Saturday, 2 August 2014

Raspberry Pi

Penny has been though the wars again. Thursday she had yet more treatment for her teeth. This time she only lost one little one. Mike, the vet, is trying a new, to him, treatment which coats the teeth below the gum line to help slow down decay. This treatment has had very good reports but is a first for Mike. This time she seems to be recovering much faster and I need to wear sun glasses to look at her teeth they are such a dazzling pure white now.

I have toyed with the idea of buying a Raspberry Pi to play with. This is a bare bones programmable computer. Recently a new version has been released, the B+, so I decided to order one. One thing which interested me was the built in interface for a specially designed camera, obtainable extra so I got one of those along with a USB WiFi 'dongle':


In use I plug in a mini keyboard and mouse.
A good job they increased the number of USB ports from 2 to 4 on the B+.
There is an HDMI output which I plug in a 15 inch TV.

The Pi B+ does not come with an operating system but takes a micro SD card which can be loaded with one or more of several free programming languages.  One aspect of using the camera I liked was being able to monitor it over WiFi or even the internet. The camera has 5 Mpixels which is reasonable and the software can be programmed to take still or movie.

This is a 640x480 capture taken over wiFi with a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4:

2014-08-02 18.53.53

For android based phones or tablets there is a very easy to use free app (RaspCAM Remote).
There is a free iOS app (BerryCam) which takes much more setting up.

The Pi seems to me to be a bit more delicate than the Arduino in one respect. The input signals cannot exceed 3V and many extras were designed to work on 5V so, as far as I am concerned, an interface is a sensible idea. There are many interfaces which do one job but also available is this versatile Tandy jobby which comes as a kit:


It was designed for the earlier versions of the Pi (A & B) but should be OK with the B+ as far as I can see. There are about 70 items to solder on the board but as some have up to 20 pins I reckon about 200 solder joints will have to be made. Should keep me out of mischief for hours! As will coming to terms with learning to program the Pi as the languages used seem nothing like those I have used in the past.


  1. poor penny. hope the new treatment helps!

  2. Glad to hear that Penny has a new treatment that hopefully will help. Well, you've certainly set yourself a challenge...solder on ;)!!

  3. This looks like a winter job.
    Glad the teeth are sorted.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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