R-Kade getting a upgrade

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.

ESP8266 More Web Links

January 29, 2015

Some more good ESP web links:


ESP8266 Modules & Links

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

Raspberry Pi (Beeb) UserPort HAT

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
1 3.3V
2 CB1
3 3.3V
4 CB2
6 PB0
8 PB1
10 PB2
11 GND
12 PB3
13 GND
14 PB4
15 GND
16 PB5
17 GND
18 PB6
19 GND
20 PB7

Analogue Inputs by a 4-channel SPI MCP3004 10-bit ADC.

15W D Connector

1 3.3V
9 N/C
10 I1
11 N/C
12 ADC CH2
13 I0
14 N/C
15 ADC CH0

Check my other stuff on Tindie

New add-on Pi boards – RPi-X PIAC and RPiB+ Breakout+ for sale

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


RPiB+ Breakout!+

August 18, 2014

Here’s our first RPiB+ HAT compatible board Breakout!+.



HATS on for Raspberry Pi B+

August 14, 2014

4 new PCB’s arrived in the post today. These are my first HAT’s (Hardware on Top) for the Raspberry Pi B+.


Top (L-R) – UserPort and Breadboard+, Bottom (L-R) – DIO32 and Breakout!+

All the boards adhere to the standard HAT size and include a ID EEPROM.

UserPort is probably my favourite. It’s a mimic of the BBC’s micros digital User Port and Analogue Port. Digital I/O is provided by a I2C MCP23017 16-channel Port Expander and Analogue Inputs by a 4-channel SPI MCP3004 10-bit ADC.

Breadboard!+ is a reworking of my earlier 170-pin Breadboard module but the extra size for a HAT PCB has allowed the inclusion of a two tactile push switches and three LED’s. As well as these, there’s also 4x Analogue Inputs using a 4-channel MCP3004 10-bit ADC.

DIO32 is a 32-channel Digital I/O board with two MCP23017 I2C Port Expanders.

Breakout!+ allows easy access to the I2C, SPI and UART interfaces and includes a small prototyping area for building circuits on.

Hope to have them on our Tindie store soon 🙂