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by Major Tom
Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:37 am
Forum: General discussion
Topic: How to plug 4 microphones on a Raspberry Pi
Replies: 6
Views: 5265

Re: How to plug 4 microphones on a Raspberry Pi

To connect one microphone you can use a cheap USB soundcard: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/USB-Sound-Card-USB-Audio-7-1-External-USB-Sound-Card-Audio-Adapter-Mic-Speaker-Audio/32602917721.html They are available cheaply from a number of places. Look into using the various audio utilities in Linux ...
by Major Tom
Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:42 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Thanks again for sharing, Major Tom. Some seriously cool stuff there! I particularly like your first rule -- make sure you can build it. I come from the coding side, so engineering and electronics are not my strong suits. That limits me (and the students) at first to doing some pretty simple stuff,...
by Major Tom
Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:18 pm
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Well, I survived so far. I finished six IoT projects, then we had exams. Now I am preparing to make cardboard CNC machines. The six projects were: 1) Internet weather station Uses forecast.io to get the local weather, then displays it on LEDs on the side of the box. 2) Automatic diary display Uses a...
by Major Tom
Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:08 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Glad to hear you are setting up your class. I hope the students have fun. I have found that I had to be quite creative to get things working, but I did manage to convince the school to re-use some equipment instead of buying new things, which saved some cost. In fact, it depresses me to see some of ...
by Major Tom
Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Hello again, The mighty pushbutton lesson went quite well actually. The students seem to want to dismantle everything between classes (which led to more bent pins) and still don't have a notebook to make notes in (despite my pleadings every time). So, we started from a blank slate. We learned about ...
by Major Tom
Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Just a quick update. I bought a bunch of breadboard kits for the students, containing a small breadboard, a T-cobbler knock-off, some wires, resistors, LEDs and switches. I was actually going to buy the parts individually, but the kits made more sense. I hacked together a quick PPT about electrical ...
by Major Tom
Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Other projects
Topic: Looking for Pi Zero case with camera and tripod mount
Replies: 3
Views: 2380

Re: Looking for Pi Zero case with camera and tripod mount

Can you find a Pi Zero case with camera mount only? If so, you could probably add the tripod mount yourself. It's a 1/4"-20 threaded hole. If the case is quite thick (maybe 2 or 3 mm) you could drill a hole and use a hand tap to thread the inside of the hole. If the case is thin you could glue a 1/4...
by Major Tom
Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:06 am
Forum: Automation, sensing and robotics
Topic: light depend resistor (ldr)
Replies: 1
Views: 512

Re: light depend resistor (ldr)

You'll need an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The Pi does not have an analog input.

Here's one example:
http://www.raspberrypi-spy.co.uk/2013/1 ... n-mcp3008/
by Major Tom
Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:03 pm
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Hello again,

These are middle school students, so about age 12 to 15. The class is entirely voluntary, but I limited the numbers to 18 just so that I could keep a handle on things.
by Major Tom
Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:03 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Hello again, So, we're starting up again after the summer vacation, and this time I want to do hardware. I'm not sure how much the students are getting out of all of this. I know one student is way ahead of the others, but this class really is about having fun and de-mystifying what computers are an...
by Major Tom
Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:26 am
Forum: Python
Topic: Displaying integers on LCD
Replies: 5
Views: 3142

Re: Displaying integers on LCD

I am guessing you are using Python. You just need to use string formatting to put your number into a string. For example, LCD1602.write (0,0, 'Temp: %s'%temp) This will convert temp into a string a put it in the place of the %s symbol. If that doesn't work, try mystring = 'Temp: %s'%temp LCD1602.wri...
by Major Tom
Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:43 am
Forum: Beginners
Topic: Bonding a DS18B20 Sensor
Replies: 9
Views: 2224

