Oct 032014
 
Programming a KickStarter Tracker in Python. Part 2.

So this is part 2 of the KickStarter Tracker in Python. (If you’ve not seen part 1 yet, that’s here.) We got the basics working last time. Now we want to make it look nicer, add more campaigns and have it running continously. So first let’s see about how we can introduce some colour… Adding Colour To Console Output There may well be more elegant ways to get the job done here, but I found a way that uses what’s called “escape sequences”. These are basically codes which can be used to modify the characteristics [...more...]

Sep 222014
 
Programming a KickStarter Tracker in Python. Part 1.

Ever since the HDMIPi KickStarter I’ve been very interested in watching the progress of other campaigns. I’m following four or five Pi-based campaigns at the moment. Are they going to make it? Are they not? It’s nice to keep an eye on things. But monitoring more than one or two wastes a lot of time. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could have a little computer and screen set up so that it checked these campaigns, say, once a minute, and reported on how they’re doing? I know there’s a decent Python library called urllib2. [...more...]

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 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...]

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 182014
 
Raspberry Pi B+ testing all the GPIO ports

I wanted to check out the GPIO ports on the Raspberry Pi B+. The new B+ has 26 ports available for GPIO work. The previous model B had 17 on the main (P1) header and four more on the now deleted P5 header. The top 26 pins are all the same, but the 14 new pins contain 9 GPIO ports. There’s a full explanation of the ports in the diagram here… How to Test All 26 ports? Why with LEDs of course. You can do it by connecting an LED and resistor (~330 Ohms is [...more...]

Mar 312014
 
RasPiCamcorder 3 - the PiTFT screen upgrade

Back in December, you might remember I blogged about using Texy’s 2.8″ touchscreen with the Pi camera. At the time I was also aware of the very similar, but slightly more compact, PiTFT by Adafruit. The space for four slim buttons on the PCB made it look ideal. So, this week, when SK Pang tweeted about having PiTFT back in stock, I snapped one up. I also thought I’d put it in a nice case. The Pimoroni PiTFT Pibow looked ideal, so I ordered one of those as well. Both arrived 2 days later. It [...more...]

Feb 112014
 
Tweeted Photos on a Pi  from the Cambridge Jam

There was a Raspberry Jam in Cambridge on Saturday. I went along to help Carrie-Anne Philbin at the Sonic Pi workshop. I also took the two HDMIPi prototypes to display. Because I’ve been doing a series on making a Twitter App on the Pi, I decided that it’d be fun to use it to tweet some photos live from the event. So, armed with a pre-tested script and the wifi login details, I set it up. And I have to say it worked quite well in the quieter moments when there weren’t millions of people [...more...]