Pi Extension board "PiEBridge"

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"PiEBridge" is an extension board for microcomputers similar to the Raspberry Pi (Pi), which is designed to be a helper for the DIY-maker in all his activities - Pi, together with PiEBridge, can perform a variety of functions:

  • universal programmer
  • software and hardware debugger for target systems
  • PCB fusion furnace controller
  • smart-home controller
  • as well as do many other useful things

You might say Pi already knows how to do these useful things, so why does it need more extension boards? Here is the answer to that question:

  • PiEBridge transforms the Pi's 40-pin I/O subsystem into more practical 6/10-pin lines for many applications and provides signal integrity for these lines
  • adds the simplest controls and indications (button, pedal, and LEDs)
  • has a programmable 2.5...5V power supply for external devices

"Naked" Pi is usable in two extreme configurations - either just a box controlled externally via SSH or a desktop computer with a monitor, keyboard, and often even a mouse. In addition to these typical use cases, PiEBridge allows you to use the Pi as a standalone software automaton to perform random repeating tasks with minor interactive operator participation.

PiEBridge is plugged into the Pi extension connector (compatible with family models with a 40-pin connector) and installed vertically. For this purpose, the Pi case (if available) must have a corresponding cutout on top.

When used as a programmer, PiEBridge can work with most known 6-pin and 10-pin connectors, and GND and Vcc can be randomly connected to their pins to ensure compatibility.

The programmable power supply for external devices is programmable on/off and programmable in the range of 2.5 - 5V with an accuracy of about 2%.

Deb-packages for PiEBridge have been created and compiled into a repository:

  • general-purpose, providing configs and libraries for working with controls and indications, as well as with the power supply
  • special purpose, e.g., applications for MCU and FPGA programming and debugging
  • auxiliary purpose, for example, for repeating operations automation (like mass-production function for firmware flashing). In this case, the user can use settings that provide autonomous launching of the necessary software when the Pi is turned on, and then (after finishing its work) its simple parking and shutdown by pressing and holding the button for a long time.
  • metapackages, which cause installation of necessary software and configs for the selected role and allow to simplify preparation for work

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Kevin Gibbs

Hi! I'm Kevin! I am a very curious engineer :))
I'm the website founder and author of many posts.

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