Tag Archives: News

Ten millionth Raspberry Pi, and a new kit

via Raspberry Pi

When we started Raspberry Pi, we had a simple goal: to increase the number of people applying to study Computer Science at Cambridge. By putting cheap, programmable computers in the hands of the right young people, we hoped that we might revive some of the sense of excitement about computing that we had back in the 1980s with our Sinclair Spectrums, BBC Micros and Commodore 64s.

At the time, we thought our lifetime volumes might amount to ten thousand units – if we were lucky. There was was no expectation that adults would use Raspberry Pi, no expectation of commercial success, and certainly no expectation that four years later we would be manufacturing tens of thousands of units a day in the UK, and exporting Raspberry Pi all over the world.

Less than ten million Raspberry Pis

The first two thousand Raspberry Pis. Each Pi in this pallet now has 5000 siblings.

With this in mind, you can imagine how strange it feels to be able to announce that over the last four and a half years we’ve sold a grand total of ten million Raspberry Pis. Thanks to you, we’ve beaten our wildest dreams by three orders of magnitude, and we’re only just getting started. Every time you buy a Raspberry Pi, you help fund both our ongoing engineering work, and our educational outreach programs, including Code Club and Picademy.

Very early on, we decided that we would offer the bare-bones Raspberry Pi board without accessories: that way, cost-conscious customers get the lowest possible price, provided they can beg or borrow USB peripherals, a power supply and an SD card. Over the years, Raspberry Pi distributors have built on this, producing some fantastic bundles for people who would rather get everything they need from a single source.

To celebrate the ten millionth Raspberry Pi, for the first time we’ve put together our own idea of what the perfect bundle would look like, creating the official Raspberry Pi Starter Kit.

The starter kit, unboxed and ready to go

The starter kit, unboxed and ready to go

Inside the minimalist white box (like the official case, another beautiful Kinneir Dufort design), you’ll find:

  • A Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
  • An 8GB NOOBS SD card
  • An official case
  • An official 2.5A multi-region power supply
  • An official 1m HDMI cable
  • An optical mouse and a keyboard with high-quality scissor-switch action
  • A copy of Adventures in Raspberry Pi Foundation Edition

This is an unashamedly premium product: the latest Raspberry Pi, official accessories, the best USB peripherals we could find, and a copy of the highest-rated Raspberry Pi book. The kit is available to order online in the UK from our partners element14 and RS Components, priced at £99+VAT, and will be coming to the rest of the world, and to your favourite reseller, over the next few weeks.

The post Ten millionth Raspberry Pi, and a new kit appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

HardwareX Is A Scientific Journal For Open Hardware

via hardware – Hackaday

Disruption is a basic tenet of the Open Hardware movement. How can my innovative use of technology disrupt your dinosaur of an establishment to make something better? Whether it’s an open-source project chipping away at a monopoly or a commercial start-up upsetting an industry with a precarious business model based on past realities, we’ve become used to upstarts taking the limelight.

As an observer it’s interesting to see how the establishment they are challenging reacts to the upstart. Sometimes the fragility of the challenged model is such that they collapse, other times they turn to the courts and go after the competitor or even worse, the customers, in an effort to stave off the inevitable. Just occasionally though they embrace the challengers and try to capture some of what makes them special, and it is one of these cases that is today’s subject.

A famously closed monopoly is the world of academic journals. A long-established industry with a very lucrative business model hatched in the days when its product was exclusively paper-based, this industry has come under some pressure in recent years from the unfettered publishing potential of the Internet, demands for open access to public-funded research, and the increasing influence of the open-source world in science.

Elsevier, one of the larger academic publishers, has responded to this last facet with HardwareX, a publication which describes itself as “an open access journal established to promote free and open source designing, building and customizing of scientific infrastructure“. In short: a lot of hardware built for scientific research is now being created under open-source models, and this is their response.

Some readers might respond to this with suspicion, after all the open-source world has seen enough attempts by big business to embrace its work and extend it into the proprietary, but the reality is that this is an interesting opportunity for all sides. The open access and requirement for all submissions to be covered under an open hardware licence mean that it would be impossible for this journal to retreat behind any paywalls. In addition the fact of it being published in a reputable academic journal will bring open-source scientific hardware to a new prominence as it is cited in papers appearing in other journals. Finally the existence of such a journal will encourage the adoption of open-source hardware in the world of science, as projects are released under open-source licences to fulfill the requirements for submission.

So have the publishing dinosaurs got it right, and is this journal an exciting new opportunity for all concerned? We think it has that potential, and the results won’t be confined to laboratories. Inevitably the world of hackers and makers will benefit from open-source work coming from scientists, and vice versa.

Thanks [Matheus Carvalho] for the tip.

Bookbinding workshop image: By Nasjonalbiblioteket from Norway [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons.

Filed under: hardware, news

Small And Inexpensive MEMS Gravimeter

via hardware – Hackaday

A gravimeter, as the name suggests, measures gravity. These specialized accelerometers can find underground resources and measure volcanic activity. Unfortunately, traditional instruments are relatively large and expensive (nearly 20 pounds and $100,000). Of course, MEMS accelerometers are old hat, but none of them have been stable enough to be called gravimeters. Until now.

In a recent edition of Nature (pdf), researchers at the University of Glasgow have built a MEMS device that has the stability to work as a gravimeter. To demonstrate this, they used it to measure the tides over six days.

