Raspberry Pi Saves Printer From Junk Pile

Around here, printers have a life expectancy of about two years if we are lucky. But [techtipsy] has a family member who has milked a long life from an old Canon PIXMA printer. That is, until Microsoft or Canon decided it was too old to print anymore. With Windows 10, it took some hacking to get it to work, but Windows 11 was the death knell. Well, it would have been if not for [techtipsy’s] ingenuity with a Raspberry Pi.

The Pi uses Linux, and, of course, Linux will happily continue to print without difficulty. If you are Linux savvy, you can probably see where this is going.

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Remixed Pi Recovery Kit V2 Offers Another Path

Just a few months after releasing the long-awaited second version of his Raspberry Pi Recovery Kit, [Jay Doscher] is back with an alternate take on his latest Pi-in-a-Pelican design. This slightly abridged take on the earlier design should prove to be easier and cheaper to assemble for those playing along at home while keeping the compromises to a minimum.

Probably the biggest change is that the Raspberry Pi 5 has been swapped out for its less expensive and more abundant predecessor. The Pi 4 still packs plenty of punch, but since it requires less power and doesn’t get as hot, it’s less temperamental in a build like this. Gone is the active cooling required by the more powerful single-board computer, and the wiring to distribute power to the Kit’s internal components has been simplified. The high-end military style connectors have been deleted as well. They looked cool, but they certainly weren’t cheap.

One of the most striking features of the original Recovery Kit was the front-mounted switches — both the networking type that’s intended to help facilitate connecting the Raspberry Pi to whatever hardware is left after the end of the world, and the toggles used to selectively control power to to accessory devices. Both have returned for the Recovery Kit 2B, but they’re also optional, with blank plates available to fill in their vacant spots.

Ultimately, both builds are fairly similar, but there’s enough changes between the two that it will have a notable impact on how much time (and money…) it would take you create one of your own. [Jay] has attempted to offer less intimidating versions of his designs in the past; while other creators take a “one and done” approach to their projects, he seems eager to go back and rethink problems that most others would have considered solved.

Raspberry Pi Goes Public

We’ve heard rumors for the last few months, and now it looks like they’ve come true: the business side of Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Pi Holdings has become a publicly listed company on the London Stock Exchange.

We heard rumblings about this a while back, and our own [Jenny List] asked the question of what this means for the hobbyist and hacker projects that use their products. After all, they’ve been spending a lot of money making new silicon, and issuing stock helps them continue. Jenny worried that they’d forget that what sells their hardware is the software, but ends up concluding that they’ll probably continue doing more of the same thing, just with better funding.

Raspberry Pi CEO [Eben Upton] said basically the same when we asked him what a floatation would mean for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which is the non-profit arm of the Raspberry Empire, and which is responsible for a lot of the educational material and outreach that they do. (Fast-forward to minute 40.) Before the share issue, the Foundation wholly owned Holdings, and received donations to fund its work. Now that there has been a floatation, it looks like the Foundation will owns 70% of Holdings, and will use this endowment to finance its educational mission.

We don’t have a crystal ball, but we suspect this changes not much at all. Raspberry Pi Holdings Ltd is doing great business by producing niche single-board computers that appeal both to the hacker and industrial markets, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation now has a more concrete source of funding to continue its educational goals. But the future will tell!

A business card-sized love detector in a 3D-printed package.

2024 Business Card Challenge: Who Do You Love?

When you hand your new acquaintance one of your cards, there’s a chance you might feel an instant connection. But what if you could know almost instantly whether they felt the same way? With the Dr. Love card, you can erase all doubt.

As you may have guessed, the card uses Galvanic Skin Response. That’s the fancy term for the fact that your skin’s electrical properties change when you sweat, making it easier for electricity to pass through it. There are two sensors, one on each short end of the card where you would both naturally touch it upon exchange. Except this time, if you want to test the waters, you’ll have to wait 10-15 seconds while Dr. Love assesses your chemistry.

The doctor in this case is an RP2040-LCD-0.96, which is what it sounds like — a Raspberry Pi Pico with a small LCD attached. For the sensors, [Un Kyu Lee] simply used 8mm-wide strips of nickel. If you want to build your own, be sure to check out the build guide and watch the video after the break for a demonstration of Dr. Love in action.

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Home Automation Terminal Has Great Post-Apocalyptic Look

If you use home automation these days, you’re probably used to using smart speakers, your smartphone, or those tabletop touchscreen devices. If you wanted something cooler and more personal, you could try building something like [Rick] did.

A Raspberry Pi 400 is the basis for the machine, and it still uses the original keyboard. It’s paired with a 3D-printed shell with a 7″ Waveshare HDMI touch display in it. The LCD is placed behind a Fresnel lens which provides some magnification. It displays a glowing blue command line which accepts text commands. It’s hooked up to the OpenAI API, so it’s a little smarter than just any old regular terminal. It’s hooked up to [Rick’s] home automation system, so he can use natural language queries to control lighting, music, and all the rest. Think Alexa or Siri, but in text form.

The design of the case, with its rounded edges, vents, and thick bezels gives it a strong retro-futuristic look, reminiscent of something out of Fallout. [Rick’s] neat application of weathering techniques helped a lot, too.

It reminds us of some of the cooler Pip Boy builds we’ve seen. Meanwhile, if you’ve got your own creative terminal build in the works, don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

Pi Pico Helps Restring Badminton Rackets

Stringing a badminton racquet is a somewhat complicated job. It needs to be done well if the racquet is to perform well and the player is to succeed. To that end, [kuokuo] built a machine of their own to do that very task. Even better, they’ve made it open source so other hobbyists can benefit from their work.

The build is named PicoBETH, which stands for Pico Badminton Electronic Tension Head. It’s based around the Raspberry Pi Pico, as you might imagine. The Pico is charged with controlling the stringing procedure via a stepper motor and lead screw, while using a load cell to measure string tension during the process. A small two-line character LCD serves as the user interface, along with some buttons, LEDs and a buzzer for feedback. The electronic stringing gear is mounted on to a traditional manual drop-weight stringing machine to execute the process faster and more accurately, at least in theory.

Files are on Github for those that wish to explore the build further. It’s not the first stringing machine we’ve featured here, either! Video after the break.
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Raspberry Pi Files Paperwork With The London Stock Exchange

If you’re a regular visitor to the Raspberry Pi website and you have a sharp eye, you may have noticed during the last few days a new link has appeared in their footer. Labelled “Investor relations“, it holds links to the documents filed with the London Stock Exchange of their intention to float. In other words, it’s confirmation of their upcoming share offering.

It has been interesting to watch the growth of Raspberry Pi over the last twelve years, from cottage industry producing a thousand boards in China, to dominating the SBC market and launching their own successful silicon. Without either a crystal ball or a window into Eben Upton’s mind, we’re as unreliable as anyone else when it comes to divining their future path. But since we’re guessing that it will involve ever more complex silicon with a raspberry logo, it’s obvious that the float will give them the investment springboard they need.

For those of us who have been around for a long time this isn’t the first company in our corner of the technology world we’ve seen burn brightly. It’s not even the first from Cambridge. Appointing ourselves as pundits though, we’d say that Raspberry Pi’s path to this point has been surprisingly understated, based upon the strength of its products rather than hype, and while Eben is undoubtedly a well-known figure, not based upon a cult of personality. There is already a significant ecosystem around Raspberry Pi, we’d like to think that this move will only strengthen it. We may not be looking at the British Microsoft, but we don’t think we’re looking at another Sinclair either.