Apr 112014
 
How does the RasPiO Breakout Pro protect your GPIO ports?

You may remember I launched three RasPiO® boards a couple of weeks ago. One of them, the RasPiO® Breakout Pro, offers protection for the GPIO ports on the Raspberry Pi. I thought it might be interesting to explain how the port protection works, so I’ve made a little video about it… Current Limiting Resistor One of the ways you can potentially damage (or kill) your GPIO ports is to try and draw too much current from them. You’re not supposed to draw more than 16mA from any one port (and 60mA from ALL the GPIO [...more...]

Mar 282014
 
The Plinth

On Sunday night, Matt Hawkins tweeted to me about a KickStarter campaign he thought complemented our HDMIPi screen really well. So I went to take a look. I thought it was a really clever design, so I got in touch with its creator, John Bull, to see if we might be able to get a branded one as an additional product to go with HDMIPi. He mentioned that his campaign could do with a shot in the arm. I thought the best way I could help would be to get my hands on one and [...more...]

Mar 242014
 
Adventures in Raspberry Pi - Real World Review

General Observations Adventures in Raspberry Pi is a 144 page book written to encourage teenagers into real computing by an experienced teacher, Carrie Anne Philbin. This book makes wonderful use of lots of graphics and screenshots. It’s very nicely laid out with plenty of colour and white space. The pages are all visually interesting and the text clearly explains things in a friendly manner. But it’s more than that. By being easy to follow and fun to read, the learning will sneak up on you. By breaking everything up into logical bites and taking them [...more...]

Mar 212014
 
Launching the RasPiO product range - first three boards

The day has finally arrived for me to launch my first three products in the RasPiO® range. What’s RasPiO®? I hear you ask? It’s a family of add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi®. It’s pronounced “Razz-Pie-Oh” (emphasis on Pi) and is derived from the fact that the boards will mostly be I/O (input-output) boards for the Raspberry Pi. We’re starting small and simple, and will grow in size and complexity with time. I spent most of last summer designing PCBs. It takes a frustratingly long time to bring things to market. But that’s another story, [...more...]

Mar 142014
 
A Quick Look At My New Soldering - Rework Station

I’ve been hankering after a hot air rework gun and a soldering station for some time. The main problem is that most rework stations are hundreds of pounds. I don’t really need an ‘industrial strength’ one, so when the most recent CPC Tradesman offers came through the door, two items by TENMA caught my eye. One was a simple soldering station for about £30 (+VAT), the other had both soldering iron and hot air gun for £99 (+ VAT). In the end, I opted for the combined model (SDO174105). I ordered it on Saturday and [...more...]

Mar 032014
 
Raspberry Pi Official 7 inch DSI prototype - preview

At the Raspberry Jamboree, on Friday 28th Feb 2014, I spotted a nice little seven inch screen, that looked a lot like the screen from a 2012 model Nexus 7 (but a bit grainier as the Nexus 7 has a higher pixel count). Then I spotted the PCB with the Raspberry Pi Foundation logo on it, and realised it must be the official DSI screen prototype. Sure enough, it was connected to the DSI port. I turned round and saw Andrew Laing, Global Manager for Raspberry Pi at Farnell. He told me he’d been displaying [...more...]

Mar 012014
 
Jamboree Raspberry Pi Second Birthday

I spent Thursday and Friday of this week at the Manchester Raspberry Jamboree. It was a very large event combined with the Education Innovation conference. I went there with the intention of meeting and talking to people. I so often get involved in giving talks or workshops and ‘show and tells’, that I often miss the chance to meet and talk to as many people as I would like to. (Forget to enjoy it?) I Still Took Too Much Stuff Although I did take “far too much stuff” as usual (I thought people would like [...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...]