Monday, 12 May 2014

CamJam May 2014

On Saturday 10th May I travelled up to Cambridge to attend my first Raspberry Jam which was held at the Institute of Astronomy. When I arrived I was met by Tim Richardson who made me feel very welcome, he went on to explain what was on offer during the day.

I had some time to kill before my PiCamera using Python workshop so I had a look around at the Show and Tell items as well as some of the stuff in the Marketplace.

Brian Corteil had his Naughty or Nice Machine, an Easter Bunny which poo’d chocolate eggs and neopixel light sign. Ryan Walmsley was showing of his budget robotics kit which is inexpensive and does the job. Alex Eames had his HDMIPi project on display which is available to pre-order.

I spoke to the guys from FUZE who had their FUZE case, Basic OS and electronic component kit on display. It reminded me of a BBC Micro from my youth.

I looked at the gPiO control box which is an educational control interface for the Raspberry Pi. You can create programs in Scratch or Python to control switches, sensors, LEDs and motors. It looked very robust and is ideal for education.

Nevil Hunt from innovations in education had the Seven Segments of Pi, PiTrol and PiDapter on display. The PiTrol is a bit like a games controller with several push buttons, 2 LEDs and a min
i joystick, the PiDapter allows you to connect two PiTrol’s to a single Raspberry Pi.


I attended the PiCamera using Python workshop. We worked in pairs and were guided through connecting and setting up the PiCamera. Once this was done we could try out our first piece of python code for the PiCamera which worked first time.

There were two other challenges, recording a video and taking several image stills which could be stitched together to make a time lapse video. An excellent and useful workshop, it was well lead with plenty of support if needed.

Focus on Education Talks

The first talk I attended was given by Gordon Henderson who talked about the FUZE hardware and his Return to Basic software which is very easy to use.

Next Darren Christie gave a live demo of the Pibrella and how simple it is to program using python.

After this Matthew Timmons-Brown gave a very inspiring talk about how he became interested in computing and the Raspberry Pi.

Next up was Alan O’Donohoe talked about various teaching methods he uses, Alan was entertaining and inspiring. I met Alan, he is very enthusiastic and truly awesome. 

The final talk I attended was given by Nevil Hunt who talked about his Seven Segments of Pi project and how it came about.

All in all and excellent day, I left feeling truly enthused and inspired.