About this project
We're into the final hours of the campaign now. After it finishes, all information will be available at...
RasPiO Pro Hat is a small Raspberry Pi add-on which...
- protects the Pi's ports in case you make a wiring error
- arranges the Pi's ports in numerical order to make tinkering easier
- works "out of the box" with GPIO Zero - the new easy-to-use Python library included in Raspbian
- requires no soldering or assembly
- requires no software installation
- includes a 170pt mini-breadboard to build your circuits on
- gives you direct access to the ports if you need it
- requires no additional resistors for use with LEDS
- will have RasPi.TV-style tutorial experiments suitable for beginners and experts alike
- works with any 40-pin Raspberry Pi
Let's Put The Ports In Order
For a long time I've thought it would be helpful if there was a board that put the Raspberry Pi's GPIO ports in numerical order. It seems like the obvious and logical approach for ease of use and learning. And yet nobody has done it like this - until now.
The Raspberry Pi Education Team uses the Broadcom chip's GPIO numbers in all of the official resources. All of my RasPi.TV tutorials do as well. So you can use nearly all of these resources straight out of the box.
But, the way the pins are arranged on the Pi itself is not sequential and you could be forgiven for asking "why not?" (Design constraints and historical reasons.)
With the RasPiO Pro Hat, I want to make GPIO tinkering that little bit easier and safer for beginners and pros alike. So not only are the ports in numerical order, from 2 to 27, placed around a 170 point mini-breadboard, but each port is protected against over-current and over/under-voltage. It uses the same protection circuitry as the original 26-pin RasPiO Breakout Pro, about which I've never heard a single complaint.
RasPiO Pro Hat combines an update of a well-proven board with the convenience of sequential GPIO ports, adding HAT circuitry and a mini-breadboard. It comes fully assembled and there is no soldering required (unless you choose to use the optional direct port access).
Ready To Use
RasPiO Pro Hat is ready to use straight out of the box. There is nothing to assemble, nothing to solder and no software installation needed. GPIO Zero is pre-installed as standard on Raspbian from November 2015 onwards. All you have to do is build a circuit on the breadboard and control it with GPIO Zero (or RPi.GPIO etc). It can be a simple LED or something a bit more complex like this motion-activated security light...
Direct Port Access (for advanced users)
It also maintains the RasPiO philosophy of large, clear port labels and multiple breakout options. There's an unpopulated header which can be used if you want to bypass the 330 Ohm resistor on any of the ports. This is for more advanced users, but you'll be amazed at how quickly you become one, once you get into the tutorials.
My goal is to help people enjoy GPIO tinkering on Raspberry Pi. The better the project does, the more time I can devote to creating some content to help you do that. If you look at what I did with the RasPiO Duino, we have a 54 page eBook and 5 videos. This is actually a progressive introductory course in Arduino programming, heavily disguised as a fun set of experiments.
I can't promise to go quite that far with this project, but if it does very well, it would be nice to create some really good resources for it. I enjoy creating top-notch content, but it really does take a lot of time.
Current potential tutorial ideas include experiments with...
- PIR sensors
- Light sensors
- analogue sensors
...but I'm open to ideas about what people would find useful/helpful. (I'd also love to do some more advanced tutorials e.g. photo-tweeting burglar alarm if the project does well enough.)
The GPIO Zero Experimenter's Kit Includes...
- Five 10mm LEDs
- MCP3008 ADC chip
- TMP-36 analogue temperature sensor
- 1-channel relay
- PIR motion sensor
- 10k potentiometer
- 40-way male header
- 20 M-M jumper leads
- 20 M-F jumper leads
- Piezo buzzer
- Large button
- 10k resistor
Here's a closer look at it...
#1 UNLOCKED 25 Jan: At £13,000 we will add in a light sensor (LDR), a 100 nF capacitor and a 5mm red LED...
...there will also be a tutorial showing how to use them. We will also donate 10 Pro Hats to Picademy. The led can be used as an indicator, or to test your output pin control. The light sensor (LDR) can be used to trigger events according to how light or dark it is, to log light levels, or, in combination with other components, can be used to make decisions. There is a built-in LDR function in GPIO Zero.
#2: UNLOCKED 3rd Feb: At £18,000 we'll add a 5mm three-colour (RGB) LED like this one...
...and a tutorial to go with it. We'll also add another 10 Pro Hats to the Picademy swag bag. An RGB LED can be used to make any colour by "mixing" red, green and blue light. GPIO Zero has an inbuilt function for controlling RGB LEDs.
#3 If we hit and remain above £25,000 I will commission a Fritzing part for the RasPiO Pro Hat. I will also add another 10 Pro Hats to the Picademy swag bag.
- 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.
- 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: Sweet Success from Purple Planet
Risks and challenges
There's really not much risk involved here. Having completed three KickStarter projects in the past (the most recent two were shipped early), I have a very good idea of what to expect.
The main 'new' thing here is that we'll be getting the boards manufactured and assembled by a contractor. Because of this, we'll have manufacturing trial(s) to make sure the process works and iron out any bugs before scale-up. Involving other people increases the risk of delays, but the estimated schedule has some 'lag' built in.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
It uses a 330R resistor in series with each port to limit current to 10 mA per port. A 3V3 Zener diode 'clips' any over-voltage and diverts the excess to GND. It also protects against small negative voltage (~-1V)
Probably not. The design works and is finalised. We're ready for manufacturing trials as soon as we know whether the project is going ahead. Any changes now will cause unnecessary delays. (Lesson learnt from first KS I did.)
All 40-pin Pis, which in Jan 2016 is B+, A+, Pi2B, Zero. It won't fit the original model B and A 26-pin versions without surgery - and even then, several of the ports between 2 and 27 will be missing.
It's simple. To add a...
Portsplus - add £2
GPIO Ruler - add £4
Experimenter's Kit - add £13
But then please send me a message through the KickStarter messaging system to let me know, so I can put a note in your record.
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