PI Hard with a Vengeance

A novice explores the Raspberry Pi.

Posts Tagged ‘arduino

Installing the Gertboard Software & ATmega328P

leave a comment »

First I would like to mention a site for anyone new to linux. http://cli.learncodethehardway.org/book/
 I consider myself a newbie although I ran a multi-line Dial-up BBS (1200Bps!) on DOS back in the late 80’s early 90’s and used a linux shell account to import Internet e-mail and Usenet newsgroups for my users.   Now that I am starting with the Pi,  I have to learn the basics all over again.  Anyhow this site is a really quick read, just over an hour and I think I am up to speed with the basic shell commands again.  Someone with no experience with CLI might take a bit longer, but it is a free site and very informative. I  Absolutely recommend it to the beginner. (I am now using the sister site for Python learnpythonthehardway.org/book/..looks like it will take a bit longer to complete, but just  as “easy going”!)

Now for what I have been doing the past few days with the Raspberry Pi.  I have fully installed the Gertboard and all of the related software.  It has taken a lot of research and hunting since the software and details of the complete setup are in several different sites.  I read and did ALL of the sample projects in the user manual. (Python Samples, not the “C”.  I also got both the RPi.GPIO and the WiringPi for Python versions working so I could try all the examples!)
Not knowing Unix very well, was quite a learning experience.  The hardest part was actually getting the ATmega up and running properly with the Arduino IDE. Not at all like installing an arduino ATMega (USB) or Read the rest of this entry »


Written by pihard

May 6, 2013 at 5:14 am

Custom hacking case for my Raspberry Pi and Arduino

with one comment



Just received my new Raspberry Pi and the Gertboard!  So here’s a picture of the new case with both installed.  Works way better than I could ever imagine!


One thing that makes me nervous is working on the RPI and Arduino with all the circuits exposed.  Well I had some acrylic plastic sitting around for the past few year and I had a spare 30 minutes this afternoon, so I cranked out a protyping platform/protective case.  The boards will mount inside so they are secure. All 4 sides are open so I can run wires in and out with no problems. On the very top I think I am going to mount the solderless breadboard. The top cover comes off by removing the 4 top nuts.   Maybe make it even easier by using wing-nuts or even barrel-nuts if I can find them. The whole thing measures 8×9 inches and the opening is a generous 2″ inches. Enough room for the raspberry pi, an Arduino mega 2560 and a relay board or motor controller.. Can even stack my pi face or Gert board. If there is any interest,  I took a lot of photos and could make an instructable with all the details.  Really easy and a quick afternoon project that looks great.  So if you would like to learn more, leave me a comment and let me know! image image image Pi Hard With a Vengeance using WordPress for Android


Written by pihard

May 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

Arduino Bot is hot, NO IT’S ON FIRE..!!!

with one comment


Ok,  for 3 nights I stayed up till 3am trying to figure out the insane wiring on this thing and trying to get everything correct. Finally completed it today, typed in some sample code and get ready to test it.  I flip the switch,  The lights come on, a good sign… Then they all go out.  A couple seconds to see if anything is going to happen and….  Nothing.  Damn,  now I have to trouble-shoot and do more research. But wait,  what is that I smell?  Plastic burning?  Yep I smell plastic!  Now I see smoke coming from the wiring/mounting holes.  The power is off so what the heck?  I see more and more smoke coming from the motor compartment and can’t get to it because I tightened all the cover screws!  A race to get the cover off and remove the batteries before the whole thing goes up.
The damage was limited to melting both the battery leads coating completely off and slightly melting the wires near them.   The battery leads were a very thing stranded wire, so when it shorted they acted as a heating element or even a fuse and burned up,  maybe saving the rest of the project!
Immediately checked the boards and they seemed to operate correctly. Then spent about 3 hours chasing the short.  Everything kept coming back alright but I finally managed to trace it to the 5 mm power plug that attached directly to the arduino.   Yes,  it is something I Soldered and looked great. Even tested perfect when the cap was off… But when you screw the protective cap back on, the voltage meter went crazy… The short was in the plug!
Swapped it out for a new one,  replaced damaged wiring and even a new battery case.
Moment of truth…. The darn thing fired right up and had even retained the test code we had programmed it with!   Works as it should, runs the simple driving/avoidance software. Hopefully there will not be any future damage to the chips because of the short.  But for now, it looks great.
Next step… Take a 5 hour nap!   Tomorrow I. Plan to start figuring out how to connect the Raspberry Pi directly.  Not so it downloads the scripts from the IDE, that’s already done..  No,  we want to use the raspberry pi to run programs in Python and use the arduino to handle the physical part of the interface. The ardueno will run all the motors and sensors and the Raspberry Pi will not interrupt the sensor data and issue commands.   Hopefully!
Here’s a couple photos of the charred battery box and wiring… What NOT to do.  I’m going to take a nap… Enjoy!



Pi Hard With a Vengeance using WordPress for Android

Written by pihard

April 26, 2013 at 12:27 am

Posted in Raspberry Pi

Tagged with , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: