Jan 282016
GPIO Zero Experimenter's Kit

On Tuesday I had a funny thing happen. I was testing an analogue to digital converter (ADC) chip – the MCP3008 – to see how well it worked on the RasPiO® Pro Hat. I had it all wired up, and powered up the Pi, typed a few lines of GPIO Zero code, and…

It worked, but not quite how I thought it should. Instead of giving a value of 1.0 for 3V3 and 0 for 0V it was giving 0.67 for 3V3. I left it running and went for lunch. During lunch the ‘lights went on’ in my head…

“If you powered the chip with 5V, 3V3 would give you a reading of 0.67”

…oops! That’s what I’d done. And normally you’d expect that to damage the Pi’s SPI ports. But the Pro Hat protected the ports and they worked fine for quite some time plugged into 5V and they still work now. RESULT!

Anyone can make a silly wiring mistake. It’s nice if it doesn’t cost you a new Pi. :) (In a future blog post I’ll explain what this protection is and how it works.)

The RasPiO® Pro Hat is currently funding on KickStarter.

RasPiO Pro Hat protected GPIO ports in numerical order

RasPiO Pro Hat protected GPIO ports in numerical order

GPIO Zero Experimenter’s Kit

I was playing with the MCP3008 because I wanted to make sure it worked well with the RasPiO® Pro Hat in “port protected” mode. I wanted to include this rather nice 8-channel analogue to digital converter in my new GPIO Zero Experimenter’s Kit…

GPIO Zero Experimenter's kit

GPIO Zero Experimenter’s kit

The GPIO Zero Experimenter’s Kit Includes…

  • Five 10mm LEDs
  • MCP3008 eight-channel analogue to digital converter (ADC) chip
  • TMP-36 analogue temperature sensor (use with ADC)
  • 1-channel relay
  • PIR motion sensor
  • 10k potentiometer (use with ADC)
  • 40-way male header
  • 20 M-M jumper leads
  • 20 M-F jumper leads
  • Piezo buzzer
  • Large button
  • 10k resistor

In this kit you will find pretty much everything you could need or want to get the most out of GPIO Zero and your RasPiO® Pro Hat. Oddly enough, the “best bits” are the smallest. The small chip at the bottom right of the photo (between the PIR motion sensor and the buzzer) is the MCP3008. This 8-channel analog to digital converter allows you to read analog sensors like the TMP-36 immediately above it. The relay module lets you switch things that need more power than the Pi can give (but it’s not for mains use).

Other than that you have all the wires and parts you need to give GPIO Zero a thorough workout and learn its exciting new features.

How Can I Get One?

I’ve added the GPIO Experimenter’s Kit as a new reward level on the RasPiO® Pro Hat KickStarter campaign. It’s the £25 level and includes a RasPiO® Pro Hat.

  3 Responses to “GPIO Zero Experimenter’s Kit and RasPiO Pro Hat”

  1. How expansible is the Raspio Pro Hat for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module Development Kit?

    I would like to know how it can protect the development kit. I wait for your another post about the protective feature such that I can understand the benefits of the pro hat better.

    • THe Pro Hat won’t fit on the compute module dev board because the pinouts are completely different. In theory you could use jumper wires for each port, but it might be more trouble than building your own circuit.

      • I must understand better the protective features of the Pro Hat, in order to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. One chance is to extend the Pro Hat to cover those pinouts which are required by the compute module dev. I would like to have a hat that is great for the development and prototyping, having vertical possibilities.

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