Prototyping accessories for the Raspberry Pi

November 05, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Distributor element14 has launched the Microstack range, a series of accessories for the Raspberry Pi that will make it quicker and simpler for all levels of user to create and prototype physical devices; the first Microstack products are GPS positioning, accelerometer and prototyping modules.

Microstack modules are positioned as the “building blocks for The Internet of Things for All”. Microstack was created by the designers of the original PiFace Digital and PiFace Control & Display accessories for the Raspberry Pi and the recent PiFace revisions for the Raspberry Pi model B+. Microstack builds on PiFace, offering many more connected-device possibilities.

Microstack is a family of compact, reusable, stacking accessory boards with a common form factor, software and interface connections, built on a platform specific base board (adapter board) for the Raspberry Pi.

The Microstack GPS module provides easy plug and play solution for designs requiring GPS positioning to create geo-location aware projects. The module features standalone data logging and also brings globally synchronised, highly accurate time keeping to the Raspberry Pi. It includes an ultra slim Patch on Top (POT) module with an embedded 15 x 15 mm patch antenna with external socket as one of the most advanced and complete GPS modules to get started with.

The Microstack Accelerometer module provides plug and play integration and development for designs requiring accelerometer such as robotics, tilt sensors, gaming, tracking and motion. It is based around a MMA8491Q, a low power, 3-axis low-g accelerometer offering multi-range 14-bit ± 8g resolution.

The Microstack Protoboard module is a prototyping module allowing users to create their own circuit designs to be used with the Microstack form factor.

Microstack modules can also be used in breadboard or integrated into full custom PCBs, providing a solution from prototyping to production. Microstack is aimed at the “maker” sector, as well as providing powerful building blocks cutting development time for established engineers. The supporting software is easy to use, with easy installation, and example solutions demonstrating the power of Microstack written in just five lines of Python.

Element14; www.element14.com