Thursday, 3 April 2014

Ciseco Pi-LITEr

I think this little LED board has been out a little while, but Pimoroni have it as a new product.
But hey let's not get into a discussion when it came out etc and let's concentrate on what amazing value this is.
This little 8 white LED board by Ciseco costs an amazingly cheap £3! Yep that is a super bargain price. Fantastic value and at a price that is affordable to equip a class with them.
The sort of uses suggested for the Pi-LITEr are I/O status indicator, bar graph, light chaser, activity indicator and lighting effects. If you need all the technical specs about power consumption, dimensions and weight have a read of the pdf linked to at the end of this post.

I was hoping to be really lucky and have it happily sitting on a TriBorg along with an XLoBorg and an LedBorg (as shown in the photo below).

Sadly when I ran one of the LedBorg little test python programs it also started to light up some of the LEDs of the Pi-LITEr. Which means the LedBorg and the Pi-LITEr share a GPIO port or two. So my little dream of having a nice handy TriBorg loaded up with three handy little GPIO add-on boards is still a little pipe dream. In this case it either has to have the LedBorg on or the Pi-LITEr. 
Why did I want the setup with three on? Well it would make a nice little plugin that could be used in class by students, that would offer a little bit of variety for the students in what they are interfacing to, but also have minimum setup involved (I'm all about minimum setup, so that teachers/students can use their time productively in the class. Yes I know there is educational value in getting the students to install it etc, but sometimes you just want to plugin and play). 

Using the Pi-LITEr with python doesn't require any installation of any extra libraries etc (assuming that RPi.GPIO is already installed - which I think it is by default in Raspbian). It can be controlled using RPi.GPIO (pins used in the pdf linked to below) or if you are a WiringPi fan that too. I'd imagine that ScratchGPIO might be able to use it too (but I'm not a Scratch person).

You can get the Pi-LITEr from Pimoroni HERE
You can read the technical docs (as a pdf) for the Pi-LITEr for the HERE

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