A Raspberry Pie Based Camera

It’s a Raspberry Pie based Point and Shoot Camera, built around a Adafruit PiTFT touchscreen. If you have a WiFi controller for the pie, you can use it to upload the photos and the videos to the cloud like on dropbox which can automatically sync photos to various device such as your phone and the pc. It might not be portable and might also require a little set of wires to operate with, but it’s must make.  The advantage is you can customize what features you want in your camera and develop the kernel accordingly.

Along with the camera and the screen, you also need a pie preferably the Model B version since it’s easier to set up due to availability of Ethernet and two USB ports. An added WiFi adaptor of a GSM shield is and added advantage. A battery pack is also needed if you want to make it completely portable. The display is an Adafruit piTFT display which can be easily interfaced to the pie, the steps of which you can find on the Adafruit website. Overall, a must must try project if you have a Raspberry pie or are willing to learn it, since in a single project it will teach you how to use WiFi, touch screen as well as display along with the camera.

Use your spare Raspberry Pi to measure soil moisture

One thing about successful plant growing it to keep proper moisture level of soil. This is even more important when plant is pot where it has no way reach water source. To avoid drying out or over-watering – a simple electronics can help. Of course this can be achieved with simple 555 timer based buzzer sensor. But why bother if there is a spare Raspberry Pi. Jeremy Blythe shared his build where his raspberry Pi successfully monitors his plants.

raspi_moisture_meter

He used soil moisture sensor brick which gives analog signal. Raspberry Pi cannot read analog, so there is an external ADC (MCP3008) used which interfaces via SPI. Jeremy put external circuit on a sticky breadboard which stuck nicely to plexiglass. On top of RasPi he placed Adafruit RGB negative 16×2 LCD with keypad. As all good things in Raspberry Pi this one is also controlled with help of Python script. With his project he also wanted to show various ways of displaying sensor information. So he covered LCD, console, and even remote with ControlMyPi service.

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.

raspberry_pi_vfd

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.

Raspberry Pi Compute module

Raspberry Pi has been very popular small computer board. It’s initial layout is quite flexible that allows it to use as standalone computer or embedded device with controllable I/Os. Probably standard Raspberry Pi is more oriented to be small single board computer, where you can connect peripherals like keyboard, mouse, display, Ethernet. The I/O part seemed to be left on a side. Eventually extension boards started to appear to fill the need of functionality like ADC, DAC, more digital I/Os. Eventually you end up stacking stuff on top like Arduino. But we like elegant things don’t we? So Raspberry Pi team has been working on different Raspberry Pi concept – Compute module. This is smaller module which have same BCM2835 processor, same RAM. Instead of SD flash there is a 4Gbyte flash memory. Practically this is it. Module is traced on DDR2 SODIMM sized PCB which actually fits this connector.

It has no external connectors like Ethernet, USB or audio but there are way more GPIOs. Module can be snapped in to any custom made I/O board that can have more controllable I/Os or interfaces like found on standard Raspberry Pi. So definitely module will have to go along with custom I/O board. It will give even more freedom to community. They’ve also taken care of example I/O board to get started.