Category Archives: Hardware

Torbay Tech Jam Nov 2015

The next Torbay tech jam is on the 14th November at Paignton Library 1 – 3 pm

More details are on the website

Open to all ages / abilities.

I am hoping to be able to present a mini workshop on Interfacing the Raspberry Pi to an LED,  it is a start and hopefully the work shops can build up to more complex projects over time.  Also I want to do the same thing with Arduino.

 

Build a robot take 2

Exeter Library are holding another Build a robot workshop over 1/2 term.

Build A Robot Project

This half term: Build a robot in a team of 4 to win a prize!
Ages 8+ / 20 places available
£40 for 4 sessions including light refreshments

The sessions are 10 am-1pm:
Mon 26th Oct
Tues 27th Oct
Wed 28th Oct
Thurs 29th Oct
all sessions must be attended for you to win
Tickets available from Exeter library or by phoning 01392 384223
More details on the
Exeter Raspberry Jam blog

A Kit A Month Soldering Subscription Service

CALLING ALL ELECTRONICS ENTHUSIASTS!

A company called Pocketmoneytronics who made the Raspberry Pi GPIO Christmas Tree in late 2014, have got a new Kickstarter campaign running called A Kit A Month.

A Kit A Month is a subscription service where you will subscribe and receive some easy to solder kits, such as a robot that has light up LED eyes powered off a 9V PP3 battery.
That’s not all, included in the parcel you will also receive some other components to experiment with, such as a bag with some LEDs and resistors.

I think this is a great service, as this is great to help people learn to solder while learning about electronics at the same time. I could see this also being useful in educational establishments such as running an after school electronics/solder club.

You can check out the campaign here

Torbay Raspberry Pi jam – Feb 15

This months Pi jam was a real gem,   lots of things being demoed and some excellent progress being made with various projects.

Tom, brought along his Marco 2 robot,  which if you are following this blog or are a regular attendee of jams.  This has now been updated to allow control via a web interface.

More information on this is on the Feb 2015 Exeter Jam write up blog post.  So I will let people go there for more info.

Tom also brought along Freddie and after some basic set up this worked fine,  following a green ball with his eyes.

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Video taken back in July


Doodle bot also made an appearence this is really good as it works without any user interaction and can draw (or try) to draw what it has been programmed to.

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We also helped a lady get up and running with her new pi,

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Here is the pi being installed from the NOOBS install tool

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And a picture of the pi running the Raspbian OS after install.

I also demonstrated my Minecraft Pi coding with python.  I will post a video to youtube and put this on my website blog.

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We also helped out a user who had an older install of GNU / Linux on his PC (Debian)  and wanted a newer GNU / Linux installed so flash player would function properly.

We were unble to help fully however he will be back at the next jam iwth his PC backed up so we can install Linuxmint 17.1

One of our younger members also worked on getting a cluster of computers up and running and thanks to a router / switch donated by Rick at Wifispark he got 2 laptops and my Pi up and running and proved that by sharing the load calculations can be performed quicker.   There is a dedicated page for this on the website.  Where results will be posted shortly.

We also had a Dan from the TDA drop in to see what was going on with the view on how they can help further and perhaps involve some of the local hi tech companies.

So a BIG thank you for everyone involved today and everyone who came along to support the event.  Hopefully next month will be more of the same and perhaps even bigger and better.

We also had Sarah from Inspiring Dreams, Achieving Change, who offered to help promote what we are doing.

The word on the Pi jams IS spreading.  which is a good thing.

See everyone on the 14th March 2015 at Paignton Library.  13:00 to 15:00

 

January 2015 Pi jam

Another pi jam today which went well,   We had the 3 young people come along who are more serious hard core hackers so get on really well with each other

At present to get a laptop or PI to connect to the network we need to connect to the Libary wifi and enter a UID password then agree to the terms in a browser window

We tried to see if there was a different way to do this with a wifi router acting as a bridge so 4 laptops could connect to the router and that would provide a bridge between the wifi and the 4 wired Ethernet ports.

This didn’t seem to work 100 percent even though I did see the wifi router on my net book with 100 percent signal strength, compared to about 74 percent for the library wifi,  So this project will carry on next month probably.

In another project they young people had a multi player mine craft game set up using the Pis.

Using the Model B for anything reminds you that if you plug and unplug things it can reset due to power issues,.

Jonathan who is an IT apprentice also came along to support and help and said he would ask about if there are any solutions to the wifi / network connectivity so that  we can connect easier.

We had Raymond and his wife drop in for a chat and I showed them the DVD I am working on to explain about Creative commons / free software  and the 4 freedoms.

Myself and Jonathan also helped Melvyn with his new phone and to check to see if it would charge when plugged in to his net book.

One of the visitors from last month came back and asked about suitable monitors etc so I advised him on a few options.  including using a TV which i suggested is a good option if you want to use the media centre software.  Some TV’s also have the VESA connectors at the back to which pi’s can be attached.

Photos are available on Mediagoblin

https://goblinrefuge.com/mediagoblin/u/zleap/collection/january-2015-pi-jam/

The next jam is on 14th February

Exeter Raspberry Pi jam – 1/11/2014

Today was another excellent pi jam up in Exeter,  and well attended,  the word is getting out there.

Highlights

Tom Brough demonstrated the parity bit trick and also had some coloured cones to demonstrate how a bubble sort works,  you can try this take about 8 cones of different sizes and put them randomly in a line now sort them one by one so the line goes from biggest to smallest.

I spent some time, with some help working on getting scratch to talk to the pi liter,  once done (not too difficult) we spent some time then creating a program that is the same as the chaser type program written in python.  This works really well,  further enhancements allows the user to interact, chance speed as well as stop / start the routine.

I also had a chat with another user who showed me his chromebook running lubuntu.  This was also connected to the Pi with vnc,  the performance was excellent.

Ivan was also showing various projects and we had minecraft running on another pi.  In the fab lab was the usual beginner work shop where you can learn to light up leds on a bread (project) board using the raspberry Pi GPIO

So in all excellent,   Looking forward to next week as it is the Torbay Pi jam from 1 – 3 at Paignton Library,   good news is that the 3 sd cards (well micro + adapters) arrived to day so these are all ready for next week,    I may look at preparing at least one with Noobs,  as this may save time next week.

Thank you to Simon and Exeter library for hosting another pi jam and everyone who attended.

Arm DS Development tools (Debian edition)

The Arm DS Development tools is now available for Debian.

Quoted from the website (Which I hope is ok,  as its for promotional purposes)

The ARM® DS-5 Development Studio is a professional toolchain developed by ARM to accelerate the development of native (C/C++) Linux applications. It is available free of charge to Debian Developers and offers 32-bit (armel and armhf) and 64-bit (arm64) ARM application debug and system analysis to help make Debian packages robust and highly optimized for ARM processor-based devices. Learn more about Streamline performance analyzer and DS-5 Debugger.

Please visit:

http://ds.arm.com/debian/

For more information