Thursday, July 30, 2015

Raspberry Pi Tips and Tricks and AlaMode Setup - [Part 3]

Experiment with the AlaMode and Visuino


Here you can see the Alamode hooked up to a FTDI cable that is connected to my Computer. So I wanted to find out if I could program it in Visuino, so I opened the program and for a simple test I just hooked up a Pulse Generator to PIN 12, 
since I already had an LED connected form the last blog post.  I used the default of the UNO board type, because that is what is compatible with the AlaMode.

Then I uploaded the Arduino IDE code to the AlaMode using the COM port for the FTDI cable and then unplugged the FTDI cable. Next added the Brick Shield to the AlaMode and powered it via the micro-USB connector after changing P16 to the OFF position.  This setting allows the board to use the micro-USB as it's power source without damaging the board.

When I plugged the AlaMode in the green LED starting blinking away, almost like I planned it  :)  

Following this I added a second LED to the Visuino sketch and went through the procedure again.  

Since I didn't want them to blink at the same rate I changed the Frequency of the second, red LED to 0.5, as seem above.

And now you get to see this final piece in action.

NEXT TIME: I visit the pcDuino and what it can do as a Linux board and how to hook up Arduino Shields to it.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Raspberry Pi Tips and Tricks and AlaMode Setup - [Part 2]

Setting up the Alamode for a Brick Set Shield

In this post I will show you how to setup the Alamode for use with the Seeed Studio Brick Set.  Above you can see the Brick Shield on top of my Alamode on top on my Model B.

All that is needed is to place the shield on top of the Alamode and add power to the Pi.  There's a power LED on the shield that indicates that it has power and is ready for action.

Next we load a lesson from the PDF that I have linked below:

I have even added the lessons to my GitHub account page for ease of use:

Here I have Lesson #1 loaded onto the Alamode and when I press the the button the LED stays on as long as I hold the button down.

Next up is Lesson #2, this one uses a Tilt Switch and 2 LEDs, Green for normal and Red for tilted.

You can use the Brick Set with a standard Arduino, but what's the fun in that  :)

Next Time:  I will connect to the Alamode with out the Pi and use the FTDI cable and try to recreate some of these lessons using the Visual IDE: Visuino!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Raspberry Pi Tips and Tricks and AlaMode Setup - [Part 1]

Tips for the Raspberry Pi

I have been using my various Pis for going on 2 years now and have done some projects that worked and some that didn't.  I have found some tips that I thought I should pass on.  First off is organizing your SD cards, these little beauties were found at ACE hardware during a sale for a buck each, just $1.

The regular SD cards fit fine and just enough room to slide out when you tip the case over a bit.

Above you can see the size comparison with my Pis in the Coupe cases by Pimoroni. I really like these Pi cases mainly because they allow full access to the GPIO headers and all the ports and look great!

Another Tip for you is if you have several SD cards for your Pis and there isn't room to label them with what you might be doing with each one, I create a "Projects" file on the desktop of each one so I can quickly look at it to see what is installed and what I had planned for it.  I use 'Abiword' for mine but you can use whatever you choose.

The Alamode Board

The Alamode is a board that adds an Arduino MCU to your Pi and allows you to program it with the Linux version of the Arduino IDE.  It's even on sale right now through the website.

Now to adding the Alamode to the Pi, it just plugs into the GPIO header of the Pi just like a HAT would.

I am just using my Model B but the Alamode is compatible with the B+ and 2 B.

There are steps to get Raspbian setup for the Alamode that can be found here:
It is quite lengthy so I won't re-hash the whole thing here but it should not be too difficult to figure out.

Part of those steps is to install the Arduino IDE for Raspbian, version 1.0.1 to be precise.

Even though it's an older version is still functions just fine for everything I have thrown at it.

Next time:  I will visit the Seeed Electronic Brick Starter Kit and compiling some lessons from a PDF related to the Brick set using the Alamode and the Pi.