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(Tom's Hardware)   Bored and want to do something fun? Here's a list of Raspberry Pi projects you can build. Come for the Satellite tracking Tricorder, stay for the CNC tiny picture drawing machine   (tomshardware.com) divider line
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1073 clicks; posted to STEM » on 07 Oct 2022 at 10:35 AM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-10-07 9:29:51 AM  
I've got 2 pi projects ATM, one is just a Linux desktop I use for TV streaming and web surfing, the other is an embedded SDR radio system. Raspberry Pis are Awesome to mess around with for sure - it's absolutely endless possibility.
 
2022-10-07 9:46:51 AM  
The only pi I own is currently living life as an OctoPrint server, which turns my 3D printer into an appliance nearly as seamless as my normal printer.

Download model, load up model in Cura, hit "Slice", hit "Send to Octopi"

Software downloads to the Pi, which turns on a power relay for the printer, prints the model, and shuts the power relay off when complete.

Before it was an OctoPrint server, it functioned as a PiHole server for a while, and a Home Assistant server before that.  In all cases it performed perfectly, but was replaced with an alternate solution for various reasons.

I keep looking for a good excuse to buy another one, but haven't found a project that's piqued my interest.  They are really cool little devices.
 
2022-10-07 10:48:13 AM  
I was more into Aduinos. I made two projetcs : one was a safebox that opened by entered a combination on a rotary phone. The second was a clock with the time displayed on old-timey voltmeters, the ones that look like plane dashboard dials.

And then I got a kid, and suddenly, I don't have the time for all that crap. But one day, I hope I'll have the time for an other project : an automated rail-system to do timelapse movies, but with movement.
 
2022-10-07 10:56:47 AM  
Difficulty: Pi's are hard to come by at retail price and probably will be for the foreseeable future. I'm actually looking for one right now myself, but don't want to spend like $200 buying one inside a bundle.

I use one as a Home Assistant server, and another as a PiHole.
 
2022-10-07 10:59:19 AM  
I still have a Pi Zero, Pi 3, and Pi 4 sitting around waiting for me to get motivated enough to do something with them.

For nostalgia purposes, the Gameboy Zero project always looked cool:

Gameboy Zero
 
2022-10-07 10:59:21 AM  

mongbiohazard: Difficulty: Pi's are hard to come by at retail price and probably will be for the foreseeable future. I'm actually looking for one right now myself, but don't want to spend like $200 buying one inside a bundle.

I use one as a Home Assistant server, and another as a PiHole.


Go to Digikey, they still list them at MSRP, no markup. They aren't in stock, but you can order and they'll ship yours when they get them in. That's how I scored my 2 Raspberry Pi 4s with 4GB, at $55 each.
 
2022-10-07 11:04:17 AM  

Private_Citizen: mongbiohazard: Difficulty: Pi's are hard to come by at retail price and probably will be for the foreseeable future. I'm actually looking for one right now myself, but don't want to spend like $200 buying one inside a bundle.

I use one as a Home Assistant server, and another as a PiHole.

Go to Digikey, they still list them at MSRP, no markup. They aren't in stock, but you can order and they'll ship yours when they get them in. That's how I scored my 2 Raspberry Pi 4s with 4GB, at $55 each.


Thank you! Just went to order one and they say the lead time is.... June 2023. lol

Put in a couple stock notifications, guess I'll see how it goes.
 
2022-10-07 11:06:16 AM  

mongbiohazard: Private_Citizen: mongbiohazard: Difficulty: Pi's are hard to come by at retail price and probably will be for the foreseeable future. I'm actually looking for one right now myself, but don't want to spend like $200 buying one inside a bundle.

I use one as a Home Assistant server, and another as a PiHole.

Go to Digikey, they still list them at MSRP, no markup. They aren't in stock, but you can order and they'll ship yours when they get them in. That's how I scored my 2 Raspberry Pi 4s with 4GB, at $55 each.

