Apr 102013
Tandy Multiface Gertboard Compatible Interface Board for Raspberry Pi

The Tandy Multiface is a brand new I/O interface board for the Raspberry Pi designed by Darren Grant from Tandy. The reason it came about is that, back in September 2012, Tandy was marketing a Gertboard kit, having bought a supply of official Gertboard PCBs from Farnell. This was a bit of a coup because Tandy beat Farnell to the punch with their own product. Farnell struggled to get their ducks in a row (I seem to remember comments about a shortage of one of the chips) and launched their kit about a month later. […more…]

Feb 122013
Using a Wii controller with your Raspberry Pi, Gertboard, Bluetooth and Python

Matt Hawkins from Raspberry Pi Spy has done the leg-work enabling Pi users to use a Wii controller – along with a Bluetooth USB dongle to send inputs to the Raspberry Pi. It uses a Python library called “CWiid” (I imagine this is pronounced “seaweed”). This is awesome because the Wii controller has 11 different digital inputs. When you consider combinations of inputs, that gives you a lot of extra possible “input commands” to play with. Theoretically*, with 11 buttons, there are 55 different 2-button combinations (11C2). That should be enough for most uses. If […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…]

Nov 052012

Download Python Gertboard Programs ocol – Open Collector – Darlington Array Relay Driver I’ve managed to get the open collector ocol program written in Python. The ocol program drives the Darlington Array on the Gertboard. This can be used to switch up to 6 relays, each on a separate GPIO port. I’ve managed to write versions for both wiringpi for python (ocol-wp.py) and RPi.GPIO (ocol-rg.py) They are both included in the download link, which will always contain the most up to date versions. Here’s a comparison video of Gert’s ocol program running first, then my […more…]

Nov 022012

Download Python Gertboard Programs I’ve been having a go at producing Python 2.7 versions of some of the Gertboard test suite. It’s partly as a learning experience for me and one which I hope will help others too. Which GPIO? Why not both? There’s two different ways to handle GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) in Python at the moment… Ben Croston’s RPi.GPIO Gordon Henderson’s WiringPi (Python Wrapper by Gadgetoid) The ultimate aim is to have versions of the Python programs using both systems. As a file naming convention, we’ll take the name from the original […more…]

Oct 082012
Using Temperature Sensors with Gertboard and the Raspberry Pi TMP36 and LM335z

I spent much of last week’s “Pi time” wrestling to get temperature sensors working through the Atmega on the Gertboard. It was quite time consuming, but I managed to find some great helpful web sites and glean a bit of info from each. Once I’d got two different types of sensors calibrated, installed and working (and a third type temporarily abandoned), I started fooling around with logging the temperature readings. As things do, it evolved roughly like this… View the temperature data on the screen updating every second Make the temparature data stop scrolling and […more…]

Oct 012012
Raspberry Jam at Milton Keynes - National Museum of Computing - Gertboard Demo Rig

Yesterday I went to my first Raspberry Jam – a get-together of Raspberry Pi enthusiasts. This one was in Milton Keynes at the National Museum of Computing. It happened to be run by Peter Onion, who I already knew from the world of aeromodelling. So it was a no-brainer for me to go to… meet an old friend (he’s not that old) visit a museum of computers get to talk to people about the Raspberry Pi and Gertboard and demonstrate them see what other people are doing with the Pi (nobody else had a Gertboard […more…]

Sep 232012

Now we come to the motor controller testing for the Gertboard. This is my favourite part so far. The LEDs were cool, the relays, ADCs and DACs are bloomin’ useful and versatile (not videoed those yet), but the motor controller is just downright good fun. :) I found a motor to use in a fairly weedy battery powered barbecue blaster I made a few years ago. It was the motor from an old hairdryer with the rectifier stripped out, glued to a contact lens solution bottle to make an electric ducted fan jet. This part […more…]

Sep 232012

This is a video of the Gertboard being put through its paces in the Darlington array relay switching tests. There is a Darlington array on the Gertboard that can drive up to six relays. Each can switch 50V and 0.5A. This video shows the program Gert provided to test this functionality (and train us how to use them too). On the video I talk about relays. In fact I mean Darlington array open collector relay drivers. My bad. ;)