If you are new to Raspberry Pi and Pi 4, you might be wondering where you should start. After all, there are millions of different projects out there and looking through all of them might be quite confusing, especially if you have little to no experience with DIY projects.
In this article, I’ll give you a few starting points to get you working on your projects in no time. Some of the projects I mention are suitable for absolute beginners while others are more suitable for more experienced makers that are new to the Raspberry Pi, and specifically the Pi 4.
First Steps for Getting Familiar with Pi 4
Before you dive in blindly, make sure you get familiar with your new Raspberry Pi 4.
You should set up a Wi-Fi connection if you have one and enable SSH. If you are also new to Linux (remember, Raspbian Buster is a Linux distribution), take a look at this list of commonly- used commands.
Once you have the set up ready, you can dive into some ideas!
A Mobile Retro Gaming Station
This project uses RetroPie and is suitable for absolute beginners and a great way to learn how to set up programs on your Pi. You won’t need to use a soldering iron or write custom programs.
Note that RetroPie has not announced that it is officially set up for Raspberry Pi 4, but it is still an excellent project to get familiar with Raspberry Pi.
In the end, you’ll have a gaming system that can emulate many different retro consoles and that can directly be connected to any modern television using the Pi’s HDMI output.
Raspberry Pi Robots
Robotics projects are suitable and available for beginners as well as more advanced makers that already have experience with soldering and programming. This is probably my most favorite type of project because it can easily be extended and modified to build interesting and cool robots.
You can get really creative when it comes to your robot and you can add as many features as you want. Here are a few example projects to spark your creativity:
Raspberry Pi 4 Custom Alarm Clock
A Pi-4-based alarm clock is a simple project that can be completed by beginners but it could also be interesting for more experienced makers that can add more features to the finished product. And, while soldering is not a necessity, this project can be a good starting point to learn how to use a soldering iron. Anyway, in the end, you should have an alarm clock similar to this one:
More experienced makers can swap out the cardboard case with a wooden or 3D-printed one or add additional features, like a calendar.
This article will guide you through the project step-by-step.
A Raspberry Pi Web Radio and Bluetooth Speaker
Thanks to the Bluetooth capabilities of the Raspberry Pi 4, building a custom Bluetooth speaker has never been easier. And, because the newer models also come with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, it’s very easy to stream audio from the web.
Therefore, when you combine your new Raspberry Pi with an amplifier and a set of old speakers (or just a set of powered speakers with a built-in amp), you can conveniently create your own Bluetooth speaker and web radio.
A Complete Weather Station
This project is targeted to experienced makers that already know how to solder and write custom programs but that are still new to the Raspberry Pi platform. Maker Pro’s project on building a complete weather station describes the steps necessary for utilizing different sensors that can be used to monitor the weather in your area.