Dec 31

2018

Hey All,

I almost didn’t blog for the whole year. To be truthful, it’s been hard to write this past year. Lots of amazing wonderful things have happened to me in 2018, but I’m exhausted. And this blog was easy to overlook. I want to write again, but at my own pace. I’m going to try to start again.

That said…. BEING A FATHER IS AWESOME! I have an amazing little mini me who is 20 months old and is just so much fun. He has made me grow in ways I never even knew imaginable.

Maker Faire Orlando 2018

My friend Jacob and I worked on an awesome project for Maker Faire Orlando this year, and I am so proud to say we won Maker of Merit! It is a deep honor to me to win that award. And of course it’s Raspberry Pi related ūüėÄ

We made a 4096 LED pixel framebuffer display powered by the Raspberry Pi!

LED Display playing a clone of Snake
Prototype at the Orlando Science Center

How it works?

We are using P10 LED panels as the basis for the screen. P10 means a 10mm dot pitch, so 10mm between each LED. They range from 3 – 10mm. The panels also usually come in a size of 16 x 32, but luckily they are daisy chainable!

The Raspberry Pi can even handle upto 32 of them in 3 chains! For our purposes we only used 8 16×32 panels in one chain.

8 P10 Panels, daisychained to an Adafruit LED matrix bonnet, connected to a Raspberry Pi 3b+, with power distributed via a CFOL Distro 8 board.

The above picture may look complicated, but it’s not that bad.

8 P10 panels are daisy chained together using a standard HUB75 cable (it’s like an smaller IDE cable).

The panels are mounted together with the orange and red 3D printed brackets.

The first panel is connected to a Raspberry Pi 3B+ via an Adafruit LED matrix bonnet.

The power for the panels and the Pi comes from a 10amp DC supply, which plugs into the bonnet. The bonnet powers the Pi, and has two screw terminals for the voltage output. The +/- screw terminals connect to a CFOL Distro 8 PCB (in the center of the board) which takes the input and breaks it out to 8 screw terminals. We only need 4 since each cable powers two panels, but it gives us room to expand.

After that we use https://github.com/adafruit/rpi-fb-matrix to copy whats on the HDMI framebuffer out onto the LED matrix!

and Voila! You now have a giant low resolution display!

Many thanks to Adafruit for making such a great beginner tutorial that we could jump from, and building a great bonnet for the Pi!

Happy Making and a Happy New Year! Here’s to a wonderful 2019 everyone!

-Shea

Aug 23

Gone too long!

Hey All!

I’m sorry about the lack of posts. Being a Dad is the most amazing time consuming adventure I have ever been on! I am currently on paternity leave, and of course I thought I would have tons of down time to post and update….all the parents are collectively shaking their head.

He’s 4 months old now!!! ¬†Can you believe that?!

More updates soon.  I got some awesome Nintendo stuff to post.

-Shea

Apr 28

Friday Post: PiPlay Portable is fully funded! And meet the newest member of the PiPlay Team!

Hey All,

The PiPlay Portable Kickstarter is fully funded!!!  Thank you to all of you.  We are super humbled and excited that we get to see this kit succeed.

In even more incredible news….

I’m super excited to introduce our son, Sam, born Monday April 24th.

Mother and Baby are doing great. ¬†We came home from the hospital yesterday. ¬†I’m so excited for this new chapter in our lives.

Have a great weekend all,

-Shea

Feb 03

Friday Post: No broken foot and open source software is awesome!

Hey All,

Got some great news. ¬†My wife didn’t actually break her foot. ¬†We went to a orthopedist who specializes in feet injuries, and he says it’s only a MAJOR sprain. ¬†She’s still in pain, but at least it is a lot less serious. ¬†The brace only needs to be worn during the day, she can walk around again, and best of all she can drive and go to work.

Baby is also doing well.  We are in the third trimester and he is kicking up a storm!

Also, open source software is amazing, and I am so proud to be able to make software that is open.  My campaign donation software is now being used in a city council race!  This is not an endorsement, but Scott Casey is using it for his race: https://www.scottcaseycitycouncil.com/

Have a good weekend all!

Jan 20

Friday Post: Broken Foot

Hey All,

It’s so weird to realize it was my birthday, and it passed by this year with little fanfare from me. ¬†Knowing I’m having a baby in less than 3 months kinda takes your mind off those things. ¬†What is on my mind is my wife broke her foot this week and I am now taking care of my pregnant immobilized love. ¬†Luckily the baby is perfectly fine. ¬†I feel so bad for my wife. ¬†I have broken both arms, and both legs (at separate times), and I can tell you this is no walk in the park.

Everything is still being worked on, just going slow and steady.

Have a good weekend everyone.  Stay safe out there.

-Shea

Oct 17

Awesome news and MakerFaire Orlando 2016 coming up

Hey All,

I have extremely awesome and happy news to report!  K is pregnant!!!!  We are having a baby!

In other news, MAKERFAIRE ORLANDO 2016 is this weekend at the Central Florida Fairgrounds!!!!

Come see me, FamiLAB, and hundreds of other exhibits showcasing the biggest show and tell on Earth!

Jacob and I have recently finished revision 3 of PiPlay Advance, and it’s looking awesome!

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We are currently testing out a variety of buttons, but it’s coming together really nicely!

And finally, the Elections are coming up soon, and my race for Florida House District 49 is heating up. ¬†I’m very excited to see what happens in the next few weeks. ¬†That being said, I have the most amazing supporters out there!

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Have a great week all!

-Shea

P.S.: In sadder news, at 91, my Grandmother Bernice passed away peacefully two weeks ago.  I was very hesitant about posting this, because it makes it feel so real now.  She lived an amazing life, and got to hear that she was going to be a great grandmother.  I miss her, and I love her, and it sucked that Hurricane Matthew hit the same week as the funeral, so everything had to be rushed.

Thank you all for being there for me.