Posts Tagged ‘Hardware’

Latest Book Reviews!

Posted: February 15, 2019 in General, review
Tags: , , ,

I’ve recently received a few books to review (and to share at STEM events and workshops) from NoStarch Press.

No Starch Press books for review


Both of these titles draw me back to my youth when I was first getting in all things “computery” and electronic.

I can remember a little LadyBird book Ladybird Learnabout Simple Electronics by Kris Cochrane and dreaming about building all the circuits contained therein.

I don’t think I even got as far as making a single one of them, but I ended up with an Electronics Engineering degree so I suppose it served its purpose.

The second book, Mission Python, reminds of the copy out program books which you used to get for the micro computers of the 80’s (the ZX Spectrum, BBC micro, Commodore etc.).  This is still on my review list, so I hope to have a review for this at a later stage.



I love hearing about how people are using the Pi-Stop to discover and learn, many thanks for sending me your stories of what you have got up to with them.

Remember you can now buy them directly from 4Tronix and also CPC Farnell.

I recently I was asked about using them with Python, well it was always my intention to produce a full Python workshop with the Pi-Stops, but I hadn’t quite got around to it.  Although there is the Python Pirate workshop, which I ran back on 29th Nov 2014, it used a rather specific python module for to make the Pi-Stop function as a lighthouse signal (

I decided it was about time I created a more general python module for the Pi-Stop.  So I have!

Check out the Pi-Stop Github for details and let me know how you get on with it (and feel free to add/request changes).  I shall add additional comments to the file and some additional tips on how to use it, but it should make a good starting point.

Get the module here:

Note: It will work with the Raspberry Pi 2 (as well as Model+ versions – in all 6 locations).  But you will need the latest RPi.GPIO (version 0.5.11) for all the pins to work correctly.

Using the new Raspberry Pi 2 (or Model A+/B+) you can run up to 6 Pi-Stops independently, directly off the GPIO header.

When I get chance I’ll start writing some workshops which make use of it, as well as one which explains how it is constructed.


*Yes, F is Fantastic, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  I would probably say PRTM – Please Read The Manual, but that isn’t quite as well known.

5V DC-DC Switch Mode Power Supply, and RGB-LED Kit User Manuals

As always, the user manual is the last item to be completed (and often never is entirely in engineering)!


I am proud to announce the release of my latest kit, a 5 way RGB-LED test module.

RGB LED Module connected up to Rev1 Raspberry Pi ready to go!

A big thank you to those who have brought the PSU Kit, your kind support meant I was able to continue developing and create this kit.


To see more details see the main RGB-LED Kit Page

To Buy the Kit see the Shop



Making circuits and trying things out shouldn’t be difficult and with a few basic items you can get started straight away!

Prototype of H-Bridge Motor Controller on a Breadboard

Prototype of H-Bridge Motor Controller on a Breadboard (as featured in MagPi Issue 8)


For more information take a look at the:

Guide to…Breadboarding

Adafruit’s Pi T-Cobbler

I recently received the Pi T-Cobbler, a very convenient way to interface with the Raspberry Pi.  It takes the GPIO header and breaks it nicely out into two neatly labelled rows and plugs directly into a breadboard.

Pi-TCobbler Supplied By AdaFruit

Pi T-Cobbler Supplied By AdaFruit


LM2576HVT-5V Switched Mode Power Supply Hobby/Education Kit – DC to DC suitable for Raspberry Pi or Hobby Projects


Completed assembled unit shown!

Back in stock due to popular demand


( stock 11 kits) £10.99 (Free UK Postage)

Available from eBay (meltwater2000) (Link Expires 17th March)



Introducing Raspberry Pi Hobby Project Kits


Aim of the kits:

The kits are designed with the concept of “Learning Through Practical Thinking” at its core.
The idea is that learning is much more effective when combined with physical activity and discovery, rather than straightforward reading and repetition of cold facts.  The kits will be developed which encourage development of new skills and to apply them as part of practical projects.