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Ten pi-fect projects for your new Raspberry Pi

Set the cig-pack sized micro to work doing something useful

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Pi-BX

Reg Hardware retro numbers

Asterisk, the well-known open source telephone tool, will quite happily compile and run on an RPi, handling up to ten calls (or conference participants) without apparent strain. Getting your landline connected to your RPi may take some fiddling, and you'll need some external hardware. There are also options for ISDN connections. Just remember, you're saving on the PC hardware. But if you're just trying it out, you can configure it to use SIP instead. Before you know it, you'll be configuring voice-gaol, caller id, and cheesy country and western hold-music.

Pi phone

Source: Binerry

Difficulty Level (1-10)
5 - issues will likely be Asterisk related

Extra cost
Under £100

Shopping List
For hooking up to a landline, the Cisco SPA3102 seems to be the popular choice. Handsets?

Approach
Pi-wise, it's a case of downloading the latest RasPBX image. Then the Asterisk fun begins.

Take it further
If you do manage to hook up your RPi to the POTS line, you can even run a fax-to-email service. Very cool.

Online Help
There's a dedicated site for all things RPi-Asterisk related, with regular updates, and a helpful blog. Asterisk wise, there are also plenty of fora out there as well as a thriving community.

FM radio transmitter

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Here's one just for the non-UK brethren, clearly. Turns out that with some pre-compiled C and a short piece of wire, you can trick the RPi's GPIO pin four into broadcasting FM Radio. How cool is that? So why aren't we being swamped by teenager pirate radio stations? It's certainly illegal in the UK. With a decent 75Ω aerial, a no band-pass filter and a following wind, the mighty calculations say you're looking at a signal strength somewhere in the 9-14mW range, well over the 50nW UK limit. Hey ho.

Pi FM

Not broadcasting in Britain. Honest
Source: Matt Richardson

Difficulty Level (1-10)
2 - easy as (sorry, statuary required cliché ahoy) pi

Extra cost
Next to nothing - beyond the price of a flight overseas (or an Ofcom fine) at least

Shopping List
200mm of wire, breadboard, overseas travel ticket.

Approach
Download the module, connect GPIO 4 to a 200mm piece of wire as an aerial, and you're off.

Take it further
As written, it plays .WAV files, but you might try hooking up a microphone to turn it into a live transmitter. Set up two on different frequencies, and use it as a radio link between your non-UK shed and your non-UK kitchen.

Online Help
Straight from the horse's mouth, the Imperial College Robotics Society. African branch, obviously.

Get Cracking!

There should be something here to whet the appetite. It's clear that there's more to RPi than vegging in front of a XMBC enabled TV, and a plenty of areas to interest the non-scriptkiddie in your house. Who'm I kidding? I'm off for an IKEA coffee table. ®

Got a great Pi project of your own you'd like to share with fellow Reg readers? Let us know in the comments

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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