So Many Pi’s!

I’ve got an addiction. It’s not too expensive, but it is starting to take over my entire life. I love Pi. Specifically, I love raspberry pi. No, not the kind that you bake, but the tiny SOC computer that can be purchased for a mere $35 USD each. And if you are really into these Pi’s, then you also pick up as many raspberry pi zero w’s as they will sell you too.

Sure, I had to go back three times over the course of a weekend. And yes, I brought my wife in to make some purchases for me as well. The entire time pretending I didn’t know her, while hoping that she would remember EXACTLY what I told her to ask for.

You see, I live in Canada, and, well, it’s a little difficult to pick up all these Pi gear up here. So when my suggested that we could drive to Michigan for a weekend getaway, I jumped at the opportunity. The two and a half hour drive zipped by in no time as I thought about all the new little Pi’s I would soon have to play with. And, of the projects I would plan! The new Raspberry Pi 4 had just come out the week before, so of course I would pick up one or two.

My latest score from Micro Center.

So what am I doing with all these Pi’s? Well, besides completely geeking out having access to all these tiny, fully functional computers, I have several ideas and plans. The first plan involves aliens! Well, technically, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence or SETI, as it’s commonly referred to as. I have been donating my personal computers extra compute power for almost two decades to the SETI@Home project. But now, I can setup clusters of these low power computers to search full time. Now, I know the chances are practically zero when it comes to finding aliens, but it can’t hurt to look. The fun really comes in the configuration and setup. I get to get my Linux geek on, and play with new technologies. I’m still just getting the basic configuration going, but I plan on using Docker to really make these things fly. Watch for updates soon, as I cobble together a variety of projects to make all this work.

Raspberry Pi Zero W SETI@Home cluster 2 with nine nodes. Work in progress.

I have been playing with Pi’s for a couple of years now. One of my first projects was to set up a 4 Pi cluster to search for SETI@Home. I also 3D printed a stackable stand (available on Thingiverse.com) with a custom alien topper. This stack has been running almost non-stop for about 17 months. So far, no aliens found.

3D printed Raspberry Pi stack.
The 3D printed top of my SETI@Home pi cluster.

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