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Python module for MCP23S17 for use with the Raspberry Pi

Some time ago I revised the hardware design of the ControlBlock and added test points for all major signals. The overall aim was to build a device for doing final system tests that are done before any single ControlBlock leaves for shipping. These system tests are written in Python. This post is about a Python module for the MCP23S17 to …

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MEAN adventures continued: An UML Online Editor for PlantUML

Some weeks ago I wrote about my recent journeys into the world of web application development and the MEAN stack. While writing that blog post I realized that I would like to insert a certain UML diagram. So I first started to draw an UML diagram for a better explanation of the use cases that my learning project should implement. …

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Getting to know the MEAN stack with a LaTex Web Application

Some time ago I had the idea for a web application related to another popular project. I quickly realized that my knowledge about web application architectures and designs was quite archaic. To learn the basics of modern web application programming I decided to implement an online assistant for writing letters based on the word-processor LaTex. It can be found at …

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PowerBlock: A Power Switch for the Raspberry Pi

The PowerBlock is an add-on board for the Raspberry Pi (version 1, 2, and 3) models A+ and B+. It provides a microcontroller-based power-switch functionality. This article describes the PowerBlock itself, as well as how to connect a power switch and how to install the driver.

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ControlBlock: Power Switch, Game Controllers, and I/O for the Raspberry Pi

First: What is a simple solution for turning the Raspberry Pi on and off with a power switch in a smarter way than cutting the power supply and risk data loss? Second: What is a simple way for connecting arbitrary arcade controllers to the RPi? In the following we present the ControlBlock, a Raspberry Pi (TM) Add-On that solves both problems.

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Review: T962A Reflow Oven Controller Upgrade Package

A while ago I posted a review about the reflow-flow oven T-962A. As written in that post the T-962A has certain flaws: The heat is generated by IR heaters that do not distribute the heat evenly within the oven. This made the results of the soldering processes unreliable. Also, the responsiveness of the user-interface is not that good: Tuning the reflow …

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A Glance at the Cubox-i4

Recently, I got a grip to a Cubox-i4Pro. It is a mini computer with low power demand and quite a few interfaces that can be useful for all kinds of things. Also, it has enough computing power to be interesting for a wide variety of applications. In contrast to other development boards like the Raspberry Pi, the Cuboxi comes in …

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Xarcade2Jstick – Map your Xarcade Tankstick to Game Pads and use it with RetroPie

The Xarcade Tankstick is a nicely designed and very robustly constructed arcade game controller. It offers buttons and joysticks for two players together with start and coin buttons, an arcade trackball, and dedicated pinball buttons. Being asked, if RetroPie could have in-built support for the Xarcade Tankstick I started to dig into this controller which, in the end, lead to …

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Reflow Oven T-962A – A Review

If you are tinkering, doing electronics, and/or soldering you might already have had contact with surface-mounted devices or, in short, “SMDs”. Of course, soldering some of these tiny parts by hand is possible. But there are really tiny SMD parts as well as packages that cannot be soldered by hand. In that situation, you can think about getting a reflow …

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