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Queueing Up Tasks

I've managed to keep on top of things for a while but now there are a large number of tasks queueing up again. I'd love to know why project work is so bursty - admittedly my scheduling is fairly ad-hoc but it seems to happen in commercial projects I'm involved in as well (where I don't get to set the schedule). Anyway - here's whats in the queue at the moment ... Babyduino My updated Babyduino boards have arrived (my first attempt at a board design was not as successful as I had hoped). The new boards at least have correct component footprints and seem to match my original schematic and breadb…

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The PiStation

Ever since I got a Raspberry Pi I wanted a small standalone case to put it in. There are any number of cases available already (simply search Thingiverse for a nice range of options) but each of them simply provided a case to protect the circuit board, what I was looking for was something more like a small computer case that I could simply plug a power cable (and optionally a network cable) into and have everything else built in. This project is what I came up with - you can see the end result in the image to the right. Overview For the impatient here are some quick links to everything you nee…

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PiStation Redesign

Over the past few days I've done a bit of work redesigning the frame for the PiStation. Everything now fits together very nicely with plenty of space for circuit boards and cabling while still leaving access to the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins. This post is a run down of the new design. The first thing I needed to do was move the the button row to the bottom of the front panel to allow space for the PCB the buttons are mounted on. You can see how it all fits together in the image on the right (all held together with sticky tape for the moment). I added mounting stubs for the button PCB so it can be…

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PiStation Updates

Despite a very hectic weekend where I didn't get a lot of time to spend on the project I've managed to make some progress on the PiStation. First up was testing the button circuit and making sure I could read the button state from the GPIO (oh, and making sure I didn't let the smoke out of the Pi with the circuit either). I put the circuit together using a set of breadboard cables I got from Adafruit. Not as neat as I normally like but certainly quick and easy to do. To test it I wrote a simple Python program using the RPi.GPIO library. All it does is periodically poll the status of the IO pin…

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7805 Voltage Regulators

As I mentioned on the PiStation project page I was having problems with the power supply module - it was overheating quite badly. Turns out this is a relatively common problem with linear voltage regulators (especially if you are using a relatively high input voltage, over 9V for example). The basic linear regulator circuit is very straightforward (you can see it in the schematic to the left). Normally all you need to add a few capacitors on the input and output end to provide some filtering and that's it. I've used this circuit a number of times without any problems but only to provide a very…

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