Re: Bonding a DS18B20 Sensor

Won't you just be measuring the temperature of the outside of the tank? Presumably it's insulated, so it will only be warm. If you want the temperature of the water, try attaching the sensor to the outlet. If it's a metal fitting there then heat will be conducted from the interior along the outlet p...
by Major Tom
Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:59 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Major Tom, thanks so much for posting your first forays into teaching with the Raspberry Pi. I'm planning to do that in the fall, and I found your posts instructive and entertaining! I also teach middle schoolers, so I recognize the pitfalls and triumphs! I also applaud your willingness to forge ah...
by Major Tom
Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:37 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

timrowledge wrote:I've worked out what you did wrong here; you loaded the 'scratch' package, which is the *old* stuff, rather than 'nuscratch'.
Mystery solved! Thanks for looking into it. Hopefully the next guy who tries it will be smarter than me. :)
by Major Tom
Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:58 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

There's something really wrong with your installation of Scratch if you had to do anything like the messing around in the browser described there - like you got an ancient version. I added simpler access to the mesh ... two years ago? Hi, thanks for your comment. Here's what happened. All students ...
by Major Tom
Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: HATs and other add-ons
Topic: Compatibillity of add-ons across microcomputers
Replies: 1
Views: 484

Re: Compatibillity of add-ons across microcomputers

Generally they are. Except when they're not. A lot of add-on has well-documented behaviour, so it is possible to write a driver, or port a driver from some other system. Some hardware requires special features only present in the host system and so can not (easily) be made to work. Other hardware mi...
by Major Tom
Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Hello again, Well, the guessing game went much quicker than I expected. I had reserved two slots for it, but we were finished in one. When I announced the challenge for the lesson I got a few blank looks, and some students were really unsure how to start. So I promised them one hint every 5 minutes....
by Major Tom
Sat May 21, 2016 7:16 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Hello again, I get two lesson slots every week. This week we wrote a bubble sort in Scratch. Or rather, I wrote a bubble sort in Scratch and the students copied me. I repeated the 'physical' demonstration from the Sonic Pi lesson, with a line of volunteers holding numbered cards, then proceeded to s...
by Major Tom
Thu May 12, 2016 7:18 am
Forum: Graphics, sound and multimedia
Topic: Is there any way to use these two small speakers?
Replies: 2
Views: 989

Re: Is there any way to use these two small speakers?

You need an amplifier. This is a small one you can power from USB: http://www.amazon.com/SainSmart-PAM8403-Digital-Amplifier-Supply/dp/B008BGLMNY You can probably find it cheaper on your favourite Chinese supplier's site, or your favourite auction site. Search for PAM8403. It is available with or wi...
by Major Tom
Wed May 11, 2016 6:51 am
Forum: Troubleshooting
Topic: PIGPIO multiple servos
Replies: 8
Views: 3406

Re: PIGPIO multiple servos

Your power supply is only rated at 300mA. It seems a little small for 3 servos. Are you powering the Pi from the same supply? What you could do is change your code so that there is a delay between moving each servo to a new position. Servos will draw more power when moving, than when they are stayin...
by Major Tom
Wed May 11, 2016 6:46 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Hello again, Last week the students had a test, so there was no class. I didn't want to start a new topic before the test, so I demonstrated apt-get and told them to have a short play with Scratch. I used my phone as a wifi hotspot and it worked fine for downloading some funky fonts and a small appl...
by Major Tom
Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:37 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Thanks for your comments. I know it's a niche activity, but if someone is thinking about having a go, then don't be afraid to wade in. It's tempting to think you have to plan everything to the tiniest detail, but if you already know how to use the Pi and fix common problems you will have no problem ...
by Major Tom
Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:20 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Hello again, I was a little worried that the students were getting a little bored with Sonic Pi, especially in lesson 3 when some students were confused with the behaviour of the random function. The lessons are quite lively, and students are happy to play with Sonic Pi (and Minecraft, and Python Ga...
by Major Tom
Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Hello again, Well, the students have a test coming up, so I have only one more class then a short break. I finished the Sonic Pi lessons. There are 5 of them and each one files one lesson slot. Lesson 3 introduced the random function and the if statement. The biggest problem I found with lesson 3 is...
by Major Tom
Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:31 am
Forum: Staffroom, classroom and projects
Topic: My Raspberry Pi class
Replies: 48
Views: 20041

Re: My Raspberry Pi class

Also, I haven't really looked at SonicPi yet, partly because I have no musical knowledge and partly because we don't have speakers for our setup yet, as the monitors are DVI, and the children work in pairs, so headphones aren't really an option. No musical skill is required. Follow the lessons that...

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