Raspberry Pi Roundup - a fantastic Pi tablet, a new pi-top product and SenseHAT worksheets
Stefan Vorkoetter, a hobbyist who messes about with all kinds of electronics and geeky stuff, from remote controlled airplanes to vintage sliderules, wanted a tablet that wasn’t constrained software-wise like many Android tablets seem to be. He was introduced to the Raspberry Pi and decided that it would make an excellent tablet device. He paired the Pi with the official touch screen and then added other components such as an Adafruit Powerboost 1000C, a 6200mAh LiPo battery, a real-time clock, the guts of a USB audio adapter and an amplifier board. He fashioned an absolutely gorgeous case for it out of wood and what I think is perspex and fit all the components carefully inside. He estimates between 4-12 hours of battery life, depending on usage and the whole thing comes in at 484g (just over 17oz). A truly wonderful tablet build which you can read more about, and see loads of build pictures, here.
pi-top have just announced the launch of the pi-topPULSE. This innovative add-on board (HAT-compatible) for the Raspberry Pi sports the following features:
- 7×7 RGB LED matrix array
2-watt 4Ω speaker which is powered through an I2S amplifier
- Microphone (200Hz to 11KHz response with automatic gain control)
Cloud-based voice service integration with Amazon Alexa (Pi 3 only)
- Comes with magnetic fixings and pin-connector for use inside a pi-top or pi-topCEED.
- Includes magnetic stand-offs for use as a regular HAT on top of the Pi.
There are plenty of example programs and demos to download and for pi-topOS users, there are lesson plans included for you to use.
The board is completely compatible with all 40-pin Raspberry Pis and has the necessary bits and pieces to work with the pi-top ecosystem.
In order to carry out some recent school-based workshops, we needed some SenseHAT resources and so we turned to the Raspberry Pi Foundation website’s Resources section. There are several resources on there, however… they are not suitable for printing as they have the Trinket SenseHAT emulator embedded in the pages. Fortunately for us, they store everything on GitHub and so I was able to go there and download the resources I wanted in a more ‘raw’ format. A little editing in Microsoft Word and I (eventually) had printable versions without any Trinket detritus.
Here are the resources in PDF format:
- Random Sparkles (this is the one we started the kids on)
- Make a Digital 8-ball (this was the ‘stretch activity’)
- Marble Maze (one pair got onto this one). You’ll also need the paper grid to draw out your ‘course’.
- Weather Station (ditto)
I hope these come in useful for somebody – they took a great deal of work to get them ship-shape for printing!
The Pi Hut is currently out of SenseHATs, but you can sign up to be notified when they're back in stock.