Tuesday, 26 August 2014

22% funded my latest kickstarter

A week into the campaign and I'm 22% funded for my new add on board the LCD support board for the raspberry pi.
And when you add the board.

It's still has a few weeks to run and if I get funded early I will add on a LCD board option (2x16 LCD hd44780)

Look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

MyPiFi LCD Support Board on Kickstarter

Whilst my first kickstarter was running I was using the above LCD display on a breadboard with lots of wires to view my kickstarter stats.  There was always one problem, one of the wires would randomly come out this needing to go through it all to find the problem and remedy it.

Then I thought, I need a board I can just plug my HD44780 LCD display into and get going and sure enough I designed and asked Ragworm.eu to make so I could see if it would work.

Although it's a couple months old to me,it's a new idea I have had and can take the 44780 LCD boards be it 2x16 or 4x20. The 2x16 sits perfectly without the need for the nylon hex spacers whilst the 4x20 LCD is slightly heavier.

I have since started a kickstarter up for them https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1059145052/mypifi-lcd-board-support

The software needed takes about ten minutes to set up and a nice walk through guide is at http://www.boeeerb.co.uk/pi-lcd/ thank you Jason for the hard work and the code to inspire my add on board.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Southend Raspberry Jam August 2014

Now I keep hearing lots about this particular event and I live well over a hundred miles from it (as the crow flies).  So today I was up extra early and with a full tank of petrol set off on a two and a half hour trip to Southend.

I was greeted by Derek and his crew and given a table to set up on.  I was here to promote my MyPiFi LED Board that had recently been on kickstarter and now has had a makeover.

With lots to sell (sold 20) I was there promoting the aspects of soldering and programming them.

Later on a young lad cane up to me to ask for the PIN numbers of the LEDs, he had only gone and soldered his kit whilst there and was then programming it on one of the spare computers, well done.

A few more people had a go at soldering their kits which worked but got me thinking, should I have just sold the kits with normal headers to make soldering easier or keep the extended headers as they can use them for adding more to the project? I decided to keep the extended headers as no doubt while it's harder to solder a extended header the person doing this might get a better sense of achievement for doing so.

Jarle was there showing off various boards including one that suspiciously looked like a reviewers board of the mypifi in purple. 

Average man also had a great radio project plus his latest boards where we swapped our own boards with each other (old fashion bartering) and he showed me a game he had made with his mypifi board.

Michael Horne had his excellent startrek like box that had all these sensors on it with him along with some other boards including a pi piano invented and designed by Zachary that is soon to be on kickstarter.

There were also mind control with the pi, the infamous robot hand and whaleygeek with his new neopixel slider that looked and worked great.

Peter Onion who I haven't seen in a long time brought along four rgb led matrix boards bought from skpang and ran a game of life demo on it, already I was thinking how you could put this up on the wall for parties or entertaining as it would be a great conversation starter.

All through I couldn't get away to see the talks I was told they were great including a minecraft talk, mind control and quad copters.

Carrie-ann philben popped in and dropped some books off for the raffle (signed) and modmypi offered a great first prize but the best prizes were the 4th and 5th prizes the MyPiFi LED Boards (also available on eBay and good pi stockists).

Shame to say in going to have to go to another Southend jam soon even if it means another 5 hour round trip.

Thank you Derek @soslug and crew for an excellent event.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Press Release for MyPiFi LED Board V2

Press Release for immediate release 13 August 2014

Today the MyPiFi LED Board V2 add on for the Raspberry Pi computer has been released after a small fault concerning one switch leg needing to be cut has been resolved.

The new board has a bigger button, rounder and smoother edges along with the new V2 tablet shape.

The board is aimed at both people young and old with no experience to expert level.

It comes unassembled but we supply a step by step guide to assembling the board.


As well as being pocket money bracket in the £6-7 price bracket we have a number of suppliers stocking the board including the little pi shop and pi supply.

Please feel free to email me any questions or if you require a sample to review.

Also available on eBay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181494656023 
Pictures etc on my blog www.mypifi.net/blog

My name is Paul Brown, I'm from Oxfordshire in the UK and an avid Raspberry Pi user.

MyPiFi LED Board V2 (tablet shaped) assembly guide.

Firstly empty the packet out, you should have the board, four resistors, three LEDs, extended gpio header and a switch, if you have two switches choose the bigger one of the two.

Firstly place the board on the gpio header and solder on, it's important to do this first because of the extended pins.

Next add the resistors, these don't matter which way round they are as they can be use in either direction and all are the same.

