New Members: Introduce Yourself Here!


I was not aware the significance of that KS2, have just looked it up and that gives great background and context - thanks a lot.

Schools traditionally take a long time to catch up on these things, A lot of the private schools are starting to do stuff with robotics here. They are starting an extra curricular program for them at his school this term, but they are using the Lego Mindstorm EV3’s for it. I am sure the Raspberry PIs will follow eventually.


Yes, the schools are catching up. No problem with curriculum, more a problem of teacher preparation time and student ratio. I did several weeks with a Sparkfun RedBot at an outback public school last year. There are also technology themed holiday camps I’ve heard about and been a leader on, mostly in the cities.


Allo Allo! Name’s Brendan / Janoria.

Working on a Cosplay outfit… Building a full scale Replica of the Crimson Fists armor / helmet including the Power Fist (huge bulky thing).

in order to make it not only look authentic but sound authentic, i’m working on an adafruit sound box :smile:


Hi, My name is Shane. I live in Melbourne (although I’m from country Victoria originally). I’m a software engineer by trade (C#/C++), but I like to tinker with electronics as a hobby.

Most of my time is spent working on drones(both airplanes and quad-copters) powered by APM/Pixhawk autopilots (designed by But sometimes I get distracted by side projects.

I am currently working on an arduino powered, fully autonomous weather station for my sister’s farm. There is no mains electricity so it has to be solar powered, and the station needs to transmit the data over the cellular network. The idea is that if I want to take my drones out to fly at the farm I will be able to check my personal weather station first to ensure conditions are suitable before making the trip.
When I get basic weather data working I might look into extending the platform so it takes photos and transmits them back as well.


I have a few spare Electric Imp kits (Imps and Aprils) if you need for hackathons or alike.


Hi I been into electronic since I was 8 and now just coming up for 70. I am also a Radio ham for 50 yrs. I have a big pile of Arduino’s, Every Raspberry Pi model and just ordered the Orange Pi & Orange Pi Plus. I also have a PCduino. I am pleased that Little Bird stock so many items especially the ones from USA as US postage is very expensive (a $2 cable weighing say 10 gms will cost $60+ to ship because a lot of suppliers will not use a cheaper service). If I want something quick the Little Bird service is great.

I have a problem for last 61 yrs I must have a play with new technologies so I have lots of interesting projects that may get started before they become obsolete.

One of my current projects is a DDS (Direct Digital Synthesizer) VFO (Variable Frequency Oscillator) for some of my Ham Radio Projects. I have a prototype birds nest wiring but need to layout a PCB or better still get my 3D printer modified to act as a CNC router and mill the copper circuit board.

I make my own PCB’s using a laser printer and iron on the toner by a transfer process to the copper.

I also have used the MicroView (from Little Bird), Mini, Pro Mini, Uno for a DDS have to hack the IRQ for the MicroView. Same code just trying to miniaturise the the final version.

Have an Intel Edison Dev Kit IOT but like many things Info takes ages to find or is in early release plus now US$ makes things 50% more expensive.

I contributed to the project and as a result I have one robotic hand to play with and make available to show interested people local to me I live 50km N Melbourne.

One of my websites is yes I have a few more that one day I will update.

Any way glad to join the group and thanks for Little Bird Electronics I can get my new toys faster!

Regards Tony ar la Echoshack @echoshack


The deeper you throw them in the better they swim the Raspberry Pi is great tool for learning and Minecraft gives then a chance to play as well. Also the Arduino is a good idea its less complicated to program and complements the Pi acting as a good cheap I/O buffer. If he wants to make lights flash or drive motors or stepper motors salvaged from an old ink jet printer then the Arduino is great as so many libraries have been written by experienced programmers it’s easy for him to see how it’s done.
So for Programming The Raspberry Pi
For Flashing lights & things that go. The Arduino and then combine both.

Regards Tony @echoshack that’s me on twitter


Hi Ron, guess you a call you can find me via my twitter @echoshack I am into DDS as well.
I don’t like putting call on BB’s



Interesting that you state the Arduino is easier to program than the Raspberry PI. The thing that drew me to the Raspberry PI was the utilisation of the SCRATCH language and the obvious kids friendly resources I found at

Are you aware of similar kid friendly resources and communities that he can get on for the Arduino? Don’t want to throw too much at him too quick, but Christmas is just around the corner and that may be the right follow up gift.


At One Laptop per Child we use Scratch and Turtle Blocks as part of the Sugar desktop.

Turtle Blocks has an Arduino Firmata plugin. Firmata is a simplified firmware for using an Arduino as a general purpose I/O block for a computer.

Turtle Blocks is also available as JavaScript for in-browser implementation, but I’m not sure if it has Arduino plugins; it seems unlikely, because of the browser security perimeter.

We also have Turtle Bots, which is yet another derivative of Turtle Blocks, with plugins specific to various Arduino and other microcontroller based educational robots. I’ve written a Sparkfun RedBot plugin.

A derivative Music Blocks has shown up in the past few weeks, and is worth showing to any child who wants to learn that kind of thing.

There are probably some kid friendlier environments for Arduino than the IDE, but I’ve not made a study of them.

