. This seems to be OK, but running such displays usually require additional driver/software to run and it occupies I/O pins, that can be used for other purposes. While we are waiting for official Raspberry Pi DSI display we have to deal with those workarounds. The choice is really big. You can find may types and sizes of displays driven through GPIO. Percheron Electronics Ltd are running kickstarter campaign where they offer to give a shot with their offered e-ink display solution. It comes on a module board that plugs in to Pi’s GPIO. Display resolution is 264×176. The main advantage of using such… 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

Raspberry Pi based traffic monitor

When you live in a city, then you know that traffic is one of the biggest problems to face with. If you want to get from point A to B you can find yourself struggling when finding optimal route where traffic is minimal. Luckily there are websites that provide such information. But how to get it while you are driving? J3stream decided to build traffic monitor by using Raspberry Pi and LCD. He purchases an LCD for Raspberry Pi on eBay. Since data is displayed on website, he used cheap WiFi USB dongle which connects to hotspot. If there is no WiFi available, data can be routed from cell phone which is configured as connection point. He also constructed a suction based mechanical attachment to windshield and connected car power adapter to power whole thing. Continue reading

Multipurpose Raspberry Pi driven VFD display

There are so many things you would like to check once you enter your room. This can be weather, time, or even Bitcoin price. Lostengineer was working on something similar. He attachedc VFD display to Raspberry Pi which connects to internet with USB wireless adapter. He wanted that display would activate itself once he enters the room, so he connected PIR motion sensor. If nobody is home, display enters sleep mode. The display he had accepts serial data, what makes it even easier to interface. Operation is controlled by Python script which pulls required and sends to display. Project is still in progress, but it is promised to be open source. Continue reading

Raspberry Pi picture frame with motion detection

Photo frames may be a great way of displaying images. Instead of static photos, they can cycle through bunch of them that keeps your attention for again and again. If it updates photos automatically from sources like Flickr then its better. Samuel got a Raspberry Pi from his girlfriend and so wanted to make something for her. So he decided that active photo frame should be nice. So he build pretty fun device which keeps updating photos from Instagram and Flickr. Another great feature is motion detection, which turns LCD once somebody closes in. Photo frame parts include USB based WiFi adapter which allows connecting RasPi to the Internet. A simple passive PIR sensor serves as motion detector. It is attached to Raspberry Pi GPIO. Photos are updated by using Python and APIs that sends requests for new images. Final touches like original frame completes it. Continue reading

Raspberry Pi based car MP3 player

Raspberry Pi can serve as great base for many cool projects. Since it has audio and video output it makes no problem to build a media player. Having this in mind sentcool built pretty cool car audio player. His setup uses cheap LCD display with video input – all you need is to connect it to RasPi using RCA cable. For audio he also used ready made audio amplifier. After initial tests he found out that car produces significant noise to audio signal. So he added noise filter. He was thinking about touch screen controls, but figured out that it would increase overall cost. Instead he hooked several buttons to GPIO. The rest work was to put it al together in to wooden panel that would fit nicely in to cars front panel. From the first glance it may look that it need more polishing, but it works like a charm. Since this player proved itself pretty well, he’s thinking about second version of player. Continue reading