Adventures with a Pi2Go Lite robot

Having received a Pi2Go Lite for his birthday, my eldest son finished assembling it and wanted to move on to some software. He’s used Scratch at school so the intention is to use ScratchGPIO (thanks @cymplecy) to control it and get it following a line. There seems to be little documentation on using the Pi2Go with Scratch though.

I thought I’d get him started by providing an SD card with Raspbian installed and working.  We then plugged it into the TV and booted, set the SSID (we’re using a Pi3) and connected to the WiFi.  I then installed Tightvncserver so he could remote desktop into it.  All good so far. Continue reading “Adventures with a Pi2Go Lite robot”

Experimenting with Thingspeak and ESP8266

A friend recently gave me an ESP12E module to play with. I’ve previously played with the ESP8266 at Open Source Hardware Camp 2015 when Omer Kilic ran an ESP8266 workshop. The workshop focused on NodeMCU and LUA.

My immediate thought there was to use LUA again and I built some NodeMCU firmware to experiment with different LUA scripts.  It worked pretty well.  Later I wanted to have a go with the NodeMCU support in the Arduino IDE.  That turns out to be very nicely done 🙂

I’ve therefore added a couple of DS18B20 digital one-wire temperature sensors to the board and made use of the OneWire, DallasTemperature and Thingspeak libraries in order to collect data and push it to the web. Continue reading “Experimenting with Thingspeak and ESP8266”

50 Things to do as a Cub Scout

A fellow scouting leader (and member of the Escouts forum) recently decided to come up with a list of “50 things to do as a Cub” in a similar vein to the National Trust but more tightly focussed on scouting activities.  I think it’s an excellent idea and the list he has generated is worthy of any aspiring Cub Scout. Continue reading “50 Things to do as a Cub Scout”

Railmotor virtually started

As a member of the Buxton Model Engineering Society, I have accompanied other members on visits to the Sheffield & District Society of Model and Experimental Engineers (SMEE) miniature railway at Abbeydale where we are invited annually for private “running” days.  It’s always fascinating to see the engines that others have built as well as ride on them and occasionally drive them.  A couple of years ago, I decided I should build my own scale locomotive… Continue reading “Railmotor virtually started”

BBB – mount and shrink a disk image

This describes how to take an image file (origBBB.img) that has been extracted from a Beaglebone Black (BBB) – (see here for how to do that) – and shrink it so that it will fit onto a smaller SD card.

First we need to be able to inspect the file system locally.  We can inspect the image file with:

file origBBB.img
origBBB.img: x86 boot sector; partition 1: ID=0xc, active, starthead 1, startsector 63, 144522 sectors; partition 2: ID=0x83, starthead 45, startsector 147456, 6979584 sectors, code offset 0x0

Continue reading “BBB – mount and shrink a disk image”

How to backup BBB eMMC card

Ok, so you’ve been playing with your BBB and you’ve installed this package and that package, oh and that package you forgot about.  So now you want to setup another BBB in exactly the same way but wait… oh no, what did you install again and how did you configure things… this could take some time.

That was me recently when I wanted to set up a second BBB.  I’d installed qt4-embedded on the eMMC as well as lots of other stuff and really didn’t want to start from scratch on another board. Continue reading “How to backup BBB eMMC card”

Beaglebone Black (BBB) Simple Web IO

Some time ago I wrote a short guide to getting simple webpage based control of the GPIO pins working on a Raspberry Pi.  I thought it time to do something similar for the BBB.

First off, I removed unwanted services but you may not be bothered about that so consider it optional.

After that, install Lighttpd and Php5 – see below. Continue reading “Beaglebone Black (BBB) Simple Web IO”

Getting openssl working with beaglebone black (BBB)

Today I needed to use MD5 in a C program on my BBB (running Angstrom) therefore I looked into openssl.
All seemed straight forward until I realised that my cross compiler tool chain did not include an arm version of the libssl library. Continue reading “Getting openssl working with beaglebone black (BBB)”

Beaglebone Black with RS232 Cape

I’ve recently bought a Beaglebone Black (BBB) and an RS232 cape (BB-BONE-SERL-03). Mine is revision A1 (important to know which, see later).

At the time of writing this and at the time I bought it, I did not realise that the cape was not yet supported in the Angstrom release. Because of the move to kernel 3.8, the majority of capes available need some software modifications to get them working. A list of compatible capes can be found here.

What follows is a summary of how I got the RS232 cape working Continue reading “Beaglebone Black with RS232 Cape”

Sparge/Wort Aerator Heads

After promising several people late last year that I would make them a sparge/wort aerator head, I have finally managed to get some time to make them – apologies for the long wait 🙁

I’ve made a few of them, one to fit 10mm pipe and one to fit 15mm pipe.  Previously the 10mm pipe size was the preferred choice – possibly because it was easy to get 10mm stainless tube but I am not actually sure. Continue reading “Sparge/Wort Aerator Heads”