Sat Mar 9 2024 – Running AI at home on a Raspberry Pi

Craigs presentation notes are here.

8:45-9:00a Coffee & Conversation
9:00a Presentation

PLEASE NOTE: earlier time for this meeting. There is another group who will be using the room at 10:45a.

AI is not just for the big guys any longer. It is possible to run an Artificial Intelligence program on your Pi 4 or Pi 5. In this presentation, we’ll learn about how to run an several AI models on the Pi, the advantages and disadvantages of each.

We’ll open the floor to ask the AI questions (via a web interface on the local network), so bring a laptop, all over IPv6!

This is a Hybrid meeting (in-person and on Jitsi).

Join Us Online here:

Feb 10, 2024 – Proof in A Box

How to make a bread dough proofer from an Amazon cardboard box, or more accurately, an example of Proportional Integral Derivative control of a process. Yes the box has actually proofed bread dough that was used to make cinnamon buns.

We are back at Quality Foods, View Royal, 27 Helmcken Rd #110

9:30-10a Cocktails & Conversation
10a Presentation

This is a Hybrid meeting (in-person and on Jitsi).

Join Us Online here:

Sat. Oct. 28, 2023 – Forgotten Pill Warning (Hybrid)

George gets a scolding from Alexa for not opening his pill box on time.  Technologies include 

  • A dollar store pill box,
  • ESP8266 micro-controller
  • PHP server page to receive message from ESP8266
  • Cron job to notice late opening and to send a scolding email and SMS
  • IF This Then That (IFTTT) to signal Alexa
  • Amazon Alexa Echo Show to further admonish George to open the damn pill box.

George’s presentation .pdf is here

9:30-10a Cocktails & Conversation
10a Presentation

This is a Hybrid meeting (in-person and on Jitsi).

Small Boardroom @ Quality Foods, 27 Helmcken Rd #110 · View Royal

Join Us Online here:

Sat. Apr 22, 2023 – Hydroponics and the esp32

Joel will be presenting a hydroponics controller based on the esp32 and connected to a raspberry pi using home assistant. Here are some links to home assistant and associated sites.

Joel’s presentation .pdf is here.


9:30-10a Cocktails & Conversation
10a Presentation

This is a Hybrid meeting (in-person and on Jitsi).

Small Boardroom @ Quality Foods, 27 Helmcken Rd #110 · View Royal

Join Us Online here:

Sat. Dec. 10, 2020 – T’is the Season

T’is the season for bright lights and Raspberry Pi fun.

T’is the Season!

In this talk we’ll look at a ModMyPi Programmable Christmas Tree (MMP-1021), which sits atop the 40 pin header and presents a set of individually controlled LEDs. The trick to practical and easy use of the tree is via GPIOZERO, a fantastic python module. We’ll integrate some sensors as well, since GPIOZERO makes them very easy.

9:30-10a Cocktails & Conversation
10a Presentation

Small Boardroom @ Quality Foods, 27 Helmcken Rd #110 · View Royal


Sat. Feb. 26, 2022 Making a music player – bits of Python causing grief

I decided to build my own Raspberry Pi music player using Python, as the available players didn’t really do what I wanted. This is Python at the beginner level, and the saga of making the player. Mostly it is about the little things in Python that caused me to stumble for a while. The music player is functional, the interface isn’t elegant, and I learned a few things about Python programming. – Don

9:30-10a Cocktails & Conversation (virtual)
10a Presentation

Here are Don’s presentation .pdf and(change to .py) .txt file.

Postponed – Projects and Challenges

Due to the current situation @ March 14, 2020, in-person meetings have been suspended until further notice. Please do join us on Slack or at our online learning sessions using Jitsi. Write to hello at for invitations and information.

Q-CollegeSuite 303 771 Vernon Ave · Victoria, BC – 10am

1) Hack Challenge, by George
Modify a window alarm to be a useful or entertaining device. Window alarms to be supplied free March 14th, one per attendee.

2) Hack Challenge, by Deid
New “Christmas Light” patterns

3) … bring projects that you want to share or need help with… If you like, email a description to be added to this page.

It is fun to repurpose battery powered consumer products.  For instance, here is a Leak Detector made from a window alarm.  The article includes the window alarm schematic.  

And George made a bike theft deterrent alarm with remote radio alerting from the same window alarm.

In normal operation, the window alarm senses separation from its external magnet via its internal reed switch and feeds its piezo disk with an oscillation.  The window alarm runs on 3 button cells and draws no current when the reed switch is open. There is also a slide switch to enable/disable the alarm.

Here is a photo of the circuit board:  The OUT signal from the 8 pin oscillator chip is a 10V DC wave, pumped up by the inductor from 5 volts. A voltage divider can be added to lower this chip output signal to less than 5v to feed another device.    

Or the piezo can be used as a microphone, providing about 100mv into a very high impedance input

In May we can show what we achieved.

New “Christmas Light” patterns

Deid successfully connected a 50 light string of addressable LEDs to an ESP8266 to cause the lights to light and change colour and move and …

Deid created the following patterns:

  • Primary
  • Random
  • Web Safe
  • Follow
  • Lead
  • Random On ***
  • All On
  • All Off
  • Rainbow
  • Moving
  • Colour
  • Christmas
  • Rainbow Group
  • Dual Colour ***
    *** Shown in the images

The ESP8266 C code to do this can be found here.  Deid makes no representation that the existing code is good.  In fact he knows some of it is not. Feel free to fix.

The challenge is to add more patterns and the code to implement the patterns.  If you send Deid the code he will load and try the code. Unless someone comes up with a better way for folks to test remotely.

Sat, May 11, 2019 – Useful Tools

Useful Tools (git, sshfs, bash, etc)

Over the years, we have found certain software tools, which not only make our life easier but make the project more fun to do. In this meeting, we’ll share some of these software tools, and ask the group for other tools that they have found useful.

Presentation Notes Here:
Saturday, May 11, 2019
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
303 771 Vernon Ave · Victoria, BC

February 9, 2019 – Project Day

raspberry pi

VicPiMakers will be supporting Projects in 2019. What are Projects? Deid’s pond is a project, for example. If you have a project idea, bring it in and we’ll see how we can help you complete your project.

George Bowden – Timed Lock
Heidi Bada – Intro –
Phillips Hue – timed dim/colour
Weather Sensors
Wearable Sensors in sport
Home Safety –
Flow sensor in toilet
Launchpad pro using python – Open Firmware project
Environmental Sensors – birdfeeder motion (wisecam), soil moisture
Pi version of “the clapper”
Eileen & Cody – Space Station Light & Sound –
Plan on lighting Neo Pixels
Peter Sprague – Packet Radio Satellite tracker
Portable, run in truck
Moved from Pi, to FreeBSD
Dan Willis – LED running as a Canadian flag flying
Weatherproof boxes outside

Q-College, Suite 303 – 771 Vernon Ave, Victoria, BC

Contact projects at vicpimakers dot ca to share your project on our next Project Day.

November 10, 2018 – Lights Out!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Q-College, Suite 303 – 771 Vernon Ave, Victoria, BC

Hosted by George Bowden and Craig Miller

LIGHTS OUT, a possible life saver. An acquaintance fell in the washroom and was unable to raise attention for thirty hours, and never fully recovered. The monthly cost ($50) of wearable alert bracelets and the habit of not wearing them is a large risk to seniors living alone. This alarm system, based on an ESP8266 and a php web app, alerts friends that a bathroom light has been left on for way too long. The link to the presentation docs is here.