The Official Raspberry Pi Projects Book out now!

The Official Raspberry Pi Projects Book out now!

When we finally went to print and into brick and mortar stores around the globe, we had many emails and messages from people that wanted to see the first five issues from the re-design in physical form so they could complete their extensive MagPi collections. So this got us thinking; instead of releasing each individual issue, we should do one big collection of all the best stuff from those issues. The result is the Official Raspberry Pi Projects Book. This image doesn’t do it justice, but the cover is lovely and glossy With 200 pages of projects in one place, not only can you complete your collection of MagPi content but you can also get an excellent Christmas gift for people wanting to get stuck in with their Raspberry Pi! There are tutorials on how to get started with the Raspberry Pi, guides on how to use the Pi, loads of inspirational projects from around the community and reviews from our experts. You can find the book right now in stores (look in the magazine racks next to The MagPi!), online at the Swag Store and you can also download it to your Android or iOS device via out apps. The post The Official Raspberry Pi Projects Book out now! appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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Time-lapse photography

Time-lapse photography

Time-lapse photography reveals exciting things about the world which you wouldn’t otherwise be able see. Things that happen too slowly for us to perceive: bread rising and plants growing; the clouds, sun, moon, and stars crossing the sky; shadows moving across the land. In this tutorial, we’ll be making a Raspbian-based device that lets you watch things that are too slow to observe with the naked eye. To do this, we will capture lots of still photographs and combine these frames into a video with FFmpeg/libav, which can then be accessed via a web browser. The full article can be found in The MagPi 39 and was written by James Singleton You’ll need Raspberry Pi Camera Module STEP-01 Connect the Camera Module First, connect the camera module to the Raspberry Pi with the included ribbon cable. Locate the correct socket; it’s on the top of the Raspberry Pi circuit board and is the one furthest away from the micro-USB power connector. The socket is handily labelled ‘CAMERA’ on the newer Raspberry Pi models. Lift up the outside of the socket to release the clamp, then insert the ribbon cable with the metal contacts facing towards the micro-USB power connector. Finally, hold the ribbon cable in position and push the outside of the socket back down to clamp the cable in place. STEP-02 Enable and test the camera Power the Raspberry Pi up. You now have a choice: boot to the command line, open a terminal window, or establish a secure shell (SSH) connection. Enable the camera by running this command from a terminal to launch the Raspberry Pi configuration tool:$sud†o raspi-configThen select the ‘Enable Camera’ option. You can test the camera by running the following command:raspistill -o testimage.jpgThe red LED on the camera module should light up for 5 seconds and a JPEG image will be saved to the current directory. If the camera is mounted upside down, then you can use the vertical and horizontal flip command-line switches (-vf and -hf). STEP-03 Install and configure software Install a web server to access your images remotely. Run this command to install Apache:$ su†do apt-get install apacŠhe2Remove the default page to see the contents of the directory:$ sud†o rm /var/www™™™/in†dex.hŠtmlVisit the IP address of your Pi (e.g. http://192.168.1.45 – you can find this by using ifconfig) and you should see an empty directory listing. If you run the following command and…
Source: Time-lapse photography

SpaceHack

SpaceHack

What other fast-paced, Pi-based console game lets you shout “Set multitronic filter to magenta alert!” to the general puzzlement of passers-by? York Hackspace have been drawing a lot of attention at maker events over the past year or so, fulfilling their aim of creating something memorable for visitors to their stand. The full article can be found in The MagPi 38 and was written by Richard Smedley It was Bob Stone who suggested a physical version of Henry Smith’s Spaceteam, a ‘cooperative shouting game for phones and tablets’, but given the definitive Hackspace twist with its retro-futuristic spaceship looks, and homebrew hardware and software, “it would sort of advertise itself within the room, as yelling nonsense with a sense of urgency and panic tends to draw attention in crowds.” Families are naturally drawn to what’s best described as ‘a game of collaborative shouting’ Disaster simulator “Welcome aboard the USS Guppy, recently refurbished to the very highest standards of modern space-worthiness by some new lowest-bidding contractors we found on the net. We’re proud that this venerable old boat, a veteran of many a heroic space battle, has once again been declared officially ‘Good enough for Government work.’ ” The hints are all there before you start your “routine pass out by an asteroid belt orbiting an unstable Red Giant star near the edge of the Forbidden Zone, to investigate some unusual radiation signatures.” SpaceHack’s control panels have been reconfigured, and as things begin to go wrong on the space mission, emergency instructions issued by the ship’s computer – showing on the console’s LCD – don’t seem to apply to that console’s switches, dials, and buttons. The only way to avert disaster is to shout out the instructions so that fellow space cadets at one of the other three consoles can search for the right switch to flip, dial to turn, or button to push. SpaceHack’s retro-futuristic look seemed a natural fit in the MakeFest setting In a Jam How long can disaster be staved off? There’s no shortage of volunteers to find out, whenever the York team brings SpaceHack to an event. If you follow the maker events online, you’ll have seen the favourable comments. Spotting a couple of familiar faces playing SpaceHack at the MOSI MakeFest, we asked them what they’d thought of the experience. “I thought playing it was great fun and highly engaging. The intentionally confusing instructions add…
Source: SpaceHack