Thank you! Just went to order one and they say the lead time is.... June 2023. lol

Put in a couple stock notifications, guess I'll see how it goes.


Just place the order. That's what I did. Actual time to ship was about 3 months. Meh, better than paying a frickin scalper!
 
2022-10-07 11:09:38 AM  
One of these days I shall set up a Pi music server. For almost 20 years, I've been using iTunes on Windows playing to an Airport Express which has line out to my stereo. I'd like to replace that with something with a web interface, so I can play my big-ass digital music collection to the stereo using any phone/tablet/PC/whatever.

There are tons of options out there, but I'm thinking HiFiBerryOS - the software plus their hardware looks right (and right-priced).

HiFiBerryOS
 
2022-10-07 11:11:22 AM  

padraig: I was more into Aduinos. I made two projetcs : one was a safebox that opened by entered a combination on a rotary phone. The second was a clock with the time displayed on old-timey voltmeters, the ones that look like plane dashboard dials.

And then I got a kid, and suddenly, I don't have the time for all that crap. But one day, I hope I'll have the time for an other project : an automated rail-system to do timelapse movies, but with movement.


Arduinos are fun too, and I think both have their uses.  Used one for my Master's thesis as a controller for a piece of lab equipment I had to design and build.  They don't have the Pi feature set, but are much better adept at low-level functionality and are significantly cheaper (and quicker) to implement.  If you don't need the functionality of a full operating system, the Arduino is a phenomenal little device.

Wait until your kid is a teenager and they're much more eager to be out playing with friends all day than home with mom and dad.

/Think I still have a Motorola HC11 dev board floating around in the attic.
 
2022-10-07 11:19:03 AM  

Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadu: I still have a Pi Zero, Pi 3, and Pi 4 sitting around waiting for me to get motivated enough to do something with them.

For nostalgia purposes, the Gameboy Zero project always looked cool:

Gameboy Zero


Feel free to send me the Pi4. I'm currently refusing to pay scaled prices.
 
2022-10-07 11:24:42 AM  

jaytkay: One of these days I shall set up a Pi music server. For almost 20 years, I've been using iTunes on Windows playing to an Airport Express which has line out to my stereo. I'd like to replace that with something with a web interface, so I can play my big-ass digital music collection to the stereo using any phone/tablet/PC/whatever.

There are tons of options out there, but I'm thinking HiFiBerryOS - the software plus their hardware looks right (and right-priced).

HiFiBerryOS


Plex does music too, maybe that's an option for you. And if so, I'd suggest when on mobile devices you use the PlexAmp app they built, specifically for music. The main Plex app is best for video files, but buggy for music in my experience. But the PlexAmp app works just fine, and is tailored to music.
 
2022-10-07 11:34:28 AM  

Driedsponge: padraig: I was more into Aduinos. I made two projetcs : one was a safebox that opened by entered a combination on a rotary phone. The second was a clock with the time displayed on old-timey voltmeters, the ones that look like plane dashboard dials.

And then I got a kid, and suddenly, I don't have the time for all that crap. But one day, I hope I'll have the time for an other project : an automated rail-system to do timelapse movies, but with movement.

Arduinos are fun too, and I think both have their uses.  Used one for my Master's thesis as a controller for a piece of lab equipment I had to design and build.  They don't have the Pi feature set, but are much better adept at low-level functionality and are significantly cheaper (and quicker) to implement.  If you don't need the functionality of a full operating system, the Arduino is a phenomenal little device.

Wait until your kid is a teenager and they're much more eager to be out playing with friends all day than home with mom and dad.

/Think I still have a Motorola HC11 dev board floating around in the attic.


The Pi Pico is really good. Good library, great documentation, lots of hardware features, plenty of power for an mcu, and its only $4 a board ($6 for wifi but no bluetooth support yet).
 
2022-10-07 11:44:36 AM  

falkone32: The Pi Pico is really good. Good library, great documentation, lots of hardware features, plenty of power for an mcu, and its only $4 a board ($6 for wifi but no bluetooth support yet).


