Monday, 28 January 2013

Controlling an LED from a Raspberry Pi

Whilst fleshing out ideas for my new ZX Spectrum game, I’ve also found some time to work with my Raspberry Pi. A while ago I bought a breakout board kit for the Pi. This was easily constructed so I needed to then test it. The board connects via the i2c bus and exposes several ports that can be used as inputs or outputs. The controller chip only costs about a £1 so if things went wrong it is a lot cheaper to buy a new chip than it is a new Pi. By default the Pi has the i2c support turned off. This can be enabled by commenting out the i2c line in the blacklist file. A few supporting files need to be download and then it’s ready to work. I adapted some Python code and wired up a LED and resistor to my breadboard. I could then switch the LED on and off from the command line. This isn’t exactly rocket science but it proves that everything is installed correctly and I that can still solder properly. The next step is to look at controlling my amateur radio kit remotely. Here are some pictures of the board and a screen shot of the Python program. I am still using VNC to connect to the Pi so I can program from the comfort of my lounge.