May 1, 2015

Pi Projects

Over time, I’ve amassed a small army of Raspberry Pi computers by putting them to use in all sorts of small and fun projects.

I first started out with the #RaPi project, installing and configuring RapidAnalytics on a 2 Pi cluster successfully. The experiment came to a grinding halt after I tried to initialize RapidAnalytics. The 2 Pi cluster was ridiculously underpowered and I couldn’t get it to run successfully. I theorize that that problem could be solved by adding a 3rd or even 4th Pi to the cluster and trying again.

Today, I have two Pi’s in production running my media center (Raspbmc) and another uploading my weather station (WeWxx) data to the Internet. The Pi that’s attached to my TV is quite a capable media center, and considering that we’ve cut the Cable TV cord, it’s quite a cool system. Just this past weekend I hooked up my 2TB external HD with our photos, music, and movies to it.

For my next project I started building a game camera using a Pi. I went out and bought a camera module for a Pi that I had lying around and hooked it up. I tested out the timelapse and video capabilities and was surprised on how good it is for a 5mp camera. It is, of course, no fancy dSLR, but for what I want to do it’s plenty cool.

Using some posts I found in the Pi forums and online (see my Pinboard for them) I started cobbling together the needed scripts and services I’ll need to do this. Loosely speaking, the idea is to put a Pi with a camera module and IR motion sensor to take photos and a video when the sensor is tripped. The images and video will be stored on the Pi or transmitted via FTP if a wireless connection is available. For storage I was thinking of using a USB thumb drive for easy removal and replacing when the system is running.

Power wise, I’m thinking of at first running the Pi on AA batteries but I have to figure out the power draw correctly. This guy’s project (@RPiAOne) really excites me because he powers his Pi completely on solar recharged batteries. Awesome!

In the end, my goal is build this game camera, test it, reproduce the system as a community project for my son’s Boy Scout den, and then donate it to a local wildlife preserve. Of course, I will share my blueprints, scripts, and Pi related stuff with you all.



Raspberry Pi Projects tutorials


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