/ Raspberry Pi

Using Raspberry Pi in museums

Blackpool has a long history of entertainment with many big names coming to Blackpool during it's "Golden Age".

I was recently asked by Blackpool Council to provide a Raspberry Pi workshop as part of a two day unveiling of a new project. The project would see a museum charting the history of Blackpool and it's many facets.
Exhibits would cover

Entertainment - The Beatles, Frank Sinatra etc coming to Blackpool for sell out shows.
Town History - How Blackpool grew from a small town into a major holiday destination.
Illuminations - How the humble light bulb was once seen as a beacon of the future.

So for my workshops I am running a few fun projects.

Build your own Illuminated Blackpool Tower.
For this we shall use a Raspberry Pi running Scratch GPIO to illuminate a series of LEDs in a card model of the Tower.

Design an Illumination
Using a Raspberry Pi and a Unicorn HAT LED board we can paint our own Illumination.

I have also built two proof of concept models to show how the Raspberry Pi can be used in a museum to interact with visitors.

Proof of concept #1 - A Wurltizer Pathe Video Player

Many of Blackpool's key moments were captured as Pathe videos in the mid 20th century and I wanted to show these moments using an interface that summed up Blackpool. Well the Wurlitzer organ inside The Tower Ballroom is just that interface. So using a Raspberry Pi Model A+, a PianoHAT board and a little Python code I produced this proof of concept.

Proof of concept #2 - Personally Switching On The Blackpool Illuminations

When people think of Blackpool they typically think of the Tower first and then the famous Illuminations. Over the years many people have turned on the Illuminations, Peter Kay, Olympians...even a horse! But what if YOU could turn on the lights? Well using a Raspberry Pi B+, an Energenie wireless switch, a DJ rope light and a big red button (built by my own hands from parts) anyone can turn on "The Lights".

The museum in the making event takes place from 11am on August 28th and 29th at the Winter Gardens.