Raspberry Pi Show-and-Tell From the First Maker Training Camp

Mike Vanderpool's project

Our Maker Training Camps are collaborative online courses designed to help makers learn a new skill or build a specific project. The very first cohort of students finish on June 31. We start another cohort on July 1 (sign up here). Every Camp uses projects to practice what is being taught. Over the next few days, we’re going to describe some of the projects that students made:

My name is Mike Vanderpool. I’ve been a tinkerer all of my life and actually read technology manuals as a kid for fun-really. But I did not know much about hardware. The Raspberry Pi Camp enabled me to go from beginner to intermediate in a very short time. By taking the course I gained an understanding of how the hardware and software work together to make things work. I was able to understand how Python plays into Pi and how the GPIO pins are used for input and output commands. It was an excellent overview and provided me with the basic building blocks to make really fun devices. The weekly projects in the course let me apply these blocks to real world projects and gave me the confidence to tackle something bigger.

For my final project, I decided to make the MoPiFi with the LCD plate because I wanted a music player that I could plug into small USB speakers, a battery pack and stream Pandora. Its mobile and runs the python script on boot so its easy and I can also Shell into it from other computers on network if needed. I love music and had a need for a node that could boot and play on demand.

The first was getting the LCD kit and soldering it all up. Then I ran some test scripts to make sure it was working. From there I found some code on GitHub and used that to create a streaming playlist from Pandora to the Pi. I wrote a small script that then autostart my .py script to boot to the py program that assigns and IP address to the PI, authenticates to Pandora and pulls in my play lists.

Now I have a music player that I actually made!

The next cohort for  Introduction to Raspberry Pi starts on July 1. The Camp runs for four weeks.   Each week has a lecture, a project and office hours on a Google hangout to interact with the teacher and other students.  Come build your own streaming music player!

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