Quick mention on @BBCnews

Catching up on posts after a few weeks of very low motivation!

We had a lovely mention as part of a BBC News article about old gadgets earlier this month, they canvassed on social media and some of our Twitter followers were kind enough to point them in our direction.

Slightly edited to show our bit and the headline together.

It was exciting to speak to an actual journalist, especially one so professional they could extract a coherent quote from my 5-minute ramblings about converting old tech. I’d just come off the cross-trainer when Zoe called so was dripping and flustered!

The article is at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52965974 – it’s a fascinating look at the old tech that’s still in daily use around the country, our bit is at the very bottom.

 

We’re in @TheMagPi Issue 94!

Rumble the cat is very excited to be featured in The MagPi this month, alongside the Apollo Pi thermal camera. He thinks this could be his big break, and is waiting by the phone for the Whiskas people to call.

Aside from the cat it’s a lovely four page feature, covering the transformation of an old microwave detector into a modern thermal camera, built with a Raspberry Pi and components from Adafruit.

It was a fun project to build and it’s a thrill as always to see it featured in the MagPi.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement, Issue 94 is a right rivetin’ read, with everything you need to know about the new 8gb Raspberry Pi 4, as well as Dan Aldred’s fantastic Giant Battleships on p24 and an article about HQ camera options that I’m saving for a quiet moment.

I imagine shops still exist and are selling magazines, just in case though you can order a hard copy online or download a free .pdf version.

Cassette Scroller in @HackSpaceMag

With everything else going on in the world I almost missed this, my Cassette Pi IoT scroller has a really nice feature in this months HackSpace magazine (issue 29).

I provided a dump of all the images and coincidentally they chose my favourite shot. It’s a big pic! Makes me glad I didn’t scratch the case up too much, and also relieved I cleaned the underside of my kitchen tablecloth, which is the background 🙂

Rather than make the traditional trip to Sainsburys to get the hard copy, I ordered it online (I should really just give in and get a subscription) and I’ve been enjoying dipping into it in breaks from work.

It’s a really cracking read this month, I especially enjoyed learning more about the Men’s Sheds movement (p62-69) and their focus on improving mental health, almost by stealth. Inspiring words from Charlie Bethel and I hope the sheds can re-open as soon as possible to continue their good work.

I’m also loving the “Get Started in Wood Working” (p34-49) feature – I work with wood fairly often, but it’s one of those skills you never completely learn, and it’s fascinating to fill in gaps in my knowledge.

You don’t need to venture out to grab a copy, as usual the .pdf version is available free from https://hackspace.raspberrypi.org/issues/29

I should have a new Raspberry Pi project ready to publish in a couple of weeks, I’m just waiting for paint to harden and putting the video together at the moment – I’m taking it slowly though and really valuing the brief moments of escapism this brings of an evening. In the meantime here’s a gif of the “menu”.

 

Final Word in the MagPi

It’s always great to have a project featured in the MagPi magazine, but this month they asked if I’d like to write something for the “Final Word” column – I couldn’t say no of course!

I don’t pretend to be a great writer, and the brief was pretty loose, so I decided to stick to what I know and talked about my first experiences with the Raspberry Pi – somehow spending nearly a year building the Raspberry Pi VCR.

Pi VCR at the Raspberry Pi 3rd Birthday event.

It’s also quite a personal piece explaining how tinkering with the Raspberry Pi and VCR project helped me stay relatively sane through some dark & difficult times.

My bit’s just inside the back cover, and there’s loads of other great content this month, some very cool projects and an especially useful “Starter Electronics” guide that genuinely helped fill in the gaps of my self-taught component knowledge. You can grab The MagPi issue 91 in shops or at  https://magpi.raspberrypi.org/issues/91

 

WeatherMan in the @TheMagPi

Very excited to have a project in  issue 90 of the MagPi magazine this month! There’s a lovely 4-page feature on the WeatherMan Pi , a 1980s cassette player that now displays weather info. on an LED matrix.

I built this project late last year and amazingly it’s still running, sitting on my desk every day and jiggling its earphones occasionally when the weather changes. The only problem I had was a few weeks back when the “current conditions” animation stopped working, then I realised I hadn’t included one for “Wind” – easily fixed.

I’d also half-expected the headphone assembly to fall apart by now, with all the spinning it does some days, but it turns out Sugru is stronger than I thought, good to know for future projects.

The MagPi’s a great read this month, all the usual Pi goodness plus a nice review of Pimoroni’s latest Pirate Audio HAT, I’m building a project with one of these at the moment and can confirm it’s awesome.

There’s also a helpful guide to building a Magic Mirror, something I’ve not tried yet, though I do have a stack of two-way mirror film left over from my Neon Infinity TV project so could well be tempted!

