Raspberry Pi Workshop 2017 Become a Coder / Maker / Inventor
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Raspberry Pi Workshop 2017 Become a Coder / Maker / Inventor

Get started with Raspberry Pi and learn how to use it as a full fledged maker; from software to hardware!
4.5 (229 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
9,728 students enrolled
Created by Core Electronics
Last updated 6/2017
Price: Free
  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Learn about the Raspberry Pi ecosystem
  • How to program with Python
  • Use the GPIO to interface with other hardware / sensors / electronics
  • Learn how to write Shell scripts
  • How to schedule tasks and applications
  • How to make desktop applications with graphical user interfaces
  • Learn how to use a Raspberry Pi within the "Internet of Things"
View Curriculum
  • Have a passion to learn how to use Raspberry Pi as a Maker

Welcome to the Raspberry Pi Workshop! Here you'll be able to follow along with our series that covers everything you'll need to know to get started with your Raspberry Pi and start making awesome projects. My name is Michael from Core Electronics and I'm an electronics enthusiast with particular interest in embedded electronics. As we progress through the workshops, you'll find helpful material next to each video - these could be code snippets, commands to issue, circuits to build, or links to other resources.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who is compelled to use a Raspberry Pi for more than *just a computer*
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Curriculum For This Course
29 Lectures
First Steps
6 Lectures 23:51

Preface: All source code, images and other things we couldn't fit on Udemy can be found here (totally FREE):

In Chapter 1 we are going to discuss what a Raspberry Pi actually is and why it's taken the maker community by storm. We'll walk through going from a fresh-out-of-the-box Raspberry Pi, to installing an OS, booting it up and having a bit of a play around.

By the end of this chapter you will be able to use your Raspberry Pi as a desktop computer. We will have covered:

  • What a Raspberry Pi is,
  • How to download and install an operating system,
  • How to configure a Pi so your keyboard works correctly,
  • Navigating with the desktop environment (the Graphical User Interface),
  • Connecting to WiFi
  • Keeping your operating system up to date.

In this section we're going to discuss what a Raspberry Pi is, the different models that are available and their qualities.

There have been several generations of Raspberry Pi since they were first released in 2012. We recommend the most recent "large-footprint" model, the Raspberry Pi 3 because we think it's the best learning platform; It runs fast and has plenty of connectivity options.

What is Raspberry Pi?

NOOBS stands for New Out Of the Box Software. NOOBS is an operating system installer package put together by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It comes with one OS already installed and gives the option of downloading several operating systems - convenient for first-time users who want to test-drive their Pi.

You can download NOOBS from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Downloading and Installing NOOBS

We're powering up our Pi for the first time. Let's have a look around and set a few things up. This includes setting up the keyboard and WiFi, exploring the Pi's menus and capabilities, and having a look at some tools we'll use for programming.

If you want to install an OS other than Raspbian using NOOBS you will need to have your Raspberry Pi connected to the internet via its ethernet port. With this connection you will see other options available for download and install.

To power-off your Pi, you can either find the shutdown option in the Pi menu, or issue this command in the terminal:

sudo shutdown -h now

The power light will remain on, to indicate power is connected, but the activity light will remain off.

Try to never remove power from your Pi without doing either of these things first; An unexpected loss of power may corrupt your SD card.

First Power-Up & Having a Look Around

Introduction to the Shell

Staying Updated
Programming with Python
6 Lectures 01:16:27

In this chapter you'll learn about:

  • How to write a simple program in Python
  • Using variables
  • Declaring functions to organise our code
  • Using Python to connect to the real world via GPIO

Chapter Resources:

The Python Standard Library - Useful for a syntax reference and just to explore what pre-built functions are available to you.

Raspberry Pi GPIO Library - This is what we'll use to interact with the world outside. There are handy examples.


The IDLE is Python's shell. It's useful for trying out commands real-time. We can write a Python script, which is just a sequence of Python commands.

I've tried to squeeze in as many Python features as I could into this short script. Compare the script to what you see output when it is run; There's definitely a few tricks worth knowing!

Code for this section:

Challenge: change the for loop that counts in twos to count from -5 to 25 in steps of 5. Remember that you have the Standard Python Library Documentation available, try searching for range.

Introduction to Python

GPIO or General Purpose Input and Output is the interface that allows your Raspberry Pi to connect to the world. The pins can drive a voltage, sink current, and read voltage levels. Complex digital communications can also take place on the GPIO.

