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 🙂

Raspberry Pi MiniPIIO MIDI board

June 26, 2014

I design my first Pi MIDI interface way back in 2012 while I was waiting for my first Pi board to arrive.

It’s went through several revisions since then and now looks like this:



The circuit is now completely 5V as per the original MIDI specification but the MIDI IN is 3.3V compatible with the Pi via a voltage divider circuit.

OK that’s the hardware what about the software?

Getting a MIDI 31250 Baud Rate on a Pi is not easy as it should be as 31250 is not a standard Pi baud-rate. But you can trick your Pi into it if you overclock (or rather underclock) the UART clock.

Start a terminal session and type:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

Add these lines to the end of the file

# Change UART clock to 2441406 for MIDI 31250 baud rate


save and exit.

Once saved reboot your Pi.

Next we need to stop the serial UART being used by Raspbian for the shell console. Check my previous post “MiniPIiio RS232 set-up” on how to do this.

Finally we need to add the following to “cmdline.txt”


After doing all of this we should be ready to connect a MIDI keyboard or synth to our Pi.


Again I hope to have it stocked in out our store on Tindie soon: