04/14/2020 at 09:29 •
Although I discontinued this specific project as such, the plan to have a decent, portable development platform is still there.
Having recently picking up the Totem Mini Lab for a review the platform has reignited the spark to come up with something including a Pi.
I am going to build a similar lab-style frame and include a Pi, touchscreen, Arduino Mega and a few other things to use for development.
I will document my progress here where I can.
12/07/2016 at 13:08 •
I will no longer be working on this project as such.
I'm really happy with how this ended up; It worked a treat for the core functions of what I needed it to do in terms of a platform I could prototype ideas on.
It still had a long way to go to refine features and also tidy cable management and take it to a level where it looked and functioned like I wanted.
I have recently bought one of the official Pi Touchscreens, along with a Raspberry Pi 3. I am aiming to turn this into the programming platform I've needed for so long :-)
As far as doing this I want to design an enclosure for my Arduino Mega with a the lcd shield attached. This case will feature a tiny breadboard and expose the analog and end digital pins on the Mega.
The combination of the breadboard and available pins will give me a great prototyping 'extension' to my touchscreen setup, and the inclusion of the LDC shield with buttons will allow plenty of options for communicating with the Pi via the serial connection. In future I may expand this to include either an EPS8266 module or a bluetooth module to provide further communication options.
Once I've given this more though I'll most likely start a new project.
09/25/2016 at 01:06 •
Hopefully in the next week or so I will have some more information to share on this project.
The screen is in, the boards are mounted... Just need to iron out a few little issues and it will be working!
07/20/2016 at 21:52 •
Today is a good day!
I revisited my dodgy power module and this project as I wasn't satisfied the moduse was the problem. Sure enough, it was working fine.
I checked out the driver board for my lcd screen and metered out some of the tracks. I found a few traces that wevent up to scratch, plus a burnt out component. Bypassing the traces withe a bit of wire and replacing the burns parts and voila - it works!
I just need an extremely short HDMI cable and this little fella is usable!
04/12/2016 at 15:00 •
Now that I have found a bit of momentum I am keen to keep it going, so I am just doing a quick post to cover a little progress.
Needing 12v for the screen and 5v for the Pi and arduino and any other devices I may connect in future, I have always wondered the best way to power everything from one input; is it best to pump 12v in and step down for the 5v devices or vice versa?
Anyhow I was digging through my bits and bobs and I found something ideal for this (see picture below). A variable power module.
I ordered two of these little beasties from Ebay many moons ago. They were cheap; and it turns out thy were cheap because they were in kit form. Lacking confidence in soldering so many parts in (read: lazy) I ended up not using them. They've come in handy now!
The boards themselves have a barrel jack or screw terminals for 12v in, and then has a series of screw terminals on board; a set for 12v out, a set for 5v out, and one set for a variable voltage, adjustable onboard using a tiny flathead screwdriver.
Picture (from a new angle for @Stefan Lochbrunner's enjoyment :-) ):
The above picture shows The Pi (Just a B+ for now) on the lower level, and the screen driver on the top deck, and to the right of it, my power module.
Over the next few days I will hopefully get this wired together, but first i need to get the screw holes and tabs adjusted so the case all fits together nicely, then create a frame/bezel for the screen to make it fit the hole better, and adjust the holes to the side of the screen so the screen driver buttons can be accessed.
04/07/2016 at 01:30 •
After a period away from projects I am finally winning my battle to create time to work on them again. Not a lot of time, but a little is better than none at all!
After a long, protracted affair I finally managed to get Jinx's splendid 3D Google Sketchup files converted to 2D Illustrator files, and get it laser cut in trusty 6mm MDF.
Converting the files using some free software ended up being the solution, but it has come at a small cost; some of the screw holes don't align, one of the tabs on the back panel does not fit, and the screen hole is too bloody big.
Not to worry though; screw holes can be drilled and tabs can be filed. I have also retained the piece of MDF from the screen hole, so I will create a nice little frame from it to fill the space and make the screen fit!
11/28/2015 at 01:20 •
This project has hit a snag, and I'm hoping someone can help.
The workstation is all designed, and s ready to be lasercut - problem is, it is designed as a 3D model in Google Sketchup but to get it cut need it to be transferred into an Adobe illustrator template.
While I have al the files (Sketchup file, the stls of the parts and the Illustrator template) I do not have access to either piece of software at the moment.
Could anyone help me out?
11/06/2015 at 01:55 •
Gteat news - I am very close to having my enclosure cut ready for assembly!
Jinx has sent me the stl files and also the Google Sketchup file for his wonderful 3D enclosure, and have also managed to strike a deal with a department at work with a Laser cutter to cut my enclosure for free provided i supply materials (i have also sourced some free 6mm MDF, heh heh).
Unfortunately they use Adobe Illustrator with their machines, so my files were completely useless to them. Luckily I have found a colleague who has kindly offered his services to take my stl files and populate the Illustrator template.
Provided everytjing goes to plan I may well be ready to assemble this project very, very soon!
I honestly cant wait to get this thing up and running; once I have this to write and test code on I will be able to progress with many of my other Pi-based projects!
10/26/2015 at 13:47 •
Just had an update from Jinx, the chap helping me design my case:
I'm loving the new, smaller streamlined version!
09/24/2015 at 17:07 •
Just a quick update for you wonderful lot :-)
A friend of mine has offered to assist with the 3D design work for my enclosure, and my gawd - he works fast.
A few of the key points have been refined while we have been discussing it:
To save space and increase productivity I am going to purchase a prototyping shield for my Mega - something like this:
This shield will have space for two small breadboards on top and remove the need to have an extra breadboard.
Enclosure Shape: Altered
Less wedge-like to give a better viewing angle
Interchangeable Prototyping Panels
Just above the Arduino's slot are 4 small spaces. These slots are going to allow interchangable panels to be designed and swapped out as necessary. Potentiometers, switches, buttons, ICs, resistor ladders etc can all be put into a panel for ease of prototyping.
These panels will have their connections broken out to female headers on the front of the board to allow easy connection with male-male jumpers with the rest of the station.
I will also design my phone holder attachment to fit into two of these 4 panel spaces.
The design is taking shape - wahey!