Issue 90 is on sale now in shops and available as a free .pdf download. You don’t get the free Raspberry Pi 4 cooling stand with the .pdf version though obviously!

 

Pi Tourer Console in HackSpace Issue 23

Another great issue of HackSpace magazine this month, and I’m not just saying that because the Pi Tourer Game Console is featured on page 14!

Always wonderful to be included, and it’s great to think a pic of the back of by son’s head is sitting in newsagents throughout the land.

It’s a top issue this time around, great for inspiration – especially if you’re starting (as I am) to think about a spoooky project of any kind for Halloween.

I guess you’d call that a Pumpkin Pi?

You can grab the .pdf version for free at https://hackspace.raspberrypi.org/issues/23

 

PiNG Doorbell in The Magpi & Hackspace This Month!

A double trip to W.H. Smith for the kids & I this month, as the PiNG Video Doorbell is covered in both The Magpi (Issue 83) and Hackspace (Issue 20)!

There’s a guy in the shop off to my right giving us a really odd look.

You can get downloadable .pdf versions at the links above, but we just love the browsability of the printed magazines.

The HackSpace pic is larger than life size!

The MagPi has a great feature on the shiny new Raspberry Pi 4, lots of excitement about that here and hopefully a “monster” themed build using a Pi 4 4GB coming from us in the Autumn.

HackSpace is holding its own in the coffee table stakes though, the article on re-purposing aluminium cans went down especially well. Maybe because they’re so readily available in this household? Who knows.

A Trip to the #RPIstore

What to do with the kids at half term? A pilgrimage to the new Raspberry Pi store in Cambridge of course! I’ve been feeling an irresistible magnetic draw since the shop opened, and we finally got to visit last week. 

What to do with the kids at half term? A pilgrimage to the new Raspberry Pi store in Cambridge of course! I’ve been feeling an irresistible magnetic draw since the shop opened, and we finally got to visit last week.

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First impressions were great, much bigger than I expected with Pis set up all around the store, showcasing the many different things you can achieve. Lots of hands-on stations for kids (and adults) too, making it easy for customers to get interactive.

I came to shop though – I only had a short window of dedicated pi-time before the wife & kids caught up with me, so I headed straight for the shelves. There was a pleasantly surprising array of products, with lots of HATs, kits and accessories, even maker staples like packs of jumper cables, far more than just the Pi-branded gear I had imagined. First to be scooped up was an official Pi Zero case – I have a fair few zeros but no cases and this thing looked so small and cute I had to have it. Next I grabbed a Pi-branded mug and tote bag, and finished off with some Sugru, which I haven’t seen in the wild since Maplin closed down.

It was fascinating to see the responses of other shoppers too – while I was ogling the cases a lady next to me pointed out the boxed Pi 3s interestedly to her husband, who responded “I think you’ll find that’s just the mouse in that box”. I resisted getting involved.

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After a while the family arrived and we tried out some of the Pi stations, then busied ourselves opening all of the MagPi magazines & specials we could find to pages showing my projects and left them out on the coffee table.

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As shops go it’s pretty impressive and inspiring, though we were naturally biased! Plenty of helpful staff around too. I did think it could do with being a little bit brighter in there, but obviously it’s early days. We’re all looking forward to a return visit next time we’re in Cambridge (or when the Norwich branch opens – cmon please?)

We’re in the MagPi Issue 78!

Very excited to have a project featured in the MagPi this month, it’s a vintage Hitachi television I converted last year. It displays digital TV from another Raspberry Pi running a TV HAT, and uses the original rotary tuning dial to change channels.

As you can see hard copies are available in shops as well as the pdf version online. It’s a great issue all round and I’ve already been inspired to grab some arcade joysticks and buttons to try out some of the tutorials.

The article covers my experiences using the TV Hat with a converted TV from the 1970s – the original TV build Instructable write-up is here and the more recent TV Hat version is here. The simple Python script used to change the channels is available on GitHub.

There’s also a YouTube video of the unboxing and setup of the TV Hat…

…and one that gives a bit more information about how the Hitachi Pi TV was converted.

I’ve always been fascinated by televisions, as evidenced by the photo they included of me unboxing my first TV, aged around 10. 

Google Pi Intercom in MagPi’s 75 Greatest Projects

We’re honoured to be mentioned in the MagPi’s 75 Greatest Raspberry Pi projects article this month, the Google Pi Intercom made number 10 in the “Top 50 Reader Voted” section.

It’s always a special occasion when we have a project in the MagPi, even more so in this case to be surrounded by so many other inspiring builds – there’s absolutely tons of inspiration to be had from this issue.

You can download the .pdf version for free but I’d recommend nipping to WH Smith or Sainsburys to get the super-tactile foil-cover hard copy!