November 22, 2016
Despite USB being everywhere, I still use a lot of industrial and embedded interfaces, such as RS232 and RS485 interfaces, in my projects. Legacy equipment especially and even new industrial equipment still use RS232 for programming and monitoring. While RS485 interfaces can still be found a lot in industrial communications such as factory automation.
So with this in mind I felt I needed an Raspberry Pi add-on board to simplify a lot of these connections. So here is the Raspberry PIIO FieldBus add-on board. It is a multi-communications board RS232 or RS485 and CAN Bus interfaces.
The board uses 3.3V components and is completely voltage compatible with the Raspberry Pi.
The board connects directly to the Raspberry Pi’s SPI to provide CAN Bus communications and also to the UART Rx and Tx to provide RS232 or RS485 communications.
CAN Bus interface uses MCP2515 CAN controller and MCP2551 CAN transceiver IC provides CAN Bus v2.0 A/B at 1 Mb/s. It is connected the Pi’s SPI Interface. Connection is provided via a 3-Way screw terminals.
RS232 interface uses a 3.3V MAX3232 (or Equivalent IC) chip and CTS (GPIO16) & RTS (GPIO17) signals are provided. Connection is provided via an industry standard 9-Way D Connector (Male).
RS485 interface uses 3.3V MAX3485 (or Equivalent IC) chip with DE (GPIO27) & !RE (GPIO22) used to control the RS485 transceiver control signals. Connection is provided via a 3-Way screw terminals to the outside world.
The Raspberry Pi expansion port has only on UART interface available for serial communications. So where both circuits are fitted, only one RS232 or one RS485 interface may be connected to the UART, therefore only one interface can be used at any time.
You can find them on our Tindie store
October 12, 2016
Earlier in the month we participated in eDay5 at Gateshead Central Library. From the number at the end of eDay you can probably guess it was the 5th year we’ve been helping out at this great event.
For those who don’t know what eDay is, eDay is a local digital skills day where various digital technologies are demonstrated to an enquiring general public. A sort-of geeky show and tell where local groups and individuals meet at Gateshead Central Library and show off their projects or what interests them.
Maker Space has played a mayor role since it first started 5-years ago with demonstrations on 3D Printers, Arduino’s and Raspberry Pi. Other groups provided demonstrations of Oculus Rift, music, Ham Radio, DJing, retro computing and gaming and Lego Mindstorm.
There are some write ups of previous eDays here:
For myself, I took along my two Raspberry Pi based arcade machines: R-Kade and R-Kade Mini and in addition an early build of my latest project Pi project: a pretty large LED Display.
Check out Twitter for @gatesheadlibs and #eday5
September 29, 2016
Relay2 is my latest RPi Zero add-on board. It’s designed to control low voltage and small-ish current devices such as DC motors, servos etc.
Relay2 is a 2-ch Relay board with two Change-Over (CO) relays. Each relay is good for 30V AC/DC at 1A. The relays can handle a greater voltage than 30V but given the close proximity of the actually RPi Zero board I would not recommend going above 30V. The relays are easy to select via GPIO headers and they use 3-way Screw Terminals.
You’ll find them on our Tindie store real soon.
August 30, 2016
I’m very pleased to show off our latest Raspberry Pi Zero add-on boards.
The board in the top of the picture is PIOO UserP0rt which features a 16-ch port expander and 8-ch ADC using the MCP23S17 and MCP3008 ic’s.
While the board in the bottom of the picture is PIIO ADC16 which is a 16-ch ADC board and features 2x MCP3008 ADC’s (each 8-ch, 10-bit).
You’ll find them on our Tindie store real soon.
July 29, 2016
The WIFI enabled ESP8266 is one of those great chips to quote an old tradesman’s saying “it just does what it says on the tin”.
It’s only been around for a few short years but it’s made a great impact in the boom in WIFI enabled projects and products.
Building on this success of the ESP8266, Espressif announced the ESP32 late last year (2015).
As well as WIFI the ESP32 also features:
- Dual Core 32-bit Micros
- RAM 512KB
- ROM 128KB
- UART x2
- SPI x4
- I2C x2
- I2S x2
- GPIO x36
- ADC 12-bit x16
- DAC 10-bit x2
With the ESP32 August release date fast approaching you can now find more solid information on its capabilities. Here’s a few links to wet your appetite:
June 29, 2016
This last month I’ve been working on some new add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi Zero.
In no particular order:
ADC16 – 16-ch ADC board (2x MCP3008 8-ch, 10-bit)
UserP0rt – 16-ch port expander and 8-ch ADC (MCP23S17 and MCP3008)
Relay2 – 2-ch Relay board (2x Relays 30V, 1A)
I’ve just sent these off to be manufactured, so I’ll post an update when I’ve got them back.
May 30, 2016
It’s been a while since I last wrote about R-Kade Mini so I thought I would share a couple of new-ish pictures. These were taken at Maker Faire UK in April.
Instead of painting the cabinet I used black clothes dye instead. I’m please to report it work much better than I thought it would, giving it a nice flat black finish with no brush marks or paint smears. The decals were a mix of ones I printed off and some I bought off ebay. All in all I very pleased how it all turned out.