I had not actually heard about that one.  Looks like it's meant to fill the Arduino space, and does so quite soundly.  I'll have to add it to my list of future project toys to play with.
 
2022-10-07 12:11:01 PM  
Before I RTFA, are these projects *I* can build, or *somebody taented* can build?
 
2022-10-07 12:34:08 PM  

Driedsponge: falkone32: The Pi Pico is really good. Good library, great documentation, lots of hardware features, plenty of power for an mcu, and its only $4 a board ($6 for wifi but no bluetooth support yet).

I had not actually heard about that one.  Looks like it's meant to fill the Arduino space, and does so quite soundly.  I'll have to add it to my list of future project toys to play with.


2 (tiniest) ARMs at 133MHz, 256k (k!) RAM, 2MB flash.  Wifi on board (2 bucks more).  Wimpy enough to compete with Arduino, but even with the 32bit ARMS the memory will kick you out of any remotely modern non-deep-embedded software.  I think most of the other cheap pies lose the internet connection.  I also had more memory in my Atari 800 by the end.
 
2022-10-07 12:40:14 PM  
Want try making a Pi Hole, if I ever get my hands on a Pi.

Also have an Arduino based Kerbal controller project I really need to dig out of the box and finish someday.
 
2022-10-07 12:46:44 PM  
Got one being a PiHole and the other one has RetroPie for all my old school gaming needs
 
2022-10-07 12:48:47 PM  
I'm looking to buy a Pi 4, 4-8 gb model, near MSRP if anyone here has one lying around. Kinda all sold out or jacked up prices at the moment.
 
2022-10-07 12:56:09 PM  
I have a an old 2 sitting in a box, a few 3s with one serving as a Pi1541 drive emulator for a C64, one 1GB and one 8GB Pi4. The 1GB serves as a NAS for now.

/you could say it's my PiNAS
 
2022-10-07 1:09:09 PM  

Driedsponge: padraig: I was more into Aduinos. I made two projetcs : one was a safebox that opened by entered a combination on a rotary phone. The second was a clock with the time displayed on old-timey voltmeters, the ones that look like plane dashboard dials.

And then I got a kid, and suddenly, I don't have the time for all that crap. But one day, I hope I'll have the time for an other project : an automated rail-system to do timelapse movies, but with movement.

Arduinos are fun too, and I think both have their uses.  Used one for my Master's thesis as a controller for a piece of lab equipment I had to design and build.  They don't have the Pi feature set, but are much better adept at low-level functionality and are significantly cheaper (and quicker) to implement.  If you don't need the functionality of a full operating system, the Arduino is a phenomenal little device.

Wait until your kid is a teenager and they're much more eager to be out playing with friends all day than home with mom and dad.

/Think I still have a Motorola HC11 dev board floating around in the attic.


I know that some of the stuff I did world have been way easier with a pi, since I am basically ignorant in electronics. But using a full-fledged computer seemed wasteful compared to a simple controller (especially if you can convert your project to use the controller chip, and bout the full prototyping board).
 
2022-10-07 2:51:48 PM  

Private_Citizen: I've got 2 pi projects ATM, one is just a Linux desktop I use for TV streaming and web surfing, the other is an embedded SDR radio system. Raspberry Pis are Awesome to mess around with for sure - it's absolutely endless possibility.


I'd love to use SDR to setup something like this at home: SDR shortwave radio
 
2022-10-07 2:58:33 PM  
I've got two Pi Holes, a ZeroW downstairs by the edge router and a PI 2 up in my workroom so I have failover. The Pi 2 also acts as a CUPS and internal mail server.

So far as hardware projects:

I have a Zero that controls latched relays for the outside floodlights, that allows me to control them through Alexa instead of going to the kitchen, and it also turns everything off at dawn.

