I keep an eye out for Raspberry Pi Pico add-ons that make prototyping easier and do so inexpensively. DFRobot’s Pico Gravity Board is one such. It breaks out a stack of RP2040 GPIOs and buses to make it more straightforward to hook up displays, sensors and such.
Category Archives: Reviews
Review: Picoprobe PCB Kit 1.0 👎🏻
I haven’t been using a Picoprobe for a while because I needed to rebuild mine and issues with the code’s dependencies and a lack of updates from the Raspberry Pi Foundation meant I haven’t been able to get it to work properly. But I did spot this doohickey: a PCB you can solder a Pico and a header. It’s a much neater way to assemble a Picoprobe than breadboard and jumper wires.
The Serpente R2: a compact CircuitPython controller
Updated The Serpente R2 from Solder Party is yet another addition to the now long roster of compact Atmel microcontroller-based breakout boards aimed at the maker community.Continue reading
Review: WD PiDrive, a 314GB hard drive for the Raspberry Pi
I like solid-state storage, but there’s a time when you want the storage capacity that only a hard drive can bring — at least until SSDs become much, much cheaper. Of course, SD cards are pretty cheap to buy and to support in hardware which is why the format was chosen for the Raspberry Pi in the first place. At high capacities, the price:gigabyte ratio isn’t as attractive as that of a hard drive, but you get a single point of access for all your computer storage just as you do with any modern laptop or desktop.Continue reading
Review: Circuitbeard PiZero Hub Case
The Raspberry Pi Zero may have been out for a while, but it’s proving perishingly hard to get hold off. Unless, of course, you’re right at the head of the virtual queue when the online retailers put their latest batches on sale. Still, the little micro’s scarcity isn’t stopping hackers from coming up with ingenious solutions to its other limitations — too few USB ports, primarily — and accessory suppliers from issuing add-ons.Continue reading
Review: Google Chromecast 2
OK, so we all know what Google’s Chromecast is, yes? Someone at the back — why are they always at the back? — seems unsure. In a sentence, then, Chromecast is a small WiFi-connected slug that you slip into a spare HDMI port on your TV, and which plays video and audio under the direction of a remote control app.
Review: Slice, the Pi Compute Module-based media player
Updated My original idea was to review the Raspberry Pi Compute Module. But the thing about the Compute Module is that it’s not an end-user product: it was designed for manufacturers looking for an ARM-based platform on which they can build devices they can sell. Unlike the Raspberry Pi itself, the Compute Module is not intended for makers or for computing hobbyists. To evaluate the Compute Module what I really needed to look at was a product based upon it.
So I waited for one…
Review: Imagination Technologies’ MIPS Creator CI20
Time was when chip makers’ processor evaluation boards were well beyond the reach of ordinary mortals. That didn’t matter, of course: ordinary mortals weren’t interested in small, nude motherboards designed to help designers of embedded systems judge a microprocessor’s suitability for the application they were working on.
Review: the PiFace Real-Time Clock
Unhook a Raspberry Pi from the mains and it forgets the time and date. It’ll only get them back again if you re-connect it to the Internet or enter the data manually. As a Pi user who doesn’t keep his kit connected – I usually wire and power it up when I need it – and doesn’t always bother with the Ethernet cable when he does, I’ve been after a decent real-time clock (RTC) add-on for quite a while. An RTC allows your Pi to keep time, even when the Pi’s power is cut.
Review: the GrovePi+ Starter Kit
When it comes to hacking hardware there’s an easy way and there’s a hard way.
The hard way involves connecting peripherals direct to one of the standard buses supported by your Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Beaglebone or whatever. Buses like I²C, SPI, UART and 1-Wire. You’ll need to take care with your wiring: have you got the right pull-up or pull-down resistor? Is there too much capacitance in the line?