February 27, 2015
The wiring in my Raspberry Pi mini arcade cabinet is getting a much needed upgrade.
I originally build R-Kade for Maker Faire 2013 and its been at various other Faire’s around the country and at eDay for the last two years. It was quickly build out of a bookshelves, old VGA monitor, WII arcade controller and a raspberry pi. The control board was removed from the WII arcade controller and the joystick and buttons wired directly to a prototyping board on the Pi. Unfortunately, it’s this wiring which is becoming a problem and needs redoing.
Rather than just strip out the wires and rewire new, I decided to make myself a better solution and have designed a Pi ArcadeIO board. The ArcadeIO board has screw terminals for connecting the wires to the Pi’s GPIO signals. In addition the GPIO signals have in-line resistors to limited the effects of any short circuits. There are addition screw terminal positions for connecting common grounds for the arcade switches and joystick.
December 31, 2014
I got very excited when I saw the ESP8266 modules way back in September, a WIFI module for under $5, so I ordered a few ESP-01 and they arrived in due course.
The ESP-01 is great if you just want to add WIFI connectivity to your project, but once I realised you could program the onboard micro I knew I wanted access to the GPIO and other interfaces to make a standalone WIFI I/O node. I didn’t have to wait too long and back in November when I saw the ESP-03 module which breakouts a number of GPIO signals and interfaces to pads on the module. I ordered some and they arrived just before Christmas.
There are now over a dozen different styles (ESP-xx) of ESP8266 modules.
Here’s a few good ESP8266 links:
Espressif – the company that makes the ESP8266 SoC
The ESP community forum
Sites with good info. and tutorials
November 30, 2014
Of the recent Pi boards I’ve made I think UserPort is probably my favourite. It’s a mimic of the BBC’s micros digital User Port and Analogue Port.
Back in the 80’s (gosh that sounds old) I built many electronic, robotic and other projects using the Beebs digital User Port and Analogue so reproducing their functionality for the Pi was a pleasure.
Digital I/O is provided by a I2C MCP23017 16-channel Port Expander
20W IDC Connector
Analogue Inputs by a 4-channel SPI MCP3004 10-bit ADC.
15W D Connector
4 ADC CH3
7 ADC CH1
12 ADC CH2
15 ADC CH0
Check my other stuff on Tindie
October 31, 2014
We’ve finally managed to find time to list two new boards on Tindie.
The first is RPi-X PIAC which is an experimenter add-on board for small industrial control projects. It feature 4x Relays (Change Over), 4x Opto-Isolated Inputs and 4x Analogue Inputs (0V to 10V). It also has a RS485 serial interface for communicating with industrial networks. You can find them here
The second board is RPiB+ Breakout+ which is a breakout board for the Raspberry PI B+ I/O signals. It features 2x SPI headers, 2x I2C headers, 2x UART headers and 2x GPIO headers. It also has a prototyping area which is useful building your own circuits. It is compatible with the HAT board size and has a EEPROM (currently not fitted) for future HAT configuration. You can find them here
September 27, 2014
Today saw the 3rd eDay technology and maker event take place at Gateshead Central Library. Wow 3 years.
Maker Space was there again with 3D Printing Raspberry Pi and Arduino projects. Over Eng’D and Polar Pong gave a new meaning to the words physical computing with a mass of stepper motors and pulleys. R-Kade my Raspberry Pi mini arcade was brought out again to entertain those people wanting a trip down video gaming history. Who would have guesses that Pacman, Galaga and Donkey Kong would still appeal the younger audience.
The local radio amateur group, Angel of the North Amateur Radio Club (ANARC) were there for the first time. They had brought various radio receivers and transceivers for us to listen too.
The local Imperial Troop from the 99th Garrison made sure no droids got lost during the days proceedings :-) The Stormtroopers, Tie Fighter pilots, Bounty Hunters and Imperial Officers made an impressive sight.
There was also Vector 76 with oculus rift, html workshops, Retro Gaming, ChromeBuild Lego sessions and drop-in maker activities from Victoria Bradbury.
August 18, 2014
Here’s our first RPiB+ HAT compatible board Breakout!+.