These are splash pictures taken using Raspberry Pi as a controller. These aren’t your typical water-dripping-into-a-pool photos, they’re actually made by placing a drop of liquid on a speaker and blasting it with sound! Sure, you could control everything pretty easily with discrete electronics, but this sounds like a good use for a Raspberry Pi. Continue reading
I had previously developed a script to control the x10 firecracker (CM17A) module using python. Of course, my new Raspberry Pi would make a perfect home monitoring server to control the lights. The script works fine on the Pi using a USB-to-serial converter, but when there’s only 2 precious USB ports, why not use the serial pins on the GPIO bus to drive the x10?
My Raspberry Pi arrived a few weeks ago, and has been a great way to pass these cold snowy winter days. I have a number of projects in mind, but one was to interface with a temperature sensor and serve the results to a web page. I had a couple of the DS18B20 temperature sensors lying around from some undergrad EE project from long ago, so why not put them to use. There’s a great tutorial by Adafruit on how to set up the sensor itself and use a simple python script to print the temperature to the terminal. The rest of this post assumes that the sensor has been set up as in the guide, and the python script prints valid numbers to the terminal. Basically, the data pin of the sensor is connected to the Pi’s GPIO #4 with a 4.7K pull-up resistor, and the other two pins are power and ground. Continue reading
I’ve been using Python to analyze the majority of my research data, so was very excited when the iPython Notebook was released at the end of last year. Over the last few months, I’ve been learning how to use the Notebook and transitioning some of my new research data to this interactive format. And what better way to learn a new programming system than by making fractals? But before we start, I should mention the notebook and all the useful pylab dependencies can be installed from Macports as described in this post. Continue reading
Venus made its historic transit across the sun on June 5, 2012. Using binoculars to project the sun’s image onto a screen, I was able to get a number of photos of this event! Next transit, 2117.
I always need something to keep me busy during the long dark winter evenings after my brain shuts down from a full day of reading technical papers and writing thesis snippets. This year it was building a clock out of paper. It’s all in this book, just cut out the patterns right from the pages and glue it together. And then fuss with the gears that slip and rubber bands that break and friction in all the wrong places. But amazingly the thing actually ticks. As for keeping accurate time, that’s another matter. Continue reading