Tune into radio stations from all over the (physical) globe with this Raspberry Pi project

Jude Pullen has taken a World globe and a lot of 3D-printed parts and created himself a brilliant radio player. By positioning the arm of the contraption affixed to the globe, it is possible to tune into to over 2000 Internet radio stations. The contraption uses two rotary encoders to work out the position of the arm and then those readings are fed into the Raspberry Pi which works out if there is a radio at that position. An LED lights up when you are over a station and the information about the station appears on the little screen at the front of the control panel. You are then free to listen to whatever came up!

It’s quite some project and, frankly, it’s quite some write-up over at Instructables. You can see a video of the RadioGlobe in action, below.


Floppy drive used for storage in this Raspberry Pi walkman music player

Terence Eden has created a device which will allow you to play music in what he calls the most inconvenient way possible. Labelled as “lo-fi awfulness and cyberpunk grungy”, this portable music player is a Raspberry Pi hooked up to a USB floppy drive and powered by a battery. Some command line operations allow him to squeeze a full album onto a 1.44MB floppy. Further commands allow him to read the floppy drive and pipe the music into his headphones. The audio quality is similar to a MW radio station and the audio will skip if the floppy drive buffers! It’s all very 1980s!  

You can read more over on his blog including his list of ideas of how to improve it, including taking it “on the road”. There are also some videos of the walkman in action!

Vintage radio hacked to produce Raspberry Pi-controlled AIY game

Dane, over at 8bitsAndAByte has taken a West German Telefunken radio and retrofitted it with a Raspberry Pi and a Google AIY Voice HAT and microphone (this is made from the original version, but I’m sure the new version would work too!). He’s then used a piece of software called DialogFlow which integrates with the AIY software to create a “decision tree” for his very own spy-themed choose-your-own-adventure game.

It’s all voice controlled and works very well as you can see in the video below:

Rugged Cyberdeck for the Raspberry Pi now available as a kit

Jay Doscher has put together a lovely kit of parts to make the Raspberry Pi Quick Kit. It is a miniature cyberdeck made primarily out of a Pelican 1150 waterproof case. Inside the case is the Pi, surrounded by 3D-printed parts and cabling which brings out the Pi’s ports to the front of the case below the official Pi 7″ touchscreen. It’s a lovely build, as you can see, and you can read more about it over on his website and visit his store here.

Are pigeons intelligent? A Raspberry Pi experiment

David Pride wondered one day whether or not he could show that pigeons are intelligent animals. To do this, he created the SmartFrank 3000 (TM) which uses a Raspberry Pi 3B, a motor controller board from PiBorg and a stepper motor to control the release of bird food in response to a button press. The button part has been built to have a very “light touch” so it should react to a pigeon (or other bird) stepping on it.

You can read about the project, and follow along with the results, by keeping an eye on David’s blog.

Borneo rainforest monitored by Raspberry Pi controlled listening posts

A team of scientists from Imperial College London, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership, together known as the SAFE Project, has been recording the health of the Borneo rainforest. Using solar-powered Raspberry Pis and sensors, they can listen to the sound of the forest and give an indicator of its health and the state of its biodiversity. The data is transmitted over the mobile data network.

Professor Rob Ewers, from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial and Principal Investigator for the SAFE Project, said: “The health of a forest ecosystem can often be attributed to how much noise it creates, signalling how many species are around. As well as listening to whole soundscapes, we hope that in the future the system will be able to pick up individual species and record their presence – or absence – from certain areas.”

The team has made some of the recordings available online so that you can listen to the sounds of the rainforest. They have also, intriguingly, made instructions for recreating the Pi/sensor platform available for anyone to reproduce; this includes a full parts list and assembly instructions. The code for the platform is available on GitHub.