When need you're in in need of power get InCharge

There's a lot of rubbish on crowdfunding sites and a lot of projects don't deliver. In August InCharge's campaign finished with the promise of a USB charging cable that actually looked pretty neat.

Two versions were on offer, the dual and all in one. The dual offers micro usb and lightning and the all in one micro usb, lightning and USB-C.

It's quite a clever design.

The image shows the all in one and amazingly one actually arrived today and does exactly what it promised to do. It's really compact and can fit on a keychain, the ends are magnetic to stay closed, but are easy enough to open.

They are still available on Indiegogo, though presumably they'll be available through the InCharge site shortly.

How to make 20 Easy Pies

Well actually "20 Easy Raspberry Pi Projects" is a book from Nostarch Press and takes the user through a variety of projects that can be built around the Raspberry Pi.

  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Primer

  • LEDs
  • Project 1: Blinking an LED
  • Project 2: Pushbutton LED Flashlight
  • Project 3: LED Dimmer Switch
  • Project 4: A Graphical User Interface for a Multicolor LED
  • Project 5: Rainbow Light Strip

  • Displays
  • Project 6: An LCD Reminder
  • Project 7: Mini Weather Forecaster
  • Project 8: Pong with a Sense Hat

  • Sensors
  • Project 9: All-In-One Weather Sensor Station
  • Project 10: Intruder Alarm with Email Notifications
  • Project 11: Gas and Smoke Alarm
  • Project 12: Temperature and Humidity Data Logger

  • Cameras
  • Project 13: Burglar Detector with Photo Capture
  • Project 14: Home Surveillance Camera

  • Web Applications
  • Project 15: Building Your First Website
  • Project 16: Connecting Your Electronics to the Web
  • Project 17: Internet of Things Control Center with Node-Red

  • Games and Toys
  • Project 18: Digital Drum Set
  • Project 19: Make a Game in Scratch: Hungry Monkey
  • Project 20: Wi-Fi Remote-Controlled Robot

  • Appendix A: Raspberry Pi GPIO Pin Guide
  • Appendix B: Decoding Resistor Values

All the projects are built using the Pi, some external hardware and then programming the Pi using Python or Node Red.

You don't really need to fully understand programming and in-depth Python to get the most out of the projects, the book goes through the code and explains what the various code segments do.

Node Red is more complex and also simpler as it runs on the Pi and is accessed via a web browser and then the various actions are all performed by wiring bits together. All the actual programming is done behind the scenes. Some libraries and other bits and bobs have to be installed to support various bits of hardware, but the book goes into enough details of how to do it.

Each chapter ends with some tasks that the user can extend the project and though the basic knowledge of programming in the chapter should give these enough of a background to modify/extend the code, to really extend it, it;'s probably learning Python more fully.

All in all if you want to hook a Raspberry Pi up to some hardware, access the hardware through Python (or Node Red), then this book is no doubt a good starting point. However it is just that a starting point and doing more complex things with both the hardware and Python in particular will require more in0-depth knowledge and a more in-depth programming knowledge.

Saying all that, it's a great start and easy to follow and even with a basic knowledge of Python (just basing code on examples from the book) it should be possible to build all the projects and extend most of them without too much fuss.