Optical data transfer project at local school’s family science night #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi
Here’s a blogtip from Mike Hitchcock:
My co-worker Dave made a cool RasPiBinaryDecoder, and showed it at his 4th-grade son’s school during their family science night. It looks for HIGH/LOW/BASE values from GPIO pin 18 of a RaspberryPi and translates binary into displayed string.
He used a Raspberry Pi and Adafruit Pi Cobbler, and “A very quick build using Adafruit’s Learning build and PyGame to read and display info on screen. If you are using Adafruit’s Pi Distro, all modules should be included already. :)”
[Dave] wanted to show off a project at his 4th-grade son’s school during their family science night. We haven’t heard of an event like this before but it sounds like a fabulous idea! He had a new laser he wanted to include in the project, and noticed that his son was learning about how ASCII maps letters to binary number when the idea struck. He ended up building an optical data transfer system that demonstrates binary code.
This presents a fantastic learning opportunity as the project invited the school kids to select encoded strips like the ones seen above to form a secret message. The laser is pointed at a photosensor which is being read by a Raspberry Pi board. The Python code looks for a baseline and then records increases and decreases in intensity. Since the translucent tokens have either holes or black lines for 0 and 1 the baseline approach does away with the need to clock in the data. [Dave] reports that everyone who tried out the experiment was fully engaged at the prospect of pushing pieces of tape through the sensor and watching their secret message appear on a monitor.
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