DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
10/19/20 4:03 p.m.

I want to get two projects done this winter:
A in car computer like this one, as well as octoprint for the newest 3D printer when it is delivered in January.  

What Pi projects have you completed, and what ones do you really want to complete? Let's post them here to give everyone something to do inside during the long cold winter.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
10/19/20 4:47 p.m.

I managed a nifty "insult generator" back when the kids were younger and I was trying to get them interested in the Pi.  Have the parts for a weather Pi.  Last I messed with it I was trying to set up a frontend for Myth TV.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/19/20 4:49 p.m.

The GE F-63. REfitted with a modern speaker, a miniamp and a Pi4 fitted with a software EQ. The reason it uses a Pi4 is for the wifi upgrade over a Zero. It's an Airplay target so I can make it play music. When I do, the dial light lights up. It turns on and off (with a clean shutdown) by the switch on the front. Alas, the shortwave does not work.

The Majestic. 12" speaker being driven by a HiFiBerry amp off a Pi4. Airplay target, software EQ and also turns on the dial light when streaming. Contains 4TB of storage and works as a Plex streaming server for audio and video. Also used to be a Time Machine for Mac backup but that's a wobbly lash-up so I stopped. The case also contains a wifi repeater and has handy storage inside with a hinged top.

The Peerless Reproducer. Using the original speaker, another Airplay target with a miniamp and a zero.

Also, no pictures - I have a Pihole that filters my network DNS traffic and disappears ads. It also used to be a Time Machine target, but, as noted, wobbly. There's no reason one of the others couldn't be the Pihole other than the fact that I wanted it wired straight to the router for maximum performance.

The heat in my shop is a natural gas IR heater that is not vented outside. Humidity build-up is a problem in the steel building in the winter. So a Pi Zero monitors temperature and humidity and runs both the heater and an exhaust fan to maintain the correct atmosphere. It also allows me to check on the condition of the shop. It doesn't currently email me if there's a problem, that's on the to-do list.

There's another AirPlay target attached to an amp here in my office. I prefer AirPlay over Bluetooth, as you can see. Since it's attached to an amp, this just uses the headphone out jack.

Also in my office, a clone of our old webserver attached to a small portable hard drive. Mostly for reference, but the fact that I can install the full LAMP stack and storage in something I can slip in my pocket cracks me up.

I've also played with using the Pi as an interface for a no-longer-supported vinyl cutter. Had the usual Linux problems with printer drivers. I should try again.

Future projects: Use a Pi as an automated HVAC controller for a car so I can delete the pesky controls. I also have a reasonably large e-ink display, I am tempted to make a "silent display" that is more like artwork that changes at night when you're not looking. I haven't come up with the aesthetics yet. But something like a smaller version of this. I'd be more likely to put up maps than newspapers.

Honsch
Honsch New Reader
10/20/20 1:53 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

The GE F-63. REfitted with a modern speaker, a miniamp and a Pi4 fitted with a software EQ. The reason it uses a Pi4 is for the wifi upgrade over a Zero. It's an Airplay target so I can make it play music. When I do, the dial light lights up. It turns on and off (with a clean shutdown) by the switch on the front. Alas, the shortwave does not work.

That's easily solved...
SDR Kit

I prefer an ODroid-C2 for my projects, built a data acquisition digital dash for the racecar.

7" IPS touchscreen, 10Hz GPS, lap timer with delta readout, 12 channels of 12 bit A/D up to 1KHz sampling, four high power LED drivers three with PWM, 9 axis IMU with 50Hz sampling, full data logging from the Speeduino ECU, and a LoRa radio for real time two way telemetry to the pits.

We ran a first test of it at the only race of the year at Area 27 and it worked pretty well.  I need to add more error detection on the telemetry.  I have lots of plans for it but the main one for the offseason is to make a good case for the monitor that bolts to the rollcage.

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
10/20/20 5:48 a.m.

Wow Keith, those radios look awesome. And you have Pi all over the house!
I'm just learning about Pi. I am trying to find a Pi for Dummies article so I can start wrapping my head around the possibilities. I don't want to find a write up of someone's project and just copy that. I want to really understand what needs to be done and why.  
You're an inspiration.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/20/20 8:31 a.m.

