picochess running on a Raspberry Pi 7″ Touchscreen Display

Picochess runs not only on small displays like the KUMAN picochess release v0.77 instead it also runs on middle sized displays like this official 7” Touchscreen Display. Here is a video how to set it up (first)

Also Al buyed this display and here are some pictures from him running a picochess v0.75 on it (the newer releases will run even better) cause the 0.77 updates will also make the webserver display behave better on such touch screens.

7'' Display Raspberry from backwards

Picochess v0.75 running on official RaspberryPi Display7'' Display for RaspPi

picochess V0.79 – Italian

Luigi offered his help to let picochess speaking with his mother language (italian). I asked him if he can also translate the menu system to italian. He agreed and picochess v0.79 finally supports a new language in menu display and sound.

Also Christian wants to give something back to picochess and he recorded the voice of his son Jan-Niclas. Jan-Niclas is 10years old, playing chess for 4 years already and now the first kid to speak to us picochess lovers in german (actually its austria dialect).

Finally Al finished some more voice records so i could change the sounds of queen placement from a simple “ok” to a detail sound like “ok engine”.

Despite this voice improvements i was able to fix a bug with the revelation II chess computer at first move. During this fixing i learned alot about the Rev2 and its api to control the square leds. Actually, it was done wrong for some time and i corrected this during my fix. Thanks for reporting this problem goes to Rudolf. He also reported another problem with this chess computer when you take back moves. This bug is still there but it only happens in special situations and i had another more serious problem to solve:

People reported that the voice from v0.78 stops working after some moves. Internally i’m using a system called “python-sounddevice”. Until the owner of this project (Matthias Geier) find out what the cause could be, i changed my usage of sounddevice abit. Users of picochess v0.79 must install another package called “vorbis-tools”.

I hope after Matthias found out the problem i can return to a pure python solution. Anyway, for the moment the voice system running very well.

Square Off – a new chess board

InfiVention Technologies started a new kickstarter project called “Square Off”. This board can move the pieces by itself. Wow! Really cool. You can get your board from them if you follow this Link. Lateron the price will increase.

During 7 days they managed to pledge their £40,000 goal and is now at £78,233. Delivery is planed in Apr 2017. Since the pieces are moved by the board itself, that offers alot of possibilities. First you can play with anyone over the world. For more details see their webpage.

Right now this board is controlled by a mobile application. Now, when i heard about this project i was thinking to implement an api to let the moves be made by our picochess. That would be fantastic.

For long picochess users talking about having a robot arm to move pieces for the computer, but this system is alot better. I only hope InfiVention find something to press the lever of the dgt clock. Anyway i will see how this project is going on and when they are in market maybe we can find a way to connect it to picochess.

picochess V0.77 – Kuman Display

Have you missed some text for the picochess v.077? Well, i always wanted to have a chess computer with DGT eBoard but it must be small, kute and closed (i don’t like to see alot of electronics). During we discussed an old picochess release with PiFace interface (which come nearest until now to my dream of a chess computer) Peter told me about this Kuman Display.

I was full of joy and wanted to try what i can do for it. So, i ordered this display let picochess v0.76 run on it and here you can see the first result:

v075 running on kuman

This display only has 320×480 pixels, so i had to shrink the webserver display alot (as you can see). Picochess already working but i don’t want to scroll down or to the side so here is the next version – its already alot better but still not the end of this journey.

better display for picochess v0.75

There is some protection foil on the display – so, the blue circle and the scratches aren’t there – the display is fully ok and all this for only 33€. Not bad, isnt it?

Anyway, the current webserver display is even smaller, you can see even more without scrolling. Here is another picture, i shot this afternoon:


picochess V0.78 – The talker

Picochess v0.78 finally talking with human voice. Since very long picochess using a system called “ChessTalker”, where the voice is made by TTS (Text to speech). That was working more or less okay. It sounds like a computer and for me the speech was far too slow.
I wanted to change that but i never had the time to deal with sound & python and therefore i was always delayed. Since December 2015 DGT also wished to have a human voice system – they even told me they can provide the sound files for it.

Anyway, i got some (from dgt) but they aren’t complete in this moment. So, i also asked Al (he is native english speaking) to record some sounds and you can guess it already 😉 i put them in the new release and say goodbye to TTS (aka ChessTalker).

Right now the voice are in english only but i hope someone is willing to record some in his/her own mother language so i can import that inside too. Picochess can already display messages in english, german, french and dutch, so i hope to have these 4 voice languages at minimum 😉 Perhaps we even get more then one speaker for each language. Who wants to get famous?

Despite this talking function i also implemented a “send log file” directly to your eMail box. Now its alot easier to send the file to a developer (like me) helping us to solve problems you might have. For this you only need to go to “System>Log” and your pgn email credentials are used to send out this file.

Speaking about pgn you might also enjoy that now the pgn file is attached to the eMail for better usage in your own pgn editor.