Jan 302013
fantastic sounding raspberry pi solenoid sequencer

I went along to the Oxford Raspberry Jam last night at RS HQ. There were several impressive demos. But this one was definitely the best sounding of the lot. Peter Andrew has put together a solenoid sequencer (a bit like a drum machine) which is driven by a python script on a raspberry pi. He’s also written an android app to program the beat with his Nexus 7 tablet. Solenoids are pulsed to make them strike a tin can, a jar lid, a small glass jar and a saucepan lid. The saucepan lid sounds wonderful. […more…]

Jan 282013
How to make a RasPi into a NoSPi

I’ve been doing some prototyping of a new Pi related hardware project I’m working on. I’m not ready to let on what it is yet, but it involves a potentiometer. The pot in question is one of those that you need a small screwdriver to turn. So here’s what happened. I left the screwdriver standing in the pot like this… …and it fell, shorting something out. Not sure exactly what, but it may have bounced on a pin carrying 12V for a motor. What I do know for sure is that an ic chip that […more…]

Jan 242013
V2 Gertboard photos and initial impressions

My V2 Gertboard showed up today. I promised some photos yesterday, so here they are, along with some first impressions… Main visible differences from V1 are: CE and FCC marks Different fuse holder Different motor controller chip – surface mount All ICs are soldered directly to the board apart from the ATMega, which is socketed leds are surface mount there are pull-up resistors on the buffers the buttons are surface mount the DAC chip is teeny weeny and surface mount the regulator is surface mount The jumpers with grippy extension are very practical But the […more…]

Jan 232013

I’ve been sitting on this for a while, but I’m now delighted to announce that the manual for the new Rev 2, fully assembled Gertboard, which officially went on sale yesterday, includes full documentation of my Python Gertboard Test Suite. I wrote the Python-specific sections and Myra’s done a great job of weaving them into the fully updated manual. You can download the new manual here You can download the Python Gertboard software here. The Python software was fully tested by Myra before Christmas on the only Rev 2 Gertboard in existence at the time. […more…]

Jan 152013
Emulators galore on one raspbian image

Carles Oriol has put together a raspbian image with just about every emulator you can imagine, including… ZX spectrum DOS / Windows 3.1 Commodore 64 Apple ][ Oric 1 Atari 2600 ScummVM Arcade (MAME, I think) The only one of note that I didn’t see was BBC Micro. I don’t know if it’s available for the Pi. (But there is RISCOS, of course) It’s a very impressive piece of work. No details yet if he intends to republish. It’s possible there may be some copyright issues if he does. For the moment, though, there is […more…]

Jan 112013
HDMI to VGA Video Converter with sound for Raspberry Pi - Review

One of the compromises that had to be made in designing the Raspberry Pi to be so small and so cheap was the decision to exclude a VGA connection. The BCM system on a chip already has HDMI and composite onboard. Adding VGA capability would have needed additional hardware in the form of a VGA chip and a VGA port. VGA ports are quite chunky too. Adding one would take up as much “edge space” on the board as both HDMI and composite ports together. Have a look at this photo… I took this VGA […more…]