Six Clicks: Insanely great Raspberry Pi devices you can build yourself

Six Clicks: Insanely great Raspberry Pi devices you can build yourself

Summary: The question isn't: "What can you do with a Raspberry Pi?" The question is: "What can't you do with a Raspberry Pi?"


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  • Raspberry Pi Home Automation

    Sure the Internet of Things is bringing us smarthomes with a variety of devices from companies such as Google's latest acquisition Nest. Or, you could do it yourself (DIY)! If a DIY approach to home automation sounds good to you, you can use a Raspberry Pi to run your home with Arduino boards to monitor and control your electronics.

    There's also a twinned pair of commercial projects called Pi-Face and Gertboard that can help you build the Raspberry Pi home automation system of your dreams.

  • Raspberry Pi Spinning Wheel

    What happens when you marry the 13th century spinning wheel with the 21st century Raspberry Pi? You get a really cool way to spin thread or yarn. You also get proof positive that you don't need to be any kind of technical expert to build nifty stuff with a Raspberry Pi.

    As the Raspberry sPIn inventor, Cyndi Minister, said, "I had ZERO programing or electrical knowledge before embarking upon this adventure." It took her longer than she thought, but at the end it worked out well for her and, as she wrote, "It makes pretty sweet yarn too!"

  • RaspBerry Pi Magic Mirror

    Did you ever think you might like to have a mirror that also worked as a display? Well, that's the idea Michael Teeuw came up with one day while shopping with his girlfriend at Macy's. The programming part of this project looks pretty simple, but the mechanics of putting it together will take a lot of work. I, for one, think that it looks pretty neat and I'm tempted to build one of my own. a

Topics: Tapping M2M: The Internet of Things, Hardware, Linux, DIY

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  • Just think how much farther it could have gone

    with an external memory socket....
    • Why?

      Personally, I think it has plenty of memory for the type of device that it is. Keep in mind the ARM 11's memory controller may be very limited as to the type memory it can support. This is a pretty old chip. Upgrading to an A9 would up the price. And sockets can be pretty expensive too. Having an external memory bus also complicates the layout and may require more ICs (cost) for buffering otherwise the lines would be floating if nothing was plugged in. Trying to keep the price in the $35 really limits your choices.

      To me the main limitation is the speed and v6 ARM instruction set. Most Linux's require v7. But even when I overclock it, it is too slow for me. But if the performance doesn't bother you then it is a very inexpensive linux board with embedded support for controlling the GPIOS. And for embedded work 700MHz is plenty of speed for bit-banging to various peripherals.
      • An expandable memory would allow it to run faster

        And with fewer I/O problems.

        In the case of the cluser, consider leaving the entire OS in memory, no I/O to flash other than the initial boot. Result, faster throughput.

        In the case of video handling, the only I/O would then be the video stream itself - no paging activity, leaving more time available for either buffering the video, adding advanced processing capability...

        In the case of using it as a system, it would run the more complex GUIs without issues - Gnome has a real problem on this unit, 512MB is barely enough for it to run... with lots of paging activity.
  • Not super computer

    It doesn't even come close to being a super computer in performance but it allows you to simulate a super computing environment with highly parallel computing.

    It is a nice system but I've lost interest as I found it a bit slow (even overclocked) and I already own a smartphone that I can program with a lot more capability. I don't use the external GPIO stuff.

    I don't think more memory than 512Mb would help all that much.
  • Pictures too big, Title too big, text too small on gallery presentations

    Using Firefox 28 on an 1080p monitor, I had to continually resize to see picture and text underneath it at the same time. Why the BIG pictures as default, why not let the person zoom in if he wants to see it more?
  • I really love the information in these articles, but...

    How many people -HATE- this multi-page, gallery, format. I wouldn't mind having this as a display option, but, honestly... I would really prefer long single-page articles, that I can scroll through, to this endless "next-page, next-page" (load, load, load)... format.

    The only reason I can see this, is for shear "web-page-count". Am I right?

    How many agree?
    Gayle Edwards
    • They fixed it

      Several months ago. It only refreshes the image. When was the last time you clicked through one?
      • Yes, it's better. But...

        I admit, I hadn't clicked through a slide show in several months because of how bad the page loads were. When I clicked through this one, I noticed right away that it wasn't a full page refresh. It's definitely improved. Still, it's obviously geared toward increasing page clicks so that they can make more money from their advertisers. I guess that's the price of keeping the site freely accessible. At least it's less obnoxious, now.
      • "When was the last time you clicked through one?"

        Try two (2) minutes ago. I was using Firefox 29.0.1 and couldn't get it to work. I am viewing and writing this from a a Chrome browser.

        What is really going on here??
    • Multi-Page Gallery Format.

      Yes, I agree, I hate this type of page formatting. Why not make it one long page?
      Professor Messer
  • Fixed what..?

    I'm sorry, I tested this several times, in different browsers, earlier today, and moments ago. And, all of them reloaded numerous page elements. Further, the numerous page-elements, linking to page-elements, linking to page-elements, also really causes issues with web-page security (scripting-control) plug-ins. So, in my opinion, the page format, and navigation, are still getting in the way of the information.
    Gayle Edwards
  • Personally Built?

    How many of these projects have you personally built? Perhaps even more relevant, do you even own a Raspberry Pi yourself? Have you ever even touched one?

    • How is this even remotely relevant?

      Beyond that, had you bothered to actually read the post you are trolling, you'd know that most of your questions were answer therein.
      • Added value

        Ok smart guy, I'm game. I've read the entire post, again. Now you can show me, with a direct quote, exactly where SJVN says that he has even attempted any of these "insanely great projects". Even one. Or, anywhere that he says that he has ever even laid his hands on a Raspberry Pi, and thus has any knowledge of what he is writing about, and can add any value or any useful information with this article.

        Anything at all, directly from the article. Take your time, I'm not in a hurry.

  • No added value

    First, good job completely ignoring the central point, that this criticism is ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT.
    That this was the central point was not hidden, but stated quite clearly.
    The entire point of this article was projects that author thought were cool, a/k/a "insanely great". The author does not need to have built ANY of them to have this opinion. He does not need to have even ever "laid his hands on a Raspberry Pi" to have this opinion, or even for this opinion to be informed. Nor is this personal experience necessary for him to have "any knowledge of what he is writing about".
    If someone came up with a application by which the Raspberry Pi could be use dot cure lung cancer, and had built such a device and tested it, and wrote a paper for a journal detailing its 100% success rate in curing 300 test subjects of their cancers in 15 minutes, the author would neither need to have ever touched a Raspberry Pi, nor been a doctor, nor ever had lung cancer, to be able to venture their opinion that this was "insanely great".
    That's how English works.
    Beyond that, how about a little reading comprehension? I NEVER claimed "SJVN says that he has even attempted any of these 'insanely great projects'". Ever. What I stated was that, had you bothered to RTFA, you'd have found your answer to this question, and wouldn't have had to post your troll fodder here. You want a direct quote?
    "I, for one, think that it looks pretty neat and I'm tempted to build one of my own."
    This statement makes perfectly clear that the author has NOT built one. So your rhetorical posturing was pointless.
    • Ya, it was a catchy title that meant nothing in the end.

      Honestly, by any normal human standard, these little projects are somewhat cute.

      They are not even in the same wheel house as insanely great.

      How many levels are above insanely great? Is "unbelievably monumental" the next level up?

      Sheesh. If this is what he calls insanely great, don't ever bother showing us something you only call "pretty interesting" because it wont be.