Hm… I guess this would come in handy when I start working on robotics.


For being such a revolutionary device, there are still a few problems with the Raspberry Pi. For one, the USB host ports are only able to source 140 mA per port, while the USB ports on your desktop, laptop, and even tablet are able to send a full 500 mA per port.

The official ‘fix’ for this problem is to use a powered USB port for any device that requires more than 140 mA,  something that didn’t sit well with [Manis]. He came up with an easy fix , though, that only requires a few bits of wire and a soldering iron.

The USB ports on the Raspi are current limited to 140 mA by a pair of polyfuses. [Manis] bridged these fuses, effectively taking them out of the circuit with a short length of wire. This allowed him to use a USB hard drive (powered by USB, of course) with the…

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Wooden it matter?

There is a bunch of peripherals popping out since the first release of Pi, cases are the most flourishing business at the moment. Despite of some doomsday designs here and there, some virtually free self-made cases really shows something.

While most people didn’t recognise the inability of heat radiation under plastic structures even the official one, thank god, you can still found some common sense active cooling design.

Some would argue the low-power consumption and hence low heat generation within the Pi, I always think of longevity and the headlessness of this little thing. Automation means you mind nothing while your creation works as a charm, and the Pi is hot like a pie after 30 mins of video processing from a USB webcam. (will add some benchmarks later)

With some daily tools like drills and cutters, one could only work on light materials that is good to pierce screws in, that is easy to cut, and at least provides a degree of heat penetration.

And this is the best choice I could have found without a laser cutter myself. (OK I admit this is personal, I love natural materials.)

(image links to product page)

This is not GPIO friendly and the size restricts it from plugging any development boards or expansion boards directly in, but I can easily mod it for sure. 😉

RasPiComm v3

Nicely done, now take my money. 😛

Daniel Amesberger

I want to give you a short update about the RasPiComm progress. You’ll find the schematics of v3 below.

I reworked the whole board and rerouted it all. I tried to implement as much feature requests as I could while preserving the footprint.

I also decided to start working on a RasPiComm Plus board. It will be bigger and better! But it will not play in the same league pricewise.

But first things first, here are the changes I made:

  • Moved the backup battery out of the way. Now it does not collide with the DSI (S2) plug on the Raspberry Pi.
  • 5V tolerant inputs
  • pluggable terminals for power, RS232 and RS485
  • supressor diodes for the outputs. You can now directly connect relays to the outputs
  • output is now a pinheader. The RasPiComm focus is on serial communication. Sacrifice I had to made to get the pluggable terminal headers in.

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Good News! The all-in-one RasPiComm is getting closer

Daniel Amesberger

Thank you for all the views and responses on my original RasPiComm blogpost!

Here I want to explain the RasPiComm hardware. The software part will follow next week.
At the end of the post you will find the schematics of the RasPiComm version 1 and version 2.

If you are not interested in the RasPiComm hardware, take a look at the original RasPiComm blogpost!

Now, let’s start!

Version 1 vs. Version 2

As I mentioned in the first blogpost about the RasPiComm, I did two versions of the board. The first version had either one serial port OR an RS-232 port. I used the /dev/ttyAMA0 (TX on GPIO header pin 8 and RX on pin 10. You could either solder the MAX3232 for RS-232 or the MAX3483 for the RS-485 port. But there was another disadvantage: I used the GPIO1 (pin 12 on the GPIO header) for switching between…

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Swarm Intelligence

Have you played Mass Effect? Did you heard of the synthetic spices? They are made up of exactly the swarm intelligence, or more formally, the collective intelligence.

I guess the current A.I. approach is not a good way to start off, if we ever targets a real comprehensive intelligence that is survivable on its own.

Manage By Walking Around

What do the Southwest Airlines boarding process and the video game Halo have in common?

They both rely on swarm intelligence to improve their experience.

Swarm intelligence describes the behavior of a population of simple agents whose aggregate behavior exhibits intelligence unknown to the individual agents.  Groups exhibiting swarm intelligence have no central leader but rather members interact with each other based solely on information they have locally. Examples in nature include ant colonies, flocks of birds, schools of fish, and bacterial growth.

Stanford Professor Deborah Gordon explains in an entertaining news segment on what we can learn from ants:

Ants are not smart. But colonies are smart. So what’s amazing about ants is that in the aggregate, all of these inept creatures accomplish amazing feats as colonies.

In an ant colony, there’s nobody in charge. There are no managers. There is nobody telling anybody what to do. The queen…

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Adafruit makes it’s own distro for the Raspberry Pi

For those who is still picking their distro for their RPi, this is the first choice for engineering and GPIO friendly!


Many of you have still not yet received your Raspberry Pi. When you do, you’ll find that there is work to be done in the operating system to get things working as you might want them to.  The wonderful folks over at Adafruit have tackled this by releasing their own distribution of Linux for the Raspberry Pi.

Based on the shipped distribution “Wheezy”, Adafruit’s distribution “Occidentalis v0.1. Rubus occidentalis” or “the Black Raspberry” now includes the following:


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Heating be a problem to longevity?

Yesterday I came across a blog post mentioning both normal working temperature and the one under stress test. After some search I found that almost everyone is trying to add some kind of cooling solutions on their own RPi, this further proved me right in buying those coppers.

I also did some Googling over the materials of heat sinks, why Copper and why Aluminium?
( space reserved for the explanation and some citations )

RPi with copper heat sinks