Aug 202013
8 x 8 LED array driven by max7219 on the Raspberry Pi via python

For a long time I’ve wanted to have a go with one of these 8×8 led arrays. I always thought they look like lots of fun. Searching around, I happened across Richard Hull’s Github repo, which provides a set of Python drivers and installation instructions for this 8×8 led array… …which can be had, if you’re willing to wait a week or two, for a little over £2 ($3) delivered from Banggood Assembly It comes in kit form and takes about 10 minutes to solder up, if you’re not new to soldering. There are no […more…]

Aug 122013
Video Review of surface mount (SMT) cutters set

Paolo at RS Components sent me over this set of SMT cutters and pliers to play with and review. I’m not going to write much here, as it’s a video review, but the cutters are sharp and cut very nicely. If you work on stripboard or circuit boards, having a good set of cutters will make life easier for you. See them in action in the video. I should add that the close-up shots in this video were done with my RasPiCamcorder 2. Link to product page here.

Aug 092013
RasPiCamcorder software released on Github

A few people have been asking me about the RasPiCamcorder software. My original plan was to partner with a well known supplier and offer a “build your own RasPiCamcorder” kit, along with software and instructions, as a product. The software was always going to be open sourced though. But the market said NO! Many people have argued with the market and lost. I don’t intend to. There simply weren’t many takers for it. Cool though it is to be able to Dropbox your photos and videos, having neither sound nor screen seems to be enough […more…]

Aug 072013
 How to stream vlc from a Raspberry Pi with GPIO control but without being root

Having managed to get VLC streaming from Pi Camera to Nexus 7 Android tablet working, it was only a matter of time before I wanted to stream from the RasPiCamcorder. But when I tried it, I came across an annoying problem. RPi.GPIO needs to run as root (that’s why we always use sudo for our GPIO stuff) But VLC refuses to run as root. This means you can’t run them both from the same program. There’s all sorts of clever solutions people proposed (and I wasted a lot of time unsuccessfully trying them all out) […more…]

Aug 052013
How to use DropBox with Raspberry Pi

I wanted to be able to upload photos from my RasPiCamcorder straight to DropBox. So I did a little research and came across an absolute gem of a program called Dropbox-Uploader, by Andrea Fabrizi. A truly brilliant piece of work that gives you access to your DropBox account right from the command line. You do have to jump through a couple of hoops to get it set up (security mostly), but once you’ve done that, it’s a breeze. 1. DropBox account First of all you need a DropBox account. Hop on over to DropBox and […more…]

Aug 032013
Review - Pi GPIO Reference card from Low Voltage Labs

Jamie over at The Pi Hut sent me one of these little GPIO reference cards to evaluate. Beautiful in its simplicity. I love the idea. It gives you a close at hand reference for the P1 GPIO header on the Pi, showing which pin is which GPIO port (and which aren’t). It’s perfect for use with an uncased Pi, but stumbles a bit when used with cases – mind you, that’s an occupational hazard of cases. In any case, GPIO work is generally hindered. (Pun intended.) The above shot is my Toxic Pibow in “GPIO […more…]

Aug 012013
Using the MCP23017 port expander with WiringPi2 to give you 16 new GPIO ports - part 3

In this article, I’ll show you how to hook up and control a port expander chip with wiringpi2 for python. It’s really easy, and once set up (with about 3 lines of code) you can control your new ports just the same way as if they were on the Pi itself. This is, so far, my favourite new feature of WiringPi2 for Python – although there are some I have yet to play with. This is part 3 of my wiringpi2 for python series. If you haven’t read parts 1 & 2 yet, I recommend […more…]