Hacklet 94 – Pi Zero Contest Entries

Hackaday and Adafruit have joined forces to present the Raspberry Pi Zero Contest. A great contest is nothing without entries though. This is where the Hackaday.io community is proving once again that they’re the best in the world. The contest is less than a week old, yet as of this Thursday evening, we’re already up to 33 entrants! You should submit your own project ideas now for a chance at one of the many prizes. This week on The Hacklet, we’re going to take a look at a few of these early entrants!

controllerWe start with [usedbytes] and Zero Entertainment System [usedbytes] has crammed an entire emulator into a classic Nintendo Entertainment System control pad thanks to the Raspberry Pi Zero. Zero Entertainment System also has something the original NES couldn’t dream of having: An HDMI output. The emulator uses the popular RetroPie front end. We’re happy to say that [usedbytes] knew that hacking up a real Nintendo controller would be sacrilegious, so they grabbed a low-cost USB clone from the far East. A bit of creative parts-stuffing and point-to-point wiring later, ZES was ready to meet the world!

wsprNext up is [Jenny List] with The Australia Project. [Jenny] is a hacker from Europe. She’s hoping to use a Pi Zero to talk to Australia. “Talk” may be pushing it a bit though. The Australia Project will use the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) network to transmit RF straight out of the Pi’s GPIO ports. All that is required is a good filter, an antenna, and a balun. The filter in this case is a 7-pole Chebyshev low-pass filter. The filter keeps the Pi’s harmonic filled square waves from messing up every band from DC to light. [Jenny] normally sells these filters as a kit, but she’s made a special version specifically for the Pi Zero.

tote0[Radomir Dopieralski] has brought his signature walking robots to the Pi Zero world with Tote Zero. Tote Zero is a quadruped walking robot built mainly from 9 gram servos. [Radomir’s] custom tote board interfaces the servos to the Pi Zero itself. The Pi Zero opens all sorts of doors for sensors, vision, and advanced processing. The Arduino board on the original Tote would have been hard pressed to pull that off. Tote is programmed in Python, which will make the code quick and easy to develop. Tote Zero just took its first steps a few days ago, so follow along as a new robot is born!


ethernetpoFinally we have [julien] with PoEPi: Pi Zero Power over Ethernet with PHY. The Raspberry Pi Zero is so tiny, that it’s easy to forget it needs a fair amount of power to run. [Julien] is giving us a way to connect our Pi to a network while ditching the USB power supply using Power Over Ethernet (PoE). PoE has been powering devices like IP cameras for years now. It’s become a standard way of transmitting power and data. For the Ethernet physical interface, [Julien] is using Microchip’s ENC28J60, which has a handy SPI interface. Linux already has drivers in place for the device, so it’s a slam dunk. The “power” part of this system comes with the help of an LTC4267 PoE interface chip, which has a built-in switching regulator.

If you want to see more entrants to Hackaday and Adafruit’s Pi Zero contest, check out the submissions list! If you don’t see your project on that list, you don’t even have to contact me, just submit it to the Pi Zero Contest! That’s it for this week’s Hacklet. As always, see you next week. Same hack time, same hack channel, bringing you the best of Hackaday.io!

16 thoughts on “Hacklet 94 – Pi Zero Contest Entries

        1. On Element 14 you can have a PI designed for you. I wonder if you can have them change it to a Zero.
          It will no longer cost I dont know Ive never seen the price in canada because they never have it in stock.
          But I know it is no $5. Cant even find a old PI anymore.

          These entries look great so far..

  1. Im in Canada and Ive been trying ever since they came out.
    Bad timing i guess.
    And now with the contest going It looks like It will be a long time till I get one.
    I will have to be content with the PIs I have.

    So I’m starting to work with the ESP8266 I got 16 of them so far and 3 left to come in.
    I got the majority if different ones to try out and find the one I like.
    So far I like the ESP 8266mod from AI-Thinker and at a good price.
    When I started finely starting my home animation I was going to go with Arduino and communicating with RS485 and wireless part was going to be using 433 mhz.
    Now I can do a mesh network for all the sensors and i/o. and I plan to use a old android tablet to be the master and take in the the information and sort everything out for the web server for internet control.
    I never new there was so many different types of interfaces for it : I2C, SPI, IR, HSPI, and another uart.. I just wish there was another ADC.
    I love all the Inputs / Outputs. there are 11 Data’s and 1 ADC and you can connect almost anything.
    I am still learning how to get at everything set up properly.

    When I get my first prototype done thats when I will open the door for everyone.

    I am also playing with the Orange PI. Quite a challenge to work with. I guess the company is no longer trying to do anything with there web site or contacting any one. Thank god it was only $15.( U get what U pay for.)

    Good luck everyone…. ;-)

  2. I find the PoEPi most useful and interesting of these — anything that helps reduce cable-clutter is welcome and if you ain’t using WiFi for connectivity you may as well use your Ethernet-cable for both power and data. The project may not be flashy, it may not serve well as advertising-material, and for these two reasons I already doubt it’s going to win the contest, but it sure provides practical benefits.

  3. The WSPR thing REALLY needs to break out the UART so you can run NTPD and discipline it with a GPS outputting NMEA sentences and 1PPS. I’m not sure if this would be translated as output frequency stabilization in the SoC’s architecture or not though.

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