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BRX1000: autonomous RPi solar computer with MoPower for energy management

The small, lightweight, inexpensive and energy efficient Raspberry Pi is a great base for autonomous solar devices. In this tutorial, you’ll learn to build the simple solar computer BRX1000 with a Raspberry Pi, the official touch screen, a MoPower for energy management and an affordable solar setup. This allows for instance setting up an autonomous gaming station with RetroPie. Continue Reading

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Color mixer: control a RGB-LED-strip with the Raspberry Pi and the N-Channel-MOSFET IRLB8721

LED strip

RGB LED strips are cheaply available these days, e.g. 5 meters strip for around 13€ on Amazon. Together with a Raspberry Pi and a few more components you can light your home or car individually in amazing ambient colors. This tutorial shows how to build a LED color mixer. The circuit and code where tested on a Raspberry Pi 3, but it should work on all models without changes. Continue Reading

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Python Argparse massively simplifies parsing complex command line parameters

As the complexity of programs increases, the configuration effort for the user increases as well. Large programs often use configuration files, some with a graphical interface. But for many programs, well-defined command line arguments are sufficient. Since the import of parameters for complex programs is a hassle and bug-prone, the powerful Python module Argparse helps with this task. Continue Reading

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RPi-Band: DrumHAT and PianoHAT simultaneously on a single Raspberry Pi

RPi-Band - Piano HAT

Two of the greatest Raspberry Pi hardware attachments (HATs) are the Piano HAT and the Drum HAT, both available on Pimoroni.com. The software coming with the HATs is close to plug&play and works fine, but only for one HAT at a time. The software presented in this post, RPi-Band, allows using both the Piano HAT and the Drum HAT simultaneously on a single Raspberry Pi. Continue Reading

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A Primer on Debugging and Developing with the IPython IDE and IPDB

IPython IDE

The IPython IDE is an interactive development and debugging tool and a great help in Python software development. It’s also the core of the wonderful Jupyter IDE. Debugging short pieces of code can be done by printing variables, calling functions with edge parameters and so on. If the code grows, a more efficient approach is necessary. Continue Reading