Raspberry Pi high-definition camera – a collection of new projects, guides and reviews from the web

At the end of April, a new, high-definition camera was launched for the Raspberry Pi. Now that people have had the kit for a few months, a lot of projects are starting to come out that really show off the camera. I thought I’d do a round-up post.

Bare-bones rig

David Booth wrote an excellent guest post on this very blog with his bare-bones high-quality camera rig. You can read the whole piece here.

Pistol Grip camera

Jenny List has written an interesting piece on camera form-factors over on Hackaday. She’s talked about some interesting designs and shapes for cameras and then developed her own one with a pistol grip (as pictured) which uses the high-definition camera. It’s an interesting demand and, as she points out, is reminiscent of 8mm cine cameras. All the CAD files are over on GitHub for this one.

3D camera using two modules

In a recent MagPI magazine article, PJ Evans wrote about how he’d taken two Raspberry Pi Zeros and attached a pair of high-quality cameras. Using a 3D-printed mount, he’d managed to arrange the two devices so that they were at the right angle to get a good, solid, high quality 3D image which was then displayed using a smartphone and Google Cardboard. One Zero is used as the master to trigger the two cameras and provide a web interface and a clever bit of GPIO bridge-wiring means that only one power supply is necessary. You can see the whole project over on the MagPi website.

3D-printed enclosure

Pierre-yves Baloche has written a fascinating series of posts in which he details the usage of the Pi camera and then the creation of a 3D-printed enclosure to hold the high-quality camera. Code and 3D design files for the project are available on GitHub.

Microscopic

Recently, Pimoroni announced the availability of a microscopic lens and stand for the high-definition camera. Currently, they are both out-of-stock but Les Pounder, over at Tom’s Hardware managed to get one. He’s written an extensive review of the kit over on that site which you can read here.

 

That’s it for this roundup. Hopefully at least one of those articles will be of interest 🙂

New case for the Raspberry Pi and touchscreen on Kickstarter from SmartiPi

Tom Murray, an experienced Kickstarter campaign creator, and his company SmartiPi are back in the case game with a new Kickstarter campaign. This time, they’ve developed a new case for the Raspberry Pi and official touchscreen. Compatible with all 40-pin Pis, the case comes in two sizes (the choice is made after the campaign) and is called the SmartiPi Touch Pro.

The case comes with inserts to cover the USB/Ethernet port and also the in-built camera hole which is brought around the front. It also comes with two fans to ventilate the case which is expected to be made in injection moulded ABS plastic.

For a single case, you’re looking at $28 plus shipping (which is only $6 to the UK and free for USA, just for reference) and the costs come down slightly for multiples.

It looks like a great case, especially for those who want a static display. The extra space afforded by the new design means you could add a HAT to increase the functionality and Tom has run several excellent campaigns which have delivered. So, take a look at the Kickstarter campaign which runs to the 15th June.

New laptop learning system from Elecrow – CrowPi2 – on Kickstarter now! Powered by Raspberry Pi

Launched today on Kickstarter is the CrowPi2. Billed as an “All in one STEAM education platform & Raspberry Pi laptop to Learn, Explore and Have Fun”, the CrowPi includes an 11.6″ 1920×1080 resolution IPS screen and a removable unit which includes a wireless keyboard and trackpad. (They also include a wireless mouse, but I’m not sure why if they’ve got the trackpad, but anyway…)

TL;DR – Take me to the Kickstarter.

Beneath this removable unit is a whole host of sensors, widgets and blinkies to do projects with.

Included in the main body of the CrowPi is a 2MP camera and a microphone (very handy) as well as stereo speakers. The Raspberry Pi is installed upside down in the base of the CrowPi, plugged into the unit using the 40-pins of the GPIO.

A big headline of the CrowPi 2 is that it is compatible with both the Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 4, which means you can use whichever Pi you happen to have spare. The kit comes with HDMI adapters for both.

According to the promotional page, the CrowPi2 comes with over 70 lessons covering Scratch, Python, AI and Minecraft. There are also an additional 30+ projects and Python games to explore the Raspberry Pi. There is also offline account management to help you to save progress and achievements.

Price-wise, the CrowPi 2 is pretty competitive, considering what you get. There are three kits: Basic (starting at $139 for super earlybird, rising to $169 for earlybird and then to $259 for retail), Intermediate ($239/$259/$359) and Advanced ($289/$329/$439). Each one comes with more bits and pieces than the last, and the Intermediate and Advanced include a Raspberry Pi 4 4GB. All these prices are subject to change ahead of the Kickstarter campaign, which should be launching tomorrow.

For more information, and to sign-up to the notification email list, visit this page on the Elecrow site. Visit the Kickstarter here.

Raspberry Pi treats people urinating illegally in public to a deluge from a water pipe (nothing visible, but still…)

Following the arrest and conviction of Andrew Banks for urinating at the Westminster memorial dedicated to PC Keith Palmer, someone sent me a video of this fabulous Raspberry Pi-controlled project. The charmingly-named “That Engineer Guy” has been helping a Southampton-based friend out. The friend owns a shop and, disgustingly, people (I assume mostly drunk) have been using his back doorway as a public urinal. By using a Raspberry Pi, a water valve and a camera programmed to detect movement, The Engineer Guy has developed a solution by creating a spray of his own – from a water down-pipe! The lesson here? You never know who’s watching!

You can watch all the attempts here, if you really must!

Roberts R757 Radio refurbishment project – Raspberry Pi inside!

For a few years, I have been following the work of Martin Mander, a hobbyist with a passion for refurbishing and repurposing vintage electrical equipment. Recently, Martin repurposed a 1970s transistor radio to create an internet radio. This inspired me to look around to see what I could find to do something similar.

I came across a radio from 1996 on eBay – an R757 from Surrey-based manufacturer Roberts, who are now based in the West Midlands. I refurbished it physically and then took the insides out, replaced them with a Raspberry Pi Zero and a Pimoroni pHAT Beat audio board and wrote some software to turn it into my own internet radio.

You can read the full build details and more about the software on this page. Comments welcome! 🙂

Raspberry Pi used in projection art work to proclaim that Black Lives Matter

Kareem Rahma stands in front of a projection project he led that displays on the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Credit: Jaida Grey Eagle | Sahan Journal

Artist Kareem Rahma is an Egyptian-American who has settled in Brooklyn. The recent killing of George Floyd spurred him into action to create a statement piece which would be achieved by projecting onto the side of the Mill City Museum in Minnesota, Minneapolis. The projection includes the faces of Floyd and many others who have been lost due to police violence.

The project, called “The Revolution Will be Televised” was developed with collaborators Khalil Anderson, Hayley Pappas and Smiley Stevens and took just two days to put together. The museum, which has stated they had nothing to do with the projection, has not asked the artists to take it down yet, and it is being left as a tribute to those who have lost their lives.

The projection is controlled by a Raspberry Pi computer, with images and video stored on a USB drive, displayed on an auditorium projector and a generator for power, all set-up 400 feet back from the target surface. The equipment and the technical know-how was provided by David Dellanave, a Minneapolis gym owner.

You can read more and see some quotes from those involved at the Sahan Journal.