Saturday, 28 February 2015

Raspberry Pi Big Birthday Weekend

On Saturday 28th February I attended The Raspberry Pi Big Birthday Weekend which was held at the Cambridge Computer Laboratory. I arrived with some time to kill so I had a look around at all of the Show & Tell and Marketplace stalls, there was plenty on offer.  A new official Raspberry Pi case was being given away, bonus.

I spoke to IQaudIO who make a range of audio accessories for the Raspberry Pi.  They had their Pi-DAC and Pi-Amp on display, the Pi-DAC plugs on top of your Raspberry Pi giving you full HD Audio and the Pi-Amp can sit on top of the Pi-DAC which gives you 2 x 20W Class D amplifier.

The following vendor’s were present
The Pi Hut
IQ Audio
Wireless Things (formerly Ciseco)

While there I brought a Unicorn HAT from Pimoroni which has 64 super bright RGB LEDs in an 8 x 8 matrix, super shiny and a NOOBS SD card from the PiHut.
Nevil Hunt from Innovations in Education had his Seven Segments of Pi and PiTrol on display for people to try out. 
Mike Cook had various gadgets on display including, Free Jazz for the Raspberry Pi, The Light Fantastic which was a 4 x 4 matrix of RGB LED’s allowing you to play 5 interactive games, Stomp which was another interactive game using a Neopixel ring, a transistor checker which would tell you which type of transistor was connected and finally he had RISC OS running on a Raspberry Pi.

Grumpy Mike's Electro Gadgets

David Saul had his Chicken Water Heater project on display, which monitors the temperature and if it gets too cold switches on a 12v lamp to warm the water and prevent it from freezing. It also Tweets pictures of their Chickens, so they can check on them while they are away. You can find out more here.

Martin Mander had converted an 80’s Sharp VC-2300H portable VCR into a Raspberry Pi Media Centre, see here for more info.

I saw a couple of Big Trak’s which were powered by a Raspberry Pi and a Gerbil entertainment system using a Raspberry Pi which used a PiCamera to detect when the Gerbil was running in the wheel and then would play some music.

Dan Aldred was showing off his Pi Glove which had switches in the fingers of the glove, this connected to a Raspberry Pi so that you could play music,  take your picture and then upload it to Twitter and finally control a party light when you pressed the switches, see here for more info.


I attended a couple of workshops; the first workshop was showed us how to create a GPS tape measure. It used a GPS module which was connected to a Raspberry Pi.  We wrote some Python code and then went outside for a short walk while it measured how far you had been.   The next workshop was an Introduction to Linux which gave us a brief overview of some of the Linux commands.   Finally I helped out with the PiCamera workshop which was run by Dave Jones who wrote the Python PiCamera module.

Minion Dave leads the workshop


Vintage Computer Parts