Accessories for the Raspberry Pi; control with PiFace and SHIM

October 03, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Distributor element14 and the team that designed the PiFace have launched a new series of exclusive Raspberry Pi accessories and updated the popular PiFace Digital and Control & Display following the launch of the Raspberry Pi model B+ this July (2014).

The PiFace Digital 2 helps to sense and control real world applications and is a simple and easy way to connect switches, lights, motors and more to the Raspberry Pi allowing it to interface with the world around it. The PiFace Digital 2 includes components such as relays, switches, and digital and analogue I/O that will allow for connection to sensors, motors, lights, etc. and be controlled by the Raspberry Pi board.

Going portable with PiFace Control and Display 2 means there is no need for a monitor, keyboard and mouse. It includes a character display to show information and menus, and control the Raspberry Pi with onboard buttons or with an IR remote control. The PiFace Control and Display 2 is suited for use in XBMC media servers, internet radios or in other Raspberry Pi applications, and improved LCDproc open source software keeps track of system performance.

SHIM RTC is the new accessory (from PiFace) which adds additional functionality without sacrificing Raspberry Pi GPIO. It is achieved with a uniquely designed thin layer PCB and pin through holes, enabling it to sit on top of the Raspberry Pi and has enough space to add additional add-on accessories.

The SHIM RTC (Real Time Clock) means the Pi can keep a track of the current time with accuracy without using up the GPIO header, an easy plug and play integration and development for designs and/or applications requiring time stamps. A back-up battery can also be used to ensure on-going timekeeping operation in power-down situations.

The SHIM Adapter is a Raspberry Pi GPIO extender, making it easy to connect additional add-on accessories, work with breadboards, attach wires or easy access to pin testing all at the same time. With one set of holes placed over the Raspberry Pi headers the other set of holes on the SHIM Adapter can accommodate header pins, wires, etc. to support the user's application while not covering