One of the cooler ones was for my aunt's "in-law" apartment my cousin built in her basement. Not much natural light, so we got some cheap window frames, had some large-format natural scene prints made up, and ran white LED ribbon around the inside for illumination. A ZeroW calculates the actual solar day and ramps the lighting up and down accordingly. There's a 3-pole switch under each frame for "full on," "full off" or "solar day."

Looks pretty cool, if I do say so myself! :)

Slowly working on an RFID controlled latch / access logging system for my Dad's front door, he gripes about having to fumble for his keys when bringing in groceries.

I've made a few simple Arduino widgets, e.g. controller for an electroluminecent wire tacked along the stair banister so I don't trip over cats in the dark.

For Arduino I prototype on an old Duelamanove board and then burn a $3, 8-pin ATTiny85. Much cheaper and compact than wasting a full Arduino.
 
2022-10-07 3:32:55 PM  

Dinjiin: Private_Citizen: I've got 2 pi projects ATM, one is just a Linux desktop I use for TV streaming and web surfing, the other is an embedded SDR radio system. Raspberry Pis are Awesome to mess around with for sure - it's absolutely endless possibility.

I'd love to use SDR to setup something like this at home: SDR shortwave radio


Yep!! SDR is incredible! The project I'm doing uses two of them in tandem so it can decode trunked radio like encrypted police bands. I had a buddy that used a similar setup during a protest. Put the whole rig in a cooler, and live streamed the police radio to the Internet. He sat at an outside bar and passed out cards with a QR code to the website to protestors. Kind of leveled the playing field a bit.
 
2022-10-07 7:17:28 PM  

Gleeman: Want try making a Pi Hole, if I ever get my hands on a Pi.

Also have an Arduino based Kerbal controller project I really need to dig out of the box and finish someday.


Got a PiHo;e running. Great device. Can't recommend it enough.
 
2022-10-07 9:22:24 PM  
Sure, more janky one-off projects.
 
2022-10-07 10:46:17 PM  

Ed Grubermann: Gleeman: Want try making a Pi Hole, if I ever get my hands on a Pi.

Also have an Arduino based Kerbal controller project I really need to dig out of the box and finish someday.

Got a PiHo;e running. Great device. Can't recommend it enough.


My PiHole is a VM.  I keep doing that and then trying to find a project that needs a physical device.

Mostly I use it when I need to flash a smart device to a more convenient firmware.
 
2022-10-07 11:56:21 PM  
I have a Pi 4 2GB running as an Octoprint server. A Pi 1B handles a webcam that feeds video to the Octoprint server. The Pi 4 would sometimes crash and wreck the print when handling both of those tasks. Never crashed after offloading the video to the 1B. I showed my kid DriedSponge's post and asked him why we aren't powering on the printer with the spare channel on the relay board we use for powering on the camera and Pi 1B. That's getting rectified this weekend. He'll figure out how to set up Octoprint to do it and then tell me what GPIO pin to use and I'll wire up the relay.

I have a headless Pi 1B running Kodi in the sunroom, connected to a set of speakers. It has a big chunk of my music library stored locally on it, but there's a wired ethernet connection so I can easily add new music vis SMB. The Kodi remote app on family members' phones makes it so anyone in the sunroom can listen to whatever they want.

Living room TV has a Pi3, family room TV has an 8GB Pi 4. Kodi, mostly for music since the Rokus do the video streaming. Trying to get the Pi 4 to replace the Roku, but having problems with Widevine in Android TV, and streaming from Netflix is choppy in Raspbian, even though the GPU drivers are working and it's on a 1080p TV.  I have a Libre AML-S905X-CC in my Amazon cart. $45 for that while the cheapest Pi4 is $160. Thanks, chip shortage. My Pi 4 8GB was $85 shortly after it came out. Main reason for the Pi alternative is that it supposedly runs Android better (with Widevine support) and has better GPU driver support in Raspbian. If anyone here can verify or refute those claims, I'd love your input.

