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Stewart's Blog

Monkeys, megabytes, medical and more ...

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

Archive for the 'General' Category

Wizard of Oz Costume – Wearable electronics with Raspberry Pi, Pi Zero

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

I decided to create a Wizard of Oz costume for Halloween this year. As you probably know The Wizard of Oz wasn’t really a wizard at all. He used a mechanical machine to convince the citizens of Oz about his magical abilities. What you may not know is that he was more than just a […]

Raspberry Pi Motion Triggered Halloween Pumpkin Jack-O’-Lantern

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

My 8 year old son has now completed another Raspberry Pi project. This project is a Halloween Pumpkin, or jack-o’-lantern, which is triggered whenever someone comes near. It uses a PIR motion sensor to detect someone entering the room and then lights up a sequence of NeoPixels. In this case these are static green and […]

Restore dual boot with Ubuntu when Windows 10 update overrides the UEFI settings

Monday, October 10th, 2016

As a Linux user it’s now very rare that I run Windows on my home computer, but when I do it’s usually because of something important. At the moment it’s because I’m taking some exams on my MSc course and the remote proctoring software only supports Windows and Mac. It’s therefore rather important that my […]

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 […]

Visit to Sony Raspberry Pi Factory Wales

Friday, May 27th, 2016

I’ve recently been to visit the Sony UK factory where the Raspberry Pi is made. This was made possible thanks to RS Components and a competition to win a tour around the site. The site known as the Sony UK Technology Centre is based in Pencoed Wales. At the site they manufacture high-end video cameras […]

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 […]

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 […]

Disco Lights controlled by a Micro:Bit running Micro Python

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

I’ve been playing around with a BBC Micro:Bit for the last few days. You can see my first adventures in programming MicroPython on the Micro:Bit using a Raspberry Pi 2. One of the first things that you normally do when learning electronics is to light up an LED. It gives an immediate output and adds […]


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