Once soldered cut the legs off.

Next add the button, notice how it's slightly longer. The picture showing the correct way for the button switch to go.

Next solder the LEDs in as per picture. These have to go the correct way round.

The shorter legs nearest the gpio header.

LED 1 is Red
LED 2 is Amber
LED 3 is Green

This order is only important if you want to use the traffic light scripts.

Once soldered cut the remains of the legs off as close to the board as possible ensuring it can't short circuit the board.

This should be what your finished board should look like and should take you between 10 minutes for experienced solderers to an hour if you have never done it before.

Demo code:

(sudo apt-get install git-core IF YOU DON'T HAVE GIT INSTALLED)

sudo git clone https://github.com/ZacharyIgielman/smstext-demo-code.git

Then you will have a folder with all the code (cd, sudo python like usual).

There's also a perl demo by Zak zebrowski https://github.com/japharl/smstext-democode-v1-perl

Kits also available on eBay:


Also from the following web shops:

More pi shops will be added in due course.


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Hummingboard i1

Received this last week and spent this weekend playing about with it.

It is a 1ghz, 512mb DDR3, 32 bit, 2 USB port credit card computer.

Whilst my model is the entry model, the top model also has a RTC Back up battery for time and date, mSATA and IR receiver making it the perfect XBMC device. Also the top level has 2x1ghz core, 1gb DDR3 and GC2000 3D GPU and 1gb Ethernet.

All devices have gpio pins and I'm yet to find out how compatable the gpio will be with pi add on boards.

While it looked similar to the pi it isn't, I was able to have this up and running in less time to the banana pi but slightly longer to pi. However once pass the stage of burning images to micro sd s it's actually quite fast and worked well as a word processor with libre office on Debian, however it struggled with YouTube of which might be a browser issue.  Android worked but thought I was running a touchscreen set up and XBMC seemed to work flawlessly on the device.

The device did get rather hot so I would suggest a case or some sort of stilt system so air can get all around it.

So the question would I buy one? I certainly would buy this over the banana pi without a doubt as this seems to be better made. I'm yet to try the gpio pins out which would be the selling point on top of the fact it's faster etc to pi however with the pi in a very successful position with tons of support I can only see me using the hummingboard as a XBMC device. I certainly won't ignore this device as I reckon if they can get the software sorted and gpio support up to scratch then this could be an excellent device. I expect if I had the top model I would probably be praising it even more.

So conclusion, it is a great device that is faster than the pi, if a specially written os like raspbian for raspberry was introduced this would certainly be a very fast system but for now I think it's best selling point is xbmc and with that and seeing that the upper level options I give this 4 stars.

Thursday, 7 August 2014


Today was a 16 hour round trip leaving at 5am and not returning till 9pm.  We decided we were doing snowdonia as part of the three peak challenge. Starting at the bottom which is around 200ft above sea level we took 3.5 hours to climb to over 3550 ft at the summit. It was about 10c at the top and had to wrung dry my t shirt and head scarf that was soaked through with 2 litres of water I had been drinking all the way up.

And here is the trig point at the top

The down wards deccent was a killer taking about two hours but once at the bottom we visited the waterfall and a webcam cache.

Llanberris also had some great views including a castle and lots of sheep.

What a day certainly one to remember.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

White horse geocache series

Today we did a 31 cache and 7.2 mile circular series in about three hours following a route of a series from a few years ago.

Plenty of wildlife on route from hare to deer and about 800ft of total elevation to prepare us for something special soon.

Near the end was a huge size cache which will get a favourite point as these are rare to find these days.

Thanks to the cache owner for a great new series.

View towards white horse hill.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Munzee or geocache

Out in southsea today, so we decided to try both geocaching and Munzee. Out of all the geocaches only one gave me that fuzzy feeling of finding a cache and it was a big box up some steps. We also tried munzees and found 4 that we couldn't scan as they were faint from sunlight over time but managed to go from level one to level 9 in a day but yes it got boring with a Munzee every 20 metres. However I can see this being a nice idea added to geocaching to ensure a cache you log is actually found by yourself and everyone in your group and not one person doing all the work for the group. So out of the dozen ish caches all but one were micros and this is what puts me off. Hey oh at least one of them was a decent size cache.

Didcot power station A no more

Last weekend I joined many to sit on the surrounding hills to watch the demolition of Didcot A.

It's not blown up but blown down the technical term according to those who were commissioned to so the demolition.

At 04.45 the 15 minute warning sounded and that was it till 5 am when the first crack was heard before the three towers tumbled one by one.