The device functions as a relative gravimeter. Essentially a tiny weight hangs from a tiny spring, and the device measures the pull of gravity on the spring. The design of the Glasgow device has a low resonate frequency (2.3 Hz).

Small and inexpensive devices could monitor volcanoes or fly on drones to find tunnels or buried oil and gas (a job currently done by low altitude aircraft). We’ve covered MEMS accelerometers before, although not at this stability level.  We’ve even seen an explanation from the Engineer Guy.

Filed under: hardware, news

Explore relations between nations daily with News Globus

via Arduino Blog

News Globus is an unusual physical interface that piques the curiosity of people and asks them to explore the world by the news putting in relation  places of the world. It was designed by Bjorn Karmann, Charlie Gedeon, Mikio Kiura, Sena Partal wiring 20 regions to a Genuino board inside the sphere. When two regions are connected with the jack, the Genuino selects a country randomly from each region and queries the NY Times API for news containing both locations. A web server then selects a story and converts the headline and byline to a mp3 file which is played either from the headphone jack or the speaker at the  base of the globe:

The shape of the globe is an interesting artifact from the past which was combined with modern technologies and online services. Instead of allowing people to hear the news of one place, the audio jacks bring to mind the metaphor of the phone operator to get people to discover surprising connections between places near and far from each other.

Check the video to see it working:

The project was developed during the Interaction Design Programme at CIID with the help of Massimo Banzi and Dario Buzzini.

Seeed Studio March sale: Bus Pirate, USB Infrared Toy, ATX Breakout

via Dangerous Prototypes

Seeed spring sale

Seeed Studio shares our vision for the open source community. Since the beginning, Seeed has been our partner for project manufacture, sales, and shipping. That free us to concentrate on the fun stuff, but still make projects available to the community.

Seeed kicked off a spring sale on Mar 1st. Each week they’ll have a Flash Deal, with additional discounts during the whole month. If you are itching to pick up one of our projects, this might be the best chance. Seeed is offering these discounts themselves – you get a deal and we still get paid!

ATX Breakout Board Bench Power Supply
Flash Deal $9.5 (31%0ff) 2016/03/01~ 2016/03/07


Recycle an ATX computer power supply into a beefy bench tool that powers your projects. The ATX breakout board routes the -12, 3.3, 5 and 12 volt ATX outputs to screw terminals, each protected by a 1.25 amp resettable polyfuse. These four voltages cover many common electronics needs, there’s even a negative voltage (-12 volts) for op amps and audio projects. Get the deal here!


  • -12, 3.3, 5, 12 volt supplies @ 1.25 amp
  • 1.25 amp polyfuses with reset on each power rail
  • Indicator LEDs show that each rail is working
  • Power good and enabled indicator LEDs
  • On-Off button and control circuit
  • Optional load resistor included but NOT soldered
  • Open source (CC BY-SA)

USB Infrared Toy v2
Flash Deal $16.5 (15%0ff) 2016/03/01~ 2016/03/07


Use a remote control with your computer, view infrared signals on a logic analyzer, capture and replay remote control buttons, and play TV POWER codes. Get the deal here!

  • NEW: 100mA constant current IR transmitter with improved range
  • NEW: Infrared frequency measurement
  • NEW: Pin breakout area
  • Infrared remote control decoder (RC5)
  • Infrared signal logic analyzer
  • Capture and replay infrared signals
  • USB connection, USB bootloader for easy updates
  • Supported in WinLIRC
  • Open source (CC-BY-SA)

Bus Pirate v4
Flash Deal $29 (22%off) from 2016/3/15~2016/3/21

bus pirate

Bus Pirate v4 is a universal bus interface that talks to electronics from a computer serial terminal. Get to know a chip without writing code. Eliminates a ton of early prototyping effort with new or unknown chips. Seeed Studio is the official manufacturer and supporter of the Bus Pirate project. Get the deal here!


  • 256K program space, 4 times more flash than v3
  • Integrated, on-board USB (faster)
  • Data storage EEPROM to store settings
  • Software pull-up voltage selection: 3.3volt, 5volt, or external supply
  • 2 extra I/O pins
  • Multipurpose button

To see all our projects at Seeed, please click here.

Free PCB drawer moves to DEV site

via Dangerous Prototypes


Last week the “Free PCBs” link in the header began forwarding to a new Free PCB Drawer on the DEV site. Coupon codes from the three weekly giveaways can be used for anything in the Free PCB Drawer category with free shipping. Don’t see something you want? Coupons are also good for $1 off anything else in the store: SLA 3D prints, PCBs, component reels, pogo pins, etc.

Free PCBs are now part of an integrated shipment system and ship daily, instead of “occasionally”. Order status will be updated automatically…once the shipping interface is debugged later this week…

Old coupons are not yet working in the new store. Old coupons will be transferred by the end of next week and we’ll update you here.

So long Zencart, and good riddance! Working with Zencart was awful and it won’t be missed.

On a side note apologies for light updates the past week and a half. We’re struggling a bit to put the final touches on the new site. Tomorrow the first Harmony (pronounced Har-man-y) t-shirt will go up in the store. We also have to make a Hong Kong run to use internet stable enough bring up the Eagle/Gerber/3D print rendering cluster. If the cluster looks solid DirtyPCBs.com will be deprecated in a week, and we’ll only do major support for orders placed at the new site.

Next week a post about getting a Chinese driver’s license. The following week it may finally be time to drop the Expressway, we’ll see how it goes.