I have been a huge fan of Ryanteck for a long time now and think what Ryan does is brilliant. Earlier this year Ryan started a campaign on KickStarter for RTK.GPIO, a USB Raspberry Pi Compatible GPIO Header. This is an easy way to add a Raspberry Pi style 40 pin GPIO header to a Mac or PC. Ryan achieved over £10,000 worth of pledges which is great!

This board can be used in two main ways. Firstly it can give you I/O connectivity for a Mac or PC, this will also support many Raspberry Pi HATs. I can see this being very useful for schools where they want to introduce elements of Physical Computing but haven't yet embraced a Pi suite of machines. Secondly, it can be used to get extra Raspberry Pi pins on a Pi or run your header off the Pi with the USB cable.

Ryan very kindly sent me a test unit which I have spent the last hour tinkering with. After a little bit of Mac setup and installation I had my first LED flashing away on my desk.


The Python code was very simple and would be recognisable to anyone who has already used a Raspberry Pi for similar projects.

This is definitely one project to watch!

from RTk import GPIO
LED = 22


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Nixie Tubes and clocks

I had a very pleasant visit to the design studio and workshop of Bad Dog Designs who produce beautiful clocks with old Nixie tubes.

Check out the video below and the lovely photos I took in the workshop.

Nixie - 1Nixie - 2Nixie - 3Nixie - 4Nixie - 5Nixie - 6Nixie - 7Nixie - 8Nixie - 9Nixie - 10Nixie - 11Nixie - 12Nixie - 13Nixie - 14Nixie - 15Nixie - 16Nixie - 17Nixie - 18Nixie - 19Nixie - 20Nixie - 21Nixie - 22Nixie - 23Nixie - 24