I have always enjoyed that intersection of computer hardware and software. Lately, I’ve enjoyed building a number of projects that involve the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi is a low cost (from $25 to $40) computer board with a number of programmable pins and feature. It is a great board for hobbyists.

Below are some of the projects I have built and have running at the house:

  • Home Assistant is an Open Source home automation program with many modules that can monitor many of the devices in your house. They have a version that runs on the Raspberry Pi. I can now monitor the temperature of the dog house in real time with an Phone App.
  • OctoPrint is used to control and monitor every aspect of your 3D printer and your printing jobs right from within your browser. Again it runs on a Raspberry Pi. In addition, I’ve added relays to my OctoPrint setup to allows me to turn on/off my 3D Printer as well as the LED lights used to light it up.

    And yes, I have been having fun with the 3D printer too. The first 6 months I had it, printed upgrades for the 3D printer. Machines may just take over the world.
  • Lightshow Pi is a control program for your holiday decorations. I built 16 outlets with relays that can be turned on/off by the Raspberry Pi. Then using Lightshow Pi, it turns those lights on and off to holiday music I want to play. The lights then dance to the music (based on the frequencies of the notes.) Oh, and while I have speakers, I also broadcast on an FM station for those that want to stay in their cars.

    In addition, for this project, I used an Arduino board to control an LED matrix display that showed: a 20 second count down to the start of the song, number of days to Christmas, the song playing, the date and time, and a simple “Merry Christmas” message.