DrBoost, I'd go the other way. What really cool thing do you want to exist? Do you have two things you want to talk to each other, or do you want something to be smart? Then you figure out how. The Pi itself is a real computer, it's just not running as much horsepower as a full size. As long as it's either dedicated or doesn't need massive computing power, it'll do just about anything.

Following a cookbook for someone else's project is actually a good way to learn, because there are invariably things that will go wrong and you'll learn a lot as you fix them :) There's also scope creep. For example, the basic AirPlay target is a step-by-step build, but once you start adding on things like a switch that controls a clean shutdown or turning a light on when the music is playing, you're starting to learn more about how it works. The little "weatherstation" for the shop was the most educational thing I've done so far, and the more I work with it the more ideas I have. 

Adafruit and Sparkfun have a bunch of components you can use, from displays to sensors to actuators. Browse around there and see what it triggers. I like relays - a cheap relay will let you control 120v, which means the Pi can interact with stuff that runs on mains power. Lights, fans, pumps - that logic alone opens up some possibilities. Say, the garage door opener. We can use a Pi to trigger that. Using...Bluetooth! Put a transmitter in your car and it can trigger the door when you pull up to your garage. Add switch than can tell if the door is open or closed and it can close the door if you leave it open and your car is gone. Or maybe email you. Or play a warning noise when it's about to open the door. Just keep following the rabbit hole...

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
10/20/20 8:39 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

DrBoost, I'd go the other way. What really cool thing do you want to exist? Do you have two things you want to talk to each other, or do you want something to be smart? Then you figure out how. The Pi itself is a real computer, it's just not running as much horsepower as a full size. As long as it's either dedicated or doesn't need massive computing power, it'll do just about anything.

Following a cookbook for someone else's project is actually a good way to learn, because there are invariably things that will go wrong and you'll learn a lot as you fix them :) There's also scope creep. For example, the basic AirPlay target is a step-by-step build, but once you start adding on things like a switch that controls a clean shutdown or turning a light on when the music is playing, you're starting to learn more about how it works. The little "weatherstation" for the shop was the most educational thing I've done so far, and the more I work with it the more ideas I have. 

Adafruit and Sparkfun have a bunch of components you can use, from displays to sensors to actuators. Browse around there and see what it triggers. I like relays - a cheap relay will let you control 120v, which means the Pi can interact with stuff that runs on mains power. Lights, fans, pumps - that logic alone opens up some possibilities. Say, the garage door opener. We can use a Pi to trigger that. Using...Bluetooth! Put a transmitter in your car and it can trigger the door when you pull up to your garage. Add switch than can tell if the door is open or closed and it can close the door if you leave it open and your car is gone. Or maybe email you. Or play a warning noise when it's about to open the door. Just keep following the rabbit hole...

Man, that's awesome!  I will start playing around for sure. There are ideas, but I honestly didn't know just how flexable these things are. Is there a site/book that you know of that will explain do a newb like me how they work? I think that'll spark ideas in my noggin.

 

Edit: I guess I could just google "raspberry pi for dummys" or similar and start to learn. I have a 3b already for a project that didn't end up starting. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/20/20 11:43 a.m.

Raspberrypi.org has a number of projects you can walk through. This is pretty close to a "Pi for dummies" read: https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/pathways/getting-started-with-raspberry-pi. There are a bunch of projects in there as well. They're really capable little things, just small Linux computers. Anything you can do with an Arduino you should be able to do with a Pi, and then some.

I tend to be outcome-driven :) I'll come up with an idea ("this huge console radio my mother in law dumped on me should be a big Bluetooth speaker!") and then learn what I need to get there.

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/20/20 12:35 p.m.

Instructables.com, Hackaday.com and Hackaday.io has some projects with details about how the projects were put together.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/20/20 1:27 p.m.

From the 'useful projects' department, back in Carson City I used to run an OpenSprinkler Pi as the sprinkler controller: https://opensprinkler.com/product/opensprinkler-pi/

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
10/20/20 1:48 p.m.

I've done a webserver, a Kodi, and Emulator/Arcade machine somewhat successfully.

I have tried many other things unsuccessfully.

RossD
RossD MegaDork
10/20/20 1:53 p.m.

I have fun just installing Noobs and then playing with all of the different programs you can install from the OS. 

I have everything to make an arcade machine but the time!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/20/20 2:45 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

I have tried many other things unsuccessfully.

This is an important and unavoidable part of the Pi process :)

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