Sunday, 26 October 2014

Croydon raspberry jam

Today was Croydons first raspberry jam, I had arrived early before spending ages searching for the venue which incidentally  was on the floor I arrived on which had this great lighting effect that changed colour.

I was greeted by Jarle and the people behind the lives not knives community project who were very accommodating and so pleased we were able to come.

I was able to show off some of my boards and had donated a ton of version one rectangular boards for the soldering workshop.

PiTop were there with their brilliant 3d printed computers that are currently available on indigogo a crowd funding platform.  What I liked about these was how they glowed on the back when in use, lighting up the case.

There was plenty to do with mine craft coding to which is always popular and average man vs pi was there with his huge display of pi bits and his protocam which was great to see.  There is also a time lapse video he made along with his ever so bright selfie camera which I look forward to seeing on his blog soon.

Whaleygeek brought along his light project that you could change the lighting effect on as well as his brilliant rfid project that played the sound of the picture on the rfid card showing one of many possibilities for rfid and a project I will want to try soon.

Derek from the Southend jams brought along sonic pi and gave some brilliant demonstrations of what can be done with this which lead to a local youth to make some modern beats with it.

Along with the talks in this spacious but very relaxing venue, everyone was looked  after and certainly was worth the long drive in, just didn't like the fact I had a 100 mile journey ahead of me to get back home.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Getting started with the MyPiFi LCD Board kit

Opening up the packet you will be greeted with these parts, the board, extended gpio header, 16 pin socket for the lcd to plug into and potentiometer for adjusting the screen.

firstly we want to start with the gpio, with a bit of blue tack or putty secure the board in place the will ensure you get a perfect right angle connection and not become skew whiff.

Next is the potentiometer, keep the flat side to the left as per picture so the two pins on the flat side go in the two holes and the single pin under the curved area on the right will go in the hole on the right  as per picture.

Now it's time to add the 16 way header, this is so you can swap and change between lcd boards, if you really don't want to swap you could solder the LCD board straight to it, but for this tutorial I will treat the board as I originally designed it for. However if you go straight to the bottom I have added how to do this and make it more permanent.

Again the putty is a great way to hold it all in place whilst soldering the pins.

Now, providing you have soldered the pins to the LCD board and plugged it in we are ready to move on to the software side of things.

Following Jason's great blog post don't forget to reboot at the end with:

Sudo shutdown -r now

When you restart you should be greeted with something like this.

At the bottom of the blog on boeeerb there are a couple of demo scripts, here is a picture to show it working.

The whole thing from start to finish should take you around 1-2 hours depending on how much updates your device needs, solder skills and typing speed.

More can be found on eBay and various raspberry pi online shops.

Making the board support more permanent:

If you decide on a more permanent solution, don't solder the black 16 pin to the board, solder the male 16 pin header so the shortest end goes into the MyPiFi board then place the LCD over the longer pins and solder, you need to do it this way round or the pins could touch the pi.  You could once soldered cut the pins down to make them flush.

Thank you to averagemanvspi who has listed the pins as: LCD_RS = 7, LCD_E  = 8, LCD_D4 = 25, LCD_D5 = 24, LCD_D6 = 23, LCD_D7 = 18 (BCM numbering)

Also thank you to @boeeerb for his write up for lcdproc and the fritzing picture.

PenguinTutor has written about his experience with his here.

LCD Schemetics:

Here are some of the tweets I've recieved from users:

Penguintutor has also done a brilliant guide to get started here:

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Piface Internet radio

I decided my old model A pi would make a great Internet radio.  Needing something quick I dug out my pifacecad board a wifi dongle and after following this guide soon had it up and running.  Whilst the touchscreen one I made last week could control the volume, this one you have to rely on the volume buttons on the speaker but certainly uses less amps than the touchscreen version.

My next task is to get the ir remote working with it and look into being able to play other streams apart from the .pls which it seems to be the only version I can get to work on it at the moment.

It works using player so I might have to look at running mpd and mpc on it and hopefully this will give more info on the screen.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Touchscreen Internet radio

Came across on Twitter a while back an Internet radio with touchscreen.

Having all the bits it didn't take long to set up and a great guide has now appeared on Adafruit

I have since edited rc.local and added

cd /home/pi/Radio/
Sudo Python 

With this in there the radio loads up automatically and if you hold the button down second from left for three seconds this will shut it down.

I also have a nice sonic pi speaker and a usb wifi dongle plugged in and using a 240v - 5v 2a plug similar to th iPhone charger socket plus usb lead to run this.