This answer to Has great eyesight been necessary for astronomers? mentions Astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell's recounting of a likely first visual observation of a pulsar. This can be found for example in Nature's Air force had early warning of pulsars
The work preceded by several months the observations made by Bell Burnell, then at the University of Cambridge, UK, which led to the first paper on the subject. A Nobel prize for the discovery was subsequently awarded to her supervisor Antony Hewish, but, controversially, not to her. Schisler was not the only one to “pre-discover” a pulsar, though, according to Bell Burnell. “There are actually a lot of stories,” she says. In the 1950s, a woman visiting the observatory at the University of Chicago, Illinois, pointed out that there was a regularly pulsating source of visible light in the Crab Nebula. Elliot Moore, an astronomer at the university, dismissed the woman's claim, telling her that all stars seem to flicker. Another radio astronomer she knows of will, after a drink or two, confess to having dismissed observations of a pulsating source as the result of faulty equipment. “He's a bit embarrassed now,” says Bell Burnell.
This is also summarized in Wikipedia's Crab Pulsar:
Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who co-discovered the first pulsar PSR B1919+21 in 1967, relates that in the late 1950s a woman viewed the Crab Nebula source at the University of Chicago's telescope, then open to the public, and noted that it appeared to be flashing. The astronomer she spoke to, Elliot Moore, disregarded the effect as scintillation, despite the woman's protestation that as a qualified pilot she understood scintillation and this was something else. Bell Burnell notes that the 30 Hz frequency of the Crab Nebula optical pulsar is difficult for many people to see.
Per Wikipedia the Crab Pulsar has an apparent magnitude (V) of about 16.5, but I don't know how much of that intensity is modulated at 30 Hz or if the modulation is concentrated in some specific part of the visible spectrum. I would guess that a neutron star's direct visible light would be quite small except for the pulses, but I don't know if that's what the 16.5 m refers to.
I'm imagining a small, low noise photodiode intercepting the light from the region containing the location of the pulsar, possibly with a color filter, with the signal amplified and the DC removed and then digitized with an ADC and a Raspoerry Pi. (assume that I'd read up on how to best do this) and then integrating for a few minutes or hours and looking for some power near 30 Hz with a Raspberry Pi.
But before I think further, I'd need to know how deep the visible light's modulation is and if it's stronger in some wavelengths or flat across the spectrum.
Question: How bright is the Crab Pulsar's 30 Hz modulation in visible light? What color is it?