Magic Presentations with Skywriter

Magic Presentations with Skywriter

Let’s face it: simply using a Raspberry Pi to run the slides for your talk will make the audience think you’re pretty cool. But if that’s not impressive enough, why not dazzle them further by using your telekinetic powers to flip through the presentation and annotate the slides by drawing in the air? You don’t even need to be a graduate of Hogwarts or the Jedi Academy: just get yourself a Skywriter device and some simple Python, and you’re ready to rock. The Skywriter device uses a grid of transmitting electrodes to generate an electric field that propagates around the surface in three dimensions. When you move your hand above the Skywriter, it disturbs this field and these variations are detected by the receiver electrode grid. These measurements can be used to calculate the position and movement direction of your hand. This tutorial can be found in The MagPi 39 and was written by Richard Hayler You’ll need… Skywriter HAT or board Skywriter API library Python AutoPy library LibreOffice Impress STEP-01 Connect the Skywriter device If you have a Skywriter HAT, this just connects onto the GPIO pins like other HATs. If you have the larger Skywriter board, you’ll need to connect six GPIO pins to the matching pins at the top, as shown below. Pay attention to the wiring diagram! STEP-02 Install the software Make sure you have the latest version of Raspbian, with all updates installed. As usual, those helpful Pimoroni Pirates supply a single script to handle the installation, including the full Python API. Like most HATs, the Skywriter needs the I2C bus on the Pi to be enabled, so if you haven’t already got this activated on your Pi, you’ll need to reboot before the Skywriter will work.$ curl -sSL get.pimoroni.com/skywriter | bashYou’ll also need the AutoPy Python library and its dependencies, so install these with:$ sudo apt-get install libx11-dev libxtst-dev…and then:$ sudo pip install autopy STEP-03 Test your Skywriter The Python API has example scripts to help you become familiar with the way Skywriter works:$ cd Pimoroni/skywriter $ sudo python test.pyNow wave your hand around in the air just above your Skywriter. You should see three columns of scrolling numbers corresponding to your hand’s position in a three-axis (x/y/z) box over the device. The Python library is preconfigured to recognise certain gestures: a flick (swiping over the Skywriter), a tap or touch (bring your hand…
Source: Magic Presentations with Skywriter

Naturebytes Wildlife Cam Kit out now

Naturebytes Wildlife Cam Kit out now

Timelapse and motion-activated photography are mainstays of the Raspberry Pi. It’s a great, easy thing to set up that shows some basic programming while also giving instant results that allow for someone to have the confidence to go away and let it run in the long term. Anything more complicated takes a lot of extra work and making that can be a bit tricky though, especially when you want better quality photos and some degree of weather-proofing. The kit is easy and fun to assemble Naturebytes has your back. Recently Kickstarterd, the wildlife camera kit is designed to let you explore and experience nature and wildlife. It allows for motion-sensitive photography and video with hi-fidelity, and the kit not only comes in a way that’s fun and easy to assemble, there’s also educational content to help teach people of all skill levels how to code and take photos. You can get Naturebytes now from their website. Maybe it would be a good stocking filler this Christmas? The post Naturebytes Wildlife Cam Kit out now appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
Source: Naturebytes Wildlife Cam Kit out now

Build a robot with CamJam EduKit 3

Build a robot with CamJam EduKit 3

Robotics are getting easier and easier with the Raspberry Pi – the little robot we built for issue 38 couldn’t have been done without these advancements and even since then we’ve seen new tools such as GPIO Zero which will make the job much easier. It’s for reason’s like that which resulted in the CamJam beginning a new annual tradition of Raspberry Pi robot wars, or Pi Wars, and have decided to make their latest EduKit themed around robots. You get a fair amount of components in the tiny box The kit, CamJam EduKit 3, is on sale nowfor the low price of £17 and gives you everything you need to make a robot with a Raspberry Pi. You’ll have to supply your own Raspberry Pi though, and either get your own chassis or use the cardboard box it comes in. In the box you get: A custom-designed, pre-soldered motor controller board (with screw terminals) designed by Gareth from 4tronix Two DC motors (with wires pre-soldered) Two custom red wheels A ball castor (used as the ‘third wheel’ to your robot) A small breadboard (to create your circuits) Two pieces of strong 3M padded double-sided tape A battery box for 4 AA batteries (batteries not included) An ultrasonic distance sensor (for detecting objects in front of your robot) A line follower sensor (for detecting and following black lines) Resistors and jumper cables with which to complete your circuits You can grab the EduKit from The Pi Hut right now, and Pi Wars 2 will be at CamJam on 5 December. The post Build a robot with CamJam EduKit 3 appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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Roger Moore, Who Played James Bond the Longest, Dies at 89

Roger Moore, Who Played James Bond the Longest, Dies at 89

The Englishman also was suave as another hero, Simon Templar, in the British TV series ‘The Saint.’ “I would have loved to have played a real baddie,” he once said.read more
Source: Roger Moore, Who Played James Bond the Longest, Dies at 89

