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

Relay2 – new Raspberry Pi Zero add-on board

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.

Two new Raspberry Pi Zero add-on boards

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.

ESP32 links

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
  • WIFI
  • Bluetooth
  • Ethernet
  • UART x2
  • SPI x4
  • I2C x2
  • I2S x2
  • CAN
  • GPIO x36
  • ADC 12-bit x16
  • DAC 10-bit x2
  • PWM
    and more

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:

Getting Started


ESP32 Dataheet

ESP32 Pinout

WIP – new RPi Zero add-ons

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.

    R-Kade Mini pictures

    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.

    R-Kade Mini Makerfaire2016-small

    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.

    R-Kade Mini & Zero Makerfaire2016-small

    Maker Faire UK 2016

    April 29, 2016

    Some 10,000 visitors and 300 stands, workshops and talks later Maker Faire UK 2016 is over for another year.

    As usually it was great to meet up again with Aaron of Oomlout, Mike of Grumpy Mike fame, Mitch Altman, Dominic and Martin from Just Add Sharks, David from abx-labs and Simon from ClarksArcade. As well as the old faces I also got to meet the guys from Leed’s Hackspace and also the guys from York Hackspace for the first time.

    I was on the Maker Space (Newcastle) stand again this year. Lots of cool members projects on display. Myself I had my Raspberry Pi based R-Kade Mini arcade and the R-Kade Zero. Both were received very positive comments from the people playing on them.

    Takeoff-RC had their drones on display in the open air exhibitor space.

    A special mention must go to Iain, Chris, Alistair and Tommy from Maker Space for their truly awesome Penguin Run project. It deservedly won the Maker Merit prize from the Maker Faire UK organisers.

    Only 12-months to the next one.