Before we begin, a word about connecting to the GPIO: The pins in the GPIO header are connected directly to the Broadcom processor that is the heart of a Raspberry Pi. You should never prototype circuits while your Raspberry Pi is powered, because a short circuit - no matter how brief - might immediately fry your Pi.

Safely shutdown your Pi as described in Section 1.3 before removing power - then you're ready to prototype some circuits!

Connecting to the Outside World with GPIO

We're going to animate a nice sine wave in our shell. To do this we'll write a simple function.

Code for this section:

# Display a pretty sine wave in the Python Shell

import math # For the Sine function
import time # For sleep() delay

numCycle = 5 # Number of times we want our sinewave to cycle
pi = math.pi # Less typing required later = more readable code

# Function to simplify calling the sine function
def sin(x):
    return math.sin(x)

x = 0
while x < (2 * pi * numCycle):
    bar = int(20*sin(x))    # An integer number for the length of our bargraph
    x += 0.3                # the same as saying x = x+0.3
    print ((21+bar)*"=")    # Print the bargraph
Pretty Demo: Using Math and Functions

We'll be reusing the LED-button setup from Section 2.2 for this section.

Code for this section is attached.

The RPi.GPIO documentation also has an example which brightens/dims an LED. To acheive that end the example uses some for loops. We encourage you to check that out to see how they did it. Make sure you remember to change the GPIO pin number in the code to whichever one you're using!

Breathing LED Effect

Using Hats and the Sense Hat Emulator
Shell Scripting
6 Lectures 46:24

In this chapter you'll learn about:

  • How to write a simple BASH script
  • Using variables and arguments
  • Scheduling tasks
  • How to use the command manual so you can use new commands correctly.

Arguments are pieces of information that we pass in to a program or function. When you issue a command like cd /home/pi, here the command is cd and there is one argument,/home/pi.

In BASH, arguments are accessed in the order they were passed in with $x, where x is the argument number. This means that $1 refers to the first argument, and $4 refers to the 4th argument (if there is one). The name of the command issued is $0.

File Permissions, Arguments and Your First Script

Variables and Decision Making

We're going to write a useful archiving script now. This script will take whatever directory or file we give it, and copy it to a predetermined archive-directory.

Writing a Useful Backup-Script

Improving the Backup-Script (Using the Manual)

Scheduling Tasks and Running at Startup
Desktop Applications
7 Lectures 49:38
Desktop Applications

We're going to whip-up a very simple GUI to toggle a GPIO pin with. This will familiarise us with the Tkinter workflow:

  1. Create the main GUI window
  2. Create widget, required variable(s)
  3. Position the widget
  4. Create and attach an event-function
  5. Program the function to do what you want
  6. Repeat steps 2-6 as required

Here's the gpiozero documentation if you think you'll prefer using it instead of RPi.GPIO.

Introducing TkInter

Your First GUI

Walk-through of Other Widgets

LED Command-Center with Text-Entry Box

Menu Bars and Extra Windows

Events & Bindings
Internet of Things
4 Lectures 25:04

Introduction to IOT Services

Particle Pi and IFTTT

We've covered several topics throughout this workshop series, and we've really only scratched the surface of each. By now we've assembled a toolbox of useful skills and are aware of the kinds of tasks our Pi can handle.

Where to find inspiration:

instructables.com or hackaday.io, and on our own projects page.

Where to get help:

The Raspberry Pi Stack Exchange

The Unix and Linux Stack Exchange

Pi to Pi Communications with Particle Pi
About the Instructor
Core Electronics
4.5 Average rating
497 Reviews
14,495 Students
3 Courses
A team of Creative Technologists

I'm Graham - the founder of Core Electronics. I have been learning, educating and making for over 15 years. Twelve of those were as an Avionics Technician in the Royal Australian Air Force, maintaining fighter jets and in deeper level maintenance workshops. A technically demanding job with broad exposure to many facets of electronics, which led to mentoring and educating others as a senior technician.

During that time (in 2007) I founded "Core Electronics" in Australia which has evolved to become a leading retailer for maker electronics and educational resource for tens of thousands of makers.

In 2016 we launched "Knowledge Factory" in Newcastle (Australia) - a space where we hold free community workshops to walk people over the hurdles with maker tech such as Arduino, 3D Printing and Raspberry Pi. Wonderful!

At every leg of my journey, I've been compelled to learn new skills and help others with their projects. We're now on Udemy and we look forward to helping so many others around the world.