In 1978, a tape-driven computer known as the Sharp MZ-80K was created. The MZ has a 2 MHz CPU, a massive 20 KB of RAM, and a built-in monochrome monitor. Just a few years later, in 1981, Yasushi Enari (Panda Precision), a high-school student, created a miniature MZ. Just recently, he took his old project and upgraded it using a Raspberry Pi Zero. He replaced the screen with an Adafruit colour TFT and added the Zero with some power circuitry. You can read more about the project and see build photos here. Thanks to Adafruit for spotting this one.
The AIY Projects Kit given away free with The MagPi issue 57 went down a storm. In previous issues, The MagPi has covered various ways of extending the kit using some of the additional functionality on the HAT. This time, they’ve published online a tutorial that shows you how to connect up a DC motor to the HAT with an accompanying power supply. All the code is there too and you can read up on it here. Still no news on when more of the kits will be available, which is a shame. The nearest board to the AIY HAT is the pi-topPULSE but that doesn’t have the extra functionality for robotics etc. One can only hope someone decides to take the AIY kit on as a going concern in the near future otherwise I fear its day will pass!
Giles Booth likes to try out new hardware by seeing if it can be made into a music player. This time, he’s used a micro:bit to control a Raspberry Pi’s music playing capabilities. By pressing A and B, he can change channels and by tilting the micro:bit from side to side, he can change the volume. The magic sauce that makes this all work is David Whale‘s bitio Python library which gives users of Python on a Pi, PC or Mac access to the micro:bit’s sensors and buttons. You can read more about this project on Giles’ blog here and you can find out more about the bitio library here. Get hold of a micro:bit from The Pi Hut. Giles takes you through the operation of the system in the video below:
Joonas Pihlajamaa has taken a Raspberry Pi and plugged in his Kawai CS-11 keyboard. By installing some software and then programming the Pi in Python, he has created a MIDI logger. He plays notes on the keyboard, the keystrokes are converted to MIDI format and then transmitted to the Pi which logs them. Take a look at how he created his MIDI logger here.
Bill Ballard has taken a Raspberry Pi, a Pimoroni Scroll pHAT and an Adafruit Ultimate GPS board and created a trip recorder for when he’s out on his boat. The Scroll pHAT displays the current speed in knots whilst the Raspberry Pi outputs location readings from the GPS board to a file. The file is later imported into a Mathematica program and the route that was taken is plotted. Read more on The MagPi website and see his code on GitHub.