Pi 3 as a Pihole server. A godsend for my iPhone. I farking hate how intrusive ads can be on Safari, and I get a chuckle when I leave the house and notice right away how much worse my web browser experience is.

Pi 4 2GB as a print server. Was using a Pi 1B but holy farking fark was that thing farking slow feeding data to the printer. Thought it was the printer's fault since it's a HP LaserJet from 1999 but nope, as soon as I upgraded, it spit out the specified shiatload of PPM that the printer was originally advertised as being capable of.
 
2022-10-08 2:15:43 AM  

pheelix: Living room TV has a Pi3, family room TV has an 8GB Pi 4. Kodi, mostly for music since the Rokus do the video streaming. Trying to get the Pi 4 to replace the Roku, but having problems with Widevine in Android TV, and streaming from Netflix is choppy in Raspbian, even though the GPU drivers are working and it's on a 1080p TV. I have a Libre AML-S905X-CC in my Amazon cart. $45 for that while the cheapest Pi4 is $160. Thanks, chip shortage. My Pi 4 8GB was $85 shortly after it came out. Main reason for the Pi alternative is that it supposedly runs Android better (with Widevine support) and has better GPU driver support in Raspbian. If anyone here can verify or refute those claims, I'd love your input.


Pis seem to be so fiddly with video streaming that I'd honestly argue to go the other way around and just slap Kodi on a Fire stick instead, but that's just me
 
2022-10-08 3:59:36 AM  
Got a Pi4  during the pandemic. It's set up running:

- Plex server so I can access my music and videos on my phone, also watch videos on my girlfriend's smart TV etc.
- Vpn access point. All devices on my network pass through it.
- Pi-hole blocking adds network wide
- Torrent client and downloader. Automatically grabs new episodes and filles them correct for Plex. This of course is through the VPN.

Additionally I have a Pi zero with a hifi berry hat plugged into my stereo running as a plex client so I can stream my music at home.
 
2022-10-08 9:52:56 AM  

KingBiefWhistle: Pis seem to be so fiddly with video streaming that I'd honestly argue to go the other way around and just slap Kodi on a Fire stick instead, but that's just me


I've tried that too. I have two fire sticks. Never liked the UI. Feels like Amazon goes out of it's way to make the user experience feel like a steady stream of advertising. Also, one was an early model that ran like total shiat within a year, even after a factory reset. If the farking Rokus could decode DTS audio and handle streaming over SMB I wouldn't even need the Pi's for streaming. They're pretty much only used for music and the occasional ripped DVD as it is right now.
 
2022-10-08 12:48:27 PM  

pheelix: I have a Pi 4 2GB running as an Octoprint server. A Pi 1B handles a webcam that feeds video to the Octoprint server. The Pi 4 would sometimes crash and wreck the print when handling both of those tasks. Never crashed after offloading the video to the 1B. I showed my kid DriedSponge's post and asked him why we aren't powering on the printer with the spare channel on the relay board we use for powering on the camera and Pi 1B. That's getting rectified this weekend. He'll figure out how to set up Octoprint to do it and then tell me what GPIO pin to use and I'll wire up the relay.


Adding the relay is easy, as the wiring is the most difficult part.  There's an OctoPi plugin called PSU Control that handles the functionality.

There are a few ways to wire it up:

1st way is to give the Pi it's own power supply, and actually switch a relay on/off that turns off the power to the entire printer.

Second way (how I've done mine) is to get a DC-DC voltage converter and power the Pi off your printer PSU, then put a relay in between the printer PSU and power to your printer motherboard.  A bit more technically complicated, but makes for a cleaner install when all is said and done.

The safest method (and probably easiest) is the third way.  There is an alternate plugin that lest you communicate with certain wifi-connected surge protectors.  Buy one of those, plug the Pi into one port, plug the Printer into another port, and just let the pihole communicate with the surge protector to turn the plug on and off.  Just have to do some research on the best surge protector to get.
 
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