alex

Alex Eames is the founder, owner and main contributor to RasPi.TV more information about him can be found in his Google+ profile.

Jan 312017
 
How to use external antenna on Wemos D1 mini pro - surface mount rework video

In my previous blog post I showed how I used several Wemos D1 mini to make a network of wireless temperature sensors around RasPiTV HQ. These litle boards are based on the ESP8266 microcontroller with built-in WiFi. There is a Pro version available too. One of its main benefits is that you can attach an external WiFi antenna for greater range. This is an optional feature, and it does require some delicate surgery to reroute the antenna signal from the built-in ceramic antenna, to the external socket. It’s not especially difficult once you know what […more…]

Jan 262017
 
Wireless Remote Sensing with Wemos D1 mini, Arduino IDE, Raspberry Pi and lighttpd web server

For a long time now I’ve wanted wireless temperature sensors scattered around the house and garden reporting their temperatures regularly to a central server. It’s not something I really need, but something nice to have. I’d originally planned to do it with a RasPiO Duino or Arduino nano and inexpensive NRF24L01 radio boards. Albert @winkleink Hickey, a friend of mine, who also runs the Egham Jam put me onto these when he did his buttonflash game. Albert has a useful hobby of trawling ebay for bargain-basement electronics. A few weeks ago he showed me the […more…]

Dec 122016
 
Which is the best Raspberry Pi sound card? DAC review

I have received a fairly enormous selection of Raspberry Pi audio cards from four suppliers (Pimoroni, IQaudIO, HiFiBerry and JustBoom). It’s a bewildering array of DACs and AMPs, which allow you to turn your Pi into a HiFi system capable of playing sound files up to 32-bit 384 kHz, in theory. In reality 24-bit audio is about the highest quality you can buy and it’s questionable whether human ears can resolve any higher anyway. Anyway – I’m not planning to turn into a raving audiophile (anyone seen my gold speaker leads?) so here’s the stuff […more…]

Dec 072016
 
RasPiO Portsplus Picademy - NEW product.

If you’ve been hanging around the RasPi.TV blog for a while you’ll have heard of the RasPiO Portsplus board. It’s a little PCB with the Pi’s GPIO port numbers on that you can use to avoid counting pins when wiring up your GPIO projects. A few months ago I was visiting Pi Towers. Ben Nuttall mentioned that they use the Portsplus at Picademy, but sometimes people put them on the wrong way up and it causes confusion. The original Portsplus has GPIO port numbers one one side and pin numbers on the other side. It […more…]

Nov 232016
 
Raspberry Pi Family photo update November 2016

Since the February 2016 launch of the Raspberry Pi 3B there have been three new Pi released. They’re not major revisions, but they are different. Around May the A+ got a 512 MB memory upgrade. I pre-ordered one immediately and it materialised at the end of August. But that alone didn’t warrant a new family photo. Also in May the new Pi Zero 1.3 with camera port was released. But it was last week’s arrival of the new Pi2B 1.2 with BCM2837 processor that made me decide it was time to get the camera out. […more…]

Nov 172016
 
New Raspberry Pi 2B 1.2 with Pi3 BCM2837 Processor

Back in September a new version of the Pi2 quietly appeared on Farnell’s website without a fanfare. It’s exactly the same as the original Pi2 except the processor is BCM2837 running at 900 MHz instead of the BCM2836. Why the New Revision? By changing processors to the Pi3’s BCM2837, the older BCM2836 can cease production and the Pi2 gets an upgrade to the newer, faster A53 CPU. To keep the BCM2836 in production in small quantities no longer made economic sense. I pre-ordered one immediately. It arrived yesterday and I tweeted some quick photos straight […more…]

Nov 152016
 
get_iplayer on Raspberry Pi - update November 2016

I’ve posted several times in the past about get_iplayer – a very useful set of scripts that allow you to download BBC iPlayer content for offline viewing. I’ve even written a MagPi article about it, which also appears in the Official Raspberry Pi Projects Book There have been several software updates since then, but something broke some time over the last few months (I wasn’t watching closely) and get_iplayer now requires a manual install of FFMPEG or it won’t convert the downloaded .ts files to .MP4 I think what broke was that the file format […more…]

Nov 112016
 
Extending Python Vocab Tester With Dictionary Lookups and Storage

In my previous blog post, I showed you my Python based vocabulary tester and suggested some ways it could be “taken further”. You probably won’t be overly surprised to hear that I have taken it a bit further myself. Actually, I’ve taken it rather a LOT further, but this blog article is to show you the next couple of steps. Let’s Compile a List The first, fairly easy, tweak I made was to store the words I don’t know in a file. I figured it would be good to make a list of these so […more…]

Oct 132016
 
How to Estimate Your Vocabulary Using a Python Script and the Scrabble Word List

The other day I read an article on the BBC website which suggested a method to estimate your vocabulary. Essentially, you sample 20 pages of your dictionary and note down how many words you know on each page. Then you add up the total, divide by 20, then multiply this by the number of pages in your dictionary. This gives you an estimate of your vocabulary. (Results will depend on the number of words in the dictionary, so use the largest you have.) This seemed like a good idea, so I tried it. I used […more…]

Oct 072016
 
Pixel Tips and Tweaks - how to Tweak Aspects of the new Raspbian Skin

Last week. Simon Long from Raspberry Pi released a new version of Raspbian with several new features. The most visible of these is the new-look desktop skin, named PIXEL (Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight). There’s a lot of user interface (UI) tweaks both functional and visual… new splash screen on boot stunning background images added a whole new set of icons larger ‘drag handles’ for resizing windows (that’s bugged me for years) windows now have rounded corners new font rendering package for better typography I think the new look is a big improvement and I […more…]