Saturday, 3 January 2015

Testing the Pi and Bash add on module

Been testing this out for a while now and firstly recommend using a new image so nothing on your current image can interfere with the add on board.

The add on board comes with these functions:

  • Traffic Light LEDs
  • 5 Push Button Switches
  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) with 2 lines of 16 characters
  • Software switchable LCD backlight
  • Thermometer
  • 8 configurable digital inputs/outputs (I/Os)
  • 8 analogue inputs
  • Header for connecting additional I2C devices
  • Can be powered from external 5V supply

Assembly was quick, but felt strange with the way the board fitted to the Pi, in other words it didn't sit flush like other boards, but has been designed to overhang the Pi.

With the demo script that can be downloaded from the site I was able to straight away test the buttons, leds, temperature gauge and the lcd screen.

The huge list of projects that can be achieved with this add on board include:

  • Traffic Light Sequence
  • Room Thermometer
  • RSS News Ticker
  • Model Railway Points Controller
  • Internet Radio Alarm Clock
  • Weather Station
  • Network Monitor
  • Bedroom Burglar Alarm

So far I have found averagemanvspi has done the Internet radio, but piandbash do have a forum on their site should you fall into any problems and Rob Boyle the creator is also very helpful should you approach him direct.

There will be some tutorials soon to get you going with all the functions, although the demo code is a great starter to get the feel.

While it seems to be expensive at £23 from modmypi you need to remember you have several boards plugged into this one board, leds, lcd, I/o expander, buttons and temperature module so five boards into one and that's just a quick look over it, I expect with the functions combined you could claim it to have more module boards included.

So value for money, I have experience of putting out add on boards with my own MyPiFi brand and can say price wise it's cheap, no huge mark ups and you certainly couldn't get the bits yourself any cheaper as the major cost factor is the PCB.

Perhaps this is what the gertboard should have been?

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