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Stewart's Blog

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

Archive for the 'Programming' Category

Upgraded Networking Challenge for Computing fair

Friday, January 12th, 2018

I have written previously about a school computing fair that I helped support. I went along again this year as a way to promote STEM and in particular computing. As I work for a telecommunications company then I wanted to promote computer networking as a career option. I didn’t want to just talk about computer […]

Review of MeArmPi robot arm for Raspberry Pi

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

I backed the MeArm Pi kickstarter project earlier this year, and just received the finished product. It’s a, laser cut, plastic robot arm which has a built-in Raspberry Pi. It is created by Mime Industries who have previously created a similar robot arm without the build-in controller / Raspberry Pi. It can be controlled using […]

Networking challenge quiz for school IT and computing fair

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

In the UK, Year 9 (age 13 to 14) is an important stage which can influence the student’s future career. It is during this year that the students first decide on what subjects to pursue, and in particular whether they will continue to study computer science. I recently attended a computing and IT careers fair […]

Element 14 BOO! Pi Costume Contest

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Around Halloween 2016 Element 14 ran a Costume Competition for wearable tech projects. Boo! Pi Costume Contest I was already working on a Wizard of Oz costume so I submitted my project to the competition. You can find out more about the Raspberry Pi – PiZero NeoPixel bow tie here. My costume was one of […]

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 and 2017

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 2017 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 […]

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 […]


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