Sep 152014
Raspberry Pi SmartWatch Joke

A Raspberry Pi SmartWatch? You’re kidding me right? Errrm. Yes. I mean… Well… This has a lot of the functionality of a smartwatch, but it wasn’t built for that purpose. It’s a little big, for starters. Let me back up and explain. Last week, Apple released photos of their new smartwatch. Twitter, Google+ and every social network was awash with photos, comparison photos, criticism, analysis and good old-fashioned Apple-hating. By Thursday I was rather bored of it all, so I decided to make a joke tweet. I had this rather large Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) [...more...]

Sep 072014
VGA for Pi Debuts at CamJam, alongside HDMIPi production model No. 1

I went to the Cambridge Jam yesterday and displayed HDMIPi production model #1, met lots of people, including Eben, Liz, and a multitude of Pi enthusiasts and bloggers (quite normal for a #CamJam). There was also a CNBC news crew there to film some Pi action. They shot a brief clip of me doing something like this… Matt Hawkins @RPiSpy kindly took this one for me using my camera. Good job he’s not a monkey, or we might have a copyright dispute. It was really nice to spend some time chatting to Matt. (Thanks for [...more...]

Sep 042014
Turtlteck - Ryan's new Turtle Robot

Many of you probably will have heard of Ryan Walmsley, the guy who created Raspberry Pi tracker Rastrack. Ryan’s been working for several months on a robotics project he’s called Turtlteck. It’s basically a simple wheeled robot with a microcontroller board which he’s programmed to act rather like a classic “turtle”. You program it with the direction buttons and hit the middle button to make it ‘GO’. I backed the project on KickStarter early on because it’s interesting and because, even though it doesn’t directly involve the Raspberry Pi, Ryan’s budding electronics business stems largely [...more...]

Sep 012014
RPi.GPIO - port function checker

A few weeks ago I blogged about RPi.GPIO updates for the model B and updated my RPi.GPIO documentation and quick reference sheets. But there was one feature I held back on because I needed a bit more time to mess about with it. (And then got busy with other things.) So What Was It? gpio_function() Another RPi.GPIO feature that sneaked in while I wasn’t looking is gpio_function() This is a feature that’s been inserted in RPi.GPIO to enable you to query the setup status of a port to see how it’s configured. import RPi.GPIO as [...more...]

Aug 222014
New Raspberry Pi Speaker from ThePiHut

I got a new speaker in the post yesterday morning. It’s been redesigned specifically for the Raspberry Pi by ThePiHut. I charged it for a few hours (it has an internal lipo battery, which powers it for 7 hours of use) and then plugged it into the 3.5mm stereo outlet of an HDMIPi screen. This takes the sound from the HDMI output of the Pi (so it’s digital and high quality, much better than the Pi’s analog output). I tested it with Bug Buck Bunny, which has superb graphics and sound. It also makes an [...more...]

Aug 182014
PiHut WiFi dongle vs Edimax - Power Usage

At the May CamJam, Jamie from The Pi Hut handed me a couple of his Raspberry Pi Wifi dongles for testing. I did some measurements a week or two later on a Raspberry Pi model B and sent them to Jamie. But I thought it would be fun to repeat this now with the new B+ and show all the results together. I’m doing a comparison test against the Edimax EW-7811Un which is my current ‘Go To wifi dongle’. Differences & Similarities? The Edimax is very slightly smaller. Both have blue LED activity indicators. The [...more...]

Aug 132014
New Port ID Board for the Raspberry Pi B+ - RasPiO Portsplus 2

Today I’m launching the RasPiO Portsplus 2. It’s a simple port ID board for the Raspberry Pi model B+. It’s available over at but full information below… RasPiO® Portsplus 2 The RasPiO® Portsplus 2 board is designed for the new Raspberry Pi B+. It labels the ports clearly for you so that you don’t need to count pins. This will help you avoid wiring errors and damage… You can slip it over the B+ GPIO header if you want, or hold it next to the header (many people tell me they do this – and this [...more...]

Jul 262014
RPi.GPIO Quick Reference updated for Raspberry Pi B+

Having brought my RPi.GPIO documentation (almost) up-to-date with the previous blog post, I realised it was time to update my RPi.GPIO Quick Reference ‘cheat sheet’ as well. It’s quite a useful reference. Page 1 gives you the basic RPi.GPIO commands and usage. I like to take one of these the Jams in case someone needs help and I can’t remember the necessary commands. Page 2 has a Raspberry Pi GPIO pinout diagram for all versions (except compute module). This part has been updated to add the pinouts for the B+. Page 3 gives a list [...more...]

Jul 252014
RPi.GPIO update and detecting BOTH rising and falling edges

A few days ago, Ben Croston updated the RPi.GPIO Python library so that the ‘board’ pin numbering system would work with all of the pins on the B+. It doesn’t really affect the way I work, as I always use BCM port numbers. They already worked on the B+ and the compute module. While he was at it, he made a couple of bug-fix tweaks. Looking at what was tweaked, I realised there are a couple of features of RPi.GPIO that I hadn’t yet documented. In this blog post I hope to update my RPi.GPIO [...more...]

Jul 202014
Just How Awesome is the Raspberry Pi Community? Fixing the 'B+ won't shutdown' issue.

On Friday I noticed a bit of ‘weirdness’ happening with my new model B+ Raspberry Pi. When I shut it down with sudo halt it would shut down fine. But when my hand, or the wireless keyboard I was using, got close to the GPIO pins, the Pi would start up again all by itself. I didn’t even need to touch it. Getting close was enough. Let’s Ask the Twitterverse I wasn’t sure if this was a quirk of the B+ or something to do with the dodgy wiring in our house in Poland (not [...more...]