I’m pleased to announce the Pi-Stop is now available to pre-order from the 4Tronix.co.uk shop.

http://4tronix.co.uk/store/index.php?rt=product/product&product_id=390

The Pi-Stop

 

Take a look at the product page on the 4Tronix site for more details, or on my site, or take a look at the resources available via GitHub (contains a range of workshop materials and resources available to use or adapt for your own needs).

I look forward to sharing this exciting new add-on with everyone!

First off, a big thank you to everyone who came to the workshop, I hope everyone had a wonderful time.

The whole Digimakers event was absolutely amazing, had a really great time, huge thank you to all involved (organisers, people running workshops/showing things off, and of course the people who came along!

Unfortunately, I didn’t take many photos so I shall have to let other’s document all the wonderful things that were happening.  However, I did promise I would post up the materials for the workshop, and this is the purpose of this post!


 

It was great to see the response to the Pi-Stop, the workshop material and to meet so many great people.

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My focus now is to get all the workshop materials loaded on to the website, the PDF files are below.

As mentioned before we had a REDYELLOWGREEN theme for the workshop material.

Setup

Learning 

Experimenting

The files are stored on a new GitHub repository:

 https://github.com/PiHw/Pi-Stop

  1. REDSetup: Scratch GPIO (workshop version) [PDF] - Explains how to setup Scratch GPIO
  2. YELLOWExplore and Challenge Scratch GPIO: Pi-Stop First Steps [PDF] - Introduces how to use Scratch and using Scratch GPIO. If you are already familiar with Scratch you can skip this.
  3. GREENExplore and Challenge Scratch GPIO: Pi-Stop Traffic Sequence [PDF] - Create your own traffic light sequence and learn how to use Scratch GPIO with the Pi-Stop.
  4. GREENExplore and Challenge Scratch GPIO: Pi-Stop Reaction Game [PDF] - How fast are your reflexes? Test your reaction time with the Pi-Stop Reaction game.
  5. GREEN: Explore and Challenge Scratch GPIO: Pi-Stop Simon Memory Game [PDF] - Challenge your memory and get the highest score!

The worksheet is also available here:  Workshop Worksheet [PDF]

Generally once we got through the RED stage, everyone flew through the rest of the material and there was lots of additional programs being written, new experiments and lots of great stuff being done!


 

I will be posting up more information about the Pi-Stop very soon (it deserves a proper introduction), including all the source files used for the workshop (I want the materials to be open and available so it is easy for people to modify and adjust them to suit their own needs and requirements).  For example, it would take very little to adapt the material to work for any traffic light/3 LED type board/kit.

In fact, I have some cunning ideas regarding that which may work nicely for making the material even easier to adapt (shall have to wait and see if it works).

As soon as I have more information regarding availability of the Pi-Stop I shall let everyone know.

If you are interested in classroom packs, or would like additional information then feel free to contact me:

pihw-orders@hotmail.co.uk

 

Finally, many thanks for a most excellent day!

Tim Cox.

I will be attending the Digimakers event Saturday and running a workshop.

The workshop will be using an exciting new prototype board called PiStop!

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The attendees will be the first to use the new board and I will be keen to see what everyone thinks about it!

I will add more details on the board soon (since I still have workshop material to prepare) – I have lots of juicy details on how the board works, the different ways it can be used and the whole idea behind it.

The workshop will be using Simon Walters (@cymplecy) excellent Scratch GPIO:
http://cymplecy.wordpress.com/scratchgpio/

 


 Getting Setup!

For those who are attending, here is a link to the setup PDF, which will detail the setup steps for the workshop.

Setup:Scratch GPIO (PDF)

There isn’t much to setup, you will just need a standard Raspbian image and a single file (available from here: http://goo.gl/Pthh62).

Obviously if you are able to download it onto your Raspberry Pi ready, then it will save time and hassle in the actual workshop, you can do this with the following command:

sudo wget http://goo.gl/Pthh62 -O install_scratchgpio5.sh

 

Don’t panic if you are not sure what you need to do yet, there will be help at hand on the day and plenty more information available if you need it.

