Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. The product website calls it “a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games.” It also plays high-definition video. Model A (US$ 25) has been redesigned to have 256MB RAM, one USB port and no Ethernet. Model B (US$ 35) has 256MB RAM, two USB ports and an Ethernet port.

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Close to Your Heart

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A pulsemeter built with a Raspberry Pi, a digital-to-analog converter, and an optical sensor monitors your heart rate just as well as many far more expensive medical devices.


Sail Away

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With Node-RED, you can create a web dashboard that instructs a Raspberry Pi to set the rudder position on a toy sailboat.


Extend Your Feelers

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Beekeepers can get to know their colonies better without continuously disturbing the industrious insects. Using a Raspberry Pi and various sensors, two hobby beekeepers monitor the temperature and humidity of their hives, with plans to monitor their weight.


MakerSpace – Powerhouse

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The new Raspberry Pi 3 B+ stands out from its predecessor in many respects. Our tests show what the new model can do.

If you are interested in Raspberry Pi:


3, 2, 1 … Go!

Build a countdown counter with a Raspberry Pi and some electronics, and you can count down the time to any event.


Gamer’s Paradise

With the right software, you can turn the Raspberry Pi into a versatile console for retro games.


Fox Hunt

As a countermeasure to predators of rare ground-breeding birds, live traps are monitored by a microcontroller and a Raspberry Pi.


Pi FM Radio

Low-cost RTL-SDR dongles can read frequencies between 24 and 1,766MHz. We built a simple FM radio with a Raspberry Pi, a USB dongle based on the RTL2832U chipset, an LCD HAT, and some Python code.


Little Service

The versatile Raspberry Pi can serve many roles on a home network. We'll show you how to set up the Pi to provide some important network services.


Gateway to the World

Extend protection to all of your Internet traffic with a Raspberry Pi minicomputer set up as a cost-effective external proxy server.


Tiny Backup Box

With some creativity and a little scripting, you can easily turn your Raspberry Pi into an effective backup device.


Weather Watch

My new weather station has several sensors for wind, rain, and temperature, as well as a USB cable and evaluation software (Figure 1), albeit a desktop-only Windows application. However, I wanted to record the measured data and, if possible, access it on my cell phone while I was on the move.

Positioning a Windows PC running 24/ 7 next to my weather station was not an option; instead, I set my sights on the Raspberry Pi. Thus far, I had used it as a tiny media center with an equally tiny speaker, but by using its USB connection, my Pi could read the data output from the weather station. The power requirement is negligible compared with that of a full-size PC, and the Pi is silent. The question then arose: How can I acquire the data via USB if the station only comes with a Windows program?

Pi Configuration

Your Raspberry Pi can be freshly installed with the official recommended Debian Raspbian “wheezy” image from the Download page on the Raspberry Pi website. The tool set necessary to complete this project comprises a C program, Ruby, the Sinatra web application library, a database, and graphing software, all of which are introduced in the “Ingredient” sections of this article. Figure 2 shows how all the components interact and fit together.



Our culture and our economy is based on competing products with a similar purpose. The products all have features. We shop for the products by looking at the bulleted list of features on the label. The more features, the more people choose the product. Vendors race to develop new technologies so they can add more features, but at a certain point, some consumers just get bewildered and start to shop for fewer features – or at least for a product that brings enough clarity to the sea of features to restore the original purpose.


Smart Raspberry

Only 10 years ago, a large proportion of the population was satisfied with the possibilities of video players and analog satellite receivers. Now this primitive world of the past seems so far away. In our time, virtually all audio and video recordings are produced and distributed digitally. A single user interface can bundle several reception channels (e.g., digital video streams and Internet media libraries, as well as files residing on the local NAS devices). A variety of devices, including laptops, desktop PCs, and smartphones, interact with the media center in the living room through a local WiFi network. In addition to managing your movies, a smart mobile device also offers plugins for music files or a personal photo collection.

Do-it-yourself home theater PCs (HTPCs) were already on the rise at the start of the new millennium. Initially, these early HTPC systems were still desktop computers, with fancy new cases to make them more living-room-friendly. The energy costs and the purchase price of the hardware were correspondingly high. But the Community quickly had some new ideas. The XBMC media center software was originally developed for XBox consoles. Over the years, XBMC has been ported to a variety of platforms and operating systems. Hardware, software, and Internet bandwidth have evolved considerably over the last decade. Now, as in the past, you can spend thousands of dollars on a state-of-the-art system to play video streams and multimedia files, but if you are really looking to save money and space, one new platform outshines all others: XBMC with Raspberry Pi.

Issue 224/2019

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