PropBerry – Propeller & Raspberry Pi combo

July 31, 2012

For PropBerry, I was thinking using a Parallax Propeller* (or just Prop) as a super i/o co-processor for the RPi where the Prop would be used to offload the real-time I/O and let the RPi handle the higher program features. After talking about this combo on the Parallax forums, the Props VGA video capabilities were mentioned which got me thinking about using the PropBerry as a VGA serial terminal console and shelve the i/o co-processor idea for now.

The Parallax community is great and they’ve released a lot of good stuff. One of the things I remember (from about 2009) was Vincent Briel’s PockeTerm terminal software for the Prop. Using this on a Propeller Demo Board gives us a VGA video output and PS/2 keyboard for user input. A serial interface connects the Propeller demo board to the Raspberry Pi.

Now we got our bits together lets see if we can make them work 🙂

* The Parallax P8X32A Propeller chip (or just Prop) is a cool chip. It is a multi-core architecture parallel microcontroller with eight 32-bit RISC CPU cores (cogs) which share a common hub of 32K-RAM

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Maker Space celebrates with a Raspberry Pie

July 19, 2012

Last night saw the Maker Space in Newcastle celebrate a whole year of hosting its regular and free open sessions.

The Open Sessions happen every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month as well as a all day weekend workshop on the last Saturday of the month.

To celebrate we had the usual snacks but my wonderful wife baked us a lovely Raspberry Pie, actually a Raspberry sponge cake as we eat the pie at home the night before 🙂


On the night we had a couple of 3D printers making stuff, the Spaces MakerBot (on loan from Jay) and Will’s new RepRap. There was a great discussion about how to use both Ardunio’s and Raspberry Pi’s for a garden monitoring project.


In all a great night and here’s to celebrating again next year


Accessorize your Pi for £10

July 7, 2012

Much has been said about how the cheap (as in low cost) the Raspberry Pi is, but I wanted to find out how cheap I could buy all the peripherals for.

SD-Card 2G/4G £3.00 staples/play.com/ebay
HDMI lead £1.00 poundland/poundworld/ebay
mouse (USB £1.00 poundland/poundworld/ebay
keyboard (USB) £3.00 ebay/asda
Power Supply (5V USB) £1.00 poundland/poundworld/ebay
micro USB cable £1.00 poundland/poundworld/ebay

Cost of Accessories = £10.00

raspberry pi ~£22.00 from RS or Farnell

Interesting, I was able to get most of the things from my local poundland and poundworld. I had to visit both of them as neither had every thing I needed. In fact, when I went back a few days later to pick up a couple more of the £1 mice, only to find they were sold out 😦

Next on my list where the keyboard and SD-Card. I found my local Staples were selling off their surplus of a branded 4G card so I pickup up a couple of £2.99. A couple of weeks later, play.com were having a sale so I picked up a 16G for £5.99. Buying a cheap keyboard in the shops proved to be the most difficult thing to find. In the end, a quick search of ebay got me a cheap one for £3.00.

As it happens I saved the cost of Power Supply and micro USB lead by using an old mobile phone supply and micro USB but you could still pick them up for £1 each at your local pound stores.

So there you have it you too can Accessorize your Pi for £10


We made the front page of Instrutables

July 7, 2012

Wow, we made the front page of Instructables with our very first article. It makes us really proud to have achieved this with our article about making a breadboard adapter for the Raspberry Pi.

Breadboard Adapter for RPi

Heres a picture of Instuctables front page we kept for prosperity

Front page of Instrutables


My First “Instructables” Article

July 6, 2012

I’ve published my first article on Instructables.com today. It’s a breadboard adapter for the Raspberry Pi

++ UPDATE : We made the front page of Instrucables !


MiniPiio ProtoBoard v0.10

July 2, 2012

** UPDATE: You’ll be able to get these boards soon at tindie.com in the DTronixs store

I’m really pleased with the design of this MiniPiio board.

It fits it’s purpose perfectly. A small 170-pin breadboard you can plug directly onto your Raspberry Pi and have access to the GPIO pins from the RPi’s Expansion Header. You can’t see it but it has the option of a 3.3V voltage regulator to give you more current for the 3.3V for use in your circuit design.

The schematic is here: