Star Trek Voyager sound box for a scale model using a Raspberry Pi Zero and Pimoroni magic!

A friend of mine volunteers for a non-profit organization called Models for Heroes which aims to give Armed Forces veterans a focus for their free time by helping them get into scale modelling. He also builds his own scale models and this time it’s a model of the USS Voyager from Star Trek. He asked for some help to give the project an extra “zing” by providing sound effects. I did some research and, to start with, I was going to use the Raspberry Pi Pico to do it. However, I wanted really good sound this time. My last project for Steff was to provide effects for a Lancaster Bomber model. This time, it was simpler but I wanted something that wouldn’t sound too strained when playing the Voyager main theme.

I settled for a Raspberry Pi Zero W and an attached Pirate Audio 3W board from Pimoroni. I also bought two 3W speakers from The Pi Hut, cut the connectors off, solder-tinned the ends of the wires and plugged those into the Pirate Audio’s terminals.

The next step was to install the software onto the Pi and then create a script to handle both the audio tracks and put some appropriate images on the display screen.

For this, I needed Pillow, gpiozero, pygame and the ST7789 library that comes with the Pimoroni install package. I’m not going to go into how to install them, but you want to use the apt install method rather than pip.

Here’s a link to the code. You’ll see that I’m using the B and A buttons for Next and Previous track, Y for pause and then X is a press-to-hold button for shutting down the Pi nicely (rather than just pulling the power). In terms of the tracks, hopefully no-one has a big problem with me using them – this is for fun and not-for-profit!

Here’s a demo video of the project in action!

2 comments for “Star Trek Voyager sound box for a scale model using a Raspberry Pi Zero and Pimoroni magic!

  1. Great – thanks for sharing.
    It’s wonderful what we can get these little boards to do now by mix and matching components and putting ideas/methods from smaller projects together.
    Looking forward to CamJam on Saturday

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