Raspberry Pi Roundup - 26th September 2016

Jazz Hands!

James Bellafaire wanted something that would play jazz music “all day and all night” and give him an authentic experience at the same time. So, he found an old 1930s radio on eBay, won the auction and refurbished the case. He then placed a Raspberry Pi and a hard drive on the inside, added additional components such as an ATtiny and amplifier and then set about finding a music source. He came upon David Niven’s jazz archive, copied lots of it to the hard drive and then wrote software to play the music. He’s done a super job, which he’s rightly very proud of. You can read more, and see the build log, here.

Lawn lights

Dr Mark Smith has developed a system that allows him to control and program the lights on his lawn. In this very site-specific project, Smith uses a Raspberry Pi to give him a web interface to program timings and settings into the lighting system. The most impressive aspect is that the system will text him, via Twillo, when one of the lights burns out! You can read more and see things like a schematic here.

Framed Calendar

Part woodworking project, part geeky techniness, “paqmanbiker’s” project was done as a Mother’s Day present for his wife. He used a Raspberry Pi 3 and an old 17″ Dell display and then surrounded it with a highly-polished frame. A bit of software work was required to do some web-scraping. See a build log and details here.

GPIO Zero updated

One year ago, Ben Nuttall and Dave Jones began work on GPIO Zero, a Python library which sought to simplify access to the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins. As of yesterday, it is now one year old and Ben has just announced that version 1.3 is now available. This release includes the following new features:

  • New ButtonBoard class
  • New Servo and AngularServo classes
  • New CPUTemperature class
  • Improved remote GPIO support
  • Plenty of behind-the-scenes changes
  • Lots of new recipes

It’s an exciting time for GPIO Zero and the team now consists of three people – Ben, Dave and Andrew Scheller. They recently released a book to go along with the library and it’s fast becoming the de-facto standard for GPIO programming. We’re even looking to re-write our CamJam EduKit worksheets using it. The future’s bright for the library, and I personally wish the guys Godspeed with their efforts!

Read more about the new version on Ben’s blog.

Also still in development is Dave Jones’ picamera library for the Raspberry Pi camera module which is on version 1.12. You can see the changes and read the documentation here.