Another Pi

A while back, I posted about my new Raspberry Pi 400. I was so impressed with what this all-in-one single-board computer could do, that I wanted to explore other options.

Raspberry Pi’s are available in a number of flavours from the Pi 4B, Pi 400, Pi 3B+, Pi Zero 2W and even the miniscule Pi Pico. That is, if you can find a retailer with one in stock. They can be hard to find in these days of chip shortages and supply chain stress.

The Pi4B is the latest from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It comes with either 2Gb, 4Gb and 8 Gb of RAM. I was able to get a kit with a Pi4B with 4Gb from PiShop.ca so it is functionally the same as my Pi400.

The kit included a case, a power supply, an HDMI cable and some heat syncs. I wanted a cooling fan too, so I ordered one of those separately.

HighPi Fan

The case that came with my kit wasn’t configured for a fan, so I had to do a bit of customization. I measured the fan diameter and used my CNC machine to cut an opening in the case lid to match. I also CNC drilled 4 holes for the mounting screws.

The fan is a 5V DC PWM fan, which means it can be controlled via software. The red wire is connected to one of the Pi’s GPIO 5V pins. The black wire to a Ground pin and the blue wire to GPIO Pin-14. That pin can be used to control the fan. I set my fan to come on when the CPU temperature reaches 60 Deg C. It then runs until the CPU temp drops to 50 Deg and then shuts off.

I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse combination from Amazon.ca to complete my setup.

So far, I have been using the Pi4B as a desktop computer, connected to my LG monitor – the HDMI image is beautiful. I’ve been using Chrome and Firefox to surf the interwebs, and open-source programs like LibreOffice for word processing, spreadsheets and presentation, and GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program photo editing software. I’m used to Photoshop, but GIMP looks like a great alternative.

I have set up CNCjs so I can use the Pi4B to control my CNC machine.

I have also installed Filezilla so I can transfer files via FTP or SFTP to the websites I manage or to other computers on my network.

I will probably eventually set up this Pi4B as a NAS – Network Accessible Storage, but I need to learn more about that. I currently have 2 drives attached to the Pi4B, a 2 Tb and a 200 Gb HDD that I salvaged out of an old laptop. So using this as an NAS makes sense.

Shark Coochie

A friend sent me an image of a charcuterie board someone had made with an image of a menacing looking shark and the words

Shark Coochie Board

Because no one can say char-cu-te-rie

Shark Coochie board

I couldn’t find the same shark image, but I did find one that looked a bit more friendly. I imported the image into Carbide Create then added the text. Next I created toolpaths for a 90 degree V-bit.

I had a nice maple cutting board on hand so I set up my CNC machine and carved it. I think it came out OK, but if I do another one, I will make the carving a bit bigger so that it is at least 80% of the width of the board.

Just as a footnote, this post marks a number of firsts for me. After taking the images above with my phone, I used an FTP app to transfer them wirelessly to my new Raspberry Pi 4B. I then edited them using GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program. And finally, this post was made using the Pi 4B.

Lucy

Most of our horses have name plates on their stalls which I made using a hand held router not that many years ago. But our donkey, Lucy never had a name plate.

Now that I have a CNC router, it was time for Lucy to have her own stall name plate.

Carving Lucy’s nameplate

I had some leftover pieces of oak flooring from when we did our kitchen and dining room floor done in December. I came up with a simple design and carved it into a 10 inch long piece using a 1/8 inch flat-nose endmill for the letters and to rough out the graphic image, then a 1.5 mm down cut bit to clean up the outline of the image. All cuts to a depth of 1.5 mm.

Pre-drilled for mounting

Lucy’s nameplate will get three coats of polyurethane before mounting in the barn. Lucy has gone from having no nameplate to having probably the nicest nameplate.

More cutting boards

My daughter Sherry asked me if I could make a custom cutting board for her to give as a gift to her recent real estate client along with a nice set of knives she had made elsewhere.

I worked out the RE/MAX logo in Carbide Create and carved it onto a solid maple cutting board with her contact info as shown below.

I purchased the cutting boards at The Wood Shed in Smithville, ON. I suppose I could have made them myself, but this was much quicker.

Opposite side with the address engraved.

I have a couple different styles of boards, here is another example.

The boards were finished with a coat of my mineral oil/beeswax mixture which provides a nice food-safe finish.

I hope the new home owners enjoy their cutting boards.