Ultimate Raspberry Pi Expansion Board

Aug 11

When I first saw the Raspberry Pi about a year ago I immediately started thinking of all the cool things we could do with this device if we connect it up to the real world.

But in all my searching I found many expansion boards with screw terminals, many with relays, a LCD header etc. etc., but I could never find one that had relays and digital I/O with screw terminals (and a LCD header and analogue I/O) all on the same board, so I decided to build one!

The idea behind this board is that you can use the RPi in a real world application by attaching one and only one expansion board. Yes you can do this with multiple boards, but think about the time you will save if you can just use the same board with the same features and the same code every time?

So this board has:

  • 4 Relays with screw terminals that can switch high voltage and current devices.
  • 3 Digital outputs with screw terminals, one of which is hardware PWM capable.
  • 4 Digital inputs with screw terminals and jumper selectable pull up/down resistors and over voltage protection.
  • 4 Analogue inputs with screw terminals.
  • 1 Analogue output with a screw terminal.
  • LCD header for connecting directly to a standard parallel LCD.
  • UART header for connecting serial devices.
  • I2C header for connecting other I2C devices.
  • SPI header for connecting other SPI devices.

I believe splitting out the headers make the cabling easier and hence development of real world applications faster. Just connect your devices to the screw terminals or headers and you are up and running in no time.

I’m hoping to have this to market within the next two weeks and to have it selling for less than the price of the Raspberry Pi.  I am already planning on using these boards in a real world application with over 150 units.

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Not unto the swift…

The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.
— Ecclesiates 9:11 (NIV)