2015-03-28 17.12.06

Adafruit Trinket Game

A few days ago I caught wind of the #BringYourBuild competition being run by Maplin here in the UK. This was to celebrate the 11th burthday of the Arduino platform.  All you needed was to submit an Arduino based project, either via social media or (preferably) in store.

I don’t do much with Arduinos but I have an Adafruit Trinket, that’s great for little projects like this, and I paired it with a Pimoroni UnicornHAT.  “What witch craft is this?” I hear you cry?  Yes, I know it’s designed to sit on top of and be driven by a Raspberry Pi, but it has three blank headers to allow direct access to drive the UnicornHAT (marked VIN, DIN ,GND on the underside).  Wire these up and the Neopixels are yours to command!

The Game

With only an 8×8 grid to work with I opted for a simple object avoidance game which I’ve called “Purple Rain”.  It uses a linear potentiometer to control the position of the player via the map function to relate the resistance to the 0-7 needed for the horizontal pixel.  This is checked every few milliseconds to see if the potentiometer has moved and thus the resistance has changed.

The “rain” is randomly generated, with more “drops” or pixels being added as the game progresses.  The speed also increases over time by reducing the number of cycles between movements of the “board”.

I also included an idle screen between games which is just randomly generated colours on random pixels.

Source:  https://github.com/ForToffee/PurpleRain

ISS Hidden (behind)

ISS Tracker

The blame for this little project can be firmly placed at the door of @SouthendRPiJams (aka Andy) after I signed up to be an Exhibitor at the Southend Raspberry Jam on 21st Feb.  He dropped me a DM and the conversation went like this


We’re doing Astropi this jam but the HAT won’t be out.  If you could show some of the equivalent AstroPi hardware and code working to help give people ideas, it would be greatly appreciated.

Continue reading

Me Arm servos wired directly to Pi GPIO (breadboard used for power distribution only)

Me Arm and Me Raspberry Pi

What is it?

The MeArm has been developed by Ben Gray (aka @phenoptix) and is a laser cut, build it yourself, robotic arm controlled by 4 servos.  Once built, just add a controller of some description (micro controller/Arduino, Pi, Beaglebone Black, etc) and drive the servos to move the arm around.  You can find out more from Indestructibles article.  Mine was purchased from 4tronix. Continue reading

Attach Motors


OK, so not quite the Sheldon Virtual Presence Device from Big Bang Theory but who knows…. maybe my next version?

I have had various bits of robots floating around for a while now and never actually pulled them all together. I’ve made both a Scratch, and a PS3 controlled, Pibrella powered bot which I must blog about one of these days. I also built one from LEGO motors and a SN754410 H-bridge a year or two back, but the motors were old (20+ years) and it didn’t get far. Continue reading

Lights mode

A #CheerLights Virtual Christmas Tree

What is #CheerLights?

Cheerlights is a IoT based light control system, originally intended to allow social media to dictate the colour of festive lights around the world.

The current cheerlight status

How does it work?

Put the word Cheerlight and a colour in a tweet and you’ve just told light systems around the world the colour they should show.  On the website is a list of the currently supported colours.

On the back-end there is a feed aggregator which exposes a JSON, TXT or XML API. Continue reading