For years I’ve followed the “uRadMonitor”, a device that does air quality monitoring and radiation monitoring. I’ve played with geiger counter projects before and frankly found them to be not very interesting. However, the idea of monitoring air quality is something that seemed like it might yield interesting data. For example, as I’ve started to become involved in 3D printing, it would be useful to see whether or not 3D printing affected the air quality. It would also be useful to correlate my results with what my region reports for outdoor air quality.
Modern monitors with an HDMI input connect right up to the Pi. Before HDMI came VGA, but the Pi doesn’t do that natively. One solution is to use a composite-to-VGA converter and pull the composite signal out of the audio jack. Lacking the right 4-pole audio cable, [TPAI] soldered some RCA plugs directly onto the Pi, and plugged that into the converter. On a yet-older monitor, he faced a SCART adapter. If you’re European, you’ll know these — it’s just composite video with a different connector. Good thing he had a composite video signal already on hand.
The pièce de resistance, though, was attaching the Pi to his 1980 Vega TV set. It only had an antenna-in connector, so he needed an RF modulator. With a (presumably) infinite supply of junk VCRs on hand, he pulled an upconverter out of the pile, and got the Pi working with the snazzy retro TV.
If you’re interested in running an old TV as a display, just because it looks cool, this video is a must-watch. As usual, [The Post-Apocalyptic Inventor] turns his pile of junk into something useful in the end, and you’ll probably learn something along the way. And that’s why he’s one of our favorite frackers.
So you’ve built out your complete home automation setup, with little network-connected “things” scattered all around your home. You’ve got net-connected TVs, weather stations, security cameras, and whatever else. More devices means more chances for failure. How do you know that they’re all online and doing what they should?
[WTH]’s solution is pretty simple: take a Raspberry Pi Zero, ping all the things, log, and display the status on an RGB LED strip. (And if that one-sentence summary was too many words for you, there’s a video embedded below the break.)
Before you go screaming “NOTAHACK!”, we should let you know that [WTH] already described it as such. This is just a good idea that helps him keep track of his hacks. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for hacking. He uses the IFTTT service and Google Drive to save the ping logs in a spreadsheet, but we can think of about a billion other ways to handle the logging side of things.
For many of us, this is a junk-box build. We’re sure that we have some extra RGB LEDs lying around somewhere, and spare cycles on a single-board-computer aren’t hard to come by either. We really like the simple visual display of the current network status, and implementing something like this would be a cheap and cheerful afternoon project that could make our life easier and (even more) filled with shiny LEDs. So thanks for the idea, [WTH]!