Developing The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Smartphone
Back in 1982, everyone’s favourite extra-terrestrial, E.T., needed to phone home, so an attempt was made, via a coffee can filled with electronics connected to a tinfoil-lined umbrella, and a Speak & Spell. For many of today’s modern makers, that would be an alien concept (not least because it just wouldn’t work). But it’s one Dylan Radcliffe may well have paid some thought to, given his struggles to create a Raspberry Pi Smartphone that works with 3G. Usually our project showcases highlight the finished product, but in this case Dylan needs some help. When he began planning his project, he based it on the TyTelli DIY smartphone, a device made almost four years ago by Tyler Spadgenske that could snap photos, send texts, and make and receive calls. It used a specially written OS in Python and it was housed in a 3D-printed case. But it only worked on a 2G cellular network and Dylan found, to his horror, that his home country of Canada had finally phased it out. 2G or not 2G “I’d purchased a PCB which was only designed to work with a 2G network, but I was lucky because the supplier had also released a 3G chip,” he says. “Unfortunately, all of the software produced by others for their phones won’t work with this new chip, so this is my challenge.” So far, he’s been able to call his landline using the command line, but he is vowing to do better and he hopes readers of The MagPi will be able to help. As it stands, Dylan has a functional pocket computer running Linux, but it remains a great example of determination. His primary aim of creating a Pi-based phone that could fit into his pocket has been a success, and that has been down to a great deal of time spent determining exactly how everything would need to be wired together in order to create a functional piece of electronics. The build includes a Raspberry Pi B+ together with an Adafruit 3G GSM, an Adafruit Pi 3.5-inch TFT, and the Pi Camera Module v2.1. It also features an Adafruit PowerBoost 500 Basic charger, a 2500 mAh lithium-ion battery, a mini metal speaker, an Adafruit Electret microphone, and a rugged metal on-and-off switch. The rCrumbl’s software is a modified version of Raspbian with a GUI overlay called TYOS Wiring up a Raspberry Pi Smartphone Most of the…
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Code Club Book Of Scratch Out Now With Free Shipping
The first ever Code Club book is here! With it, you’ll learn how to code using Scratch, the block-based programming language. In each chapter you’ll find instructions to build cool games, animations, and interactive stories. Your friendly robot guide will aid you step-by-step through each project and give you handy tips along the way. Code Club tutorials – learn how to code in Scratch • Learn to code using Scratch, the block-based language • Follow step-by-step guides to create games and animations • Use the magic glasses to reveal secret hints • The spiral binding allows the book to lay flat • Includes 24 exclusive Code Club stickers! The spiral binding makes the book lay flat Free shipping worldwide Enjoy free worldwide shipping when you buy through the Raspberry Pi Press Store. > Click here to buy now Other books and guides you may be interested in… > The new Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide > Raspberry Pi Superguide, featured in The MagPi #76 > The best Python websites and resources The post Code Club Book Of Scratch Out Now With Free Shipping appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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The Tide Clock Weather Project
Seeking to make a gift for the in-laws looking after the kids in Maine over the summer, Fin Hopkins decided to build a ‘Tide Clock Weather Thing’ to help predict the weather and tides for days out at the beach or kayaking. “I remember [the reaction from the recipients] was something like ‘wow, that’s beautiful! What is it?’ I had to point out what all the lights and dials were, since there aren’t any markings on the case,” recalls Fin. How the tide clock weather project was built The large wheel on the device shows the current weather conditions on top; as they change, it rotates planetary gears to bring a new icon to the top. In the middle of the wheel, a finger points to the current temperature, with the forecasted daily range lit by coloured LEDs. Five more LEDs below light up blue for impending rain, filling up to show when it’s 60, 45, 30, 15, or 5 minutes away. 24 LEDs at the bottom of the device represent each hour of the day, lighting up in different colours for forecast weather conditions – including blue for rain, yellow for sunny, dim white for cloudy, and green for windy. Just above this strip, a moving bar with two pointers shows when the two daily low tides will occur. A chime is also sounded for low and high tides using a Speaker pHAT connected to a Pi Zero, which runs the Python software and controls the NeoPixel LEDs via a Trinket M0 microcontroller. All the weather data is sourced from the Dark Sky API, while tide data comes from the NOAA’s Tides and Currents site. Time to make From the first gear prototypes to a working version of the device took Fin about three weeks, working nights and weekends. “We were going to visit my in-laws for the 4 July holiday, so it was a sprint to a tight deadline at the end. I got all the hardware and wiring done, and then ended up finishing the coding while I was up there.” The design adapted and fell into place as Fin prototyped, starting with the laser-cut planetary gears – for the weather symbols – which rotate around a central hub. “Once I saw how neat the large version [of the wheel] looked, it was ‘OK, what else can I put with this?’” A lot of the changes made…
Source: The Tide Clock Weather Project
The New Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide: Available With Free Delivery
