Boombox Doorjam Plays Your Theme Song When You Step in the Ring

Although many of us may have had childhood aspirations to be a famous wrestler in the WWE, not very many of us will ever realize those dreams. You can get close, though, if you have your own epic intro music theme that plays anytime you walk into a room. Although it’s not quite the same as entering a wrestling ring, [Matt]’s latest project will have you feeling just as good whenever you enter a room to your own theme song.

The core of the build consists of a boom box with an auxiliary input. The boom box is fed sound via a Raspberry Pi which also serves as the control center for the rest of the project. It runs Node.js and receives commands via websockets from a publicly accessible control server. The Pi is also running Spotify which allows a user to select a theme song, and whenever that user’s iBeacon is within range, the Pi will play that theme song over the stereo.

The project looks like it would be easy to adapt to any other stereo if you’re looking to build your own. Most of the instructions and code you’ll need are available on the project’s website, too. And, if you’re a fan of music playing whenever you open a door of some sort, this unique project is clearly the gold standard. It might even make Stone Cold Steve Austin jealous.

Filed under: musical hacks

Raspberry Pi Adds A Digital Dash To Your Car

Looking for a way to make your older car more hi-tech? Why not add a fancy digital display? This hack from [Greg Matthews] does just that, using a Raspberry Pi, an ODB-II reader and an LCD screen to create a digital dash that can run alongside (or in front of ) your old-school analog dials.

[Greg’s] hack uses a Raspberry Pi Foundation display, which includes a touch screen, so you don’t need a mouse or other controls. Node.js displays the speed, RPM, and engine temperature (check engine lights and other warnings are planned additions) through a webpage displayed using Chromium. The Node page is pulling info from another program on the Pi which monitors the CAN bus. It would be interesting to adapt this to use with more futuristic displays, maybe something like a pico projector and a 1-way mirror for a heads-up display.

To power the system [Greag] is using a Mausberry power supply which draws power from your car battery, but which also cleanly shuts down the Pi when the ignition is turned off so it won’t drain your battery. When you throw in an eBay sourced ODB-II reader and the Consult Dash software that [Greg] wrote to interpret and display the data from the ODB-II bus, you get a decent digital dash display. Sure, it isn’t a Tesla touchscreen, but at $170, it’s a lot cheaper. Spend more and you can easily move that 60″ from your livingroom out to your hoopty and still use a Raspberry Pi.

What kind of extras would you build into this system? Gamification of your speed? Long-term fuel averaging? Let us know in the comments.

Filed under: car hacks, Raspberry Pi

Hackaday Prize Entry: Raspberry Pi Thermal Imaging

High up on the list of desirable technologies that are edging into the realm of the affordable for the experimenter is the thermal camera. Once the exclusive preserve of those with huge budgets, over the last few years we’ve seen the emergence of cameras that are more affordable, and most recently a selection of thermal camera modules that are definitely within the experimenter’s range. They may not yet have high resolution, but they are a huge improvement on nothing, and they are starting to appear in projects featured on sites like this one.

One such device is the Melexis MLX90621, a 16×4 pixel thermal sensor array in a TO39 can with an I2C interface. It’s hardly an impulse purchase in single quantities and nor is it necessarily the cheapest module available, but its price is low enough for [Alpha Charlie] to experiment with interfacing it to a Raspberry Pi for adding a thermal camera overlay to the pictures from its visible light camera.

The wiring for the module is simplicity itself, and he’s created a couple of pieces of software for it that are available on his GitHub repository. mlxd is a driver daemon for the module, and is a Python graphical overlay script that places the thermal array output over the camera output. A run-through of the device and its results can be seen in the video below the break.

This may not yet rival the results from commercial thermal cameras, but it is certainly a field in which advances are being made. It is not, therefore unreasonable to expect that in a few years time we will have inexpensive modules with much higher resolution and that this project should be seen as a sign of further good things to come.

Filed under: hardware, Raspberry Pi

Simple RFID Door Lock System

Group entry hacks are a favorite for hacker social groups. Why use old fashioned keys when you can use newfangled electronic keys? If you are looking to build a simple RFID-based security system to secure your important stuff, this project from is a good place to start. In it, [Joe Roberts] outlines the process of building a simple RFID-triggered mechanism for their office door.

It’s a pretty simple setup that is composed of an RFID reader, a Rasperry Pi and a Neopixel ring. When someone places an RFID card against the reader hidden behind a poster by their front door, the reader grabs the code and the Pi compares it with a list of authorized users. If the card is on the list, the Pi triggers the door lock using a signal line originally designed to work with an intercom system. If the user isn’t on the list, a laser is triggered that vaporizes the interloper… well, that’s perhaps in the next version, along with an API that will allow someone to open the door from the company chat application.

At the moment, this is a clean, simple build that uses only a few cheap components, but which could be the basis for a more sophisticated security system in the future.

Filed under: security hacks

Hackaday Links: September 25, 2016

So you like watching stupid stuff? Here you go, a scene from Bones that tops the infamous ‘IP backtrace with Visual Basic’ or ‘four-handed keyboard’ scenes from other TV shows. Someone hacked the bones by embedding malware in a calcium fractal pattern. Also, when she uses the fire extinguisher, she doesn’t spray the base of the fire.

