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Raspberry Pi Experiment

October 29, 2016

With Halloween coming up, my company decided to do a pumpkin decorating/carving contest.  I decided that since I am nerd/geek by day and an even bigger one by night, that I would make a fully functional Raspberry Pi case out of the pumpkin my department had to make.  With the help of Dr. Machismo, our Raspberry Pi experiment was under way.

The goal was to get a fully functional Raspberry Pi up and running, connected to the wireless network, and load up some of our in-house applications.  This would all be done without a power cord.  The only wires would be the bar code Scanner and Keyboard we hooked up.  The goal timeline…. 4 hours.

The easy part was building the case, while Dr. Machismo and myself are not artists, our case was…. less than desirable, but again we had 4 hours to complete this task.  While I worked on loading an image onto a Pi and researching the software I would need to install once I had it up and running, Dr. Machismo go to work on the actual pumpkin.  He gutted it, spray painted it our company blue color, and carved the hole that would be used for our touchscreen monitor.

Once the SD card was imaged with our flavor of linux, I updated it to make sure I was at the latest and greatest OS level.  After that completed I got to work on configuring the touch screen and making sure the resolution fit.  When I was able to work on our little 7″ screen and it didn’t look completely like garbage, I went and started configuring the scanner to make sure it could scan bar codes and report back the actual information.  Once that was done, I tested by creating my own barcode, that when scanned would read Happy Halloween.

Perfect the hard parts were done.

Once that was all setup, it was time to find a client to connect to our product inventory system so we could actually scan product and it would bring back the inventory count and/or print a label if needed/wanted.  I loaded up my client of choice, configured it, and logged in.  Success!

Now, the last and final touches.

If you remember from earlier in this post, I stated that there would be no power cable.  This would be so we could move the pumpkin wherever we needed and it would be completely mobile and still work no problem.  Dr. Machismo created a chemistry concoction of various materials that would be used in order to provide power to the Pi long enough for judging.

He did, and it worked.  I am not sure what he did, or how he did it, but the power cable from the pi, went into a small container that provided power with the Doctor’s magic solution. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is why we call him Dr. Machismo.

Once we were confident we had the Pumpkin Work Station in order, we placed it on a cart and rolled it to be judged.  Everyone else’s pumpkin was carved or painted and most were default carvings from the books anyone can buy at the local pharmacy or department store.  There were some originals, like someone added spaghetti hair to theres and carved a face and called it “Donald Trumpkin” another did was the Company’s logo with some neat designs around it, including the year the company opened and had a strobe light in the center.

Results have not come out, but the Doctor is confident we will win by a landslide.  I, on the other hand, have no idea.  While ours served a function, we may not have been in the guidelines of the contest since it was supposed to be decorated and carved (and our carving job was terrible…see the pic), not a functional piece of equipment that anyone could do there job on.

I think I will turn my pi and touchscreen into a working jukebox that connects wireless to my music library and can queue up songs all via the touch screen.  Once finished, I will mount it in the studio. Or Maybe a new soundboard.  Who knows.  What are your thoughts? What Raspberry Pi projects have you done? Do you think we have a chance at winning the contest? Would love to hear your thoughts. Comment Below.

— @8BitBrosJoe

Functional Raspberry Pi Pumpkin Case

Functional Raspberry Pi Pumpkin Case

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