 

Other Equipment…

You will need your Raspberry Pi, Power Supply and SD-Card.  Plus a screen/keyboard/mouse (some will be available) or laptop (see below):

There will only be a limited number of screens/keyboards/mice available, so if you have a laptop (it will need built-in wired network socket, most do) please bring it along and I will be able to show how to directly connect to your Raspberry Pi.

Again, if you can try this before the workshop then you will be good to go straight away.

Details here: http://pihw.wordpress.com/guides/direct-network-connection/

Connect and use your Raspberry Pi with just a Network Cable, SDCard and Power!

Connect and use your Raspberry Pi with just a Network Cable, SDCard and Power!

You will also need to install Putty and Xming on your laptop (to allow you to connect and display Raspberry Pi desktop programs on your screen):

Download and run http://sourceforge.net/projects/xming/ from the Xming site.

NOTE: If you have VNC setup or know how to find your Raspberry Pi on a network, then you can use that if you prefer.

 


 

The workshop plan

Going with the RED, YELLOW, GREEN theme the workshop material is split into three stages: setup, learning and experimenting:

 

  1. RED: Setup: Scratch GPIO (workshop version) - Explains how to setup Scratch GPIO
  2. YELLOW: Explore and Challenge Scratch GPIO: Pi-Stop First Steps - Introduces how to use Scratch and using Scratch GPIO. If you are already familiar with Scratch you can skip this.
  3. GREEN: Explore and Challenge Scratch GPIO: Pi-Stop Traffic Sequence - Create your own traffic light sequence and learn how to use Scratch GPIO with the Pi-Stop.
  4. GREEN: Explore and Challenge Scratch GPIO: Pi-Stop Reaction Game - How fast are your reflexes? Test your reaction time with the Pi-Stop Reaction game.
  5. GREEN: Explore and Challenge Scratch GPIO: Pi-Stop Simon Memory Game - Challenge your memory and get the highest score!

 

 

Finally:

I will have some copies of my book available to buy (a great Fathers day gift!), plus a selection of my kits, so your Raspberry Pi fun can continue when you get home.

I look forward to meeting everyone, and I hope you all have an excellent day!

 


 

Not able to make the workshop?

Don’t worry, I will also be making all the workshop material and lots more supporting material freely available after the event (via github in markdown format & as generated PDFs).

The aim will be to build a resource of materials which anyone can download, adjust and use for their own workshops, classes or just at home in their own projects.

Hopefully people will also add their own materials, and also adapt them for other similar boards/kits.

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Breadboard & Components Hobby/Education Kit for Raspberry Pi (Chapter 6 Hardware Kit)

 

The mini breadboard kit includes some of the components used in Chapter 6 of my book, plus are ideal for a number of starter projects (traffic lights, RGB colour mixing, timed response challenge, memory game etc).

The mini breadboard kit includes some of the components used in Chapter 6 of my book, plus are ideal for a number of starter projects (traffic lights, RGB colour mixing, timed response challenge, memory game etc).

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Mini-Breadboard Kit

The mini-breadboard kit includes all the components needed to complete several small hardware projects.  This kit is intended to provide all the parts you need to complete the following recipes from my book:

  • Controlling an LED
  • Responding to a Button
  • Controlled Shutdown Button

Add a Self-Solder Combo Kit

The Mini-Breadboard & Self-Solder Combo Kit contains everything to complete all the examples in Chapter 6 of the book, including two self-solder kits (the RGB-LED and D-Pad modules used in the more advanced recipes).

Mini-Breadboard & Self-Solder Combo Kit - For everything in Chapter 6

Mini-Breadboard & Self-Solder Combo Kit – For everything in Chapter 6

The Mini-Breadboard & Self-Solder Combo Kit contains everything to complete all the examples in Chapter 6 of the book, including two self-solder kits (the RGB-LED and D-Pad modules used in the more advanced recipes).

