The MagPi — Issue 109

MagPi 109 was released in September 2021

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Inside The MagPi magazine #109

  • 20 Raspberry Pi Pico projects. The best ideas for new builds using your microcontroller board.
  • Automated model railroad. How one maker is using Raspberry Pi to control a model railroad.
  • Creating a SID-based synthesizer. Using multiple sound chips from the Commodore 64 to build a synth like no other.
  • Raspberry Pi Student Guide. Get back to school in style with our guide to using Raspberry Pi as a learning powerhouse.
  • Amazing game developer projects. Make that game you’ve always wanted with Raspberry Pi.
  • Learn Python with Raspberry Pi. Get started with this excellent programming language.
  • Geeky Faye interview. We chat to the best makers about their projects.
  • Automate your standing desk. Stopping sitting around and stand up… on command.
  • Using AI to detect high-intensity workouts. Get the credit for your workout with this smart fitness detector.
  • Win! Raspberry Pi Case Fan kits

WELCOME to The MagPi 109

Building a microcontroller board took Raspberry Pi into a whole new direction. That is to say when Raspberry Pi Pico first came out, we were amazed by all the potential. But also a little lost by the newness of it all. Meanwhile we worked with Raspberry Pi to publish a series of starter projects. And our team of talent rose to the occasion: building everything from smart guitars to games controllers. It’s been over half a year since then and we’re ready to start talking about serious Pico projects.

In fact, we’re even discussing our favourite makes so far. See 20 Raspberry Pi Pico projects (page 30). It’s incredible what you can make with Raspberry Pi, and it’s also incredible just how good Raspberry Pi is as a general-purpose computer. Our Raspberry Pi Student Guide (page 64) is packed with advice on using Raspberry Pi in a learning environment. I’ve been using Raspberry Pi 400 daily since it launched, and it really is astonishing how much power you get from the little board. You really don’t need an expensive PC any more.

Pico Projects

It may not seem like it, but Raspberry Pi Pico came out earlier this year. Above all, it feels like it’s been here longer. The $4 microcontroller is a wonderful and deceptively powerful piece of kit that can power projects in a different way to its bigger siblings. So if you’re stuck on what you want to do with a Pico, we have you covered. To sum up, in this book, you’re going to be introduced to some amazing things that people have made with their Pico, and hopefully spark your imagination in the process…


Page 60. Figure 3 is zoomed-in and some of the text on the left is obscured. For more detail see the full image on Mike Cook’s GitHub page.

Page 76. “Software libraries” copy was repeated from page 74. MagPiv2.pdf now has the correct copy.