About this project
We're into the final hours of this campaign now. After it's finished, you can find all information and resources at...
RasPiO Analog Zero is a Pi Zero-sized board you can use with GPIO Zero to...
- read up to 8 analog inputs at once
- make a weather station
- make a digital thermometer
- make a voltmeter
- use potentiometer dials for control and display
- read analog sensors or voltages
- make your own embedded device with minimal footprint
Fits Any Raspberry Pi
It fits straight onto any 40-pin Raspberry Pi. You can even use it with an adaptor on the older 26-pin Pis, but it's a perfect match for the Pi Zero.
Easy To Code With GPIO Zero
Ben Nuttall and Dave Jones have done a tremendous job with GPIO Zero, making it easy to do useful things in very few lines of code.
In just four lines of code you can read and display the voltage on one of the analog inputs.
Proto Area & GPIO Breakouts
It has a 54-point prototyping area - with plenty of power and ground connections - where you can put additional components.
The GPIO ports are also accessible via clearly labelled through-holes.
You can also set the Analog reference voltage at 3V3 or anything below it - which can give you more precision.
Clear, Easy-to-follow Instructions
As usual with RasPiO products, there will be some very clear and easy-to-follow instructions to get you started and show you how to use it. The better this campaign does, the easier it is to justify spending more time on these to make them really outstanding.
Nothing To Install
GPIO Zero is now a part of the standard Raspbian distribution, so you won't even have to install any software to get RasPiO Analog Zero working. This board also works with other GPIO libraries e.g. RPi.GPIO
(The i2c LCDs in the weather station rewards will need some very simple configuration/installation and two Python files to make them work.)
10-bit Upgradable to 12-bit
RasPiO Analog ships with a 10-bit analog to digital converter (MCP3008). This is pin-compatible with the 12-bit MCP3208, which is also supported in GPIO Zero. So if you really need those extra 2 bits of precision, you could swap out the chip. (MCP3008 gives 1024 steps, MCP3208 gives 4096 steps.) The MCP3008 will be fine for most people's needs.
Weather Station / Thermometer / Voltmeter kits
One of my early Pi projects, that I really enjoyed building, was my weather station. It uses an MCP3008 to read two temperature sensors, two light sensors and shows the results on a character LCD. The idea is that you can place the sensors in two locations (e.g. indoors & outdoors) and compare temperature and light levels.
I've made up two weather station bundles. Both include a RasPiO Analog Zero and...
- 2 TMP36 analog temperature sensors
- 2 light sensors (LDR)
- 20 male to female jumper wires
- an LCD character display
The difference between them is the LCD size. The 16x2 Weather Station/Voltmeter/Digital Thermometer kit has a 16x2 character display (32 characters). The 20x4 Weather Station/Voltmeter/Digital Thermometer kit has a 20x4 display (80 characters). You can fit a lot of information on these. I like to add a clock with the date on when using the larger LCDs.
You don't have to use it as a weather station though. You can also use it as a digital thermometer. Put your sensor on a long wire and see what the temperature really is inside the refrigerator or freezer. You could do the same with a light sensor to see if the fridge light really switches off when you shut the door.
With RasPiO Analog Zero you can measure any voltage up to 3.3V directly, but if you want to measure higher voltages you can easily bring the input voltage down within 3.3V using a pair of resistors (as explained here).
Analog Experimenter's Kit
I've also put together a kit of parts which enable you to tinker with GPIO Zero using your RasPiO Analog Zero board...
- RasPiO Analog Zero
- 20 male to male jumper leads
- 20 male to female jumper leads
- 2 x TMP36 Analog temperature sensors
- 10k potentiometer
- piezo buzzer
- 5 coloured 10mm LEDs
- 1-channel relay
- motion sensor (PIR)
- 40-way pin header
- large tactile button switch
- 10k resistor (for pull-up)
So there's a lot of fun to be had experimenting and exploring the facets of GPIO Zero in combination with analog.
Tweets From Early-Access Testers
Here's what a couple of people I sent boards to thought of RasPiO Analog Zero...
Mike also blogged a review of it here
Some Easy Soldering Will Be Needed
RasPiO Analog Zero is a kit which will require some soldering to assemble.
Unlocked 25/May/2016 If we hit £10k I'll include a light dependent resistor and 10k resistor with each RasPiO Analog Zero.
Unlocked 30/May/2016 If we hit £15k I'll include three 4-way female headers with each RasPiO Analog Zero. You can use these with power, ground, GPIO or prototyping holes.
These timings are a best guess at the time of putting the campaign together...
- if the project does extremely well, it will take longer to ship, but rewards will be shipped out in approximate backer # order (early birds first, although we may sort by destination) and we will keep you updated about how far we have got. We're fairly confident we can ship the first batch of around 1000 units in July.
- tracking codes and individual shipping notifications will not be issued, but regular updates will show you which reward groups have been sent, so you will know when your rewards are on the way
- no variants! This is a simple project. There won't be six colour choices or lots of different packages on offer.
- no radical design changes. This would delay the project for everyone.
If you've got this far, congratulations. Please back the project by selecting one of the rewards.
Music track "Feelin' Good" from Purple Planet
Risks and challenges
There should be very little risk associated with this project. The prototype works, has been beta tested and will not now be changed. This is my fifth KickStarter project, so I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. The most recent three projects shipped well ahead of schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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