Posts tagged homemade

How to Make an AirPrint Print Server with a Raspberry Pi

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So what exactly can you do with the $35 Raspberry Pi?

Well it turns out you can do lots of things! We’ll have more posts to follow, but the Raspberry Pi mini-computer is a low-power ARM-based microcomputer that can run alot of cool stuff through a linux distribution, including today’s project — an AirPrint Print Server.

So you have an Ipad, an Iphone, etc… and you noticed that ‘share’ option that says print — awesome right? Print right from my phone?

One catch, you don’t have an AirPrint compatibile printer and you like your current printer… no need to go out and buy an AirPrint printer.. Just turn you Raspberry Pi into an AirPrint Print server to relay your print jobs from Apple Ipad or iPhone to your existing printer.

Huge shout-out to Rohan for his original tutorial (http://rohankapoor.com/2012/06/configuring-the-raspberry-pi-as-an-airprint-server/) and tjfontaigne (https://github.com/tjfontaine/airprint-generate) for the python script that makes it possible for noobs.

Since that tutorial was made, the process of turning your Raspberry Pi into a AirPrint printer go between has become even easier. The latest versions of CUPS has added mDNS support that makes the process more streamlined.

The basic process goes like this:

1) Obtain a Raspberry Pi  and a spare SD Card

2) Download WinImager32 (or your favorite image writer) and the raspbian linux distribution (http://www.raspberrypi.org/)

3) Write the linux image to your SD card and insert into your Pi. Boot and follow configuration menu… recommended to expand storage to fill card and change thee memory split to favor cpu usage ( GPU: 16Mb)

4) Update/upgrade your packages… you can do this by typing ‘sudo apt-get update’ and then ‘sudo apt-get upgrade’  — if you experience failures to any updates simply repeat until all installs are successful

5) Install CUPS (‘sudo apt-get install cups cups-pdf python-cups’); Then add your username to the lpadmin group to give access to manage the CUPS administration (‘sudo usermod -aG lpadmin yourusername’)

6) Next edit the configuration to allow yourself to manage CUPS from computers on your network outside of the Pi. (‘sudo nano /etc/cups/cupsd.conf’ will open it in an editor– Change “Listen localhost:631” –> “Port 631”; Add ‘ServerAlias *’ on the line following ‘DefaultAuthType Basic’; Add ‘Allow @Local’ under the server, admin and config files sections; Save changes.)

7) Add your printer using the CUPS web interface at the ip address of your Pi on port 631 – e.g. http://192.168.1.102:631 – Be sure to enable the option to share the printer you are adding.

8) Now that the Pi is configured to utilize your printer, it’s time to make it accessible as an Airprint server so your iOS devices will be able to print to your printer. Create a new directory /opt/airprint/; change to this directory (‘cd /opt/airprint/’) and download the script– ‘sudo wget -O airprint-generate.py –no-check-certificate https://raw.github.com/tjfontaine/airprint-generate/master/airprint-generate.py’ –then run the script: ‘sudo python airprint-generate.py’ — This should have created a new file with the name of your printer some random characters and ending ‘.service’ – If this file was generated correctly you should be all set.

9) On your iOS device, go to share on any page you want to print and select ‘print’ then select printer, your device should detect an airprint printer on your raspberry pi. Your Raspberry Pi will relay the print job directly form your iPhone as an AirPrint printer.

Enjoy!

 

Line-Following Mini Tank with Analog Circuits!

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Today’s project comes from Chris over at pyroelectro.com – They’ve got a ton of awesome projects you can check out, but today’s highlight is a new take on a classic line following robot. a great design and great write-up, you can check out at http://www.pyroelectro.com/projects/mini_tank and make your very own robot, and make it follow lines all over your house! I like the breadboard set up and the analog circuits, so you don’t even need a microcontoller. Amazing stuff! Now if we could get a light solar panel to recharge/replace the lipo battery, it could crawl lines each day for hours all on its own….

How to make a Workbench with the Kreg Jig!

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Kreg Jig Pocket Hole Jig

IF you want a nice workbench, you can make one yourself with just a few boards and some basic tools, inlcuding the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig System. Kreg has put together a great video series and here is episode one of how to make a workbench with the kreg jig. It’s a simple plan you can do in an afternoon or adapt to your own project. The video will give you ideas on how to use your kreg jig to build other tables and furniture.

DIY Book Review: American Boys Handy Book

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Do you own a copy of The American Boy’s Handy Book? If not, I’d recommend putting it on your wish list.

Here’s a classic DIY guide geared towards projects children (with adult supervision) to teens and adults can all enjoy. If you’ve never heard of the American Boy’s Handy Book, you should definately check it out. The book includes a wide range of DIY projects, most of which are far more sophisticated DIY projects than you’d find in a Cub Scout guidebook. The projects in the book range from the fantasy (Mark Twain raft) to the questionable (DIY fireworks, various projectile devices, etc.) to the totally awesome (DIY boat building, wind skates, and so much more!).

