5 Potential Uses for a Raspberry Pi in Church Tech

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RaspberryPi

A Raspberry Pi is basically a $35 computer the size of a credit card. It’s not incredibly powerful or pretty, but it’s made to do small computing tasks hidden away. I’ve seen tutorials from creating homemade AppleTVs and controlling Lego robots, to hosting websites and creating supercomputers. That being said, I thought i would put together a list of things that the church might be able to use these little guys for!

What exactly is a Raspberry Pi

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The Raspberry Pi is a pretty slick computer when it’s all said and done. It comes with an SD Card slot (used as the hard drive), 2 USB ports, Ethernet, 1/8” audio out, Composite (RCA) video out, HDMI (with embedded audio), plus GPIO pins (for you nerds out there) and is powered by USB. It uses a 700Mhz ARM CPU and 512MB of RAM, runs on a version of Linux, and the 4 GB SD card is enough to hold the OS and anything you plan on doing to the poor little guy. It’s practically begging to be used in church production!

Disclaimer: I bought a Raspberry Pi about a year ago but haven’t actually done much other than toy around. I’ve not tried any of these out, although I plan on a few one day. Share your discoveries here!

Raspberry Pi as AirPlay Speaker System

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This is the original reason I bought a RPi. I was researching AirPlay speakers for our building and came across this tutorial. I was intrigued that someone was able to do what I wanted to do for so little money. This guy got some code that was reverse-engineered from an Apple AirPort, ported it to Linux and successfully set up an AirPlay computer for $45. Plus, because it’s a mini-jack, you can plug any speaker system into if you want!

[gdlr_button href=”http://www.raywenderlich.com/44918/raspberry-pi-airplay-tutorial” target=”_self” size=”medium” background=”#77c6dd” color=”#ffffff”]Check it out[/gdlr_button]

Raspberry Pi as DMX Controller

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Lately I have been getting into more DMX stuff (I am far from being a lighting guy), so this one piqued my interest. There are really smart people out there that have started building DMX libraries to control lights using the RPi. I would say they are far off from being your boards future replacement, but it might be worth looking into for writing a schedule for certain building lights or backstage lighting. Or, testing lights that you’re repairing!

[gdlr_button href=”http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-as-a-DMX-light-controller/” target=”_self” size=”medium” background=”#77c6dd” color=”#ffffff”]Check it out[/gdlr_button]

Raspberry Pi as Motorized DSLR slider

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Okay, let’s be honest, we’ve all seen those amazing time-lapse shots that slowly pan at the some time and then looked up how they were done. And then we saw the price tag and realized that this shot might be our budget for the year…
Well, this guy made a time-lapse slider that he can control with his Android!

[gdlr_button href=”http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-powered-time-lapse-dolly-RasPiLapse/?ALLSTEPS” target=”_self” size=”medium” background=”#77c6dd” color=”#ffffff”]Check it out[/gdlr_button]

Raspberry Pi as a Synth Generator

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Alright – this one I’m out on. I know absolutely nothing about what this talking about, but I put it here because I know that a lot of my fellow techies come from the music world (much respect!). This guy has an entire blog to his RPi and iPad powered synth stuff. It looks super nerdy which makes me which I knew more about music. It looks way fun!

[gdlr_button href=”http://raspberrypisynthesizer.blogspot.co.uk” target=”_self” size=”medium” background=”#77c6dd” color=”#ffffff”]Check it out[/gdlr_button]

Raspberry Pi as a Equipment Checkout system

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Finally, this is a tutorial about a guy using Trello as a grocery list, but placing a cheap barcode scanner by his trashcan. When he goes to throw away something, he waits for a second and scans the code – wallah! added to the list. This could easily be made into a student checkin system with wristbands or an equipment checkout system.

[gdlr_button href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_MNOOgFDg4″ target=”_self” size=”medium” background=”#77c6dd” color=”#ffffff”]Check it out[/gdlr_button]

BONUS: Use Raspberry Pi for your tech team to call in coffee orders!

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This last one isn’t really a tutorial, but it’s awesome. Call a phone number and the RPi will start your coffee maker for you. You will be the valiant knight in shining armor to your volunteers! “Hello, yes. This is Camera 1. I’d like a Grande Carmal Frapp please!”

[gdlr_button href=”http://vimeo.com/54300364″ target=”_self” size=”medium” background=”#77c6dd” color=”#ffffff”]Check it out[/gdlr_button]
Steve Stone5 Potential Uses for a Raspberry Pi in Church Tech

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