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raspberry pi week banner 1 And the Winner Is...

Last week’s Raspberry Pi contest attracted nearly 40 projects. Our panel of judges was impressed by the range and quality of the entrants and while the competition was close, one project rose to the top: Gerrit Polder’s Slow Scan TeleVision (SSTV) Camera.

Here’s how he describes the project:

The Raspberry Pi with the PiCam is used as a wireless camera which can transmit images over long distances, usually tenths of kilometers. Images will be transmitted by amateur radio (ham-radio) using slow scan television (SSTV) on the 2 meter band (144.5 MHz). Since the Pi can generate the HF FM signal itself, no additional electronics are needed for low power transmissions. For a little bit more power a one or two transistor amplifier will be suitable. Furthermore a low pass filter is recommended to filter out higher harmonics of the signal. This project also contains a Python script which detects movement. Using this script, the Raspberry Pi can be used as a wireless security cam at distances far outside the range of normal WiFi networks. Be aware that you need a ham radio license to use this application!

SlowScan

Did you get all that? Here are a few choice words from our judges about the project:

This project really shined because it was a new approach to older technology. It had some nice finishing touches and the guide was very thorough. I knew it would be a contender when I wanted to drop everything and try it out for myself!

–Matt Richardson, MAKE contributing editor and co-author of Getting Started With Raspberry Pi

Slow Scan was one of the most creative out there. The documentation was excellent- not just showing the build, but the how and why of it all. I got all excited imagining the uses; I think it’d be excellent for wildlife protection projects.

–Sam Freeman, MAKE labs supervisor

The Pi Slow Scan TV is a tremendous project. Not only is this a project polished and cool, but it’s the most compelling reason for me to get a ham license. I’m building one now and studying for the test.

–David Scheltema, MAKE technical editor

Love this project — a “beyond remote” streaming cam you can stash anywhere to keep tabs on anything. I’ve been searching for cool amateur radio projects, and innovative uses for the amateur spectrum. This one is a powerful new application that’s not the same old “listen to Reykjavik and bounce signals off the moon” stuff.

–Keith Hammond, MAKE projects editor

In other words, nice job Gerrit! The $500 voucher to the Maker Shed is yours and we look forward to getting your project up on our site.

What do you think, makers? How would you use a Raspberry Pi and amateur (ham) radio? DIY radar? Global swarmbots? Ham LoJack? Post your ideas in the comments below.

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.


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