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Raspberry PI – FieldBus CAN/RS485/RS232 add-on board

November 22nd, 2016 No comments

Despite USB being everywhere, we still use a lot of industrial and embedded interfaces, such as RS232 and RS485 interfaces, in my projects. Legacy equipment especially and even new industrial equipment still use RS232 for programming and monitoring. While RS485 interfaces can still be found a lot in industrial communications such as factory automation.

So with this in mind we felt the needed an Raspberry Pi add-on board to simplify a lot of these connections. So here is the Raspberry PIIO FieldBus add-on board. It is a multi-communications board RS232 or RS485 and CAN Bus interfaces.

The board uses 3.3V components and is completely voltage compatible with the Raspberry Pi.

The board connects directly to the Raspberry Pi’s SPI to provide CAN Bus communications and also to the UART Rx and Tx to provide RS232 or RS485 communications.

CAN Bus interface uses MCP2515 CAN controller and MCP2551 CAN transceiver IC provides CAN Bus v2.0 A/B at 1 Mb/s. It is connected the Pi’s SPI Interface. Connection is provided via a 3-Way screw terminals.

RS232 interface uses a 3.3V MAX3232 (or Equivalent IC) chip and CTS (GPIO16) & RTS (GPIO17) signals are provided. Connection is provided via an industry standard 9-Way D Connector (Male).

RS485 interface uses 3.3V MAX3485 (or Equivalent IC) chip with DE (GPIO27) & !RE (GPIO22) used to control the RS485 transceiver control signals. Connection is provided via a 3-Way screw terminals to the outside world.

The Raspberry Pi expansion port has only on UART interface available for serial communications. So where both circuits are fitted, only one RS232 or one RS485 interface may be connected to the UART, therefore only one interface can be used at any time.

You can find them on our Tindie store

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New Raspberry Pi Zero add-on boards for sale

March 15th, 2016 No comments

Following our earlier announcement we’re added the following Raspberry Pi Zero add-on boards to our Tindie store.


Available on Tindie here:

Break0ut (I2C, SPI, UART and GPIO)


Available on Tindie here:

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February 26th, 2016 No comments

We forgot to mention, you can also find build details on

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Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire 7th April 2013

April 7th, 2013 No comments

Just got back from Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire

We met up with HackLab , the Edinburgh hackspace which has just moved into ot’s new premises

MakLab a Glasgow based “professional” hackspace that offers a commercial fabrication service but still has supports its hacker roots.

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GitHub – Schematics and BoM’s

November 10th, 2012 No comments

You can find our latest schematics and BoM’s on GitHub at

We’ll be adding more files over the following days

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PartCo (Finland) stocking MiniPiio boards

November 5th, 2012 No comments

We are pleased to report that PartCo of Finland are now stocking DTronixs MiniPiio boards. Please visit their site and see what other parts they stock.

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MiniPiio L293D board v0.10

September 7th, 2012 No comments

Here’s the second of the new Raspberry Pi MiniPiio add-on boards.

This is a DC Motor controller using the venerable L293D from ST (and others). The L293D is dual H-Bridge driver capable of driving 36V DC and 600mA per H-Bridge.

The board was designed in Design Spark PCB and the schematic is here.

Here’s the L293D board fitted to a Raspberry Pi:

and here’s the L293D and RPi driving a pair of small DC motors. Hope fully this will be a small robot in time for e-day the Newcastle Maker Space is talking part of at Gateshead Central Library on 29th September.


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MiniPiio Relay2 Board v0.10

September 7th, 2012 No comments

So here we have a simple two relay DPCO board. Either of the relays can be selected from 8 off the GPIO pins from the Raspberry Pi expansion header.

and here it is on a Raspberry Pi

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MiniPiio PCB (Batch #2) board’s arrive

August 8th, 2012 No comments

We received our second batch of PCB’s from our manufacturer today.

In the package were 4 sets of blank PCB’s for the MiniPiio boards: MiniPiio_RS232 (v0.2) , MiniPiio_ULN2803 (v0.2) and two new board MiniPiio_Relay2 and MiniPiio_293D.

MiniPiio_Relay2 is a two relay board with dual change over relays and MiniPiio_293D is a Full-H Bridge motor controller based on the venerable 293D chip. More details to follow.

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Accessorize your Pi for £10

August 7th, 2012 No comments

Much has been said about how the cheap (as in low cost) the Raspberry Pi is, but I wanted to find out how cheap I could buy all the peripherals for.

SD-Card 2G/4G £3.00 staples/
HDMI lead £1.00 poundland/poundworld/ebay
mouse (USB £1.00 poundland/poundworld/ebay
keyboard (USB) £3.00 ebay/asda
Power Supply (5V USB) £1.00 poundland/poundworld/ebay
micro USB cable £1.00 poundland/poundworld/ebay

Cost of Accessories = £10.00

raspberry pi ~£22.00 from RS or Farnell

Interesting, I was able to get most of the things from my local poundland and poundworld. I had to visit both of them as neither had every thing I needed. In fact, when I went back a few days later to pick up a couple more of the £1 mice, only to find they were sold out :-(

Next on my list where the keyboard and SD-Card. I found my local Staples were selling off their surplus of a branded 4G card so I pickup up a couple of £2.99. A couple of weeks later, were having a sale so I picked up a 16G for £5.99. Buying a cheap keyboard in the shops proved to be the most difficult thing to find. In the end, a quick search of ebay got me a cheap one for £3.00.

As it happens I saved the cost of Power Supply and micro USB lead by using an old mobile phone supply and micro USB but you could still pick them up for £1 each at your local pound stores.

So there you have it you too can Accessorize your Pi for £10

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