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E-Blocks Raspberry Pi Interface Board w/ Cable US$74.25

E-Blocks Raspberry Pi Interface Board w/ Cable

The Raspberry Pi Interface Board is part of the E-blocks range of circuit boards. The board allows you to connect a Raspberry Pi device into an E-blocks system. The D-type connectors provide a bus system that enables "clean" access to all I/O lines. This allows you to use standard downstream E-blocks with the Raspberry Pi upstream microprocessor architecture. All the standard signals from the Raspberry Pi GPIO bus are brought across onto the adapter board including the 17 general-purpose I/O pins and the voltage supply pins. The adapter board has a barrel connector and screw terminals which can be used to provide power to your Raspberry Pi.

The picture below shows how this interface board connects to a Raspberry Pi, for illustration purposes only. A Raspberry Pi board is not included.

References below refer to this interface board as EB080, which is the part number of the board by itself. We are selling the board with a connection cable, as part number EB380.

E-Blocks Raspberry Pi Interface Board Features

  • Allows you to use E-blocks with a Raspberry Pi
  • Provides two full 8-bit E-blocks ports
  • Example Python macros available (soon)
  • Can be used to provide power to the Raspberry Pi

E-Blocks Raspberry Pi Interface Board Usage Overview

The Raspberry Pi connects to this interface board via an included ribbon cable. Once attached, the two downstream E-blocks DB9 ports will be connected to the following Raspberry Pi pins:

Port 1 Pin GPIO Pin Port 2 Pin GPIO Pin Alt. Function*
0 11 0 24 CE0
1 12 1 5 / 26** SCL / CE1**
2 13 2 3 SDA
3 15 3 23 SCLK
4 16 4 21 MISO
5 18 5 19 MOSI
6 22 6 8 TX
7 7 7 10 RX

* CE0, CE1, SCLK, MISO and MOSI are configurable as SPI pins. SCL and SDA are configurable as I2C pins. TX and RX are configurable as UART pins.

** Port 2 Pin 1 can be connected to either of two GPIO pins depending on what type of functionality is required. A jumper is used for selection.

Example Python scripts which show you how to access to GPIO pins as inputs or outputs will be available soon.

Power Considerations

This board is compatible with 3.3V and 5V systems. The Raspberry Pi board itself requires a 5V DC power supply, but the I/O signals all run at 3.3V. Take care not to pass voltages over 3.3V to the I/O pins. Doing so will damage the Raspberry Pi's port pins. You can protect against this by installing Zener diodes to the EB080 board. Space is included to do so (but the diodes are not included).

When using either of the optional universal power supplies that you can select below, it is recommended to set the supply down to the 7.5V setting, to provide as much current to the Raspberry Pi as possible while also providing just enough voltage to the 7805 regulator. The EB080 has a bridge rectifier, so either polarity setting can be used.

The 3.3V available from the EB080 screw terminal is the voltage supplied back from the regulator on the Raspberry Pi board, so be careful not to draw too much current from this, or the Raspberry Pi may not be left with enough current to function effectively.

When using the Raspberry Pi board with an E-block requiring a +V connection, ensure that you wire the E-block to the 3V3 terminal and change the jumper on the E-block to the 3V3 setting. For details, refer to the datasheet of the E-block you are using specifically the section on 3V3 operation.

E-Blocks Raspberry Pi Interface Board Resources

E-Blocks Overview

E-Blocks are small circuit boards each of which contains a block of electronics that you would typically find in an electronic system. Each E-Block performs a separate function as either an input sub-system, an output sub-system, an input/output sub-system or a processing sub-system.

E-Blocks can be put together to form a variety of systems that can be used for teaching and learning electronics, and for the rapid prototyping of complex electronic systems.

Each E-Block has one or more 9-way D-type connectors that provide up to eight input/output lines and a ground line. These D-type connectors allow connection between E-Blocks to be made in buses of multiples of 8 lines, just like a real electronic system. Power is routed separately to those E-Blocks that need it.

Processing E-Blocks based on PIC, dsPIC, ARM or AVR microcontrollers, Altera FPGAs, Arduino or Raspberry Pi control the whole E-Blocks system. Processing E-Blocks provide up to five input/output ports with up to eight lines per port.

Please see the E-Blocks Category for a list of available components. For more details on E-Blocks, see the E-Blocks User Guide (in English, French, German and Spanish) or watch the Introduction to E-Blocks video.

Optional Recommended Products for this Item
Power Supply 3-12V DC, U.S. plug, 6 connection tips+ US$11.00
Power Supply 3-12V DC, US/UK/Euro/AU Plugs, 100-240VAC+ US$13.00
E-Blocks Development Combo Board+ US$176.80

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 27 September, 2012.


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