(My limited experience with 9-year-olds is that you give them the tools, light the blue touch paper, and stand well back. Then they create something and go way beyond what anybody thought they would.)


What I am trying to say is, does he like making things say with wood is he practical so thinks like making a motor turn or a led flash? Maybe he is more academic and programming in Scratch and just using the screen to see the results. The Raspberry Pi can do both of course. However you will spend more on Raspberry Pi + SD + PSU etc than one of the small Arduino’s that just use the USB as a power supply and Serial I/O.

If some of the children at his school use Raspberry Pi then he may feel left out with an Arduino. You could buy a couple of Arduino Uno from China or for a few $ more from Oz supplier and a Raspberry Pi Kit. Then he has both choices program or hardware hack.

I guess you know about the Raspberry Pi magazine free download all back issues as well.

You can get going with Arduino very quick just download the IDE from install pug in 1 USB cable to Arduino a new one should come with the LED flash program installed. So now load the Blink program change the counts for the time on and off. Click upload and the LED will flash at a different rate. 1st program running!

The Raspberry Pi you have to burn the OS to an SD card then configure the settings. The video is usually a bit of a pain depending on your monitor (HDMI) is best by far. There is a lot to learn to get it all running smoothly whereas Arduino click and run.



I agree with the statement about standing back and letting them go with it. I am pretty confident he will be explaining a lot of this stuff to me within a few months!


EchoShack - Thanks for your detailed reply and further info. I have done a bit of further research into the Arduino’s and I am still thinking the Raspberry PI is the right starting tool (more so now after researching some of your links). Just for anyone else looking at the options my logic is as follows:

The Arduino unit looks like a great board, the biggest down side of it for my 9 year old is that he is easily distracted. He loves computers, but like any modern age child, his attention span can be limited at times. The Arduino unit is programmed using a computer, then synced with the Arduino unit after your code is ready for testing. I am pretty confident that until he has a project he is really passionate about, he will end up moving off his Arduino task and playing a game or watching a video.

The Raspberry PI on the other hand does not have anything on it to distract him. Early on I am not giving him the WIFI capability even, therefore I can put him on it and know that he will be free of distractions and concentrate on the learning that is the purpose.

I am sure we will get past this point very quickly as he will quickly get focussed on a project once he gets in his mind what it is he wants to do that is more than a 15 minute project.

In regards to school, none of his friends are using anything like this yet. He has some experience with Lego Mindstorms and programming with them, but that is the extent of it. He does like building things and made a couple of projects using little bits ( a few years back with recycled items from around the house.

The initial setup of the Raspberry PI I will do with him and I think its a valuable step to go through as it really breaks down the concept of a computer and the various components. His birthday is in 2 weeks time, I will report back as to how he goes with it after I get him going and if Raspberry PI was the right choice or not.


Discover Little Bird Electronics some months ago.
Really want to learn stuff and also to find out deals for the materials.


Hi guys,

My name is Ryan and I have come here to develop an electronic countdown timer for my model rocket.

I have minimal experience in electronics so I hope this forum can guide me on the materials and parts I need.

Here is the electronic rocket launch countdown timer.
Can you let me know if this will be a difficult project or not?


Hi. I wrote my first program in 1960. I was pretty early into Arduino, and have progressed through Eagle into custom PCB shields. I built an electronic organ in 1970, and recently have been converting it to use a software synthesizer.

I have a problem that is beyond me at the moment, and would appreciate any promising hints. My nephew has a field application where at a distance of a few km, he wants to monitor some state information from multiple pieces of agricultural gear. Arduino or Raspberry Pi would bolt in with the processing requirement. We have looked at 151Mhz radio modems, but they look depressingly antique.

I have been encouraged by the Little Bird forum and the number of experimenters out there.


@ronelephant, possibly antique because they are a stable solution to a common problem. I’m using Arduino Pro Mini with Radiometrix 151 MHz transceiver modules in agricultural environment, because of the range and terrain. It tends to get around corners a bit, and through vegetation. Higher frequencies do not. You can go for 433 MHz or 915 MHz if you are willing to get over the terrain with a tower. If the terrain is flat, which is typical for farms with gear worth monitoring, then the television mast at the house is a good place for a relay. If the television mast is about 20m high, you might place an outdoor wireless router there and use 2.4 GHz as the frequency for the big hop. Lastly, some farms have nearby towers owned by mobile phone carriers, and that changes the options a bit.

Edit: the transceivers are not modems, so my Arduino Pro Mini uses the Virtual Wire library to generate the digital data stream.


Thanks quozi, will definitely follow it up.



G’day Everyone,
I’m Tim, I am on the mid north coast of nsw, am new to the Raspberry Pi, and am just interested in what I can do with it and learn with it as a hobby. So far I have the 7" touchscreen working with it, have just purchased a Cirrus Logic Audio Card, am looking at the camera module… and powerbanks, lol. So far I have used Retropie, which was fun, and have plans to do more as my budget allows, and what I know increases.



Currently the builder of an electric motorcycle and as with most projects the rebuilding of the bike. :smile:
Next steps for me is to build a custom dash, showing all of the vehicle information (charge, current, power, speed etc). To that end I am working with some Arduino parts and GPS etc.