As promised this week we introduced the club to the Raspberry Pi official 7″ touchscreen and it soon made it to the top of our Christmas list. Over the next few weeks we will be using a couple of them alongside our normal monitor setups so we can see how versatile they are for classroom use. So far we like what we see. Of course the selling point to us is how quick and easy they are to move around from class to class and how little space you need for storage. The touchscreen is great for little fingers but certain things seemed harder to touch with bigger fingers. We have powered them a few different ways to suit what we needed. If we simply wanted to go on Minecraft we powered with one mains adaptor and 2 jumper leads to the screen, we then had great fun using a wireless remote keyboard. We also liked using the option of a micro usb to usb to power the screen, this way all the GPIO pins were available, however if we wanted to use a HAT this option did not give us enough power. Instead we used a separate supply to the Pi and another to the screen. We then used a Black Hat Hack3r from Pimoroni to break out the GPIO pins and attach a hat to.
Whilst some of us were having fun playing with our new toy others were hard at work doing some serious coding. We continued to look at the Unicorn Hat and introduced the meaning of RGB and HSV – who knew so much work went into making rainbows. We started to follow a Python code and each step of the way stopped to look at what we had written and what it meant, after all we need to understand what we are asking the program to run. At times it felt a little like a maths lesson but a fun one. Even with our new extended club time we ran out of time and had more than a couple of errors to debug, so for now we will sleep on it and continue to debug our code next week.
Autumn Term 2015 Session 3