Another week has passed for the challengers of the  Pi Chef Design Challenge, bringing us up to week five! The number of updates improved over the previous week, and some great progress has been made. I’m excited to get into weeks update, but before I get started let's take a moment to learn more about this challenge.


Pi Chef Design Challenge


About The Challenge


Featured as the first design challenge of 2018, the Pi Chef Design Challenge opened for project idea submissions in October of 2017, which was met with many submissions from community members. As I mentioned earlier, the challenge is based around the Raspberry Pi 3 Model BRaspberry Pi 3 Model B SBC. Challengers have eleven weeks to develop their project, and share their progress in a series of weekly update post. By posting a minimum of ten update post, challengers become eligible to win several awesome prizes, and the chance to become one of our prestigious design challenge winners.



Entering the challenge is not limited to just the ten chosen community members though,  anyone can join the Challenge as a non-sponsored Challenger. Here's how: Simply get buy  a Raspberry Pi 3 model B and integrate it into your project, as well as post 10 blogs chronicling your project’s progress into  the Pi Chef Design Challenge space (tagging your blogs 'IoT on Wheels'). All Challengers must build their projects in accordance with the Challenge's terms and conditions, and all projects must include the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.



The Official Kit, and The Prizes


On January 10, 2018 Element14 announced the 15 community members that were picked to participate in this challenge, and those challengers received a kit of sponsored components to use in their design which was based around the Raspberry Pi 3. If you would like to purchase the official kit, click here.


Each kit contains the following items:


To learn more about each of these components or to purchase them to use in your own project, visit the official kit announcement at the links above.

Each challenger is competing to win one of three prize packs that feature the following prizes:


Grand Prize

        • Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
        • $1500 USD Newark element14 / Premier Farnell Cart

Runner Up

        • Whynter Ice-Cream Maker
        • $750 USD Newark element14 / Premier Farnell Cart

Third Place

        • Breville Tea Maker
        • $500 USD Newark element14 / Premier Farnell Cart


A finisher who has completed their project, used the Raspberry Pi, posted 10+ updates in the Pi Chef space and adhered to the requirements in the Terms and Conditions will receive a mystery package of element14/Premier Farnell products valued at $65 USD.



The Past Week In Review


Over the past 7 days, February 11th - February 17th, we have had a total of eleven updates posted across ten projects. That’s almost double the number of updates from the previous week so take a look at which projects were updated this week!




This Week’s Top Updates

Before we find out which projects made my list for this week, I want to say that picking my list of the top three projects from this week was one of the hardest I I have done since I began writing these blogs more than three years ago. There were so many well written, and extremely educational post that I have mulled over this decision all week. In the end, I could not just settle on three, so I decided to add in a fourth to this weeks list as a compromise to not featuring all eleven update blogs. I want to congratulate each and every one of you for a great job, and making my job much harder.


Project: Bake Mate - Pi Chef Blog #4 - Monitoring temperature: Type K Thermocouple + MAX31856


I have said from the beginning that the key to a successful design challenge project is thorough, well written documentation in each week’s blog post, and Avner Fernandes (avnrdf) has taken that to hear with the fourth update to project Bake Mate. After educating the masses about the basics of thermocouples, Avner filled us in on his decision to use the Maxix MAX31856Maxix MAX31856 precision thermocouple to digital converter board and how to connect it to a Raspberry Pi via “bit banging” aka software serial. To read more and find out if he was able to get the thermocouple working, head over to the link above.



Project: The Cooker Connector - Blog #5 - Smoker Vent Control Progress



I feel like I feature Jonathan Schooler (jschools) project, The Cooker Connector, quite a bit, and that may be true, but he keeps knocking the ball out of the park. As I mentioned in last week’s summary, Jonathan has changed up his design some, and the result of that change is this week’s update. In what can only be described as a brilliant exercise in mechanical design, he successfully automated his smoker’s air vent, allowing him to regulate the cook chamber’s temperature on the fly. “I finally put it all together, and I was ready to power up the servo. I wrote another Android Things test app for my Raspberry Pi to generate a PWM signal for the servo. I used the Pi’s 5-volt pin to power the servo, and connected everything up for a test. It was mostly a success! The servo was strong enough to move the vent, but it had trouble when the vent was fully closed,” he wrote. “I'm happy with my prototype so far. I seem to be at the limit of the capability of this servo, though. Ideally, I could control all three vents with a single servo, so I would need one three times as strong. I might invest in a high-torque one, or just use three of these. I'll look at pricing and make a decision soon.” This whole post was very well written, and packed with lots of great information. I highly suggest you head over to the link above, and spend a few minutes reading the whole post.



Project: iTender - Blog #3 - Communication with the real world



My third featured post this week is from project iTender by Justin Berger (justin.berger), and this week was all about using Node Red to program the raspberry pi sense hat. This was the first time I took a serious look into Node Red, and after reading over his update post, I am  inspired me to spend some time learning a new programming environment in the coming weeks, and even work this flow-based coding methodology into the Young Makers classes I teach. Head over to the link above and let Justin walk you through how to install NodeRed to the raspberry pi, and how to use it to gather data from the Sense Hat.



Project: SafeDegree  - Pi Chef Challenge Blog #2



I always love seeing project’s that I thought were abandoned spring back to life, and that was the case this week with project SafeDegree by Mark Gitsham (mark.gitsham). After suffering through a devastating wine spill which rendered Mark’s laptop unusable, he is back with update blog number two. “I would like to apologize in the tardiness of having my second blog uploaded. As Murphy’s Law always does I experienced a catastrophic kitchen accident that resulted in wine being spilled on my laptop,” he wrote. Luckily his challenger kit arrived during the laptop’s down time, and he was able to get started on the project. This update focuses on the design of the project’s master unit, the sensors it utilizes, and the custom cut project box that houses everything. Head over to the link above for to find out how Mark has connected each sensor, and more about the project.



That is going to wrap up this weekly summary of the Pi Chef Design Challenge. Remember to check back each and every week for the duration of this challenge for a summary post from the previous week’s updates. If you would like to learn more about this challenge, and to see what progress has already been made, head over to its official challenge page, and if you would like to follow what I am up to these days, follow me on Instagram I will see you next week, and as always, remember to hack the world and make awesome!


Weekly Summaries About This Challenge

  1. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: Intro to the Pi Chef Design Challenge
  2. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: January 14 - January 20, 2018
  3. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: January 21 - January 27, 2018
  4. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: January 28 - February 3, 2018
  5. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: February 4th - February 10th, 2018
  6. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: February 11th - February 17th, 2018
  7. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: February 18th - February 24th, 2018
  8. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: February 25th - March 3rd, 2018
  9. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: March 4th - March 10th, 2018
  10. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: March 11th - March 17th, 2018
  11. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: March 18th - March 24th, 2018
  12. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: March 25th - April 1st, 2018