raspberry pi

How Can I Make a Video Wall in My House?

Raspberry Pi

Episode 1811

Steve from Los Angeles, CA

Steve wants to use TV screens to create a large screen photo gallery in his home. Leo says he could use a Chromecast or Apple TV for each TV screen and stream photos from Google Photos. He would also want to join all screens together for one big picture. Leo says that could be a bigger challenge because each TV has to join with the other. A Raspberry Pi could perhaps do it, but you'd have to write custom code to be able to create a Video Wall Mosaic.

How Can I Connect My TV to My Sonos Speakers?

Sonos Speaker

Episode 1807

Jason from Henrico, VA

Jason is blind and wants to route the audio from his TIVO to his Sonos speakers, so he can hear all over the house. Leo says that electronics "age out," and Sonos deprecated a lot of gear in a recent update. So there has to be a third-party workaround. If your Sonos has a line in, you could hardwire it. That's the way to go. But the Roam Bluetooth speaker doesn't. There is a raspberry pi way to do it using a Pi-Sonos server. It's cheap too at $35 for the Pi.

What are the blinking lights for behind Leo?

Raspberry Pi 4

Episode 1704

Dave from Los Angeles, CA

Dave wants to know more about the flashing lights box behind Leo. Leo says that computers in the 70s had switches, and the blinking lights would tell you when the software switches were enabled correctly. The irony is that the box behind Leo is run on a Raspberry Pi, which is hundreds of times more powerful than the box it's emulating. We've come a long way since then. 

Is Raspberry Pi a good secure computer for kids?

Raspberry Pi 4

Episode 1676

Brenda from Fullerton, California

Brenda wants to know if the Raspberry Pi is a computer that her grandkids could learn with. Leo says absolutely. It can not only teach kids how computers work but teach them how to program. You can run Windows on it; you can run Minecraft on it. It's an excellent computer for kids, and it's only about $35. But that's only the board. It's not the computer monitor, keyboard, or mouse. Check out ADAFRUIT; they have a great starter pack for around $100. Can you block websites? Leo says not on the Raspberry Pi, but you can do it from the router.

How can I get a text message when my solar power system goes down?

Solar Power System

Episode 1660

Scott from Laguna Hills, California

Scott has solar power and occasionally, the system will pop a breaker and go off. But he won't get notified that it's happened, even though he has an IP based system. How can he set up a text message that can notify him when it happens?  Leo says if it was public, you could use a service like If This, Then That, to send you a text. But since it's private, then you may have to create your system using an old computer or raspberry pi to run a process that would ping your system to see if it's up and running. 

How Can I Learn to 3D Print a Prosthetic Arm?

 Winter Soldier.

Episode 1638

Edward from Los Angeles, CA

Edward's brother in law lost his arm and he wants to work with his son to design a prosthetic arm that looks like the Winter Soldier. Leo says to check out OpenBionics.com. He can also search for 3D-printed arms. It's becoming a huge space in the Maker community, as people are designing and 3D printing the prosthetic arms. Also, look at Raspberry Pi projects that use voice control. Check out ChatterBox, a DIY smart speaker that is a homebrew digital assistant. 

How can I switch between two computers with one monitor?

KVM HDMI Switch

Episode 1621

Jay from Temecula, California

Jay would like to plug in a Raspberry Pit and Mac Mini into the same monitor. Is there a switch for that? Leo says that while the Pi has an HDMI, the MacMini also offers Thunderbolt 3. So you want to get an HDMI capable monitor. Jay also says that Pi 4 is going to be TB3 compatible. Leo says if that's the case, then a splitter could be easy. Or one that has multiple inputs. KVM switches are more flexible. IOGear makes some of the best ones. Monoprice have some that are good. Most use software to control them. Leo has one called IHSE DRACO for the studio.

How Can I Learn More About My Raspberry Pi?

 Raspberry Pi

Episode 1594

James from Ottawa, Canada

James is a HAM and he wants to build a Raspberry Pi for using D-Star to run his HAM online. Leo says James will need a few extra pieces to work, but it's the ideal device for that purpose. Check out RaspberryPi.org for more information on how to use a Raspberry Pi for a host of uses. You can even use it as a computer running Linux and Windows 10.