Connecting an Analog Joystick to the Raspberry Pi (and using it with an RGB LED to simulate a color wheel)

One of the coolest things about the Raspberry Pi is its GPIO pins. They’re just sitting there, waiting to be connected to all kinds of useful peripherals so your Pi can interact with the world around it. Power an LED to signal the user. Place a button in the path of a circuit and detect when a user presses it. Attach sensors to read temperature and humidity, and plug other cards like the Sense HAT over top of the pins. A few months ago, I got a set of 37 sensor modules on Amazon. I knew they wouldn’t »

Creating a Flickering Candle Using an RGB LED on the Raspberry Pi

After getting PWM (pulse-width modulation) to work with an RGB LED last week, I was trying to think of what else I could do with an LED that demonstrated changes in color as well as intensity. I’m not sure why – maybe it was because we lost power in our neighborhood recently – but I thought a flickering candle could be an interesting little challenge… Materials In order to test this out, you’ll need a few things. An RGB LED A button A breadboard A T-cobbler (optional, but makes life easier when wiring up to GPIO pins) A range of »

How to Use an RGB multicolor LED with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) on the Raspberry Pi

If you buy a kit with random LEDs, wires, switches, etc, like this one I purchased from CanaKit, you’re likely to end up with one or two of those funky little LEDs that appears to be white, and has 4 wires instead of 2. I had set mine aside and made a mental note to figure it out later… well, I’m bored with regular LEDs so that time has come! It’s a special kind of LED that consists of 3 separate LEDs… red, green and blue. By adjusting each color independently, you can create any color (similar »

How to Flash an LED on Your Raspberry Pi When You Get New Email

This week we’ll create an email notification system using the Raspberry Pi. The idea is to check for new email, and flash an LED when we get one. Connecting to Gmail The circuit will be extremely straight-forward, so let’s focus on the more difficult part first – connecting to an email service. We need to create a secure connection to our email provider, so we can find out when new mail arrives. Do a quick search, and you’ll likely find scripts like this one where you just connect with your username, password and a few other pieces of »

Learning Python for the Raspberry Pi

Once you’ve connected the peripherals, installed NOOBS, and gotten your Raspberry Pi up and running, pat yourself on the back and take a moment to bask in the glow of the large raspberry on your Raspbian desktop. Whee. Okay, that’s enough gloating, ya narcissist. So now what? Choosing a Language After getting my first Raspberry Pi 2 up and running last weekend, and taking some cursory glances at the sample apps, I wanted to get into some actual development. After all, if we can’t tell it to do anything, then it’s not much more than a »

Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi 2

I got a Raspberry Pi 2 for Christmas, and finally took it for a spin this weekend… just as the community is getting ready to celebrate the Pi’s 4th birthday. After using it for a few hours, here’s what I’ve learned so far. Invest in a Starter Kit The base Raspberry Pi 2 board is only about $35, but it comes with nothing else, not even an ac adapter. If you happen to have spare parts lying around, this may not be a problem. Unfortunately, I dumped my boxes of computer parts years ago when I stopped »