RGB-LED Kit B (Includes GPIO Cable)

Used in the following sections in Chapter 6 of the book:

  • Multiplexed color LEDs
  • There’s more… Hardware Multiplexing
  • There’s more… Displaying random patterns
  • There’s more… Mixing multiple colors

There are also lots of lessons already on the site for the RGB-LED kit

D-Pad / Game Controller Kit B (Includes GPIO Cable)

Used in the following sections in Chapter 6 of the book:

  • The GPIO keypad input
  • There’s more… Generating other key combinations
  • There’s more… Emulating mouse events
  • See also – Can also be used with the game examples created in Chapter 4
I hope by providing these kits people can try out all the examples and material now available, and enjoy using hardware and electronics with the Raspberry Pi.

See the Breadboard & Components Kit (Ch6 Kit) product page for more details, or the Shop to purchase.


Note regarding the hardware in other chapters of the book:

I currently do not have plans to release kits for the other chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10.  This is because these chapters mainly make use of existing hardware modules which are available to buy directly from other retailers.  If I were to stock all of the modules used I would need to buy for them for the same price and then add extra (to cover my time, cost of stock etc etc).  I would have to take an existing product, add a markup and sell it on.  Unfortunately I don’t have the time and resources to do this cost effectively, therefore, it would not provide good value for money for people.

The book contains details on the places which stock the items, but let me know if you have difficulty getting a particular item so I can find an alternative and provide details on the website.


 

In recent months I’ve had issues charging my phone, it became apparent that some chargers were more effective than others, and it seemed that some of my USB cables were better than others.

The setup

To put this to the test I’m going to use a USB Voltage and Current monitor I purchased for measuring the power requirements of the Raspberry Pi.  If you search around this can cost a few dollars (http://www.dx.com/p/usb-av-usb-power-current-voltage-tester-translucent-blue-silver-235090).

4.94V being supplied.

4.94V being supplied.

Read the rest of this entry »

From the book…Stop-frame Animation!

I learnt so many new things during the course of writing the book, many of which I wanted to share with my kids to enjoy (but due to the tight deadlines this was often not possible).

Now that the mammoth task of the book has been completed it I thought it only fair I spent some doing some of the activities with them.

Early Saturday morning, ready for the workshop!

@Bristol Science Center is an excellent place to visit

As it happens, we visited @Bristol a few weekends ago (readers of previous posts will know this is the home of the Bristol Digi-Makers events, which we attend for the MagPi stand), this time though we were visiting the science center which is its main purpose.

We had a fab time, but it was an ultra busy weekend so we were unable to have a go on the Aardman Animation desks (Aardman amongst other things were responsible for Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit).

Thankfully, it is something which a Raspberry Pi with a camera module can achieve and one of the things I’ve been wanting to do anyway.

Chapter 8 – Creating Projects with the Raspberry Pi Camera Module – Recipe – “Creating a stop frame animation”

The project was done using “Chapter 8 – Creating Projects with the Raspberry Pi Camera Module” of my Raspberry Pi Cookbook for Python Programmers book, which has a full recipe called “Creating a stop frame animation”.

Find out how we got on at the following page…Ch8…Example: Creating a stop frame animation

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D-Pad / Game Controller Learning Module Hobby/Education Kit for Raspberry Pi

D-Pad

 

This kit is one of the hardware items used in Chapter 6 -Using Python to Drive Hardware of the new book.

For more details, see the product page and visit the PiHardware shop for details on how to purchase it.

D-Pad Controller

This will allow us to cover inputs in some new lessons.  Also, the user manual includes example code to allow you to map keyboard commands to the D-Pad buttons, converting it into a handy little game controller or keypad.

As always, the kit comes with an extensive user manual with clear and detailed instructions, explaining the design and function through to assembly and testing.

So with or without the book the kit should make an excellent project.

For your comfort, a thick foam backing is supplied for those extended gaming sessions!

ALSO:

I would like to add, that it has undergone extensive testing with the Spectrum version of Bruce-Lee (Datasoft/US Gold 1984), via Fuse!  Many an hour spent completing the original game some time ago.