Byte Insight

Tontec Touch Screen Set Up

Having purchased a Tontec Touch Screen (Model MZ61581) for the Raspberry Pi from Amazon I went about following the instructions found via the product description.  These instructions are what I used for the Raspberry Pi 2 (or Model B+).   I was using the 2015-05-05 version of raspbian-wheezy.

Weewx on Rasp!

This was my backup installation for Weewx and a La Crosse WS2350 Weather Station on a Raspberry Pi (RPi) after I suffered Python library problems with our Synology box.   It is assumed  you are running headless (no mouse, keyboard or monitor on the RPi) and have installed an SSH client on your main machine.

Arduino Capacitive Switches

In this experiment I am going to use my first outside library to add Capacitive Sensing to the Arduino as demonstrated on You Tube.   This is the same technique used by most modern touch screen such as the iPad and iPhone and this feature is brought to the Arduino via the CapSense library written by Paul Badger.

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

Film Society

A film society has over 300 members who are able to borrow from its library of more than 1000 classic films. There is more than one copy of some films. The films may be held in video cassette form, DVD form, or, in some cases, both.

Members pay an annual membership fee that allows them to borrow films free of charge. Members can only have one film out on loan at a time. Loans are not permitted to extend beyond seven days.

The film society needs a database to contain details of its members, its films and those films currently out on loan.

Magic 8 Ball

The Magic 8 Ball is a toy used for fortune-telling or seeking advice, manufactured by Mattel and developed in the 1950s.  It is often used in fiction, often for humour related to it giving very accurate, very inaccurate, or otherwise statistically improbable answers. You must design and write a program that recreates the Magic 8 Ball experience.

Dog Year Calculator

A dog that is 5 Years old is equivalent to a 42 year old human.

The human equivalent age is calcuated using the following method:

  • The user inputs the age of the dog in years
  • If the age is 2 or less, the human equivalent is 12 times the age.
  • If the age is more than 2, the human equivalent is 24 for the first 2 years plus 6 for every additional year.

Write a program that converts the age of a dog to the equivalent for a human.

Etch A Sketch


This challenge is taken from © The Coding Club Python books written by Chris Roffey, which serve as an excellent introduction to Python for younger age groups. The challenge is simple.   Write a Etch A Sketch program that recreates the popular 70s/80s Etch A Sketch toy.

Cellular Automata

Complex behaviour arises out of very simple rules. Here’s a simple set of rules for your “ant” to follow that makes an interesting display. 1. If the ant is on a black square, it turns right 90° and moves forward one unit. 2. If the ant is on a white square, it turns left 90° and moves forward one unit. 3. When the ant leaves a square, it inverts the color.

Sense Hat

The Sense Hat from Raspberry Pi was developed as part of the Astro Pi Project.  The Sense Hat comes with its own library and a variety of hardware including: a 8×8 RGB LED matrix for output; a five-button joystick for user control; and the following sensors:

  • Gyroscope used to measure the positioning of an object
  • Accelerometer used to measure the rate of the velocity of an object
  • Magnetometer that provides an electronic compass
  • Temperature
  • Barometric pressure
  • Humidity

The purpose of this page is a quick guide to using the different aspects of the Sense Hat but for full details you should check out the API.


The original inspiration for this whole experiment came from a @Rob Bishop (OCR) Raspberry Pi Recipe Card  (ocr-recipe-card-twitter-led.pdf). The objective is to interact with Twitter using Python.

RPi Twitter Led

This program follows on from the standard Python Twitter experiments.

The original inspiration for this whole experiment came from a @Rob Bishop (OCR) Raspberry Pi Recipe Card.  The objective of the program is to light an LED every time a tweet containing a particular word is sent to a certain person.

Pi Hacking

The aims of this exercise are to explore a small LAN looking at:

  • the sort of information we can collect.
  • some of the command line tools that are available.
  • how we can communicate across the network