Monthly Archives: March 2013

I Won!

image recently had a contest in which the winners won a pre-production camera board (pictured here). To win, you had to tell the people at what you would do with the camera board. They wanted cool, interesting ideas that would test the camera board thoroughly. Nearly 700 entries were sent in, but only 10 people could win the contest. I was one of those 10 people! My idea was to make a bird detector. Here’s what I said about it in my entry:

“I have a house on a lake, and my mom loves it when birds come in the cove near our house. I want to connect a camera to my Raspberry Pi and have it detect when there are birds in our cove. When it detects that there are birds in our cove, I want the Raspberry Pi to notify my mom by sending her a text message or email so she can come outside and look at the birds.

This would definitely be a challenging project to do, but I’m excited to give it a try!”

Now that I’ve won the contest, I better start thinking about how I’m going to do this project!

Pi Plate

photo-16 My dad recently got a thing called a Pi Plate. It connects to the Raspberry Pi and gives the user many more GPIO (general purpose input/output) pins to hook things up to the Raspberry Pi with. If you look in the picture, you will see a big blue board on top of our Raspberry Pi. That is the Pi Plate. The Pi Plate was made by Adafruit. Here’s another picture of the Pi Plate up close:


As you can see, there are lots of holes you can plug things into. This Pi Plate will be very helpful in future projects.

Happy Pi Day!

Hey, everybody! Today is Pi Day! Pi is a number that you get when you divide the circumference of a circle by the diameter. Pi is a nonterminating, non-repeating decimal. Pi=3.14159265358979 and so on. Today is Pi Day because it’s March 14, or 3/14. Have a very happy Pi Day, everybody!


Codecademy is a website that teaches people how to code. Codecademy is free. I’m currently using Codecademy to learn Python, a language you can use on the Raspberry Pi. I found out about Codecademy from the Raspberry Jam my dad and I attended online. A girl named Amy Mather (age 13) was talking about a project she did with the Raspberry Pi, and she said she learned Python from Codecademy. Codecademy is fun and easy to use. When you start to learn how to code, Codecademy assumes you have no prior knowledge in coding, so it tells you everything you need to know! If you want to learn how to code, I suggest you try Codecademy.

Raspberry Jam

On Saturday, there was a special event held in Manchester, UK called a Raspberry Jam. A Raspberry Jam is when lots of Raspberry Pi experts talk about the Raspberry Pi to people who either used the Raspberry Pi or are interested in learning how to use one. I woke up at 5:30 A.M. on Saturday so I could watch the Raspberry Jam live (UK time is 5 hours ahead of my time here in Virginia). My dad had signed us up to attend the Raspberry Jam online, so we could watch the Jam and send in questions by using Twitter. If you’re interested in attending future Raspberry Jams, here’s a link to a site that tells a bit about them and how to sign up for one: If you’re into the Raspberry Pi, I suggest you think about attending a Raspberry Jam, either in-person or online. It was really helpful to my dad and me. We have lots of good ideas for new projects and a better idea of just how much our Raspberry Pi is capable of. I hope a Raspberry Jam can do the same for you.

Here are some links to some of the websites mentioned in the Raspberry Jam:

Geek Gurl Diaries-video tutorials of things you can do with the Raspberry Pi.

Laser Bots-a cool video of a project done by university students using the Raspberry Pi. You have to watch this-it’s super cool!

Tank Project-Another project done by university students.

Turbo Scalextric-Another project done by university students.

Pi Moble Phone Controlled Arduino Rover-Another project done by university students.

Codecademy-A website that teaches people how to code. (I’ll talk more about Codecademy in another blog)

I hope you enjoy looking at some of these websites!

Time Lapse Photography of Snow

Time Lapse RigThere’s a snow storm coming, so my dad and I decided to make a time lapse video of the snow falling. This is a picture of the rig my dad and I set up to take photos of the snow. Every 20 seconds, the Raspberry Pi will send power to the infrared shutter release (taped to the piece of wood on the table). The infrared shutter release will tell the camera (bottom right corner) to take a picture. At the end of today, we’ll take all the photos we took and make them into a time lapse video using a program that makes photos into time lapse videos. Hopefully, this will result in a really cool time lapse video of the snow falling. Once we finish the video, we’ll post it on Youtube and I”ll post a link to the video.