What to do with your Pibrella while you wait for parts

CAM00598[Updated 05/06/2014: I made a few improvements to the program although it’s still very flakey. It now decodes and prints the letter/number you entered on the screen (but not until you start the next character) & although it doesn’t exit Ā as cleanly as it should if you enter 8 dots, pause then enter a dot the program will exit. you can find the updated program at https://gist.github.com/ukscone/b0b28d6d0cece3961f56 ]

As those of you who follow me on twitter will already know i’m a bit of Pimoroni fanboy. Partly because I like their stuff and partly because I think Paul, Jon & the rest of the crew are good guys (& gals) and that is in spite of the fact that Paul has a gruff exterior that hides an equally gruff interior šŸ˜€ Cyntech, Ryanteck, 4tronix et al are also good guys & gals and make good quality STUFF! but I have a softspot for the Pimoroni crew, probably as i’ve met a few of them. I have 2 PiGlows that do nothing but wink & blink at me all day as they sit on my desk calculating Pi to a gazillion digits in COBOL & I love them dearly but when the Pibrella was released they got moved behind the Raspberry Pi tea (ok i admit it i’m turning American & it’s used as a coffee) mug to make space for a Pibrella as not only did it look cool it was made by Pimoroni (& Cyntech) and I have a project in mind for it. However, The parts I need are still on their scenic cruise and somewhere in the Pacific.

The Pibrella has to be the most cost efficient add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi there is. Not only do you get some blinky leds, a buzzy buzzer & some “protect your raspi” i/o you get a buttony button. So what do you do when you want to play with a Pibrella & the parts you are waiting for have not yet arrived? You do the obvious thing and make something blinky, noisey & pressy and make a Morse Key :)

I’ll readily admit I can’t program in Python. COBOL yes, BASIC yes, Z80 assembler yes, A smattering of C, LISP, OpenEuphoria, Ruby yes and a few other depreated languages & 4GL yes. Anything over a couple of decades old and/or less than a few hundred speakersĀ i’ll give a go but Python just never appealed but I really didn’t want to mess around with writing my own Pibrella control software & as Phil Howard aka @Gadgetoid has written to my non-pythonist mind a very easy to understand Python library I thought i’d give it a go & see what I could knock up.

After a cumulative couple of hours today, separated with requests for tea, coffee, toast & being sent on errands I ended up with a Python program that mostly works :) The timing is a bit iffy and sometimes it doesn’t recognise button releases and it must be very poor python code but it mostly works :) so it might form the basis for someone to improve as a learning experience in how not to Python :) The code is pretty much a slight expansion of Phil’s readme examples but it does show how easy his code Ā and the Pibrella are to use in a usefulĀ way.

The code follows:-

import pibrella, sys, time

def button_changed(pin):
    global start
    global char
    global word_sep
    if pin.read() == 1:
        start = time.time()
        if (start - word_sep) > 2.1:
        elif (start - word_sep) > 0.9:
            char+=" "
        held = time.time()-start
        if held < 0.3:

while True:
    print '\r', char,

An here is a video of it in action.

YouTube Preview Image



1 Comment

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  1. Hey man this is pretty sick, do you mind me using and learning it? I’m learning Python and looking into some cool mini-projects to learn with the Pibrella!

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