Toys from Farnell

I came to the hackspace tonight with the intention of exploring the toys that Farnell have sent us to investigate and taking photos of same. Where better to do it than outside?


So, what have they sent us:

  • A Raspberry Pi Model B, complete with 8GB SD card and 1A power supply.
  • A Gertdunio (an Ardunio-like board which sits on top of a Raspberry Pi and can operate connected or independently.


  • An AVR XMEGA-A3BU Xplained Evaluation Kit
  • An ATAVRSBPR1 ‘Pressure One’ ‘Sensors Explained’ evaluation kit (seems to fit on the XMega board)


  • An Freescale Xtrinsic Sensors evaluation kit


  • 2 x solderless breadboards

All in all a good hoard. While I’ve got some ideas of what to do with them I don’t want all the fun, so would love to hear what others members might like to play with.


Time to go read up on the documentation! After it got chilly and I went inside, I managed to get some of the kit lighting up relatively easily:

The Freescale Xtrinsic Sensors evaluation kit seemed to be ready-loaded with USB serial port temperature and altitude (?) reporting code. Well certainly temperature, it went up when I stuck my fat finger on the sensor:

IMG_6599s IMG_6600s

The AVR XMEGA-A3BU Xplained Evaluation Kit has quite a cute display by default when you power it up. Took me a while to realise that the Back ‘button’ was actually a capacitive touch sensor and not just missing:

IMG_6611s IMG_6612s IMG_6613s

Dismantling LiPos

Against my better judgement I took apart some old LiPo batteries so that I could use the single cells for some mesh networking.

After a bit of careful solder-suckering I’ve now got three individual 3.7V cells with tabs poking out.

Laser-cut RPi case

It’s a bit de rigeur, but after finishing some etching last meeting, and with a bit of time left, we cut an RPi case in 3mm acrylic.  The design is from Adafruit, and has the nice feature of snapping together, with no bolts, screws, or glue required!

Aside from one miss where one letter from one label was cut instead of etched, it came out quite well.  This was I think £3 of material and £2 of cutting time on the laser.