July 30, 2015
A bumper box of 10 new (yes 10 designs) PCB’s arrived this week.
In it were 5 new (and updated) add-on boards for the Raspberry PC and 5 new boards for the Guitar Effect pedal designs I’ve been working on.
Here’s a photo of the PCB’s.
For the Raspberry Pi, we have a new revision for our popular PIIO ULNB803/GVS board which now features 2 stepper motor connectors for the popular 5v 28YBJ-48 stepper motor. A new revision for the PIAC with new screw terminals. A brand new Digi-IO which is a real world interfacing board with RS485, two relays and some level shifter for inputs. Another brand new PIIO design called “RasPellar” which is a IO co-processor board using the Parallax 32-bit 8-core Propeller CPU and a new HAT sized prototyping board that can be used by it’s self or with RasPeller.
For the guitar effects we have two designs for a “modular electronic effects pedal” or MEEP to its friend. The MEEP board design gives you access to the audio In and Out jack sockets, 9V power and Vb (4.5V) as well as the foot switch and features a true bypass while the effects are added via a smaller daughter board. So if you get sick of using one guitar effect you can simply swap it out with a new effects daughter board for a lot less than buying a new pedal. MEEP BB3 (base board – 3 pots) has three Potentiometers (pots) and MEEP BB4 (base board – 4 pots) has 4 pots. To go with the MEEP base boards there is a prototyping board, MEEP Screamer a clone of the awesome Ibanez Tube Screamer pedal and MEEP Fuzzy yet another clone of the just as awesome Arbiter Fuzz Face.
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:
May 13, 2014
Another box of new boards arrived from DirtyPCBs.com today.
In the box where 4, yes 4 sets of PCB’s.
In the photo, the big PCB at the back is RPi-X PIAC. On the photo front row, on the left is MiniPiio LED Breakout, in the centre is MiniPiio BOP4 and to the right is MiniPiio PWM16
RPi-X PIAC is our latest RPi-X experimenter board. The acronym IAC is commonly used to describe an industrial automation and control system and adding a P in this case makes it a Pi Industrial Automation and Control 🙂
PIAC has 4x SPCO Relays rated at 2A, 4x opto-isolated digital inputs, 4x 0-10V Analogue inputs and finally a RS485 communications port. So with the RPi-X PIAC you can learn about industrial control or perhaps use it for your own small industrial project.
MiniPiio LED Breakout uses the popular MAX7219 8-digit (64x LED) LED display driver chip to breakout all 64 LED outputs to 8 rows of pin headers. From these pin headers you can plug in individual LED’s to make whatever LED display layout you want. It’s a shame its not Christmas as I think it would make a great blinky LED Christmas tree 🙂
MiniPiio BOP4 or Board of Pots (or should that be “Bored of Pots”) has 4 potentiometers (3x rotary and 1x slider) and connects them to a 4-ch MAX3004 ADC. I think it will a great physical user interface. It’ll probably make a great companion to the LED/Switch MiniPiio SimpleIO we showed off a few months back. Of all the new boards I think this is my favourite 🙂
The final new PCB, is MiniPiio PWM16. I think its name gives it away. It’s a hardware based 16-channel PWM add-on board using the popular PCA9685.
As always you’ll find them on my Tindie store in the next few days.
April 29, 2014
A new batch of PCB’s arrived today.
There were two new Raspberry Pi add-on boards in the box.
The first board is a 2-channel Type-K Thermocouple converter based on the MAX31855 chip.
The second board is RF Transceiver based of HopeRF popular RFM12B module.
I’ll plan to build them up in the next few days and if all goes well I’ll list them in our Tindie store.
April 14, 2014
MiniPiio SimpleIO is just that, a add-on board with simple inputs and outputs. It features 8x LED’s and 8x tactile switches. The Pi’s GPIO4/17/18/22/23/24/25/27 are each connected to an LED and switch.
You have 8x signals you can mix and match with whatever combination of LED’s or switches your design needs. So if you need more indicators you could have say 6x LED’s and 2x switch inputs and like wise, if you need more inputs than outputs you could have 5x switch inputs and 3x LED outputs.
You can find them at our store on Tindie.
Note: LED and Switches sharing the same GPIO so are not designed to used simultaneously.
April 8, 2014
The MiniPiio RS485 is a RS485 to TTL 3.3V converter board specifically designed to work with the Raspberry Pi.
It uses 3.3V components and is completely voltage compatible with the Raspberry Pi.
The board connects directly to the Raspberry Pi’s UART Rx and Tx to provide RS485 half-duplex communications.
The board uses the industry standard MAX3485* for signal conversion.
An industry standard 9-Way D Connector (Male) and a 3-W screw provides provides the serial connection to the outside world.
Pin-out (9W D):
Pin-5 = 0V Pin-8 = B (Data +) Pin-9 = A (Data -)
In addition, the GPIO signals can be used to control the MAX3485* DE and !RE as needed.
PIIO and MiniPIIO are modular electronic building block for the Raspberry Pi and may be used with our RPi Expander2.
*or Equivalent IC
You can find them on our Tindie store.
April 6, 2014
MiniPiio Thermocouple is a single channel temperature measurement add-on board using Type-K thermocouples.
The MAX31855 is a sophisticated thermocouple-to-digital converter. It features a built-in 14-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for thermocouple measurement. In addition it also contains a cold-junction sensor for compensation temperature sensing and correction.
The MAX31855 resolves temperatures to 0.25°C. It allows readings as high as +1800°C and as low as -270°C and exhibits thermocouple accuracy of ±2°C for temperatures ranging from -200°C to +700°C for K-type thermocouples.
– Works with any K type thermocouple
– Temperature range = -200°C to +1350°C output
– Resolution 0.25 degree
– Accuracy is ±2°C
– Internal cold junction temperature reading
– SPI bus interface
– Two SPi Chips Selects (!CE0 and !CE1)
You can find it at our Tindie store
March 28, 2014
The latest version of raspi-config allows you to enable the SPI drivers without having to edit raspi-blacklist.conf file yourself.
In LXTerminal start raspi-config by type:
Select the advance menu option and chose enable SPI devices. Exit the menu and reboot your Pi.
We’ll program our example in Python, so we’ll start by downloading the SPIdev driver library.
We can use Python Installer to get install it:
sudo pip install spidev
A quick python example is shown below:
# ADC Channel
ADCCHAN = 1
# Open SPI, use Chip Select 0
spi = spidev.SpiDev()
adc = spi.xfer2([1,(8+ADCCHAN)<<4,0])
data = ((adc&3) << 8) + adc
print ('ADC CH1 =', data)
The MiniPIIO Uses a Microchip MCP3004 (or MCP3204) which are from the same ADC familily as the MCP3008
You can find the MiniPIIO AIN4 at our Tindie store:
March 21, 2014
MiniPIIO Breakout! is our newest add-on board for the Raspberry Pi.
It breaks out (hence its name) all the Pi’s expansion I/O into four neat little groups.
UART is broken out into a 6-Way and 4-way pin header. The 6-Way is FTDI USB Cable compatable.
SPI is broken out into two 6-way headers, each with it’s own SPI chip select.
I2C is borken out into two 4-way headers.
GPIO is broken out into two 10-way headers. GPIO4/17/18/22/23/24/25/27 and 3.3V and 0V.
You can buy it at our Tindie store here
February 3, 2014
Here’s some photos of the first partially built boards: