I had recently bought an original Gameboy DMG from Good Will for a whopping $5.00, condition unknown. Taking a gamble, I purchased it and took it home to find that it had severe damage caused by a battery that exploded and leaked all over the mainboard.
I had also recently started looking on eBay for the elusive Gameboy Light. It’s a system I have always wanted but could never allow myself to buy since they are pretty expensive on eBay. The Gameboy Light is the Gameboy Pocket with an Indiglo light and was only released overseas in Japan.
I had bought a Raspberry Pi a while back and really didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. At that moment, like a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, it dawned on me – could the Raspberry Pi be used with a Gameboy?
Super Mega Ultra Pi Boy 64 Thingy Build - [Link]
Ray has a great reverse engineering project! Check out more on his blog rayshobby.net. [via]
At the Maker Faire this year I got lots of questions about soil moisture sensors, which I knew little about. So I started seriously researching the subject. I found a few different soil sensors, learned about their principles, and also learned about how to make my own. In this blog post, I will talk about a cheap wireless soil moisture sensor I found on Amazon.com for about $10, and how to use an Arduino or Raspberry Pi to decode the signal from the sensor, so you can use it directly in your own garden projects.
What is this?
A soil moisture sensor (or meter) measures the water content in soil. With it, you can easily tell when the soil needs more water or when it’s over-watered. The simplest soil sensor doesn’t even need battery. For example, this Rapitest Soil Meter, which I bought a few years ago, consists of simply a probe and a volt meter panel. The way it works is by using the Galvanic cell principle — essentially how a lemon battery or potato battery works. The probe is made of two electrodes of different metals. In the left picture below, the tip (dark silver color) is made of one type of metal (likely zinc), and the rest of the probe is made of another type of metal (likely copper, steel, or aluminum). When the probe is inserted into soil, it generates a small amount of voltage (typically a few hundred milli-volts to a couple of volts). The more water in the soil, the higher the generated voltage. This meter is pretty easy to use manually; but to automate the reading you need a microcontroller to read the value.
Reverse engineer a cheap wireless soil moisture sensor using Arduino or Raspberry Pi - [Link]
Here’s a short interview from RS featuring Raspberry Pi Founder, Eben Upton, discussing the latest Raspberry Pi Model B+, shared by RSWWWChannel:
We caught up with Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton for an exclusive interview on the differences between Model B and the new Raspberry Pi Model, B+. He talks us through all the changes we can expect to see and highlights the improvements made in the newer Model.
Raspberry Pi Founder, Eben Upton, talks the latest Raspberry Pi Model B+ - [Link]
The Raspberry Pi foundation have announced what they call an ‘evolution’ of the Raspberry Pi single board computer. The team have retained the original processor and clock speed and look on this new model as the final revision of the original design rather than a ‘Raspberry Pi 2’. To sum up the new model B+ has:
More GPIO. The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins, while retaining the same pinout for the first 26 pins as the Model B.
More USB. The B+ has 4 USB 2.0 ports, compared to 2 on the Model B, and better hotplug and overcurrent behaviour.
Micro SD. The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version.
Lower power consumption. By replacing linear regulators with switching ones the power requirements are reduced by between 0.5W and 1W.
Better audio. The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply.
Neater form factor. The USB connectors are now aligned with the board edge, and the composite video now has a 3.5mm jack. The corners are rounded with four squarely-placed mounting holes.
Fresh Raspberry Pi Hits the Streets - [Link]
This is Part 2 of a series of blogs regarding the development of a wall-mounted server based on the Raspberry Pi, featuring WiFi and a colour touchscreen. Part 1 can be found here.
The enclosure I’m using, a re-purposed room thermostat casing, places some very tight constraints on the dimensions of the Raspberry Pi and PiTFT board.The plastic used in the case is quite sturdy, and is at least 2mm in thickness. Therefore the real inner depth of the case is about 12mm. As for the width of the Pi, we need to shave at least 4mm from the side. The Pi itself is 86mm wide, same with the PiTFT board, so we will need to find a way of making it closer to 82mm.
Pi On The Wall – wall mounted home server - [Link]
When you start hooking peripherals such as keyboard, WiFi dongle and mouse to a Raspberry Pi it’s not long before you run out of ports and need a USB hub, preferably powered so that it can supply the RPi as well. At this point cabling starts to take over your workspace.
The Raspiado board, launched on Kickstarter should help cut down on the tangle; it has the same dimensions as the RPi board and mounts on its underside via two (stackable) standoff pillars to leave the top GPIO and camera connectors open to whatever you’re building so that it won’t impede the RPi’s connectivity options.
Raspberry Pi without the Spaghetti - [Link]
Graphic showing the GPIO pin breakout on the Raspberry Pi B+ board.
Raspberry Pi B+ GPIO 40 Pin Block Pinout - [Link]
RS Components just announced the availability of Raspberry Pi Model B +.
After the success with Model B, three million items sold, Raspberry Pi has been enhanced with several new features and functions included in the Model B + version. Apparently:
the energy consumption of the Pi Model B+ are significantly lower (between 20% and 30% less than the B)
I / O lines have been expanded replacing the GPIO socket with one for 40-pin connectors (pinout for the first 26 contacts remains identical to that of the original Model B)
The number of USB ports is doubled from two to four
The new Raspberry B+ is here for RasPi lovers - [Link]
Raspberry Pi PiTFT Weather Station:
More tinkering with the wonderful Adafruit 2.8″ Touchscreen TFT module (PiTFT) for the Raspberry Pi. This time a weather station drawing data from weather.com.
Luckily there’s a wonderful python module to extract data from three popular weather services; python-weather-api supports NOAA, Yahoo! Weather and weather.com. This makes life so much easier.
Download the module and install in the usual way; there are instructions in their wiki.
A simple way to display the raw data in a more readable form is to use Pretty Print (pprint) which is installed by default on Respbian. Just change the code in the call to weather.com in the script below to your town which can be found in the URL if you use the weather.com web page….
PiTFT Weather Station - [Link]
Check out the project page for ongoing development for emonPi Raspberry Pi Energy Monitoring Shield, on OpenEnergyMonitor. (Also follow the posts on the project blog here.)
For a while now I have been working on developing a Raspberry Pi energy monitoring shield. Here is a preview of the first prototype design.
The emonPi is not designed to totally replace the emonTx V3, but rather to complement it. I see the emonPi fulfilling two applications:
As a low cost Raspberry Pi add-on shield to make all-in-one home energy monitoring unit based on the Raspberry Pi. We will produce a version of the emonPi board on it’s own (without enclosure, HDD and LCD), maybe even with just SMT components ready assembled (like the Arduino Lenoardo) to being the cost down further.
As a high quality, robust and nicely enclosed stand-alone energy monitoring unit and web-connected base station with LCD status display, built in hard-drive for local logging and backup. The emonPi has also been designed to be perfect for installers of heat-pump monitoring systems which require many temperature sensor wired up (see temperature sensing part of my forum post update) as well as power monitoring.
The emonPi has got an option for RFM12B / RFM69CW radio to enable it also to act as an emonBase, receiving date from other wireless nodes such as emonTH (room temperature and humidity node), emonTx V3 (energy monitoring node) and transmitting the current time to the emonGLCD LCD display.
Since the emonPi is an energy monitor sensing node and remote posting base station all-in-one and coupled with a status LCD this should make system setup, installation and debugging easier. The emonPi should also be great for remote administration since with the correct network config the Raspberry Pi can be accessed remotely, log files checked and even upload Arduino sketch firmware onto the emonPi’s ATmega328….
emonPi Raspberry Pi Energy Monitoring Shield - [Link]