9 Raspberry Pi Projects For Your Summer Vacation - InformationWeek
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5/30/2016
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9 Raspberry Pi Projects For Your Summer Vacation

The right Raspberry Pi project can make the summer fun and educational. Here are nine possibilities that fit the bill.
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(Image: RaspberryPi.org)

Summertime, and the coding is easy. Well, if not easy, at least more accessible when you think about projects to do for your own enjoyment or as recreation with kids. The thing is, summer is the time for fun projects, and if they have something to do with the out-of-doors, so much the better.

The Raspberry Pi is one of the two platforms that has changed the do-it-yourself embedded control world. (The other? Arduino. I'll get around to the latest on that one in a future article.) Since the RasPi was introduced in 2012 it has gone through several revisions and a number of different versions, becoming more powerful, more capable, and smaller in the process.

In every case, though, the RasPi has remained a tiny Linux computer that can pack a lot of computation into a very compact package. Beyond the basic hardware and software capabilities, the platform has also generated a widespread and very active community that has been busy expanding the range of RasPi possibilities and sharing information on what can be done around this incredibly popular computer.

[See 8 Raspberry Pi Tools That Fire up Your Programming Skills.]

If you've been waiting to dive into the world of the Raspberry Pi, or if you have already dipped your toes into the RasPi realm and are looking for your next project, then here are nine possibilities to get you thinking, coding, and (maybe) soldering. Among these are some projects that are easy, projects that are challenging, and projects that will be perfect for modifying and turning into your very own creation.

I'm ashamed to admit that my own Raspberry Pi projects have been fairly tame, so far, but the research for this article has me thinking about things that need to happen on my workbench. What about you? Are you an active member of the Raspberry Pi "maker" community, or have you just thought about what you might do with one of these little powerhouse units?

Are there projects you've completed that you would like to share with the community here or projects on this list you think should have been ditched for an alternative? Let me know -- and let me know what you've got planned to get your Summer tech kicked off in the right direction.

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Curtis Franklin Jr. is executive editor for technical content at InformationWeek. In this role he oversees product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he acts as executive producer for InformationWeek Radio and Interop Radio where he works with ... View Full Bio

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jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
3/14/2017 | 12:02:39 PM
Summer vacation for whom?
I think my wife would throw a fit if I were to undertake a computer building project on our summer vacation.  I play with computers enough at work.
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
6/3/2016 | 3:31:10 PM
Re: Pi in the oven
@Curt have you seen the BBC Microbit? I wish these sort of things were around when I was a kid. They're all great!!
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
6/2/2016 | 5:35:32 AM
Re: Pi in the oven
Curt, a big-screen microscope? I'd love to see that! 

-Susan
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
6/2/2016 | 5:32:42 AM
Re: Pi in the oven
Super. Good luck with projects, and have fun. :)

-Susan
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
5/31/2016 | 1:29:53 PM
Re: Pi in the oven
@curt I hope you find that project soon. I would love to see what you do with it!
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
5/31/2016 | 1:25:58 PM
Re: Pi in the oven
I'm planning to suggest a few. :)
Radioguy
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Radioguy,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/31/2016 | 10:35:42 AM
I Plan to Build the Morse Code Project
That one tweaks my interest because it includes some "real construction" and it may get me to finally learn Morse code...something I've wanted to do for more than 50 years.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
5/31/2016 | 12:42:11 AM
Re: Pi in the oven
@Michelle, I have nothing against a general learning machine (I've got a couple of old laptops that fill that role) but I find that it's easier for me to gain inspiration from projects than it is to come up with new ideas on my own. That may be a weakness on my part, but I do love having a project as a starting point.

One of the things that's not on this list is a big-screen microscope. I've been looking at several of those projects -- I think I'll have to do my own article when I finally choose a design and put it together.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
5/30/2016 | 3:56:18 PM
Re: Pi in the oven
There are several projects on the list that I like. The audio-book player sounds really nice for the summer, or any other season for that matter. Michelle, are you planning on trying any of these projects? -Susan
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2016 | 12:55:43 PM
Pi in the oven
Thanks for this great list! I always look forward to your Pi project lists. There's a Raspberry Pi without a purpose in my house. It serves as a general Linux learning computer for now.
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