Holiday Hardware: Playing With My Pi

Had a great Christmas and New Year with friends and family, but now it’s time to get back to Linux fun!

A piece of computer hardware I always wanted to experiment with, is the Raspberry Pi.

I most have been very good last year, because Santa got me  a Raspberry Pi for Christmas this year!  Of course I spent a lot of time  playing with it lately.

Raspberry Pi - Image courtesy

Raspberry Pi – Image courtesy

I was given the CanaKit package, that came complete with a WiFi dongle, SD card with the OS installed, a nice case, power supply, etc. Only thing I had to do was plug it into my HDMI television for a monitor and plug a USB keyboard and mouse into it.

After I played with it for a couple of days, getting the operating system, menus etc.  set up just the way I like it. I started thinking about a use for it!

Pondering the question for a couple of days, I decided that the Pi would work great as an automation system for my goat pen!

The idea, still in the design  and programming stages, is to use a series of Infrared motion detectors, to send a contact closure to the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO, which will then fire a terminal command to change the camera shot.

So, a goat walks into the feed area, the motion sensor would trip the Pi to send a command to turn on that camera! The programming should be pretty easy.

I use the Curl library to send commands to my 12 input video switcher. The Pi can easily send the same Curl command. In fact, Curl was the first software package I installed after I got my Pi booted up!

No real reason why it shouldn’t work, but it will take a lot of wiring of the motion sensor modules, from the different areas of the pen and then connect them to the Pi.

Should be a great and  useful project, and I’ll keep everyone up to date as I go!