Raspberry Pi PiTFT Weather Station

IMG_5218More tinkering with the wonderful Adafruit 2.8″ Touchscreen TFT module (PiTFT) for the Raspberry Pi.  This time a weather station drawing data from weather.com.

Luckily there’s a wonderful python module to extract data from three popular weather services; python-weather-api supports NOAA, Yahoo! Weather and weather.com.  This makes life so much easier. Continue reading

Displaying Raspberry Pi Truetype Fonts


I’ve been enjoying tinkering about with AdaFruit’s PiTFT 2.8″ touchscreen for the Raspberry Pi.  Working out how to display text and graphics on the screen using the frame buffer with, Python, my programming language of choice.  It took little research to get text to display on the frame buffer.  It took a little more to work out how to identify and list installed Truetype fonts. So I thought I’d post the code I used to list the Truetype fonts installed on a Raspberry Pi in case it proves helpful to others. Continue reading

Raspberry Pi Photo Frame


Our last digital photo frame died a little while ago.  I did some research for a replacement and decided that none really did what I wanted.  Plus, this sounded like a perfect project. The most obvious candidate for the heart of the project is the Raspberry Pi.  There are lots of options for suitable screen from small to large TFT panels.  However, this version is intended as a proof of concept & so keep the costs down in case it turns out to be a disaster.  Adafruit do a fantastic little 2.8″ touch screen TFT panel that nicely mounts onto the Raspberry Pi GPIO.  Both can be enclosed in a variant of the lovely PiBow case. Finally, the project needed to run over WiFi so it could be positioned anywhere in the house.  If this project proved successful a larger screen could be purchased and this little touchscreen could be used for all sorts of other things.

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Review: AVR ISP Shield Kit for Arduino

AVR ISP Shiled

AVR ISP Shiled

I’ve had the pleasure of using ATtiny85 devices on previous projects like the ATtiny85 Christmas Bauble. I’ve had some ideas for some more projects but distractions have meant quite a long absence from the soldering iron; damn you Skyrim!

One of the things I’d planned to do was to make a shield for programming these devices rather than lashing them up each time on a breadboard. It’s a relatively easy circuit so the shield would not have been too difficult to produce. However, in the mean time I discovered that Phenoptix have produced the AVR ISP Shield Kit for Arduino. A kit of parts including a bespoke PCB for a price lower than I could have created a Veroboard version. Their version allows the programming of a range of similar devices, which my version wouldn’t have supported. I purchased and the kit was speedily delivered and well packaged.
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StripDuino Shield Mk1

StripDuino Shield

This post details the design for the shield for use with the StripDuino Mk.2 Arduino clone.

This shield could be used for many things.  My first shield will incorporate a L293D for driving some motors for our first robot project.

Hopefully there will be plenty more uses in the future.

The design brings out all of the ATMega328′s pins except the Analogue Reference (AREF).  It provides regulated +3.3V & +5V supplies. Continue reading

StripDuino Mk2

StripDuino Mk2

The StripDuino Mk1.5 had a number of flaws.  Mainly in that there was no mechanical design!  How was I going to mount it onto anything?  In working on rearranging the board to include mounting holes and another design that included the L293D for driving some motors I had some ideas for more improvements.  Instead of making a complete board for each project, why not create the StripDuino board plus a shield design?  Then I can make endless shields without having to re-make the processing part each time. Where have I seen this idea before?

So, this version includes the following improvements:

  • Female header sockets for the StripDuino Shield (see future post)
  • Mounting holes
  • +3.3V Regulated Supply
  • DC Power Jack connection

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StripDuino Mk1.5

Finished Board

I’ve collected a few Arduino Nano’s and an Uno and they’re fun.  However, I wanted to knock up a cheap version I could use in projects and leave them built rather than having to tear them down for each new one.  I also want to integrate an Arduino & a L293D based motor driver amongst other things for future projects.  So the starting point is my own homebrew board.

The vast majority of the design for this board came from Nathan Chantrell’s fantastic ‘Build your own Arduino for under a Tenner’ blog post. Continue reading

Arduino Theremin

Wikipedia …

The theremin originally known as the ætherphone/etherphone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player.

It is named after the westernized-name of its Russian inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other, so it can be played without being touched. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.

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Gertboard Gallery

A few images of the assembly of the Gertboard for Raspberry Pi. Also, showing off the Olloclip Macro Lens for iPhone 5.