Make Raspberry PI Projects

10/25/2012 3:51:19 PM

Phones and tablets are fun, but to earn your Elite stripes you need to spend some time on the Pi – a $48.5 PC built for bedroom programming

What you get

The processor

At its centre is a single-core ARM processor running at 700MHz with 256MB RAM. That’s close to the original iPad, albeit a little slower

HDMI out

Display is handled by an HDMI port, which also carries sound. The video processor is capable of very smooth 1080p playback

RCA video

It has an analogue video out for composite connections, and also a headphone socket.


The Pi has two USB sockets, although it’s recommended that you use a powered hub to connect peripherals for stability’s sake

Power in

A microUSB port is used for power. You have to buy or borrow a power supply, or you can get geekier still and make a battery pack.

SD card reader

There’s no hard driver, so buy an SD card and burn a copy of Linux to it in order to get the Pi booting. Most cards up to 32GB work


You can use a wired Ethernet port to control the Pi remotely or stream songs and videos. Most USB wireless dongles will also work

GPIO pins

General Purpose Input/ Output connectors are designed to hook up other hobbyist hardware, such as Arduino robot parts.

1.    Always-on media streamer

Apple TV too limiting? Stream HD media from any networked or online source…


Apple TV too limiting?


Raspberry Pi Model B

$ 48.5

HDMI cable


4GB SD card (Class 6)


SD card reader (if not built into your PC)


MicroUSB power supply


Ethernet cable


RaspbMC software



$ 88.5 ($77 minus cable/ card reader)

2.    RaspbMC is a Linux OS that boots into the XBMC media centre software. Plug the SD card into a reader on a Windows PC, download the installer ( raspwin) then extract and run. NB: this purges the SD card

3.    Attach your PC’s keyboard, monitor and mouse to the Pi and plug in an Ethernet cable. Put the SD into the Pi and hook up the microUSB cable. The first boot looks scary, but if successful the Pi should update itself from the net. It may reboot a few times.

4.    Once restarted, navigate via the keys to System > Setting > Service and turn on ‘UPnP’ and ‘UPnP control’, ‘Allow control of XBMC via HTTP’, ‘remote control’ and ‘AirPlay client’. Hit escape to return to the menu, go System > System Info and note IP address.

5.    Turn off the Pi, unplug everything. Hook it up to your TV via HDMI then plug in the Ethernet and power cables. Grab the Official XBMC Remote app for iOS or Android and run the ‘Add new host wizard’. Add the host for XBMC at the IP address from step 3 and you can then control the PI with your phone. Just select Videos or Music to add libraries from a USB drive or your hoem network.

6.    Network-attached storage and media server

How about a low-power, always-on server for accessing media anywhere in the world?


Raspberry Pi Model B


USB hard drive


4GB SD card


MicroUSB power supply


Ethernet cable


Squeezeplug software


USB Image Tool




1.    As well as streaming your music and video, the Pi can also work very nicely as a media server or NAS box for storing it. To start, download Squeezeplug ( Extract everything from the Zip file.

2.    Squeezeplug has no installer file, so if using Windows, you’ll need USB Image Tool ( to burn the disc image to your SD card. Mac users should try ‘dd-gui’ ( Burn the image to the SD

3.    Put the SD into the Pi. On first run, hook the Pi to your monitor and keyboard. Turn the Pi on. It asks for login details: enter username ‘root’ and password ‘nosoup4u’. choose ‘Raspberry Pi’ from the next setup screen. Reboot by typing ‘shutdown –r now’

4.    Plug in the USB drive with all your media files on it and attach the network cable. Reboot the Pi and type ‘setup’. From here, install MiniDLNA from the media library option. Ignore everything else – just unplug your monitor and connect via a UPnP client (BubbleUPnP on Android is very good) and all the music and videos on the USB disk will be added automatically to the library.

7.    Build a ZX spectrum

It’s no surprise to learn that one of Raspberry Pi’s big backers also made the Speccy classic Elite. Seems as good a time as any to relive some childhood memories…

Description: Build a ZX spectrum

Build a ZX spectrum


Raspberry Pi Model B


MincroUSB power


4GB SD card


Powered USB Hub


Keyboard & Mouse


Optional TV/ monitor with HDMI In from


Total from


1.    The Free Unix Spectrum Emulator (FUSE) runs on most Linux PCs and allows you to play Spectrum games. A large library of these are at But first of all, you’ll need a desktop OS from

2.    From the desktop OS, open Accessories>LXTerminal. Type ‘sudo apt-get install libx11-dev’ to download the files required. Next, you’ll need to download FUSE ( and an associated file ( Save them to your home folder (Pi by default), then right click and ‘Extract here’.

3.    You should see two folders open up. Open the terminal again, type ‘cd libspectrum-1.0.0’. next, tye the following three commands: ‘./configure’, then ‘make’, then ‘sudo make install’ – but all without the quote marks.

4.    It will take a while, but well done – you’ve just compiled and installed a Linux program the hard way. Nerd. Type ‘cd ../fuse-’ and those three commands again. Drop any games you download into the FUSE folder you just created, type ‘fuse –no –sound’ into terminal and press F1 to load an old favorite.


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