Perfect for beginners. Hot off the press, this new 244-page official Raspberry Pi book is crammed with beginner’s guides containing all the information you need to get started using your new Raspberry Pi computer. Learn how to set up the Raspberry Pi, install an operating system and start using it. Code your own animations and games, using both the Scratch and Python languages, and create amazing projects by connecting electronic components to the Pi’s GPIO pins. Plus much, much more. Awe-inspiring projects Set up your Raspberry Pi Learn to code using Scratch and Python Control LEDs, buttons, and sensors Have fun creating awe-inspiring projects! Combining Gareth Halfacree, technology journalist and technical author, and Sam Alder, the illustrator behind Raspberry Pi’s incredible cartoons and animations, this new beginner’s guide is the only resource you need to help you get started with the Raspberry Pi computer. Suitable for ages 7+. Free worldwide shipping Wherever you’re based, enjoy free worldwide shipping when you checkout through the Raspberry Pi Press store. In time for the holidays, why not treat yourself or purchase as a gift? > Click here to view in the store Alternatively, you can read the digital edition here. The post The New Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide: Available With Free Delivery appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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Animal Soundscapes: Monitoring Biodiversity In The Jungle
Tropical forests are noisy places, the air filled with the sounds of a wide diversity of birds and animals. They are also rather physically taxing thanks to daily thunderstorms, intense midday heat, and mountainous terrain. It makes it difficult for ecologists to perform manual field studies, which are thus prone to a high failure rate. So research postgraduate Sarab Sethi – along with his supervisors Prof Rob Ewers, Dr Nick Jones, and Dr Lorenzo Picanali – have devised a real-time ecosystem monitoring device based around a Raspberry Pi. “Our particular interest was in recording audio to capture the soundscape – or the combination of all the vocalising animals – as this is a rich data source that can be used to track birds, mammals, frogs, and more,” Sarab tells us. For this, the scientists required a device that could continuously record, compress, and upload huge amounts of data from the field while exploiting a patchy mobile signal to remotely transfer data to a server. “The Raspberry Pi was ideal as a low-cost, relatively low-power device with a usable amount of computing power and large support for a wide range of sensors,” says Sarab. This is the view from underneath the solar panel, with everything firmly strapped or taped into place Jungle sounds With their field site in Sabah, Borneo, in mind, they set about creating a system that could monitor the effects of oil palm plantations and logging on the region’s biodiversity by listening out for the sounds of animals. It involved using a Røde smartLav+ microphone to provide high-quality audio recordings, along with an external USB audio card, solar energy, and a 3G dongle to connect to the internet. The ultimate aim is to use artificial intelligence to pick up on the audio and make sense of the data. For now, however, the Python-programmed software runs two threads concurrently: one continuously records data from a sensor and stores it in uncompressed files, and the second compresses this data and robustly uploads it using FTP to a remote server. “It is important that the device is networked to minimise the amount of times a scientist or research assistant has to go to visit the device to manually collect the data – freeing up time to be better spent on other more efficient and less exhausting tasks,” explains Sarab. “Large animals also love to play with (or more likely destroy) any…
Source: Animal Soundscapes: Monitoring Biodiversity In The Jungle
Model Lighthouse built with Raspberry Pi
When Dave knew that he would be getting married in a unique London lighthouse, he decided to make some very original wedding table centrepieces: working models of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse in which the nuptials were taking place. Not only that, but he resolved to make ten of them – quite an undertaking. As Dave explains, “With my love of 3D printing, Raspberry Pis, and needlessly complicated projects, recreating the lighthouse as a working model seemed like the way to go.” Trinity Buoy Lighthouse Model: quick facts Trinity Buoy Wharf is the site of London’s only lighthouse The lighthouse model was designed in Autodesk 123D Dave used his Prusa MK2.5 to 3D-print components A jam-jar is used for the glass light casing Dave gave most of the models to wedding guests – one is now in Australia Trinity BuoyLighthouse Buoy oh buoy! Over a three- to four-month period, before his August 2018 wedding, Dave designed, 3D-printed, and completed the models with, unsurprisingly, “the last month being pretty non-stop.” A time-consuming project, modelling the lighthouse necessitated a lot of work, and Dave used many photographs of the real-life lighthouse to guide his progress. In addition, as he explains, “The software I used on the Pi was pretty simple, although I tweaked it a few times. The two most challenging parts were fitting in all the printing time, and the mechanism for the rotating light. I went through a couple of major versions of that, a lot of minor versions, and still never got it 100% reliable – turns out rotating and maintaining a circuit is quite hard!” The 3D printing time was indeed considerable, as each model required 44 hours of printing in order to produce the six key pieces: outer, inner, railing, cap, base, and base lid. In terms of function, the models include an 18650 battery (in a shield), a Raspberry Pi, and an LCD display in the base. At the top is a warm white LED light on top of a stepper motor. “Wires run up the middle and when you turn on the battery, it powers on the light and the Pi,” reveals Dave. “The Pi then starts turning the motor (and light) and displaying various messages on the display.” Concealed in the base are a Pi Zero, battery, motor board, and LCD; the wiring proved challenging Building a model lighthouse Understandably, the project was far…
Source: Model Lighthouse built with Raspberry Pi
Steam Link on Raspberry Pi
Steam Link Raspberry Pis have been something of a dream for many years. While there are DIY, hacky methods to make one, Valve has now released the Steam Link software directly for Raspberry Pi. Steam Link on Raspberry Pi is very important It’s currently in beta, and available right now as a package you can install in Raspbian. Valve recommends using a Raspberry Pi 3 or Raspberry Pi 3B+ for it, and early reports suggest it’s already working extremely well. Pi-based replacement? Gone, but not forgotten It’s interesting timing now that the original Steam Link hardware is being discontinued by Valve. Does it hint towards a software future for their streaming solution? Maybe even a Steam-branded Pi solution? We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on what they do. The post Steam Link on Raspberry Pi appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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National Centre for Computing: Raspberry Pi in £78m education boost
Computing education in England is about to get a much-needed jolt of funding with the help of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The money will found a new National Centre for Computing. The welcome computing cash injection comes a year after The Royal Society reported that there was a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ to transform the way computing is taught in schools and colleges. Commenting on the report, Raspberry Pi Foundation CEO Philip Colligan noted that “there’s a long way to go before we can say that young people are consistently getting the computing education they need and deserve in UK schools.” See also: Coolest Projects comes to the UK Pi 3 makes ‘ultimate education list’ for engineers BBC Computer Literacy archive The best Python websites and resources A Royal Society report last November drew attention to the scale of the challenge in transforming the way we teach computer science in the UK Raspberry Pi helps secure £78m for STEM education The Raspberry Pi Foundation is one of the organisations that, jointly, have secured £78 million in UK government funding to make this vision a reality. The Foundation is part of a consortium that also includes STEM Learning and the BCS (British Computer Society). Google has also pledged £1 million to support free online computing and computer science courses accessible to anyone. While existing computing and ICT (information and communications technology) teachers are being directly targeted, the scheme will also upskill existing teachers in other disciplines to teach GCSE Computer Science. Philip explains that the money will be used “to make sure every child in every school in England has access to a world-leading computing education.” Teachers will get resources, training, research, and certification as part of the programme The consortium will found a new National Centre for Computing – with a network of computing hubs where existing primary and secondary school computing teachers in England will be able to take part in fully funded CPD (continuing professional development) courses. Teachers will also have access to free resources enabling them to teach computing to students from Key Stage 1 right up to A-Level. As part of an all-hands-on-deck approach to overhauling computing teaching in England, the Raspberry Pi Foundation and its consortium have more than 60 organisations signed up to offer practical assistance and expertise. Businesses, universities, and non-profit organisations are pooling their expertise and resources to provide the support that educators and schools require. You…
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Raspberry Pi Superguide in The MagPi #76
Improve your Raspberry Pi skills with the Superguide in this month’s edition of The MagPi magazine. Click here to buy The MagPi magazine issue #76. Raspberry Pi Superguide We’re going to take your Raspberry Pi skills up a level. Our Superguide collects all we know about Raspberry Pi in one place. Designed to be the perfect get-going guide for newcomers, and a tool for long-time readers to get better at digital making. Raspberry Pi Superguide The Raspberry Pi 3A+ Get an in-depth look at the Raspberry Pi 3A+, the new $25 computer. It packs the power of a 3B+ into the same footprint of the original Pi A+. We’ve got all the specifications, benchmarks, plus an interview with Eben Upton and Roger Thornton. Nybble: the open-source kitten Discover Nybble, a new quadruped robotic designed to act as a pet and help owners learn advanced robotics. Nybble: the open-source kitten Code Pac-Man Discover how to code your own Pac-Man game using Python and Pygame Zero. Code Pac-Man Hack Smart Lights Use a Raspberry Pi to hack into smart lights and create your own computer-controlled lighting display. It’s fun all year round, and we think it’s especially handy in the run-up to Christmas. Hack Smart Lights The post Raspberry Pi Superguide in The MagPi #76 appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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Win 1 of 10 signed Raspberry Pi 3A+
The Raspberry Pi 3A+ is the newest Raspberry Pi, packing a significant portion of the power of the 3B+ into a much smaller board. You can read more about it in issue 76, and enter to win one below. Win one of ten signed Raspberry Pi 3A+! https://js.gleam.io/e.js The post Win 1 of 10 signed Raspberry Pi 3A+ appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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