Today I have been messing around with my Rasberry Pi and a box Lego that goes back to when we were kids. It has been kept in a trunk for the the last oh longer than I care to remember and successive generations of kids both family and friends have played with it. It is lasting testament to Ole Kirk Christiansen that his bricks are still being used today by young and old. Even now, usually at Christmas when we all get together the Lego box comes out and the adults build and play with the kids with just as much fun. Spaceships, cars, dolls houses, farm yards and trains are all conjured out of the imagination and brought to life by those little plastic bricks. But I digress..
So the plan is to build a case that houses both the Pi and my SROG II. I Have been messing around with both I am also going to look at unifying the power supplies for both if I can making it more compact and portable for future needs. As the SPROG can only really run a small N or Z scale layout I am not planning on running an empire from it but hope to use it for layouts that I may exhibit in the future. I have uploaded JMRI to Pi but have not had time to test this out yet although there are plenty of examples on the net to reference its use on the microPC. One factor that needs to be address is the screen. Here I have had a number of thoughts, one of which would be to get a cheap tablet and remotely control the Pi. I guess testing would prove the suitability of this method. Or a small touch screen could be mounted onto the case but the costs start rising once you go do this route and part of this project is to do things cheaply in line with the R-Pi Project.
I was also thinking about future add-on modules for switching and signalling but that would be a future hack once I have the combo-pack up and running. Also running through my mind is the idea of using 3D printing to make custom blocks for embedding switches, LEDs and port holes to the basic Lego structure but this is down the road a ways…
Anyway some pics to come tomorrow once I am happy with the lash-up.