Three Raspberry Pi Projects That I Probably Won’t Finish
I had a simple idea to gift Ali a new lamp for the corner of her office that she could use for debugging. I think my original thought was that it looked raspberry-ish and it was a lamp that was running a LAMP server and that combination was funny – in an I Love Lamp sort of way. We all make mistakes.
I wanted the Raspberry Pi to be completely encased in the lamp but still have most of the interfaces ‘accessible’ without having to take apart the lamp every time we needed to change something. This desire caused the first pause in what should have been a weekend build. I purchased a version of this SD card extender from China. When it finally arrived three weeks later, I started the build. I pulled an cat 5 cable, micro-usb to usb for power, a mini-usb to usb for a usb hub, several wires so I could access the GPIO and my brand new, straight from China SD extension cable. It would blink for a few seconds and then cut off. Awesome… The one interface I didn’t try to extend, the video, I would now need. I refused to believe it was my new SD extender so before taking it apart, I spent about 30 minutes trying out different SD cards. It took all of 2 minutes to figure out what the problem was after I hooked up a monitor. All i/o errors when using the extension cable. At this point I was pretty much done.
Raspberry Pi Watch Winder
One complaint I have about watches with mechanical innards is you actually have to move about 8 hours a day to keep them on the right time. Being a programmer, it almost never happens and I have to manually wind my watch. So somewhere in my mind I thought it would be a good idea for my GItPI to also be a watch winder fashioned from what ever crap was around during the 30 minutes I was testing it. Previously, I had purchased a small stepper motor for testing purposes and figured it was the best place to start. So I strapped the motor onto an old harddrive with electrical tape, made a small program to spin the motor, and after shoving the top of a water bottle onto the motor (forget about the time needed to figure out gears) I was spinning a watch. The problem was with the weight of the watch the ‘spinning’ portion was hanging down against the desk and acting more like a wheel with a watch in it than a watch winder. With better planning this would have worked well, I think. No time to wait for bearings or materials to hold the rotating mechanism in place, someone else could fabricate something much better.
Really this was more of Apache2 stoplight. I bought some arcade buttons with led in them from ebay (of course in red, yellow, green) and connected it to a 9v power supply, and SainSmart Relay (btw, I think they left me comment spam last night – I sort of feel honored that I made it on their radar). I wrote a little bash script using wiringPI GPIO controls and set up three conditions. The first, the red light, means that Apache is not responding and the server is most likely down. The second, the yellow light, indicates that more requests are being made than the random threshold I picked. Green means Go or G2G.
Code for project – and code to make it switch like a stoplight. Very incomplete.
It was fun to watch it switch around for a while, but the clicking from the relays drove me nuts so I just broke down and downloaded the Zenoss VM on my desktop. Any ideas as to what to do with it next?