Making Raspberry Pi in the woods

So the Ohmsteader is an old school DIY kinda guy, and so it’s taken him a pretty long time to come around to adding computer control to his DIY projects – but no more.  The wonderful and amazing Raspberry Pi and its even more spare cousin Arduino are changing that.  Full fledged and surprisingly easy to play with computers/micro-controllers that cost in the neighborhood of $30 and are open source and fully hackable.

The Raspberry Pi turn one year old on the imaginary February 29, 2013 (this is what happens when you release on a leap day!) – and more than a million units have been sold in that time with an advertising budget of right around zero dollars – just incredible!  Apparently all people needed was to be told you can have the computer that sat on your desktop just a few years ago for 30 bucks and it just about the size of a credit card now to decide to start playing with them (count me in that category).

The tech embracing self proclaimed environmentalists over at treehugger.com have come up with a list of Raspberry Pi projects worth making happen.  Some of these are novel (building an upcycled carboard case for the computer on a single circuit board), while others are very Ohmsteader check out in particular the DIY home automation controller (e.g. dim your lights from your mobile phone, or control your thermostat remotely).  But perhaps the most interesting to me is the idea of running the Raspberry Pi off-grid – a PV powered RPi (“Arr-Pie”as they’re called in shorthand).  Because these devices run on DC they’re very easy to integrate into offgrid systems.  Attached to an offgrid battery system you can now have home automation for things like internal lights and lighted walkways for less than the cost of a family dinner out.

The Ohmsteader is only just getting started with Raspberry Pi and Arduino, but there are several projects ongoing so keep watching for updates!

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