Your source for daily hacks

Published on: October 29, 2013 / Comments: 1

There’s still time for these Halloween hacks!

Halloween isn’t over yet, there is still time to make something cool for Halloween.  Here’s a few to inspire you.

First up is Halloween Prank.  While not a completed project, this is a good base for Arduino powered scare tactics!  The build uses an Arduino, an Ultrasonic distance sensor, and a servo.  By detecting ‘someone coming to your door’ possibly, the servo is triggered.  In Jacob’s build the plan is to drop a bunch of spiders on people walking up.  That sounds like fun.  You could also make it actuate something to jump out at your unsuspecting victims.

Source code for Halloween Prank is available here on GitHub.  There are more pictures and a test video on Jacob’s site.


Published on: October 24, 2013 / Comments: None

Oozby lets you design with OpenSCAD using Ruby

OpenSCAD is pretty popular amongst the 3D Printering community.  You can design your 3D modles using a meta language that describes what you are trying to build.  Frustrated with some of the methodoligies that OpenSCAD implements, Bluebie created Oozby.

While I can’t say that I’m much of a Ruby person, I’d much rather prefer using Python variants like SolidPython or pySCAD I can appreciate the goal to make technology more accessible to other people with different backgrounds.

Check out more on the Oozby site, and the source code on Github.

Published on: October 3, 2013 / Comments: 2

Use the web to control an HDMI Switcher

Universal remote controls are a natural want.  I know I hate having 100 remotes for everything remote control.  So what do you do when you start getting used to using your phone as a remote (via web interfaces) ?  Well start converting your other stuff to be controlled via the web too!

Dalgibbard has an entertainment center using XBMC and a Raspberry Pi.  But the HDMI switcher uses an infra-red remote control.  So naturally Dalgibbard hacked the switcher to be controlled by a web interface on the Raspberry Pi.

The HDMI switcher is wired up to the Raspberry Pi via a relay and a few discrete components to the GPIO pins.  The pins are controlled by a python script that is executed by a web page using PHP and Apache.  Simple and efficient.

More pictures, schematic, source here.

Published on: August 30, 2013 / Comments: None

Can’t get enough Raspberry Pi CarPuter’s

Title says it all, we can’t get enough of people doing cool car stuff with their Raspberry Pi’s.  Each one is a little bit different and have a little different purpose.  So up is Keith’s Toyota Echo.  Keith is going green, he wants to watch the environment and his wallet.

So he’s got his Raspberry Pi, an OBD-II sensor, and a Nokia LCD.  He’s written an app in python that reads his vehicle speed and mass air flow sensor.  From that he is able to calculate his estimated fuel consumption at that specific point in time.   He’s logging this data in a SQLite database and displaying it in real-time on the LCD.   Nice job Keith.

Source code and build here.

Published on: August 16, 2013 / Comments: 2

PiMote uses your Android phone as a remote for your Raspberry Pi

So far I have 10 components working, including the Accelerometer which can stream its data to the Pi.

Tom has put together a cool little setup I’m sure a lot of you will find useful.  It consists of an Android app (source code here), and server that runs on the Raspberry Pi written in Python (source code here).  Tom’s put together documentation for his API that lets you trigger events and send data between devices.

The list of components is pretty extensive.  Standard controls like buttons and toggles, extending to Voice input and VideoFeed.  Everything is done via wifi so you’ll need to get wifi working on your Pi first.  It’s a work in progress but I can see many applications for this already!


Published on: August 12, 2013 / Comments: 2

Monitor your water usage with an Arduino and Raspberry Pi

Carriots is a platform focused on talking to embedded devices.  Data collection is an obvious strong point of a platform like this.  Here is a project using Carriots, an Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and a water flow meter to monitor water usage on a gardening system.

The tutorial is broken up in to part1 and part2.  Source code included.  Part 1 primarily focuses on setting up and configuring, using python on the Pi to communicate to the Arduino, and the flow meter sensor is then read by the Arduino.  Part 2 is dealing with the data collected which includes graphing.

While I’m no green-thumb, I’m not sure how practical this particular application is I can see the usefulness when generating a larger sensor node collection system.


Published on: August 7, 2013 / Comments: None

The Sprite – a Raspberry Pi camera

It seems pretty obvious that this would happen when the camera module hit the market, that someone would make a camera.  The build is still pretty sleek.  This camera was built as part of an advertising contest ( for sprite, duh ) which the builders incorporated very well aside from painting it green with a sprite logo.  It also watermarks the pictures taken with a sprite logo.

The sprite is equipped with a rechargable battery,  an audiable usb speaker (playing a branded click when photos are taken), a camera module, a pi, and python.

Source code and write-up is here.