A must for the ‘do it yourself’ person in your life.

Rating: 4.8/5.0

DIY Tool Review: Kreg Jig Jr. Pocket Hole Jig

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Today we’re looking at another tool I’ve recently purcahsed for DIY projects around the house, the Kreg Jig Jr. — the slightly smaller and less expensive cousin to the full Kreg Jig Master System. I saw the ads on TV and had to try it for myself.

Both systems are made by Kreg and offer the ability to drill precision pocket holes to join boards. Pocket hole joints make rigid connections between perpendicular boards, well suited to tables, drawers and other framing applications. The Master System more easily mounts for repeated use and can be adjusted to accommodate larger board thicknesses.

The Pros: Works just like they say! Simple to use. All measurements are done for you! And everything you need (except a power drill) is included, so you can quickly adjust the jig and make your drills. Works very well with only minimal time looking through the users guide.

The Cons: The Kreg Jig Jr. is small and can sometimes be difficult to clamp in place or annoying to unclaim and reclamp between uses — where the master system version would clearly have the advantage.

The Review: 4.8/5.0 Works exactly as they say in the ads. It makes it simple to get professional looking joints that hold together tightly. I was able to quickly repair an Ikea dresser drawer that had started to come apart with just a couple simple holes and screws, set precisely to the right angle and depths by the Kreg Jig. Get the professionally finished appearance most do-it-yourself folk strive to achieve–without much real work!

Can’t wait to use this for another project! Any suggestions? Have you used the Kreg Jig? What did you think?

Make your own Compost Bin

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For those concerned with the environment, this is a easy DIY project that can yield a beneficial and fast return and can put recycled materials to use. You stop throwing away food and other items that will quickly break down and you gain free, natural fertilizer for plants.

Here’s how to make your own compost bin:

1) Find a plastic storage bin (at least 18 gallons – this could be a recycled garbage can, or other container you already have)

2) To ensure thorough air flow to your compost so that it can properly break down, drill or punch holes throughout the container – 1/4 inch holes every 1-2 inches would be fine, but there are no hard rules here

3) Throw in your compost materials– kitchen scraps, weeds, trimmings, etc. Smaller pieces will breakdown more quickly, so chopping up the compost is recommended.

4) Be sure to adjust the wet/dry ratio so that the compost isn’t too wet or too dry. If you notice your compost seems too moist, adjust the consistency by adding shredded newspaper or saw dust.

5) Place the bin out of the way on a couple of bricks to ensure proper ventilation.

6) Continue to add compost to fill the bin and adjust dampness, turning or shaking the bin daily.

7) After about one month, you can run the compost through a sifter or chicken wire and harvest the final compost.

There you have it–your own free, natural fertilizer, ready to use on your garden.

Make a 550 Paracord Lanyard or Bracelet

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parachute cord bracelet or lanyardGot some extra parachute cord (aka 550 cord or paracord)? Here’s a project that is both functional, attractive, and handy. Making a paracord lanyard or bracelet is a convenient way to carry a length of 10 feet or so of parachute cord for emergency or survival use.

Following a few simple knot tying methods, you can easily create a bracelet or lanyard out of 550 cord for camping, survival preparedness and as an attractive key fob.

Why Paracord? Used in parachutes for the military, this tough string has a tensile breaking strength of 550 lbs! Furthermore, it is composed of 5 or 7 inner strands that are very strong on their own and well suited to making a make-shift fishing line in an emergency or survival situation. It is also made of nylon so it is lightweight and resists mold and mildew.

Where to get parachute cord? Online or military surplus outlets. Note that there is alot of knock-off paracord available, that may serve fine for a bracelet, but might not have stength needed for camping or survival use. So be sure to check for a military rating if you intend to have it on hand for emergencies.

There are several styles of braid that you can use, but I used the method described here: http://www.theprepared.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=49

Soda Can Backpack Stove

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Soda Can StoveHere’s a neat little project I just stumbled upon. For those DIYers, this is a useful project if you like backpacking or camping. Constructed from pieces of aluminum soda cans, this versatile camp stove burns alcohol to produce its heat and resuses materials that would otherwise be discarded or recycled.

For my first attempt I carved up a couple of Coke cans paying little attention to making clean cuts and exact measurements and the initial set up was less than successful. However, with a little care, particularly to making clean cuts by peeling the can along scored marks, the second iteration was far more successful and more rigid.

For complete instructions on making your own handy alcohol stove from soda cans, consult: http://zenstoves.net/Stoves.htm. The author discusses various construction practices and fuels used, as well as safety hazards of each design.

The model I constructed (above) is known as a pressurized jet alcohol stove, which uses a metal insert to preheat and vaporize the fuel, pushing it out through the top jets. Open burners and pressure-regulated burners can also be similarly constructed with soda cans, tuna cans, or Altoids tins.

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