Jul 292013
New Raspberry Pi graphics and models for Fritzing

Over the last few days, the guys at Fritzing have been busy – they’ve released three new versions in three days. What’s Fritzing? I hear you ask. It’s an excellent Free Open Source program for doing circuit diagrams, board design etc. I use it a lot for my circuit diagrams on RasPi.TV. New Raspberry Pi models and graphics But what is of particular interest to me and possibly to you also, is that there are now new models for Raspberry Pi model B (rev 1 and rev 2). The graphics are beautifully done and all […more…]

Jul 262013
How to use WiringPi2 for Python with pull-ups or pull-downs and PWM - pt 2

This is part 2 in a series on WiringPi 2 for Python. The basics are covered in part 1 (click here). You should read that first if you haven’t already, as we build on it here in part 2. Today we’ll cover three things… 1. Raspberry Pi board revision checking with WiringPi2 for Python 2. Using the Raspberry Pi’s internal pull-ups and pull-downs with WiringPi2 for Python 3. Using hardware PWM with WiringPi2 for Python 1. Checking your Raspberry Pi board revision number in WiringPi2 It’s quite useful to be able to check what version […more…]

Jul 232013
How to use WiringPi2 for Python on the Raspberry Pi in Raspbian part 1

Basic Input/Output with WiringPi 2 What is WiringPi2 and why do I need it? WiringPi2 for Python is an excellent GPIO handling system written by Gordon ‘Drogon’ Henderson and packaged for Python by Phil ‘Gadgetoid’ Howard. It uses Arduino-like scripting language. For simple GPIO work, I still tend to use RPi.GPIO because that’s what I first got started with, but WiringPi is a very good alternative. It currently has more features. One of the reasons (I think) the take-up for WiringPi-Python has been a bit slow, despite its richer feature set, is the lack of […more…]

Jul 222013
Review ISO-TECH IPS 3303D DC benchtop power supply

This is a video review/tutorial of the ISO-TECH IPS 3303D DC bench power supply from RS components. It has 2 variable outputs (30V, 3 Amps) which can be connected in series or in parallel to double up the voltage/current. It also has one fixed output with three settings (2.5V/3.3V/5V – up to 3 Amps). I used it on 5V to power a RasPiCamcorder while I filmed this video. You can also control it with a computer via USB, but I haven’t tried that (yet). But this is meant to be a video review, so that’s […more…]

Jul 192013
RPi.GPIO basics 7 – RPi.GPIO cheat sheet and pointers to RPi GPIO advanced tutorials

In the previous six articles, we’ve covered the basics of RPi.GPIO. I hope the series has been useful. While I was doing the “recap” for part 6, I decided to make myself a quick reference “cheat sheet” with all the common RPi.GPIO stuff in it. I figured this would be useful and save me having to look things up on the web and in previous Python scripts I’ve written. I made it as a text file that I can just copy and paste snippets of code from to make RPi.GPIO Python coding easier. Then I […more…]

Jul 172013
RPi.GPIO basics 6 – Using inputs and outputs together with RPi.GPIO - pull-ups and pull-downs

Today, it’s time for us to combine inputs and outputs into the same script. It’s nothing scary and it’s not new either. It’s simply a case of doing what we’ve already done in the last two days’ of GPIO basics, but combining them. To make it super-easy, we’ll even stick to the same port numbers we used for the last two days. We’re going to make a new program which takes parts from both the “read a button press” and the “flash an led every half second” programs. We’re going to make a simple new […more…]

Jul 152013
RPi.GPIO basics 5 – Setting up and using outputs with RPi.GPIO

Today is output day. I’m going to show you how to switch things on and off using RPi.GPIO to control the output ports of the Raspberry Pi. Once you can control outputs, you can, with a few additional electronic components, switch virtually anything on and off. Given the Raspberry Pi’s excellent connectivity, this means you can switch things on and off through the internet, using any computer, smartphone or tablet from anywhere in the world. You can also use a local network, Bluetooth etc. for short-range control. Setting up is very similar to the way […more…]

Jul 142013
RPi.GPIO basics 4 - Setting up RPi.GPIO, numbering systems and inputs

Well, today is the day we actually get to use RPi.GPIO a little bit. But, before we get to that, you should know about the two different numbering systems you can use with RPi.GPIO. If you take a look at the main GPIO header (P1) of the Raspberry Pi, you’ll see that there are 26 pins. The top left pin (as we look at this photo) is called pin 1, the one to the right of it is pin 2. So the next row is 3, 4 etc. and on down to 25, 26. This […more…]

Jul 132013
RPi.GPIO basics 3 - How to Exit GPIO programs cleanly, avoid warnings and protect your Pi

You might think I’m going about this series in a funny way. You’d be right! I am. That’s because I’m trying to highlight the bits that people don’t read about in other tutorials/documentation/manuals/books. These bits are useful, important and often overlooked. If I covered inputs and outputs first, you might not get to the rest because you’d already “know all I need”. That’s only partially true though. Although you can get away with not knowing or using this stuff, it’s much better and safer if you know it and use it. So today we’re focussing […more…]

Jul 122013
RPi.GPIO basics 2 – how to check what Pi board Revision you have

It all started in September 2012. The Raspberry Pi Foundation went and made some improvements to the Pi. How dare they!! ;) Seriously, though, there were some significant improvements to the Pi and a Rev 2 version was launched with double the RAM and some other changes/additions/improvements. This threw up some minor headaches for developers because some of the GPIO pinouts were changed and some new GPIO ports were made available on a brand new “solder it yourself if you want it” header called P5 (see the leaning header of Pi5a) GPIO 0 became GPIO […more…]