Nov 142017
 
Full pHAT

In April this year I designed a HAT-sized PCB that would allow two pHATs to fit on one Pi. I was thinking it might make a good “over the summer” KickStarter campaign. But events conspired against me. I had trouble tracking down a source of the right stacking headers and I needed a break over the summer. So I sat on it until recently. Then, a couple of weeks ago I found a suitable header and now we’re back on track. What no KickStarter? I’ve decided to crowdfund this project by taking pre-orders at the […more…]

Nov 022017
 
High Visibility Cycle Lights with Raspberry Pi, ESP8266 & RasPiO InsPiRing - Day 4 Build Log

I’m going to combine days 4 and 5 into one final blog post and video because I want to get it finished and out there. You can find day 1 here, day 2 here and day 3 here. I’m also publishing the code today in a slightly less documented/polished state than I usually do. But it works pretty well. I’ve been using these lights on my bike since Mid September (~6 weeks at the time of posting) and I’m really pleased with them. On the road, cars treat me like another car because I am […more…]

Oct 112017
 
PiJuice - testing the software and hardware plus 6W 40W solar panels video?

Today we’ll take a closer look at the PiJuice and how to use it. We’ll also do a bit of testing of the PiJuice HAT and the 6W/40W solar panels. This carries on from the previous post where I had an initial look at the PiJuice. It’s mostly a video review, but there will be some extra information here in the blog. Calculations Before running the testing I did some calculations to predict how long the PiJuice battery might last. The BP7X battery has 1820 mAh and a nominal 3.7V. Multiplying these gives 6734 mWh […more…]

Oct 052017
 
PiJuice - unboxing, first look and why it's 2 years late?

I’ve just received an early production PiJuice and two solar panels from Pi-Supply. It’s a loaner as there aren’t many of them in existence at the moment. In this video I take a first look at them and give my perspective on how/why it came to be so late. The DIP switch is to change the charge profile, not the i2c address as I said in the video. It all looks very nice so far. I will start “playing” with it today. I’ve got this to play with for a few more days. I’ll publish […more…]

Sep 192017
 
High Visibility Cycle Lights with Raspberry Pi, ESP8266 & RasPiO InsPiRing - Day 3

On day 3 (day 1 here, day 2 here) I wanted to see if I could use a Raspberry Pi (3 or 0W) as the WiFi access point instead of my phone. Knowing I was taking a slight risk (with my time) I flashed a µSD card with the shiny new Raspbian Stretch. I tweaked all the things I normally tweak (e.g. remove Wolfram and LibreOffice, enable SSH, SPI, I2C, camera etc. – I may well add a camera to this at some point WJDK). Then I went through this excellent tutorial here, which I […more…]

Sep 152017
 
High Visibility Cycle Lights with Raspberry Pi, ESP8266 & RasPiO InsPiRing - Day 2

We’ll start with a quick recap of day 1 (which you can find here). By the end of day 1 we had a proof of concept for a phone-controlled, Wemos-driven rear bike light, with indicators (turn signals), tail lights and brake lights. Day 2 started with a bit of real-world testing on the bike. It was determined pretty quickly – within one trip to the gym and back – that mobile phone control was NOT really the way to go. I wasn’t too upset about that because it wasn’t how I originally envisaged things anyway, […more…]

Sep 132017
 
High Visibility Cycle Lights with Raspberry Pi, ESP8266 & RasPiO InsPiRing – Day 1

A few months ago I thought it would be cool to use some of my RasPiO InsPiRing LEDs to make some indicators (turn signals) for my bicycle. But then I got busy completing and shipping the InsPiRing KickStarter, and then went away for the summer. But just as I was coming back, Lorraine Underwood tweeted about her High Visibility Jacket which reminded me of the idea. Obviously I wanted to do it my way and install something permanently on the bike with wireless control. Also I was due to purchase a new bike, which everyone […more…]

Jul 062017
 
How to ask for (and receive) technical help on the internet

The internet is a great place to find out how to do things. You can often find a ‘recipe’ for precisely what you want to do or a how-to article to solve your exact problem. But even if you can’t, whatever problem you’re having, the internet is chock-full of people with knowledge who will most likely be willing to help you if you go about it the right way. This article attempts to give you some tips that will assist you in getting the help you need. But What is the Right Way? Two things […more…]

Jul 042017
 
Pimoroni Pirate Radio Review - Make an Internet Radio in about an hour

Back in February, just before I was about to pull the trigger on the RasPiO InsPiRing Kickstarter campaign, I had an email from Emma at Pimoroni. Essentially it was “Would you like to have a look at one of our new Pi Zero W kits?” Damn-right I would! :) But I warned that I would be unlikely to do much with it for a while because of the impending Kickstarter campaign. So, last week on Thursday I finished shipping RasPiO InsPiRing rewards (3 months ahead of schedule – YAY), which meant I could do some […more…]

Jun 292017
 
How to auto-connect your Raspberry Pi to a hidden SSID wifi network

I have a Raspberry Pi 3B that acts as a web server for my temperature sensing network. I also use the same Pi for my Pi Word of the day tweets. It’s been pottering along fine for a long time. But last week we had a power outage while we had smart meters installed. For ‘network management’ reasons that I won’t go into, I’d recently decided to ‘hide’ the SSID (Service Set Identifier) of the router this Pi was connected to. I had thought it would automatically connect, having been connected before. But it didn’t, […more…]