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A Slice of Pi – Interfacing the Raspberry Pi

Having recently acquired a Raspberry Pi on loan for a few days I decided to try some interfacing. The simple solution would have been to put together a cable and header plug to connect to the I/O pins on the Raspberry Pi. This would need a custom circuit each time I wanted to try something. Another solution is to buy a board that connects to the I/O pins and provides a prototyping area in a similar manner to the Arduino proto-shields. The board chosen is the Slice of Pi from Ciseco plc. This has a number of features that make it a good board to use:

  • It’s cheap!
  • Comes in kit form so you can include as much of it as you want, the minimum being the pcb and 26 way connector
  • Includes connectors for XBee/XRF/RN-XV wifi module.
  • SPI, I2C and GPIO on a pair of 8 way header sockets
  • Pads for 5V, 3.3V, GND, RX and TX

Building the kit is straightforward and is shown in the images below. After building a couple of these I found that if you need the Xbee connectors then its best to put them in first.

The contents of the Slice of Pi kit. Main connector is soldered underneath pcb. Add some headers to the top of the board Add the XBee/XRF header sockets if required Underside view, all soldered. Example showing connector to enable FTDI cable to be used as console cable

That’s all there is to the Slice of Pi from Ciseco plc. While you’re there, check out the XRF radio modules, compatible with Slice of Pi!

More to follow on adding specific hardware.

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