Interesting Raspberries Pi Uses?

Well, more ‘single board low power computer’ rather than ‘raspberry pi.’ However the pi is the poster child of the form factor.

Saw a video on YouTube that went on at how to give wired appliances WiFi through using ddwrt or tomato to firmware a router. However it felt disingenuine when the video painted it as simple, then casually mentions ‘oh that thing you have probably isn’t on the list’ then only sorta goes ‘go here for actual install instructions.’

Whole time I’m thinking ‘Raspberry pi could act as a wireless bridge and possibly have interesting ‘at device’ things that it could stow locally for retrieval or other uses.’

Another function I’d seen is getting the Dreamcast back online.

An idea I’ve had was to augment one of those ‘little free libraries’ so that in addition to physical books you can use a pi to offer ebooks and other texts.

Anyone else have novel pi uses beyond the brewing brain not?


Honestly, I am currently in the position of “way more SBCs than good excuses for them”.

I came across a neat SDR ADS-B aircraft tracking project a while back; and have(far too slowly; much to my annoyance) been weatherproofing an rPi and the SDR hardware so that they can be mounted outside(1090MHz has severely unimpressive penetration of walls and roofs; and low cost RF wiring tends to be high attenuation; and low attenuation RF wiring tends to be high cost; so better to digitize everything close to the antenna).

I’ve got another, with a ‘piNoir’ IR camera and appropriate IR bandpass filter; waiting to be bodged into an IR camera; but my slackerly tendencies have also been getting in the way of finishing that one.

As for router-based hackery; it is annoyingly often true that the device you have is unsupported; but if you consult the OpenWRT table of hardware you can might get lucky; and will almost certainly be able to locate a device that is both supported and available dirt cheap(especially if you don’t insist on ‘zOMG 802.11AC with MIMO SPACIAL STREAMS’ and similar bleeding-edge features.

Routers often lack punch and GPIO; but integrated NICs are usually good(compared to the ones tacked on to the rPi’s USB port; not compared to classy NICs); and power consumption and price can be pretty attractive.

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I’m currently doing a network monitor program.

I use dynamic DNS for a website (on another Pi), and my connection occasionally goes down (I suspect a connection bandit or really bad wiring), so I like to check if the DDNS is tracking my current IP address.

The UP status and the log on the right is driven by a traceroute to my domain every several seconds. When it’s good, the traceroute promptly ends at my router. (The burp is an occasional extra hop in the traceroute.)

The table on the left is driven by NMAP (cheap and dirty).

The fun part are the sound effects for when the connection drops/comes back, DDNS catches up to an IP change, and devices coming and going from the LAN. (Special sound effects for when unknown devices appear.)

It’s almost half-baked, so I’ll throw it on Github soon. (Lazarus/Free Pascal source code.)

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Now there’s an idea I love! I built a LFL at my old house and loved it, so have been wanting to build one at our new house for a year now. I’d love to try just what you suggest!


I’ve been mulling over hooking a barometer and mic into something internet connected that would let me know when doors get opened/closed in the house.

It’d be a cheap activity monitor, so I could tell if anyone’s home without having to call.

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Z-Wave is great for this.

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If I’m going to talk with my router, or something near it, the 30m range isn’t going to work. The house is already about 20m wide, and has a lot of walls, plus the kitchen directly in-between where I’d deploy. With a leaky microwave and 2x 240v lines running vertically up to 8 feet above floor level. It’s like a faraday cage built out of interference and plumbing. Even powerline networking does better in my house than 2.4gHz.

I need to just bite the bullet and put in shielded CAT6 or something with a good router/level 3 switch.


I’ve used Raspberry Pi for a phone system and for vehicle on-board diagnostics. I’ve been thinking of using one for a Point-Of-Sale system after seeing an automated kiosk fail spectacularly, but I never got around to it.


If this is an option it’s hard to do much better than that. The first thing I did when I moved into my condo was to wire every room with multiple CAT 6 endpoints.

That said Z-Wave is still a great solution for simple p2p sensor endpoints like what you’re looking for. I use SmartThings in my condo (which is basically a brand name Z-Wave implementation) and it’s been pretty great. I keep meaning to get their Arduino shield but I’ve been too busy with life to really concentrate on my hobbies.


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