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Stewart's Blog

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(Children, computing, first aid and other ramblings ...)

Archive for the 'Programming' Category

PyconUK 2016 – Sending secret messages with a micro:bit

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Another year and another Pycon UK. For 2016 the UK’s community Python Conference was held in Cardiff, Wales. It’s also the fourth year that they’ve included a special Children’s day on the Saturday. This included a day of kids coding on Raspberry Pi computers (Pi-Top CEED) and this year each child received a micro:bit to […]

Pi-Top Raspberry Pi laptop computer

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

During my visit to the Raspberry Pi factory arranged by RS I also entered into a competition to win a Pi-Top computer. After a close run vote, I won. So I now have a Pi-Top Raspberry Pi laptop. The Pi-Top is a similar size to a regular laptop, but involves some assembly and uses a […]

Simple RFID using Python3 on a Raspberry Pi 2 – RC522 SPI RFID module

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and NFC (Near Field Communication) provide the ability for devices to talk to each other by touching them together. This could be between two smart devices or between a smart device to a simple tag embedded into a card or sticker. In my case my requirements were quite basic as I […]

Raspberry Pi Disco Lights – Pi Birthday 2016

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Click the image above for the slides for the Disco Light talk at the Pi Birthday 2016. Worksheet for Raspberry Pi NeoPixel practical session Below is a worksheet giving hands-on with connecting up NeoPixels to a Raspberry Pi using a breadboard. This uses breadboard NeoPixels. These do need a little soldering initially, but once soldered […]

Controlling a Raspberry Pi robot using the micro:bit accelerometer

Monday, December 21st, 2015

The BBC micro:bit includes an accelerometer which allows you to track the movement of the micro:bit. This means that it can be used to as a controller similar to how the Wii remote control tracks it’s movement through the air. For this project I used the micro:bit as a wired device to control my existing […]

Communicating between Raspberry Pi and Micro:Bit using pyserial

Friday, December 18th, 2015

One of the things I’ve been doing with the micro:bit is to have it relay messages to a connected host computer. This is fairly easy within python on a Linux computer (such as the Raspberry Pi) thanks to the pyserial module which supports sending and receiving serial communication over a serial USB device. It’s even […]

Programming the BBC Micro:Bit using a Raspberry Pi 2

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

The BBC Micro:Bit will be going out to school children in the UK during 2016. In the meantime I have been given a sneak peek as part of the microbit world tour. The aim is to put the micro:bit into the hands of some Python programmers that can find out what is possible and create […]

The Raspberry Pi $5 PiZero – the cost is only half the story

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

The Raspberry Pi foundation has made a new Raspberry Pi computer called the PiZero. It’s a smaller version of the version 1 Raspberry Pi that’s been stripped back to the bare essentials with price that’s an amazing $5 (currently £4 in the UK including VAT). Not only that but they are so inexpensive they’ve been […]

Next generation innovators at Malvern Festival of Innovation

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

I recently spent a day at the Malvern Festival of Innovation – introducing pupils to physical computing and computer programming. The event was in co-operation with STEMNet (who arrange the background checks and provide support) and The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) (who provided all the materials and equipment on the day). The event […]

High altitude ballooning with the Raspberry Pi and Lego figures

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

We visited the education day on PyconUK again this year (read about last years PyconUK Kids education day). It’s a great day for children to get excited about programming and this year electronics as well. Another new feature of this years education track is that the Raspberry Pi education Skycademy team launched high altitude balloons […]

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