Got yourself a shiny new Raspberry Pi or you may have one laying around gathering dust, here are 16 projects for you to try out.
Kodi is one of the best streaming platforms available, letting you experience local and internet-based content on anything from your smartphone to an Amazon Fire TV Stick. Oh, and it’s also available on the Raspberry Pi 2. If you want to experience the benefits of Kodi, the Raspberry Pi 2 is more than powerful enough, and installing the streaming software is pretty straightforward, too.
With an USB Wi-Fi dongle, a microSD card and the Rapsberry Pi itself, you increase the reach of your wireless signal. Guy Eastwood has created the excellent Pi-Point website, which takes you through everything you need to know about this project. Follow the link and you’ll find detailed documentation and free downloadable images to help you.
Travis Brown, over at XodusTech has produced a detailed log of how he brought back to life his Gameboy using a Raspberry Pi. The best thing about creating a Pi-Pocket (as he calls it) is that you’re not limited to playing only Gameboy games on it; the Pi-Pocket is also capable of playing NES, Sega Master System, Game Gear games as well as popular Linux-based titles such as Doom and Duke Nukem.
While you can run most of these emulators from the standard Raspbian OS, the guys over at RetroPie have dedicated a huge amount of time to building a custom disk image that will do almost all the work for you, and allow you to select and start your chosen emulator with nothing more than a USB gamepad. The legal catch is that you need to own a physical copy of the games, or it’s piracy. So that means on no account should you use this as an opportunity to play all those SNES games that your mum wouldn’t buy you back in 1991.
By using the RuneAudio disk image, you can connect your Raspberry Pi to your setup and use it to control all of your music, whether it’s stored locally, on one of your devices, or on a remote storage drive. You can search and organise your library and play tracks through your browser or smartphone, and the Pi will direct it all through your big shiny speakers. For truly superlative audio quality, you can even send the signal through a USB digital-to-analog converter for HD sound. If that tickles your fancy, have a go yourself with our guide on how to use a Raspberry Pi to control your hi-fi.
Rather than clogging up your main computer with piles of files that have to fight with your everyday tasks for disk space and processor speed, using a Pi as a dedicated hub for all your torrents, streams and other downloads leaves you free to get on with your life while you’re waiting for the entire box set of The Walking Dead to finish. An added bonus is that if any malware or viruses happen to hitch a ride with your content, you can safely scrub them clean without the risk of infecting your main computer.
If you have children who play Minecraft and you’re tired of constantly having them monopolizing your tablet or computer, a Raspberry Pi can be an inexpensive, durable machine that they can use for schoolwork, movies, and all the digital digging they can handle. All you need is a cheap monitor, mouse and keyboard, and you can even easily confiscate it if they’re using it too much.
You can buy cases for your Raspberry Pi in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. But a fun, simple starter project can be to build one yourself. The beauty of the Pi is that it’s small enough to fit into just about anything. With some judicious modification, you could make a case out of an old tobacco tin, or a hollowed-out book. There’s numerous guides online for constructing your own Raspberry Pi case.
Raspberry Pi is the perfect platform for novice programmers. The Raspbian OS even has built-in programs pre-installed to make getting involved with coding as easy as possible. One of the best projects for dipping your toes in the waters of programming is creating your own game – it’s quick, straightforward, and at the end of it you’ll have a functional result that you can show off to friends and family. For a complete guide, read our tutorial on how to write your own Raspberry Pi game.
With an always-on internet connection and an external hard drive, you can create your own free cloud storage server. If you want to unshackle yourself from the limitations of cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, then Raspberry Pi is a good low-cost option. A quick Google search will bring up plenty of tutorials on how this can be achieved. The website, Lifehacker, has one of the easier to follow tutorials on how to set this up.
Thanks to its versatility and host of connections, turning the Raspberry Pi into your next phone doesn’t require too much tinkering. All you need to buy is a compatible touchscreen, battery pack and GSM device to go with your Pi, and you’ll have all the hardware you need. Creating software for the new phone to run on isn’t easy, but there are already several tutorials around to help. A great project to learn about electronics and coding, or to make you appreciate your current smartphone more, making a PiPhone is one of the most sophisticated, rewarding uses for your Raspberry Pi.
A relatively simple hack will allow you to make your own pirate radio station, and take over the FM airwaves. Unlike other hacks, you won’t even need any additional bits of hardware to make your own PiRate radio station: the Pi already has a GPIO 4 connector capable of transmitting FM radio. It only has a range of 10cm, but using a plain wire extends it to something closer to 50m – more than enough for tuning in indoors, or in the car.
13. Build A Smart Beer Fridge
Building your own Fridge of Awesomeness requires an odd set of tools alongside your Raspberry Pi 2, including a Wii balance board to detect the number of bottles in the fridge, a door sensor to detect if the fridge is open or closed, a temperature sensor to let you know when bottles are ready to drink and a dashboard utility to handle all the information.
Connected IP cameras such as the Netatmo Welcome, Netgear Arlo and Google Nest Cam make it easy to monitor your home over the internet, but they’re rather pricey. If you want to experience all the benefits of the Internet of Things for a fraction of the price, why not use a Raspberry Pi 2 to make your own IP camera system? With Raspbian – the micro-computer’s open source OS – you’ll be able to remotely check your home in no time. Sound good? This tutorial from the Expert Reviews team will show you how it’s done.
Using a Wi-Fi-enabled Raspberry Pi B+, UK-based web developer Grant Gibson made a “Talking Chatter Smartphone” able to give current weather information and play radio. A tutorial is available on his website, including details about the electronics used, as well as the full Python script.
Turn your Pi into a Bitcoin miner complete with a dashboard showing the current exchange rate and much more. The Raspberry Pi is great for learning about technology, and combining it with the revolutionary Bitcoin currency will make sure you’re at the forefront of tech.
Tags: raspberry pi
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