RasPiO Analog Zero – Read 8 Sensors At Once On Raspberry Pi

We’re into the final hours of this campaign now. After it’s finished, you can find all information and resources at…

title: RasPiO Analog Zero - Read 8 Sensors At Once On Raspberry Pi

RasPiO Analog Zero is a Pi Zero-sized board you can use with GPIO Zero to…

  • read up to 8 analog inputs at once
  • make a weather station
  • make a digital thermometer
  • make a voltmeter
  • use potentiometer dials for control and display
  • read analog sensors or voltages
  • make your own embedded device with minimal footprint

RasPiO Analog Zero - Read 8 Sensors At Once On Raspberry P

Fits Any Raspberry Pi

It fits straight onto any 40-pin Raspberry Pi. You can even use it with an adaptor on the older 26-pin Pis, but it’s a perfect match for the Pi Zero.

RasPiO Analog Zero - Read 8 Sensors At Once On Raspberrypi

Easy To Code With GPIO Zero

Ben Nuttall and Dave Jones have done a tremendous job with GPIO Zero, making it easy to do useful things in very few lines of code.

RasPiO Analog Zero - Read 8 Sensors At Once On Raspberrypi

In just four lines of code you can read and display the voltage on one of the analog inputs.

Proto Area & GPIO Breakouts

It has a 54-point prototyping area – with plenty of power and ground connections – where you can put additional components.

The GPIO ports are also accessible via clearly labelled through-holes.

You can also set the Analog reference voltage at 3V3 or anything below it – which can give you more precision.

RasPiO Analog Zero - Read 8 Sensors At Once

Clear, Easy-to-follow Instructions

As usual with RasPiO products, there will be some very clear and easy-to-follow instructions to get you started and show you how to use it. The better this campaign does, the easier it is to justify spending more time on these to make them really outstanding.

Nothing To Install

GPIO Zero is now a part of the standard Raspbian distribution, so you won’t even have to install any software to get RasPiO Analog Zero working. This board also works with other GPIO libraries e.g. RPi.GPIO

(The i2c LCDs in the weather station rewards will need some very simple configuration/installation and two Python files to make them work.)

10-bit Upgradable to 12-bit

RasPiO Analog ships with a 10-bit analog to digital converter (MCP3008). This is pin-compatible with the 12-bit MCP3208, which is also supported in GPIO Zero. So if you really need those extra 2 bits of precision, you could swap out the chip. (MCP3008 gives 1024 steps, MCP3208 gives 4096 steps.) The MCP3008 will be fine for most people’s needs.

Rewards

RasPiO Analog Zero - Read 8 Sensors At Once

Weather Station / Thermometer / Voltmeter kits

One of my early Pi projects, that I really enjoyed building, was my weather station. It uses an MCP3008 to read two temperature sensors, two light sensors and shows the results on a character LCD. The idea is that you can place the sensors in two locations (e.g. indoors & outdoors) and compare temperature and light levels.

I’ve made up two weather station bundles. Both include a RasPiO Analog Zero and…

  • 2 TMP36 analog temperature sensors
  • 2 light sensors (LDR)
  • 20 male to female jumper wires
  • an LCD character display

The difference between them is the LCD size. The 16×2 Weather Station/Voltmeter/Digital Thermometer  kit has a 16×2 character display (32 characters). The 20×4 Weather Station/Voltmeter/Digital Thermometer kit has a 20×4 display (80 characters). You can fit a lot of information on these. I like to add a clock with the date on when using the larger LCDs.

RasPiO Analog Zero - Read 8 Sensor At Once

You don’t have to use it as a weather station though. You can also use it as a digital thermometer. Put your sensor on a long wire and see what the temperature really is inside the refrigerator or freezer. You could do the same with a light sensor to see if the fridge light really switches off when you shut the door.

With RasPiO Analog Zero you can measure any voltage up to 3.3V directly, but if you want to measure higher voltages you can easily bring the input voltage down within 3.3V using a pair of resistors (as explained here).

Analog Experimenter’s Kit

I’ve also put together a kit of parts which enable you to tinker with GPIO Zero using your RasPiO Analog Zero board…

It includes:

  • RasPiO Analog Zero
  • 20 male to male jumper leads
  • 20 male to female jumper leads
  • 2 x TMP36 Analog temperature sensors
  • 10k potentiometer
  • piezo buzzer
  • 5 coloured 10mm LEDs
  • 1-channel relay
  • motion sensor (PIR)
  • 40-way pin header
  • large tactile button switch
  • 10k resistor (for pull-up)

So there’s a lot of fun to be had experimenting and exploring the facets of GPIO Zero in combination with analog.

Tweets From Early-Access Testers

RasPiO Analog Zero - Read 8 Sensors At Once On Raspberry Pi vRasPiO Analog Zero - Read 8 Sensors At Once On Raspberry Pi v

Mike also blogged a review of it here

Some Easy Soldering Will Be Needed 

RasPiO Analog Zero is a kit which will require some soldering to assemble.

RasPiO Analog Zero - Read 8 Sensors At Once On Raspberry Pi v

Stretch Goals

Unlocked 25/May/2016 If we hit £10k I’ll include a light dependent resistor and 10k resistor with each RasPiO Analog Zero.

Unlocked 30/May/2016 If we hit £15k I’ll include three 4-way female headers with each RasPiO Analog Zero. You can use these with power, ground, GPIO or prototyping holes.

Stretch Goals  Unlocked 25/May/2016 If we hit £10k I'll include a light dependent resistor and 10k resistor with each RasPiO Analog Zero.  Unlocked 30/May/2016 If we hit £15k I'll include three 4-way female headers with each RasPiO Analog Zero. You can use these with power, ground, GPIO or prototyping holes.

Projected Timings

These timings are a best guess at the time of putting the campaign together…

Projected Timings  These timings are a best guess at the time of putting the campaign together...

Projected Timings

These timings are a best guess at the time of putting the campaign together…

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