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Les Pounder

Les Pounder loves hacking and tinkering with Arduino, Raspberry Pi and new technologies. He passes on his skills and discoveries to Electromaker readers via tutorials and reviews.

Launch applications using an RFID card reader and Raspberry Pi

Launch applications using an RFID card reader and Raspberry Pi

The humble keyboard and mouse are traditional forms of input that are used to control computers. But for those of us too young, or those requiring a computer to be adapted for their needs, these traditional interfaces are not suitable and we need to adapt how we offer an interface for the user.
Coding the BBC micro:bit with Edublocks

Coding the BBC micro:bit with Edublocks

The BBC micro:bit is not short of programming languages. We can use blocks, Javascript, Micro Python and the legacy TouchDevelop, CodeKingdoms and Microsoft Blocks.
Make An Animated Conference Badge With Inkyphat

Make An Animated Conference Badge With Inkyphat

Conferences happen across the world and for many different reasons, but one thing that is common between every conference is the conference badge. From simple sticky labels and makers, to elaborate electronic badges, the conference badge is there to help everyone learn who everyone else is!
Introducing Ardublockly for Arduino

Introducing Ardublockly for Arduino

The humble Arduino has powered many projects across the globe. Created in the early 2000s, the Arduino’s goal was to provide a cheap development platform for artists to experiment with electronics. For many years the Arduino set the bar for others to beat, and it wasn’t until the rise of the Raspberry Pi in 2012 that we saw competition that would offer an alternative experience for those new to code.
What is the TS100 Soldering Iron?

What is the TS100 Soldering Iron?

Soldering is a deeply ritualised activity. Choosing the correct temperature, heating the iron, what solder do you use, lead or lead-free?
Using alternative software to control the laser cutter (Scorchworks Whisperer)

Using alternative software to control the laser cutter (Scorchworks Whisperer)

In the final part of this series we finally start cutting things with the K40 laser cutter! We will transfer our designs created in Inkscape to an application called K40 Whisperer from Scorchworks. Now you might be thinking “But the K40 comes with its own software, can I just use that?” Well, yes you can, but I’ve found that K40 Whisperer is a lot easier to use, and it even runs on Linux devices. This is incredibly handy for my Makerspace as we are using an old Lenovo X61 laptop running Linux Mint to run the laser cutter.

Using Inkscape to design and create projects ready for the K40 [Part 2]

In this part of the K40 laser cutter series we shall learn how to create graphics ready for cutting on the K40 using a free vector image editor and when it comes to editing vector images, the industry standard is Adobe Illustrator, but that comes at a great cost.
What is the K40 laser cutter and how can I set one up? [Part 1]

What is the K40 laser cutter and how can I set one up? [Part 1]

At Makerspaces / Hackspaces I have noticed one thing, “people come for the 3D printers, but stay for the laser cutters” and why is that? Well, dear reader, it is because they are quick and relatively easy to use.
Creating digital signage using Screenly and Raspberry Pi

Creating digital signage using Screenly and Raspberry Pi

Digital signage is everywhere. From your local school to Leicester Square, London there are adverts and information radiating to onlookers. How can we make our digital signage for an event? Well using any model of Raspberry Pi a spare monitor, Internet connection and most importantly software called Screenly we can make our very own digital signage system.
What is the Onion Omega 2+ and what can I do with it?

What is the Onion Omega 2+ and what can I do with it?

It seems that single board computers need fruit/vegetable based names, and an enigmatic word usually helps (Pi, Omega, Nano) too!
Using Mongoose OS on your ESP8266

Using Mongoose OS on your ESP8266

The ESP8266 enjoyed great fanfare a few years ago. It was a cheap WiFi-enabled device that offered low power consumption, small size and a few GPIO pins.
An introduction to Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT)

An introduction to Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT)

The Internet of Things (IoT), those words will either fill you with hope or leave you in fear! But the IoT is here and many devices now communicate their information using a myriad of protocols.
Introduction to the ATtiny85

Introduction to the ATtiny85

The ATtiny85 is a microcontroller in a similar vein to the Arduino, but with much less IO pins, smaller memory and a smaller form factor.
ASUS Tinkerboard - What can you do with it?

ASUS Tinkerboard - What can you do with it?

In the UK the ASUS Tinkerboard had a somewhat chaotic first month of release. Launching in late February 2017 the Tinkerboard is ASUS’ answer to the dominance of the Raspberry Pi in the Single Board Computer (SBC) market. Boasting more RAM, a faster processor and Gigabit Ethernet, the ASUS Tinkerboard is an overpowered SBC that matched the Raspberry Pi form factor and came with its own version of the GPIO (General Purpose Input Output).
What makes CHIP different to the Pi Zero W?

What makes CHIP different to the Pi Zero W?

CHIP is something a little different to the Raspberry Pi Zero, in fact, it was announced before the Pi Zero, via a crowdfunding campaign.
Getting started with the micro:bit and MicroPython

Getting started with the micro:bit and MicroPython

In this tutorial, we take our first steps with MicroPython on the micro:bit by creating a simple dice that uses random number generation triggered by gesture control, all in 9 lines of code!
Using a Doppler radar sensor with the Raspberry Pi

Using a Doppler radar sensor with the Raspberry Pi

There are many sensors on the market for the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and other single board computers/microcontrollers. But the RCWL-0516 is something new and exciting in that it offers the simplicity of a PIR sensor but with a greater range and ability to detect through objects, yet it still only retails for a few dollars from China.
Sending sensor data to Twitter using Node-RED

Sending sensor data to Twitter using Node-RED

In this tutorial, we shall use a cheap common sensor, the DS18B20 a waterproof and accurate sensor that can be bought for less than $5 online.