Archive for the ‘Raspberry Pi’ Category

WIP – new RPi Zero add-ons

June 29th, 2016 No comments

This last month we’ve been working on some new add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi Zero.

In no particular order:

  • ADC16 – 16-ch ADC board (2x MCP3008 8-ch, 10-bit)
  • UserP0rt – 16-ch port expander and 8-ch ADC (MCP23S17 and MCP3008)
  • Relay2 – 2-ch Relay board (2x Relays 30V, 1A)
  • We’ve just sent these off to be manufactured, so we’ll post an update when we’ve got them back.

    Categories: Prototype, Raspberry Pi Tags:

    Kickstarter: R-Kade Zero

    February 23rd, 2016 No comments

    We’ve built a number of Raspberry Pi based arcade systems over the last few years starting in 2012 with R-Kade, last year with R-Kade Mini and now with our latest endeavour R-Kade Zero which fits into the palm of your hand.

    So after receiving encouragement from a number of members at our local Maker Space we’ve took the plunge and started our first kickstarter for the R-Kade Zero mini arcade platform.

    You can check it out at:


    Four new Raspberry Pi Zero add-on boards

    January 18th, 2016 No comments

    Another bunch of new PCB’s. This time for the Raspberry Pi Zero.


    In no particular order, there’s a serial RS232 board, a GVS I/O board with ULN2803 for servo’s etc., a Breakout board (I2C, SPI, UART and GPIO) and another MIDI interface ;-).

    More details/info shortly.

    As usually you’ll find them on our Tindie store.

    Bumper box of new PCB’s

    July 30th, 2015 No comments

    A bumper box of 10 new (yes 10 designs) PCB’s arrived this week.

    In it were 5 new (and updated) add-on boards for the Raspberry PC and 5 new boards for the Guitar Effect pedal designs we’ve been working on.

    For the Raspberry Pi, we have a new revision for our popular PIIO ULNB803/GVS board which now features 2 stepper motor connectors for the popular 5v 28YBJ-48 stepper motor. A new revision for the PIAC with new screw terminals. A brand new Digi-IO which is a real world interfacing board with RS485, two relays and some level shifter for inputs. Another brand new PIIO design called “RasPellar” which is a IO co-processor board using the Parallax 32-bit 8-core Propeller CPU and a new HAT sized prototyping board that can be used by it’s self or with RasPeller.

    For the guitar effects we have two designs for a “modular electronic effects pedal” or MEEP to its friend. The MEEP board design gives you access to the audio In and Out jack sockets, 9V power and Vb (4.5V) as well as the foot switch and features a true bypass while the effects are added via a smaller daughter board. So if you get sick of using one guitar effect you can simply swap it out with a new effects daughter board for a lot less than buying a new pedal. MEEP BB3 (base board – 3 pots) has three Potentiometers (pots) and MEEP BB4 (base board – 4 pots) has 4 pots. To go with the MEEP base boards there is a prototyping board, MEEP Screamer a clone of the awesome Ibanez Tube Screamer pedal and MEEP Fuzzy yet another clone of the just as awesome Arbiter Fuzz Face.

    Categories: PCB, Prototype, Raspberry Pi Tags: ,

    New Pi add-on board – RPi Breadboard+ for sale

    April 15th, 2015 No comments

    RPi Breadboard+ is a solderless prototyping breadboard add-on for the Raspberry Pi. Using the breadboard and female to female wires you can quickly prototype and test your electronic design.

    A large portion of the add-on is taken up by a 140-pin breadboard and surrounding the breadboard on all four sides are a number female headers.

    All of the Raspberry Pi GPIO signals are brought out to two 16-pin female headers located near the top and bottom of the breadboard. 3.3V (5-pin), 5V (5-pin) and 0V/Ground (12-pin) power supplies are also brought out to female headers located to the sides of the breadboard.

    The add-on features 3x LED’s (red, yellow and green) and 2x push-button tactile switches each having a 2-pin female header for easy use with the rest of the board.

    Size wise it conforms to a standard HAT board size (65 x 56mm) and mounting holes. So its compatible with the Raspberry Pi A+, B+ and Pi2.

    There is an EEPROM PCB footprint for future HAT configuration compatibly but its not fitted on this version.



    You can find them on Tindie here.

    Categories: Raspberry Pi Tags:

    Raspberry Pi ArcadeIO board

    March 30th, 2015 No comments

    Here’s the first build of the Raspberry Pi ArcadeIO board. It originally started as a requirement to upgrade our R-Kade Pi based mini cabinet.



    You can find them on Tindie here.

