Monthly Archives: June 2018

Raspberry Pi ‘3 B+’ Review

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A new PI is out, but is it a worth upgrade?

Before moving any further, it’s however important to note that this is not a brand-new product or a radical evolution of our beloved PI, but rather an incremental upgrade. So, if you’re still struggling to decide whether this upgrade is worth it, I’m here to help with some considerations.

Please note that we’re still testing the new Raspberry PI 3 B+, and those considerations are based on official statements of the Foundation, we’ll update this article as soon as our tests are done.

Raspberry PI 3B+

WHAT IS CHANGED

The hardware makeover of the Raspberry PI model 3 B+ covers basically 3 areas:

  • Slightly faster processor
  • Better thermal management
  • Networking

As we will see later, what really matters for us is indirectly related to point number 3: networking. But let’s see in detail all the 3 main upgrade areas.

LEGO Blocks Used To Detect Nerve Gases

Minifig with Respirator
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Original Article: Kat Eschner, Australian Popular Science.

LEGO blocks destroy the feet of groggy parents around the world, but as a new study from the University of Texas at Austin demonstrates, these mutable children’s toys can also be used for good—in this case, as a simple- and inexpensive-to-construct scientific apparatus.

In the aftermath of a nerve gas attack like the ones that have allegedly occurred in Syria, one of the biggest issues first responders face is figuring out what deadly nerve agent was used. If detection happens fast enough, it can save lives. But the conventional equipment that’s used to ID different nerve gases is expensive and hard to move around. However, as this new paper shows, it should be possible to do this analysis in the field using little more than a smartphone and some Lego blocks.

Timelapse Photography with Raspberry Pi Zero

long-camera-adaptor-for-pi-zero
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This tutorial will guide you through taking photos using a Pi Zero and camera, to make a simple timelapse-capturing device. Use it to make a timelapse of a plant growing with the delay set to a day, or the progress on your building work with hourly photos, or a soldering project with a photo every 5 seconds.

Enable the camera

This tutorial assumes you have already set up your OctoCam as per the instructions. If you’re using a camera and a Pi, make sure the camera is connected.

In the Terminal, type sudo raspi-config and press Enter. This will bring up a menu on the screen. You’ll need to press 5, then choose option 1 to enable the camera, and then choose yes. Once you finish with the menu you should get prompted to reboot. This needs doing!

How to build an AirPlay receiver with Raspberry Pi Zero

Raspberry Pi Zero
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The number of things you can do with a Raspberry Pi is astounding. For a little over $35, you can create a networked media server for streaming all your digital movies to your TV or give your existing printer wireless capabilities. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

If you’ve yet to decide on what you want to do with your Raspberry Pi, this project shows you how to turn it into a Chromecast Audio-like music streamer. This means you could set up several Raspberry Pis this way, connect each one to a speaker, place them around your house and stream music to each those speakers remotely in a highly configurable way. You can control the music from your phone, tablet or computer.

Build a Raspberry Pi Streaming Music Player

Pi MusicBox
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In this tutorial, I will be going through steps to making your very own Raspberry Pi music player. This process is pretty straightforward, so you shouldn’t come across any problems at all.

For this project, I am going to be using a pre-built software package called the Pi Musicbox. This software contains plenty of features & functionality that make it great as a Music player.

This project is a headless music player so you will need to use a different device to be able to control it. The good thing is you can pretty much use any device that has a browser to be able to interact with it.

pHAT DAC for Raspberry Pi Zero

If you want to see how to do this visually, then be sure to check out my full video below. It goes through all the steps to getting this setup and working correctly in no time at all. If you do like the video be sure to subscribe, so you stay up to date.

Writing Your First Shell Script with Raspberry Pi

First Bash Script with Raspberry Pi
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In this tutorial we’ll be writing our first bash script for Raspberry Pi. We’ll create a directory to keep this and future scripts, write the actual script, and set it up as something that can be executed from the shell.

Scripts are an incredibly powerful tool to have in your toolbox. In essence, a script is just a sequence of commands that you could otherwise have entered into the shell. The power of scripts is that they can be used to make decisions, and execute certain commands based off that decision. Scripts can be scheduled to run at certain times, and can execute trigger other scripts.

In this tutorial we’re assuming you’re familiar with how to use the terminal to navigate the file system and create files and directories.

24-bit, 192KHz Audio for the Raspberry Pi Zero with the pHAT

pHAT DAC for Raspberry Pi Zero
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The pHAT provides a super affordable high-quality DAC for your Raspberry Pi. It pumps out 24-bits at 192KHz from the Raspberry Pi’s I2S interface on its 2×20 pin GPIO header.

Use pHAT DAC to build a tiny, lush-sounding streaming music device, or use it with Scroll pHAT to make a beautiful spectrum analyser!

Features

  • 24-bit audio at 192KHz
  • Line out stereo jack
  • Optional landing for dual RCA phono connector
  • PCM5102A DAC over the Raspberry Pi’s I2S interface
  • pHAT DAC pinout
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi 3B+, 3, 2, B+, A+, Zero, and Zero W
  • Female header requires soldering

WS2812 Addressable LEDs: Raspberry Pi Quick-start Guide

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This tutorial is aimed at getting some instant gratification from your WS2812 LEDs (trade name: neopixels). I’ll briefly cover a bare-bones setup for Raspberry Pi.

If you’ve never used a Raspberry Pi before, we’ve got you covered with our free, online Raspberry Pi How-To’s.

Temperature Sensing With Raspberry Pi

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The Raspberry Pi lacks analogue input, and while it’s possible to use an Analogue to Digital Converter (ADC), the DS18B20 is a fantastic, easy to use digital sensor that uses the Dallas 1 wire communication interface. Fortunately for us, the Raspberry Pi comes with built in software handling for 1 wire sensors which makes using sensors such as the DS18B20 pretty straightforward.

What is 1-Wire Communication

The Dallas 1-Wire protocol is a method of serial communication designed for simple communication between 1 Master and multiple Slave devices. Serial communication means that data is sent bit-by-bit along a single data line.

1 wire communication is most commonly used for temperature sensors, EEPROM chips, and other simple devices. Unlike other serial communication protocols such as I2C, which allows for device IDs/addresses to be assigned and handled by the master device, 1 wire devices have an unchangeable, factory set device ID. By differentiating between unique device IDs, you can chain multiple slave devices on a single data bus.

Setup Raspberry Pi Zero with Headless WiFi

Raspberry Pi Zero
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The following instructions will work anytime, you don’t necessarily have to follow them for the first boot – this is just a very convenient way to get your Raspberry Pi onto a network without using any plug-in peripherals like a keyboard, mouse or monitor.

What is “headless,” anyway?

A computer setup without a monitor is said to be running headless. You might want to do this if you’re installing your Pi into some project, or want to keep power-usage and cost minimal. This kind of setup is what the Pi Zero W was built for. The idea is that you can still access your Pi’s terminal interface over your network using a protocol called SSH.

All we need to do is get our Pi set up with the right WiFi credentials and we’ll be able to remotely access it through a terminal program, as if we were using the terminal Pi’s own desktop. What’s more, we’ll get our Pi connected to WiFi without ever having to plug in a monitor, keyboard or mouse to configure it.



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