Sweetbox – most impractical case ever?

I don’t normally criticise cases on my blog, but this one caught my eye.

Sweetbox _ The perfect case for your Raspberry Pi computer by Grasping hand — Kickstarter.

There are so many reasons why this case is a dead-loss:

  1. No access to the GPIO or other pin sets.
  2. It seems to be custom-designed to use specific heatsinks which, I note, are being offered as part of the case. So, if you’ve already fitted some sinks this case isn’t for you.
  3. No ventilation.
  4. Yet again no protection for an SD card [edit] although the micro-SD card adapters will fit, according to the FAQ.
  5. It’s ergonomic… which is lovely for keyboards but is of no practical use for a Pi.
  6. It’s a snug fit which, given the micro differences between various revisions, is unlikely to fit every Pi.
  7. It’s £15 for the case and heat sinks. Too expensive for the mass market, in my opinion.

I won’t be backing this one.

Beginner has doubts over at gamedev.net

I spotted a post on gamedev.net from someone who has just obtained a Pi for Christmas. Apart from a bit of an issue with the extra stuff you need to buy (see my previous post on this), he does make a good point. A lot of the projects and posts on the official Raspberry Pi site are now waaaay beyond beginner level. I’ve chipped in to the discussion and suggested that he starts with Alex’s Raspi.tv site which has some different tutorials for different levels.

I sincerely hope he finds the help he needs as it would be a pity to lose someone so early after their purchase.

So, if you fancy contributing to the discussion, head on over to the forum. I would recommend NOT registering using Facebook as it completely failed for me! Google worked okay though.


Paper-Duino Pi – Arduino shield for the Pi

The Paper-Duino-Pi is an Arduino shield for the Raspberry Pi. Due to the fact that it is designed as Paper-PCB it is easy to create and one doesn’t need a printed circuit board. All components are standard electronic parts that are easily available at your favorite electronic shop. Plus they are really cheap. All you need are some electronic knowledge and soldering skills.



Linking Arduino to the Raspberry Pi

I own, thanks to a competition, a Dreamer Nano v4. This is a micro clone of an Arduino Leonardo.

Having tried to get the Arduino IDE running on Windows 7 64-bit and failed with the serial monitor part, I decided to switch my development effort to the Raspberry Pi. Even on X Windows, I’m not a great fan of the Arduino IDE. I find it tends to crash horribly when you upload and then use the serial monitor. So, I’ve decided to get the Arduino working over USB via the command line.

Here’s the steps I took. Remember, this is my experience. Your mileage may vary if you are not using a Leonardo, or if you have different things installed.

Python should already be installed on your Pi.

For using an Arduino over the command line, I use something called ‘ino’. Visit http://inotool.org to find out more. Suffice to say, ino makes it a lot easier to compile your code and transfer it to your Arduino.

ino requires you to install something called picocom. So:

apt-get install picocom

You will also need to make sure you have a couple of Python libraries installed:

apt-get install python-pip
easy-install configobj
easy-install jinja2

If the last one doesn’t work (the website that hosts it was down when I tried). So, I found this webpage: http://pypi.python.org/pypi/Jinja2 and then got and installed it manually:

wget http://pypi.python.org/packages/source/J/Jinja2/Jinja2-2.6.tar.gz#md5=1c49a8825c993bfdcf55bb36897d28a2
cd Jinja2-2-6
python setup.py install

Now install ino itself:

easy_install ino

Now that lot’s done, I can create a new sketch. It has to be a new sketch as the ino commands fail if the folder is not empty.

So… create a folder then initialise it using ino.

mkdir tester
cd tester
ino init

I added my sketch to the src folder.

Now, in order for me to build the uploadable file, I need to set up a new file called ino.ini. This lets you configure the board you’re coding for and the port it’s on. Into ino.ini, I added:

board-model = leonardo
serial-port = /dev/ttyACM0

Then, to build I typed:

ino build

The first time this is run, a few other files get built too, so don’t worry about that. Hopefully, it will happen without error like it did with me.

Then you transfer it to the Arduino:

ino upload

Next you want to monitor the serial line:

ino serial