Raspberry Pi! You have no idea how good the term Raspberry Pi is for SEO. Even better is Raspberry Pi clusters, preferably made with Raspberry Pi Zeros. Here’s a Raspberry Pi hat for four Raspberry Pi Zeros, turning five Raspberry Pis into a complete cluster computer. To be honest and fair, if you’re looking to experiment with clusters, this probably isn’t a bad idea. The ‘cluster backplane’ is just a $2 USB hub chip, and a few MOSFETs for turning the individual Pis on and off. The Zeros are five bucks a pop, making the entire cluster cost less than two of the big-boy sized Pi 3s.

Do you think you might have too much faith in humanity? Don’t worry, this video has you covered.

Hacking on some Lattice chips? Here’s a trip to CES for you. Lattice is holding a ‘hackathon’ for anyone who is building something with their chips. The top prize is $5k, and a trip to next year’s CES in Vegas, while the top three projects just get the trip to Vegas. If you already have a project on your bench with a Lattice chip, it sounds like a great way to wait an hour for a cab at McCarran.

UPSat. What’s an upsat? Not much, how about you? The first completely open source hardware and software satellite will soon be delivered to the ISS. Built by engineers from the University of Patras and the Libre Space Foundation, the UPSat was recently delivered to Orbital ATK where it will be delivered to the ISS by a Cygnus spacecraft. From there, it will be thrown out the airlock via the NanoRacks deployment pod.

The Voyager Golden Record is a message in a bottle thrown into the cosmic ocean and a time capsule from Earth that may never be opened. Now it’s a Kickstarter. Yes, this record is effectively Now That’s What I Call Humanity volume 1, but there are some interesting technical considerations to the Voyager Golden Record. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever tried to extract the audio and pictures from this phonographic time capsule. The pictures included in the Golden Record are especially weird, with the ‘how to decode this’ message showing something like NTSC, without a color burst, displayed on a monitor that is effectively rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise from a normal CRT TV. Want to know how to get on Hackaday? Get this Golden Record and show an image on an oscilloscope. I’d love to see it, if only because it hasn’t been done before by someone independent from the original project.

Filed under: Hackaday Columns, Hackaday links

An open source 3D Scanner made with Raspberry Pi


Boris Landoni from Open Electronics writes about a new open source 3D Scanner made with Raspberry Pi:

This being said, we may move on to talk about our 3D scan approach, that consists in using a linear laser, that is, one capable of drawing a vertical line having a constant luminous intensity, and in shooting the images that have been determined by the light’s reflection on the object’s surface (that in this case is rotated) by means of a video camera; at each rotation degree (or fraction) corresponds a frame that is digitized and sent to a program capable of processing the surface of the scanned object. Usually, in these systems two lasers (tilted with respect to each other) are used, and the video camera is placed between the two. Our scanner is born out of an elaboration of the PiClop, an open project composed of a mechanics (whose parts to be 3D printed may be downloaded from thingiverse ) and of an electronics formed of the Raspberry Pi 2 board and its video camera; PiClop, as implied by the name, is a free interpretation, based on Ciclop’s Raspberry Pi 2 , a 3D commercial laser scanner and a video camera, supplied with a rotating plate.

Full details at Open Electronics project page.

Pi Zero POV


Francesco over at Garage Tech posted a detailed how-to on building a Raspberry Pi Zero POV setup to display text from a file using an LED:

The most important part of getting the Pi Zero POV to run smoothly is given by how do you fix the payload of this spinning rocket onto the CD. Placing the Pi Zero in the right place will make so that when turning, the whole setup will have as little as possible vibrations. The rule of thumb we followed was to drill two 3 mm holes on opposite sides of the central hole of the CD and so that they would sit on one of the disk diameters.

Full details at Garage Tech homepage.

Using a Bus Pirate to connect to a Raspberry Pi


Scott Dixon describes on his website how he used the Bus Pirate to connect to a Raspberry Pi:

The other day I found myself with a Rasberry Pi that I wanted to use but I had forgotten my FTDI UART cable. What I did have is my Bus Pirate v3.6 and I found it was pretty easy to use it’s transpartent UART bridge macro to connect to the Pi.

More details at 0x20 homepage.

Get your own handy Bus Pirate for $30, including world-wide shipping. Also available from our friendly distributors.

Raspberry Pi web server using flask to control GPIOs


Rui Santos from Random Nerd Tutorials writes:

In this project you’ll create a standalone web server with a Raspberry Pi that can toggle two LEDs. You can replace those LEDs with any output (like a relay or a transistor).
In order to create the web server you will be using a Python microframework called Flask.

More details at Random Nerd Tutorials homepage.

Check out the video after the break.

BeagleBone Black GPIO Benchmark


Joonas Pihlajamaa from Code and Life writes, ” I’ve previously made a GPIO benchmark of Raspberry Pi 1 and 2, and have always wanted to see how BeagleBone Black would stack against the Pis. I recently got one so the obvious thing to do was to see how fast the little thing could go.  Turns out, the little thing needed a bit more work than the Pi, but the results were quite interesting.”

More details at Code and Life homepage.

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