Wolfram’s Mathematica can run on a $5 Raspberry Pi zero. While it may be painfully slow, it does open up opportunities to use Mathematica in low-power, remote-sensing applications. This blog post is a first in a series highlighting the design challenges I’ve encountered (and in some cases overcome) building Mathematica on Pi (MoP) devices. (Hey, I think I just created a new acronym.)
This is a short post to show off my first attempt at PCB milling. I’m a member of the Chicago Innovation Exchange. Well, I was, but now it’s no longer CIE but the Polsky Center, or maybe the Polsky Echange North, I’m not sure, but that’s what happens when someone invests $35 million in your incubator; you change your name. The center provides me access to a pretty swanky fab lab equipped with (among other things) an X-carve CNC mill. I recently completed my training on the machine and I wanted to put my skills to the test.
I’m late to the game, but I bet I’m not the only one. It turns out that there’s a very easy way to set up your old (version B, and presumably version A) Raspberry Pi as an FM radio transmitter. Here’s how I did it and what I used it for.
Ahh, the age-old question of the chicken or the egg. There’s a similar theme in my family having to do with my Dad and making stuff. He introduced me to electronics when I was too young to realize how awesome it was, I introduced him to the Raspberry Pi, then he introduced me to Adruino. I introduced him to video capture on the Pi (with the help of a 3D printed camera case) and he turned it around into a nest cam! Ahh, so there’s the bird connection, this is a post about setting up a quick and dirty (and surprisingly effective) nest cam!
The Go! Link from Vernier Software & Technology (Vernier), is a USB adapter for their proprietary sensors which also provides some basic features such as a buffer, sensor auto-identification and raw voltage reading conversion. Vernier provides a software development kit which allows programmers to use Go! devices in their own systems. Since Wolfram’s Mathematica software became available on the Raspberry Pi, I have been thinking about how one can build a flexible sensor system using Vernier’s products and based on the inexpensive computer and the powerful data analysis and visualization tools of Mathematica. This project isn’t new, and my earlier attempts were highlighted on the Raspberry Pi blog and I recently announced a previous version of this software package. What I’m presenting now is a more user-friendly system that makes data collection easy through the device driver framework incorporated into Mathematica.
GoIOLink is the flagship component of a project I call VernierPiLink which seeks to provide a variety of Vernier-sensor-Raspberry-Pi integration resources. It relies on VS&T’s Go!Link USB adapter to perform the physical connection between an analog Vernier sensor and the Raspberry Pi. On the software side, I am using the Go! I/O software development kit also from VS&T and the Wolfram Language which comes free (for non-commercial use) on the Raspberry Pi.
A few years back, I bought a whole bunch of Fisher brand pipette tips and now my lab is cluttered with a bunch of empty plastic boxes now that the tips have been used and disposed of. I needed a quick project enclosure to build an instrument for a student and thought this might be an interesting exercise in repurposing.
In the previous iteration of my website, I had some details about installing the Vernier Go software development kit on the Raspberry Pi and then using Mathematica to visualize the results. Here is an updated set of instructions which is a little more straightforward.
I made this thing a while back, and I keep telling myself that I’m going to write a longer article. Well, it probably won’t happen, so at least here’s a summary of my impressions on the build.
Continue reading The RPi Palmtop
I’ve been having some problems configuring the optimal fan speeds on my computer. Part of the issue is that I have no way of seeing temperature changes while I’m using full-screen applications. A little help from Wolfram, a Raspberry Pi and Adafruit’s LCDPiPlate got me the information I needed.