    Categories: Raspberry Pi Tags:

    Raspberry Pi (Beeb) UserPort HAT

    November 30th, 2014 No comments

    Of the recent Pi boards we’ve made we think UserPort is probably our favourite. It’s a mimic of the BBC’s micros digital User Port and Analogue Port.

    Back in the 80’s (gosh that sounds old) I built many electronic, robotic and other projects using the Beebs digital User Port and Analogue so reproducing their functionality for the Pi was a pleasure.

    Digital I/O is provided by a I2C MCP23017 16-channel Port Expander

    20W IDC Connector
    1 3.3V
    2 CB1
    3 3.3V
    4 CB2
    5 GND
    6 PB0
    7 GND
    8 PB1
    9 GND
    10 PB2
    11 GND
    12 PB3
    13 GND
    14 PB4
    15 GND
    16 PB5
    17 GND
    18 PB6
    19 GND
    20 PB7

    Analogue Inputs by a 4-channel SPI MCP3004 10-bit ADC.

    15W D Connector

    1 3.3V
    2 GND
    3 GND
    4 ADC CH3
    5 GND
    6 GND
    7 ADC CH1
    8 GND
    9 N/C
    10 I1
    11 N/C
    12 ADC CH2
    13 I0
    14 N/C
    15 ADC CH0

    Check our other stuff on Tindie

    Categories: Raspberry Pi Tags:

    New add-on Pi boards – RPi-X PIAC and RPiB+ Breakout+ for sale

    October 31st, 2014 No comments

    We’ve finally managed to find time to list two new boards on Tindie.

    The first is RPi-X PIAC which is an experimenter add-on board for small industrial control projects. It feature 4x Relays (Change Over), 4x Opto-Isolated Inputs and 4x Analogue Inputs (0V to 10V). It also has a RS485 serial interface for communicating with industrial networks. You can find them here


    The second board is RPiB+ Breakout+ which is a breakout board for the Raspberry PI B+ I/O signals. It features 2x SPI headers, 2x I2C headers, 2x UART headers and 2x GPIO headers. It also has a prototyping area which is useful building your own circuits. It is compatible with the HAT board size and has a EEPROM (currently not fitted) for future HAT configuration. You can find them here


    Categories: Raspberry Pi Tags:

    HATS on for Raspberry Pi B+

    August 14th, 2014 No comments

    4 new PCB’s arrived in the post today. These are our first HAT’s (Hardware on Top) for the Raspberry Pi B+.


    Top (L-R) – UserPort and Breadboard+, Bottom (L-R) – DIO32 and Breakout!+

    All the boards adhere to the standard HAT size and include a ID EEPROM.

    UserPort is probably our favourite. It’s a mimic of the BBC’s micros digital User Port and Analogue Port. Digital I/O is provided by a I2C MCP23017 16-channel Port Expander and Analogue Inputs by a 4-channel SPI MCP3004 10-bit ADC.

    Breadboard!+ is a reworking of our earlier 170-pin Breadboard module but the extra size for a HAT PCB has allowed the inclusion of a two tactile push switches and three LED’s. As well as these, there’s also 4x Analogue Inputs using a 4-channel MCP3004 10-bit ADC.

    DIO32 is a 32-channel Digital I/O board with two MCP23017 I2C Port Expanders.

    Breakout!+ allows easy access to the I2C, SPI and UART interfaces and includes a small prototyping area for building circuits on.

    Hope to have them on our Tindie store soon :-)

    Categories: PCB, Prototype, Raspberry Pi Tags:

    Raspberry Pi MiniPIIO MIDI board

    June 26th, 2014 No comments

    We designed our first Pi MIDI interface way back in 2012 while we were waiting for our first Pi board to arrive.

    It’s went through several revisions since then and now looks like this:



    The circuit is now completely 5V as per the original MIDI specification but the MIDI IN is 3.3V compatible with the Pi via a voltage divider circuit.

    OK that’s the hardware what about the software?

    Getting a MIDI 31250 Baud Rate on a Pi is not easy as it should be as 31250 is not a standard Pi baud-rate. But you can trick your Pi into it if you overclock (or rather underclock) the UART clock.

    Start a terminal session and type:

    sudo nano /boot/config.txt

    Add these lines to the end of the file

    # Change UART clock to 2441406 for MIDI 31250 baud rate


    save and exit.

    Once saved reboot your Pi.

    Next we need to stop the serial UART being used by Raspbian for the shell console. Check my previous post “MiniPIiio RS232 set-up” on how to do this.

    Finally we need to add the following to “cmdline.txt”


    After doing all of this we should be ready to connect a MIDI keyboard or synth to our Pi.


    Check our store on Tindie:

    Categories: MiniPiio, Raspberry Pi Tags: