Tag Archives: Electronics

Install Android TV on a Raspberry Pi and Sideload Apps

If you don’t mind dealing with a bit of instability, you can now install an unofficial version of Android TV on a Raspberry Pi 3.

This is still a super early build, so you won’t have access to the Google Play Store, but you can sideload apps. The performance of those apps isn’t consistent, but a number of them seem to perform well. For example, Kodi, as well as a number of game emulators, seem to work well. This is still very much an early build and not a complete operating system by any means, but if you don’t mind messing around with concepts, Android TV is working relatively well. The video above walks you through the full installation process.

Android TV for Raspberry Pi 3 | YouTube
How to Install Android TV on Raspberry Pi 3 and Sideload App | YouTube

Build Your Own Voltmeter with an Arduino

Voltmeters aren’t terribly expensive, but it’s always more fun to build your own devices. YouTube DIYer Educ8s builds a cheap voltmeter for less than $10 using an Arduino and a voltage sensor.

A multimeter that measures voltage is one of those devices every electronics tinkerer should have, but sometimes the key to really understanding how to use a device is to make your own. In this case, you’ll just need to connect a few cables together, set up the Arduino, and be on your way to measuring all the voltage you could possibly want. It’s pretty accurate too, but the real fun comes from learning how it all works. Head over to YouTube for the guide.


Arduino Project: DIY Voltmeter | YouTube

Build Your Own Internet-Connected Handheld Weather Station

Build Your Own Internet-Connected Handheld Weather Station

A weather station is a fun project that teaches you a ton about electronics with the added benefit being an actually useful little device. Instructables user Ingenerare has a guide for making your own little tiny weather station on the cheap.

The project requires a bunch of cheap parts and sensors totaling less than $20, and the whole thing ends up fitting in your hand. The station creates a web site that monitors temperature, dew point, humidity, pressure, light index, and rain. It’s a pretty easy set up, and you’ll just need some basic electronics skills to get it going. Head over to Instructables for the full guide.

Easy IoT Weather Station | Instructables

Recalbox Is a Dead Simple Game Emulator Operating System for the Raspberry Pi

Recalbox Is a Dead Simple Game Emulator Operating System for the Raspberry Pi

When it comes to turning a Raspberry Pi into a retro game console, we’ve long recommended RetroPie because it’s relatively simple to set up, but still packed with a ton of features. If you’re looking for something even simpler to use, Recalbox is worth a look.


Recalbox is an open source operating system built with the same basic backbone as RetroPie, but with a simplified interface and setup process. At a glance, the general usage is a little easier than RetroPie, with four-player controller support a little more obvious, and an easier update system that keeps your emulators up to date. The media center software, Kodi is also packed in from the start with no additional set up required. We’ll have to dig in deeper to see how it compares overall to RetroPie, but it’s worth a look if you’ve been frustrated with RetroPie for whatever reason.


Arduino Create Is an All-In-One Platform to Create and Browse Arduino Projects

Arduino Create Is an All-In-One Platform to Create and Browse Arduino Projects

You’ve long had a variety of ways to create and discover new Arduino projects, and now you have an official means with Arduino Create.

Arduino Create is a one-stop site to browse various Arduino projects, dig through the help forums, look for Arduino products, and even create your own projects with the web-based integrated development environments (IDE).

Like the desktop apps, the web editor allows you to write or import code, then send it right over to your Arduino. Beyond that, you can look up examples, or browse other projects for clues while you’re writing your own. It’s also easy to integrate your Arduino projects into various online services using the Arduino Cloud, which should make working on web-connected Arduino projects a heck of a lot easier. It’s a nice step to integrating everything you need in one place, so if you’re a fan of Arduino, it’s worth playing around with.

Arduino Create | via Arduino Blog

Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Media Player That Plays a Simpsons Episode at Random

There are a ton of Simpsons episodes, but if you long for the days of just watching whatever episode happens to be playing on TV at any given moment, DIYer Stephen Coyle build a little system powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero that plays a random episode.

This project requires that you have actual copies of Simpsons episodes (that you’ve downloaded or burned yourself) saved to your Pi’s SD card. Otherwise, you just need to install a script and attach a button. When you click the button, the Pi queues up a random episode. This project isn’t limited to The Simpsons by any means, it’ll work with any videos you have on your SD card. Basically, the script just plays a random video file from a directory, so you could play any show (or shows) you want. Regardless of how you decide to use it, over to Coyle’s site for the guide to make it for yourself.

The Pi Zero Simpsons Shuffler | Stephen Coyle

Build a Truly Pocket-Sized Video Game Console with a Raspberry Pi Zero

Build a Truly Pocket-Sized Video Game Console with a Raspberry Pi Zero

Adafruit’s PiGRRL is one of the best little DIY portable game devices out there, and now they’ve put out a guide that shrinks it down even further using a Pi Zero.

Like the PiGRRL, this project is powered by RetroPie. Aside from the Pi Zero, you’ll also need a variety of adapters, the screen, battery, and the 3D printed case and buttons (which you can have someone else print if you don’t have a 3D printer). You’ll also need to do some basic soldering, but it’s not terribly complicated. The end result is a miniature console that can actually fit in your pocket pretty easily. Head over to Adafruit for the guide and all the files you’ll need to make it for yourself.

PiGRRL Zero | Adafruit

Build Your Own Two-Player Miniature Cocktail Arcade Cabinet

Cocktail cabinets are an excellent way to cram a two-player arcade into a small package. DIYer CircuitBeard shows off his build, which uses a Raspberry Pi as the brains. It’s a looker.

The cabinet is made with cheap MDF, then covered in vinyl to give it a vintage look (seems like contact paper would do this job fine). From there, the arcade sticks are wired in, the screen attached, and the Raspberry Pi is loaded up with RetroPie for emulation. You’ll find the bulk of the guide for how CircuitBeard built the cabinet over on his site, though its sadly lacking the design files for the cabinet. Still, it’s packed with a ton of other info, including how to get the Pi to play nice with the display and the arcade sticks.


Rombus-CT – A Raspberry Pi Powered Mini Cocktail Arcade | CircuitBeard

Build a Miniature Speaker with a Built-In Visualizer

Speakers aren’t particularly expensive these days, but most of them lack much in the way of character. If you don’t mind slopping on a bit of elbow grease, Instructables user andy.spikenzielabs shows off how to build a little micro speaker that has a small visualizer built into it.

You’ll need some basic soldering skills here, alongside a small LED matrix, some cables, and a speaker. Everything’s enclosed in a laser cut acrylic case and a local hackerspace should be able to help you get that made if you’re interested. Otherwise, you’ll find the full guide, alongside plenty of photos, over on Instructables.

The Musixel Boombox | Instructables

Build a Low-Light Streaming Video Baby Monitor With a Raspberry Pi

If you’re looking for a DIY way to keep an eye on your baby, Element 14′s put together a guide that shows off how to build your own night vision camera with motion detection using a Raspberry Pi.

The project here uses the Raspberry Pi 3 alongside the NoIR camera adapter. From there, the Raspberry Pi runs a live video stream that can send you a notification any time it detects motion. It might seem a little stressful to use a DIY system for something as important as a baby monitor, but the live stream makes it so you can check in as often as you like to make sure it’s always working. Still, you might want to use it in addition to a more traditional audio monitor. Either way, head over to Element14 for the full guide to make it for yourself.

NoIR V2 Video Streaming Baby Monitor | Element14