Suggested Uses for 1st Generation Raspberry Pi

With all the RPi and SBC discussions lately, I’m itching to get some old Pi’s back on the network doing something useful. There is a buzz around the newer 4th Generation RPi, but I have two 1st Generation RPi Model B: 2 USB ports, Ethernet only no wifi, 512mb of RAM. Is anybody still running these 1st Generation RPi’s and doing something useful with them?

Option #1 - I’m definitively trying this out on one of them.
I’m thinking of turning one into a podcast player at my office with some super old computer speakers and using

Option #2 - Thinking of this on the second, but I don’t know if I use IRC enough to keep this running 24/7.
Run weechat or irssi 24/7 and ssh into the RPi for my IRC chating this would give me the ability to scroll back and view past posts. I have tried Quassel on the home server, but it was flacky at times to get reconnected after the server went down because of power failures. I’m thinking weechat or irssi might be a more stable option.

Other ideas?

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Will the first Gen RPis run SDR on a dongle? If so, you could load one up and put it online for people to hear the frequencies in your area. Look at

I suggest OpenCanary:

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Try a PiHole!

Keep the suggestions coming.

  • We have a RPi 3 Model B running PiHole.
  • @MarkofCain’s idea needs some further investigation, but sounds like an interesting concept.
  • OpenCanary might be an interesting experiment to run as well.

I have also thought it would be neat to figure out a neat way of using one of the old RPi for a rotation information screen that could be updated with:

  • weather forecast
  • family calendar
  • running list of reminders
  • family photos

I’m not sure if there is a FOSS solution that would provide all of this information cleanly, or if I would need to figure out a way to role my own with updates.

@mowest You might try screenly open source edition. Screenly - OSE

Bitwarden_rs? Just needs Docker image to run on there. Let me know if you do a family calendar/photos. I want a shared to-do list too, for one of mine.

How about a local git repository. I like to put (any carefully tweaked) config files, and little hacked-together scripts in git.

I’d say look at all the great HATs out there, and buy one that takes little CPU power to drive it. Pimoroni, for example, has many different fun HATs for the Raspberry Pi.


Not a bad idea, but the HATs that are in stock these days all need the 40 pin connector of the RPi Zero and above. The RPi Gen 1 Model B have a 26 pin connector. There were older HATs made for the 26 pin connector, but they are harder to find these days. However, you gave me a great idea. I should consider doing some breakout bread board projects. We have a kit that can be used with either GPIO connector because it uses individual wires and a separate bread board.

Originally my RPI 1 b+ was a kodi box and that was great. The Xbox fills that roll in my house now. Now I’m putting it to use to tinker with sensors when I have spare time.

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