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 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...]

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 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...]

Jan 262014
 
Top Ten Android Apps for use with Raspberry Pi

I regularly use my Nexus 7 or my Android smartphone (was Galaxy S2, now Nexus 5) to help me with my Raspberry Pi activities. Here is a ‘top ten’ roundup of my favourite Android apps that I use with Pi. Sorry iPhone users. I don’t have an iPhone, but I expect many/most of these apps are available for iPhone too. These apps are used for a whole range of activities, so I’ll try to put them in a reasonably logical order. Each app has an icon by its title. Clicking it, takes you to the [...more...]

Jan 162014
 
Texys 2.8 inch touchscreen with RasPiCamcorder - step 1

At the end of August, I bought one of Texy’s 2.8 inch 320×240 touch-screens to have a play with. I thought it’d be great if I could somehow get it working with my RasPiCamcorder. Although, at the time, you had to jump through quite a few hoops to get the drivers working, and nobody had yet done the necessary work to enable camera output to be displayed on it. Then I got busy with KickStarter and HDMIPi and it lay untouched until December. I periodically looked in on the camera section of the Raspberry Pi [...more...]

Dec 132013
 
Cambridge Raspberry Jam

Last Saturday (7th December) there was a Raspberry Jam at Cambridge Institute of Astronomy. This one was a bit different from previous jams because we had some beginners’ Scratch workshops for children in the morning. I was tasked to lead the workshop. The support was tremendous. There was a small army of people setting up ~20 Raspberry Pi systems when I arrived. Another small army assisted with the workshop itself, intervening when the children needed a prod in the right direction. Thank you to all these helpers. It couldn’t have been done without you. We [...more...]