Pi-topCEED, a $99 desktop from the makers of pi-top

Pi-topCEED, a desktop from the makers of pi-top

We’ve actually just had one of the brand spanking new pi-tops in at MagPi towers. It was pretty fun to build and frankly we really liked it as a product. This crowdfunded laptop kit could be a great little backup laptop or educational tool and you can read our full review in the next issue of The MagPi to find out where it might sit with you. However, if you’d been waiting for a desktop version of the pi-top though at an even more affordable price, the team have a proposition for you… A beautiful design Introducing the pi-topCEED, a $99 desktop variant of the pi-top with all the same great tools and educational software that’s in the pi-top. It’s still powered by Raspberry Pi, but now it’s permanently tethered to a power cable. It’s already just about hit its target, but you can help them make sure it’s really good by getting one of your own. You buy one, fund it and find out more information by visiting their indiegogo page. They even have a bundle where you can use your own Raspberry Pi, driving the price down even further. Give it a look! The post Pi-topCEED, a $99 desktop from the makers of pi-top appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
Source: Pi-topCEED, a desktop from the makers of pi-top

Adafruit Gemma Wearable Starter Pack review

Adafruit Gemma Wearable Starter Pack review

With wearable computing proving to be a burgeoning business, it’s no surprise to find companies helping makers to get started in the field. The majority of the resulting kits are based around conductive thread which can be sewn into fabric to link components electrically. It’s easy, then, to see the LEDs and conductive thread bobbin included in Adafruit’s Gemma Starter Pack and dismiss it as just another me-too product. Doing so, though, ignores the titular star of the show: the Gemma itself. The full review can be found in The MagPi 38 Designed and built in collaboration with the Arduino company, the Gemma is a smart break-out board for the ultra-compact ATtiny85 microcontroller from Atmel. A cut-down version of the ATmega chips which power the full-size Arduino boards, ATtiny microcontrollers are a great choice when low power draw and a small footprint are more important than the number of pins you can access. This makes them an obvious choice for wearable projects. The kit comes with a lot of different parts to use The two biggest hurdles to using an ATtiny with conductive thread – the need for special programming equipment and its package type – are solved by the Gemma. The chip is placed on a tiny 28mm diameter disc which features connectors for three programmable I/O pins, a 3.3V supply and ground, and a voltage input. A JST connector allows batteries to be easily connected, while a USB connector coupled with a specially written bootloader means the Gemma can be programmed from any PC using the standard Arduino IDE and the bundled cable. The Gemma is the star, but there are plenty of other parts to the starter kit. A bundle of colourful crocodile leads makes it easy to prototype your design before sewing it down with the conductive thread, needles for which are also provided. There are four of Adafruit’s famous programmable RGB NeoPixel LEDs, in wearable-friendly Flora guise, and a battery holder for the bundled CR2032 batteries with integrated power switch. The thread itself is of great quality with a generous 23-metre length provided. A thin, two-ply formulation made from stainless steel, it’s easier to work with than the thicker thread used in the rival Kitronik Electro Fashion range, but comes with a warning that it is ill-suited for projects in which your components will draw more than around 50mA. A three-ply alternative is available separately,…
Source: Adafruit Gemma Wearable Starter Pack review

Laser Dog Watcher

Laser Dog Watcher

When Dave Young, the owner of Young Circuit Designs, was training his dog Penny, he hit upon an idea. Why not turn a Raspberry Pi into a dog monitor that could issue voice commands when he’s not around? “My dog Penny is a delightful girl,” says Dave. “We got her from the Denver Dumb Friends League [a local dog rescue] a few years ago. My wife and I were just going in to take a look. When I saw Penny, I knew she was my dog. We walked out with her that afternoon.” Penny is a very clever dog. “She’s smart as a whip,” explains Dave, “and is quite good at playing people like a fiddle. She uses her very slightly lazy eye to make the saddest face in the world. Especially when food is involved. She’s food crazy.” It took a long time to train Penny not to jump up on the counter and eat Dave’s food. “I didn’t want to use a shock collar,” he says, “and I toyed with using some very high-pitched noise as a deterrent, but settled on an array of recordings of me reprimanding her.” The parts of a laser trip wire The voice commands worked, but only when Dave was around to issue them. That’s when he hit upon the idea of using his Raspberry Pi to monitor Penny and issue spoken commands when he’s not around. The Laser Dog Watcher has a laser beam similar to security systems (650nm, 6mm, 3V, 5mW Mini Dot Diode). “It sends a laser out to a mirror and measures if it makes it back to a sensor. If the sensor can’t see the laser, there is a circuit that tells the Raspberry Pi that the laser beam has been broken. The Pi then takes a photo of the area near the sensor and plays an audio file of my voice saying one of a few things that I use to reprimand her. “I recessed a photoresistor [Excelitas Tech VT935G] into the box to block out ambient light and put the system on one side of the counter, and a mirror on the other side. I aim the laser to go from the system, bounce off the mirror, and then come back to the sensor. When the laser is blocked, the photoresistor sees less light [and] changes its output voltage, which is fed into a digital input pin…
Source: Laser Dog Watcher